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News roundup

filed on: 23.01.2008 (23rd Jan 2008)

Cobra BellevueAccording to, Cobra deliveries have reached 3047. 3003 is being prepared to be returned to Bombardier by rail. This would make it the second of the prototypes (after 3006) to be rebuilt to series specifications. Trolleybus deliveries have meanwhile reached 65.

A correspondent also reports sighting trolleybus 31 in service on route 32, meaning this vehicles is either reinstated or the earlier report on the July report of its withdrawal innaccurate. See also this website's trolleybus fleetlist.

Tram magazine (issue 92/12.2007-02.2008) reports that 3041 was the first Cobra to be equipped with surveillance cameras from new. Earlier Cobras are being retrofitted.

Mirage BellevueMirage numbers 1695/703/9/22/6 have been scrapped (all cabless units or Blinde Kühe). 1709 was one of the units used in a road safety film last year. This leaves only 11 Kühe in service (1716-18/23/5 on route 2, 1724 on route 7 and 1710/2-5 on route 13). Kühe 1692/4/6/8/9/ 701/5/7/11/20 are stored in Wollishofen depot and 1693/704/19/21 in Altstetten workshops. Meanwhile the following Mirages were overhauled: 1675/7 (R.A.) and 1717 (S.K.). 1687/9/712 are to follow with S.K.

Cargotram LimmatplatzThis year's Cargotram timetable (see shows that Tiefenbrunnen will not be served until July due to building work. Also, Laubegg, where a lorry had susbstituted the tram since March 2007, has now lost the service altogether. In total, eight destinations are now served; once a month as Cargotram (for collecting bulky items of rubbish) and once as E-Tram (for collecting electronic waste). The count will return to nine when the Tiefenbrunnen service resumes. See also this website's Cargotram page.

A litte bit off-topic, but Hess and Kiepe have developed a hybrid variant of its LighTram (double-articulated) trolleybus, sharing a considerable number of common parts. Through this synergy, the success of such a design may help make trolleybuses more affordable. It may also, however, threaten existing trolleybuses operations if misguided politicians see it as yet another "almost as good but cheaper" alternative. This article (in German) on describes the vehicle, which basically has a diesel generator powering the electric motors, and supercaps storing energy recovered during braking, which in turn relieves the diesel engine during acceleration. The prototype has been demonstarted in various cities, including Zug, Luzern, Sankt Gallen and Tübingen.

This news item is from the 2008 newslog.

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