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Verkehrsbetriebe Biel: trolleybus No. 9

Characteristics of trolleybus series 1-10 (1966)

Chassis Franz Brozincevic & Cie., Wetzikon ZH (FBW)
Body work Ramseier + Jenzer, Biel BE
Electrics Brown, Boveri & Cie., Baden AG (BBC)
Model Tr71
In use 1966-1997
Engine power 100 kW (136 hp)
Length / width 12.36 m / 2.5 m
Seats / standing places 27 / 72 people
Empty weight 11'250 kg
Preserved vehicle No. 9


Between 1940 and 1958, 25 trolleybuses (No 21-45) and twelve bus trailers (No 61-72) were put into operation for the trolleybus in Biel and its three lines. In the 1960ies, the network was further extended, most importantly by the electrification of line 4 Mühlebrücke - Mettfeld (now Vorhölzli), which was opened on the 22nd May 1966. This led to a need for an expansion of the trolleybus fleet.

Therefore ten trolleybuses No. 1-10 were purchased, which had a similar size and capacity as trolleybuses ordered in the same period from other cities. In the following three decades, the vehicles of this series were in service on the lines 1, 2 and 4. But they weren't equipped for pulling trailers.

After the first twelve articulated trolleybuses were put into service in the second half of the 1980ies, the trolleybus network was reduced during the 1990ies: In 1992, line 3 was transformed to a motor bus line and on the 1st June 1997, the network was reorganised, so that only the trolleybus lines 1 and 4 stayed, which since then were only operated by articulated trolleybuses.

The last 17 rigid trolleybuses weren't needed anymore and were almost all sold to Sibiu in Romania, where they were in service for several years. Of the elder series No. 9 could be preserved in Switzerland, this trolleybus was overtaken by TVS and the Tramverein Bern. Since 2009, it is completely owned by TVS and we aim to put this operable trolleybus into service again for events and extra courses in medium-term. The picture above shows this trolleybus eight years after it was taken out of service, while an event with Verkehrsbetriebe Biel, where its functions were tested and a test run on the network was made.