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Azienda comuale dei trasporti Lugano: articulated trolleybus No. 124

Characteristics of (articulated) trolleybus series 118-125 (1974/75)

ACTL 123
Chassis Automobiles Volvo SA, Lyss BE
Body work Carrosserie Hess AG, Bellach SO
Electrics S.A. des Ateliers de Sécheron, Geneva GE (SAAS)
Model B 58-55
In use 1974/75-2001
Engine power 165 kW (225 hp)
Length / width 11.5 m / 2.5 m, articulated buses 17.3 m / 2.5 m
Seats / standing places 23 / 76, articulated buses 37 / 110 people
Empty weight 10'730 kg, articulated buses 14'600 kg
Preserved vehicle articulated trolleybus No. 124


ACTL 120
The rigid trolleybuses No. 118-121 were technically identical with the articulated trolleybuses No. 122-125
In the beginning of the 1970ies, the financial centre Lugano was in the middle of a building boom, which didn't stop at the city borders, but also spread on the municipalities around. The streets reached their limits and could barely handle the growing car traffic. On the 2nd December 1972 the city introduced a new traffic routeing in the city centre (one way roads over a wide area) to manage the traffic again. At the same time it was decided to improve public transportation with a new series of trolleybuses, which should increase the existing fleet and was needed for line extensions.

Four rigid trolleybuses and four articulated trolleybuses were purchased, but both types had the same technical equipment, especially engines, for financial reasons. The rigid trolleybuses No 118-121 were put into service in July 1974, whereas the articulated trolleybuses were launched on the 25th May 1975. So, for the line extensions from Cinque Vie to Breganzona (line 4/3, on 1st March 1975) and from Cornaredo to Pregassona (Line 3/4, on 23rd March 1976) the new vehicles were mostly available.

The articulated trolleybuses were in the first ten years of operation mainly used on the highly frequented line 3/4, but later also in direction of Vezia (line 5/6). The rigid vehicles were besides the last years of use also mainly used for the lines 3/4 and 5/6, respectively 3, 4 and 5 from the 30th August 1993. It was not before the two series of trolleybuses from 1966 were taken out of service in spring 199, when those trolleybuses were used on line 1 regularly. Besides No. 121, which was dismissed in 1999 and used as a spare part source, the series was in service until 2001. The rigid trolleybuses were scraped in June 2001 shortly before the trolleybus network was shut down.

The articulated trolleybuses No 122-125 were thought to be exported to Eastern Europe together with the newer series from the 1980ies. Therefore they were sold to a trader. Since there was no interest for the elder series, this trader decided to scrap those vehicles in the Lugano area. Literally in the last second we decided to purchase one of this trolleybuses, which are quite special for their age, the technique as well as the used equipment. No 124 left Lugano as last trolleybus on the 21st August 2001 and is now in our collection.