Portrait Luzern
The trolleybuses built by NAW shaped Lucerne's appearance. Also because they have been pulling trailers since 1998.
The Trolleybus was introduced in Lucerne in 1941/42. At the beginning the new mode of transportation was thought to complete the existing tram and motor bus network and kept rather small dimensions, eventhough it was extended in 1951. This changed in 1959-61, when the inhabitants decided that the two tram lines Luzern Bahnho f -Emmenbrücke and Maihof - Luzern Bahnhof -Kriens should be replaced by trolleybuses. 36 new rigid trolleybuses replaced the tramway. New trolleybus lines followed in the years 1962, 1966 and 1986. And the network grew further due to line extensions in the years 1990, 2004 and 2013. The trolleybus Lucerne is really important for Central Switzerland, which can be seen on the amount of passengers. The trolleybus line 1 transports more passengers than any line of S-Bahn Zentralschweiz.

The trolleybus fleet of Lucerne had several specialities:
  • Two dual-mode buses converted from diesel-electric motor buses were able to run on trolleybus and motor bus lines between 1941 and 1966.
  • Service with bus trailers theoretical until 1974, actually until the end of the 1950s. Bus trailers were introduced again in 1998.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s Lucerne purchased trolleybuses of foreign producers (Büssing, Volvo), whereas most other Swiss cities bought Swiss vehicles.
  • 1998-2013 the only city, which had rigid trolleybuses with and without bus trailers, articulated trolleybuses and from 2006 bi-articulated trolleybuses in service at the same time.

Trolleybus fleet

Numbers Type In use Comments Preserved vehicles
BVB 11 Rigid trolleybus 1931 Public demonstration in September 1941 before ballot (Viktoriaplatz-Bundesplatz)  
16-17 Rigid trolleybus 1941-1966 dual-mode buses, converted from diesel-electric motor buses built in 1939  
TL 2 Rigid trolleybus 1941-1942 Vehicle borrowed from Lausanne TL 2 (ARBL)
18-21 Rigid trolleybus 1942-1972    
52-53 Bus trailer 1946-? From 1949 offically used with motor buses  
22-31 Rigid trolleybus 1949-1975 No. 25 used as defrosting vehicle afterwards 25 (vbl-historic)
32-33 Rigid trolleybus 1955-1975    
201-217 Rigid trolleybus 1959-1989    
218-236 Rigid trolleybus 1960-1989   227 (ARBL)
237-242 Rigid trolleybus 1963-1989 No. 242 from 1991 temporary in the Swiss museum of transport 242 (vbl-historic)
151-164 Articulated trolleybus 1966-1989   162 (ARBL)
165-178 Articulated trolleybus 1975-2004 No. 165, 167-171, 173-177 sold to Burgas (Bulgaria)  
181-196 Articulated trolleybus 1987-2012    
251-280 Rigid trolleybus since 1988 No. 260-264, 274, 279 in service, No. 265-266, 268-270, 272-273, 275-276, 278 sold to Valparaíso (Chile), No. 252 driving school and 280 defrosting vehicle  
197-200 Articulated trolleybus 1991-2009    
301-307 Bus trailer 1998-2014    
308-311 Bus trailer 2002-2014    
312-316 Bus trailer since 2005    
201II-208II Articulated trolleybus since 2004    
209II-210II Articulated trolleybus since 2006    
231II-233II Bi-articulated trolleybus since 2006    
211II-226II Articulated trolleybus since 2009    
234II-242II Bi-articulated trolleybus since 2014 RBus design  
401-409 Bi-articulated trolleybus since 2016 RBus design  

Note: The trolleybus showed in our logo is modelled after the trolleybus series No. 201-242, which were purchased in 1959-63. Most of those vehicles were in use in Lucerne until the late 1980ies. To of those trolleybuses (No 226 and 227) wers sold to Schaffhausen, where the were in service between 1980 and 1991. This was a rare case of a used trolleybus trade between cities in German-speaking Switzerland. Way more often cities from French-speaking Switzerland bought buses of the German-speaking part (especially Zürich). Nowadays, a vehicle in each livery (Lucerne and Schaffhausen) of the series No. 201-242 is preserved.