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Azienda comuale dei trasporti Lugano: trolleybus No. 101

Characteristics of trolleybus series 101-103 (1954)

Chassis Franz Brozincevic & Cie., Wetzikon ZH (FBW)
Body work Ramseier + Jenzer, Biel BE
Electrics S.A. des Ateliers de Sécheron, Geneva GE (SAAS)
Model Tr51
In use 1954-1983
Engine power 106 kW (144 hp)
Length / width 10.1 m / 2.4 m
Seats / standing places 22 / 34 people
Empty weight 9'900 kg
Preserved vehicle No. 101


Since other Swiss cities made good experiences with the trolleybus since the 1930ies, Lugano decided to set up a network after the Second World War. First, the steep tramline from the Centre via Station to the area Besso, on which several accidents occurred, was replaced and extended at the same tam.

The system was opened on the 25th April 1954 with the three trolleybuses No 1-3 on the line Lugano Centro - Besso - Cinque Vies. Unlike the tram the trolleybus didn't serve the square in front of the station, passengers to the station had to descend after the Besso tunnel and cross the underpass (or use the cable car from old town instead).

Hence the first trolleybus line proved its worth, the complete tram network was transformed to trolleybus in 1959. Therefore, ten slightly larger buses (No. 104-113) with three doors were purchased. The first three trolleybuses received the new numbers 101-103 and a third door in the middle of the vehicle. The eldest and smallest trolleybuses were mostly used on the lines Castagnola - Paradiso (1, 2 in the other direction) and Piazza Manzoni - Crocifisso di Savosa (5, 6 in the other direction) since the 1960ies.

The trolleybus fleet reached its maximal dimension with 27 vehicles in 1978, after that the eldest trolleybuses were send to the reserve fleet and after the purchase of a new trolleybus series in 1983, they were taken out of service. Trolleybus No 101 stayed officially in the fleet until 1985 and was kept as a static exhibit at the bus operator, which made it for TVS possible to overtake this vehicle after the trolleybus network was shut down on the 30th June 2001.

The eldest trolleybus of Lugano left the city at the 26th June 2001 and was brought via different locations to its current place in Yvonand (VD), where it is stored in a shed. We restored parts of the outside of this bus during the last few years. An intermediate result was showed on our open day for the 100 year jubilee of trolleybuses in Switzerland on the 19th August 2013.