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End of line for trolleybus service

  • 2014-02-05
  • From wire report

NO FUTURE: The trolleybus offers less flexibility than newer buses.

TALLINN - The trolleybuses that connect several city districts of Estonia’s capital Tallinn with the center of the city face reform of their routes, and in the long-term perspective trolleybus traffic will be phased out fully, reports Postimees.
The city’s public transport services company Tallinna Linnatranspordi manager Enno Tamm agrees that the current trolleybuses have no future. “Trolleybuses that depend only on overhead contact grid wires are a burden to the city traffic. When there is a power outage or some accident, the trolleybus traffic is disturbed immediately. If a bus, a hybrid bus or electric bus was to be used instead of the trolleybus, such a vehicle could pass in such a situation,” explained Tamm.

Existing trolleybuses depend on the contact grid, while newer generation trolleybuses can drive short sections of roadway without direct electric contact. Trolleybuses are more than twice as expensive as ordinary buses and maintaining the route network is also expensive. “It is clearly more reasonable to maintain trams and buses besides Tallinn’s trolleybus network.”

Tamm thinks, though, that the share of electric transport in Tallinn’s traffic should not decrease, and that the proportion should stay the same and grow in the future either due to trams or new types of trolleybuses.
Tallinna Linnatranspordi uses 91 trolleybuses currently, 51 of which are new Solaris trolleybuses. Around 30 trolleybuses are old Skodas which will be phased out of the city traffic over the next two years, said Tamm.
The company manager added that the city is working to replace the old trolleybuses with new, environmentally friendly vehicles, either hybrid or gas powered buses, but no new trolleybuses will be bought for now.

Tamm estimated that the share of electric transport in the center of the city should increase due to more active tram traffic – the city intends to extend its tram lines to the airport, at one end, and hopes to extend it to the port in the future, too. The city will receive its first new modern tram at the end of this year, and in 2015 and 2016, 19 more new generation trams will serve the city.