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Author Topic: World's largest electric bus order  (Read 1260 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2019, 12:27:01 pm »

Trolleybus and bus are distinct words in Polish, but I added the "claimed to be" as they didn't provide any evidence of this.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2019, 12:38:41 pm »

There are two or three places in Poland with trolleybuses and I used to live in one, so I'll add my experience of them. When I first moved to that city (Lublin, population about 400,000) the trolleybuses were not very reliable. They frequently became detached from their overhead wires, requiring the driver to get out and manipulate the connectors (two big poles on the roof) with cables at the back of the bus provided for this purpose. I think the main cause of the frequent disconnections was that the overhead wires were worn and the roads themselves were in bad condition. Most disconnections happened on long curves where the road was also bumpy. There were unused wires in some districts, where the trolleybuses no longer ran, so the whole system seemed to be neglected. But after a couple of years the city transport authority decided to reinvest in trolleybuses and move back to them from buses. Overhead wires were replaced and new roads were wired up. This immediately solved most of the reliability problems. Later, new vehicles were ordered, which were larger and more comfortable. I don't think they were any more delayed by congestion than ordinary buses.

I've no idea on the economics of trolleybuses versus battery buses, nor do I know if Warsaw ever had trolleybuses I don't recall noticing any in old photos, so I expect not (it does have trams I don't think any of the cities with trolleybuses do). As for tickets, virtually all urban transport ticketing in Poland is off-vehicle, regardless of vehicle type.
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2019, 06:20:42 pm »

So they are light years ahead of us then Grin

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stuving
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2019, 06:42:40 pm »

Quote
In what's claimed to be the world's largest order of electric buses, Warsaw City Bus Corporation has just ordered 130 Solaris Urbino electric buses for ~80m.

Here's a challenge for transport historians with more time than I have tonight.

My immediate thought was - is that true? During the relatively brief heyday of the trolley bus could this number be exceeded?
I have had a quick google/wikipedia search revealing that London had 1811 as its maximum fleet, and a total of 1891 in all, between 1931 and 1962, implying it built up a large single generation fleet and then ran it down. It seems likely that there would have been an order for more than 130 in that lot. Anyone out there with the time or deeper knowledge beat Warsaw's claim?

Reputedly, the biggest trolleybus system was in Moscow, with 2000, and until not long ago. It's now down to half that, with replacement initially by just "buses" (i.e. diesel ones) but now by battery electrics. I've seen 200 quoted for that fleet, split between two makers. I suspect earlier trolleybus orders may have been bigger, but may not be seen as a commercial order. So which is the biggest is probably a matter of "when is an order not one order".
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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2019, 07:02:40 pm »

I've no idea on the economics of trolleybuses versus battery buses ...

Has me wondering ... "charge as you go" ... trolleybuses with batteries - charge and run on the wired sections (those which have lots and lots of vehicles making it economic to wire and maintain) then battery the out in the Boondocks. All sorts of questions about getting the power through and live wires in cities - though only the same issues as trams, I suppose.   Feels a very Cambridge type solution to innovate with Grin - or has it been done somewhere?
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stuving
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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2019, 07:13:45 pm »

I've no idea on the economics of trolleybuses versus battery buses ...

Has me wondering ... "charge as you go" ... trolleybuses with batteries - charge and run on the wired sections (those which have lots and lots of vehicles making it economic to wire and maintain) then battery the out in the Boondocks. All sorts of questions about getting the power through and live wires in cities - though only the same issues as trams, I suppose.   Feels a very Cambridge type solution to innovate with Grin - or has it been done somewhere?

In reality, even places that start with overhead wires seem desperately keen to rip them down. However, I'm not aware of any huge problem with these 500-800V lines, and putting them in for trams doesn't seem to be such a big issue (outside "precious" city centres). 

I can see a couple of potential technical issues, which of course could be solved with enough will. One is the automatic engagement of two booms onto the wires, and the other is that charging batteries off relatively short stretches of overhead might call for more current than they can supply. Better contact arrangements onto the wire would help with both.
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Reading General
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2019, 09:00:25 pm »

Trolleybuses in Castellon Spain have unwired sections in the town centre. They can drop booms on the move and have catchers to place them back on the wires at a particular stop provided the bus is near enough positioned correctly. Solingen in Germany has by far the best system as far as I'm concerned. Nice long runs between stops. Routes that cross the town centre, with easy interchange in the middle. Tram like signalling in some areas. At one end they run beyond the wires on small diesel engines to the terminus which will be battery run soon, and best of all, they connect with the Schwebebahn in the suburbs of Wuppertal. I guess my point for wiring is that if the bus runs a route at high frequency all day and all year, why not wire it instead of being battery reliant all the time? I'm sure this will be far cheaper in the long term as well as the permanence benefits. The other issue with battery buses that concerns me is the disposal of the batteries after use. The experience with hybrids so far suggests continually charged batteries are expensive to replace and need doing so every other year. Most of Reading's hybrid fleet have now been converted to rather under powered regular diesel engines.
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Reading General
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2019, 09:07:49 pm »

The first 90 seconds of this video demonstrate the de-wiring and re-wiring

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4a6ZsFPon0

Cheers
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martyjon
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2019, 09:22:33 pm »

See how the Romans do it ;-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ufIYOonpIo
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Reading General
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2019, 09:30:51 pm »

Clever stuff
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2019, 09:47:07 pm »

Both Sollingen and Rome are far more sophisticated than anything I ever saw on Polish trolleybuses.
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2019, 09:57:52 pm »

I just watched a video on the youtube of Lublin trolleybuses and it appears they have quite a modern system. Since they chose to refresh the system they have added mileage by wiring the most popular frequent routes. Their vehicles also seem to have off wire traction capabilities. .
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broadgage
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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2019, 03:03:33 pm »

With the recent advances in batteries, it seems very worthwhile to consider trolleybuses with limited battery power. If most of the route is wired then only a modest size battery is needed.
Battery operation for short distances would simplify operation at road junctions, roundabouts, and would permit of short diversions away from the wired route for road repairs etc.
A trolleybus on battery power could also cross a railway line via a level crossing, just as a diesel bus does, it could also pass under bridges too low for trolley wires.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2019, 03:46:52 pm »

I just watched a video on the youtube of Lublin trolleybuses and it appears they have quite a modern system. Since they chose to refresh the system they have added mileage by wiring the most popular frequent routes. Their vehicles also seem to have off wire traction capabilities. .
Have you got a link to the video? They were wiring more routes and bring old wires back into service when I was last there but they didn't have off-wire traction. I haven't been there since about 2013 though...
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2019, 08:28:34 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWfWnoCncU0

Took a while to find again as the script is in Polish.
Watching these videos frustrates me that we don't have anything as basic and simple as this form of quiet and emission free transport in the U.K. Annoying we had it all before, and annoying that instead of re-installing it we just wait around for technology to become better and cheaper. Modern Britain thinks it's a world leader, yet it's miles behind with infrastructure. We can't even provide decent transport in major towns and cities! The private car wins hands down. When we do try change something we have to have our own backward way of doing it.

Interestingly when a Reading trolleybus visited the town last year and was parked up in Broad Street, many British people had no idea what it was, or just thought it was an old bus. Many Europeans who stopped though knew exactly what the poles on the roof were for and were surprised to know that the town had trolleybuses in the first place and wondered why on earth they were removed.
Still, enjoy the video. Might have to travel there and have a ride on them one day.

Cheers
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