filed on: 05.01.2009 (5th Jan 2009)
A Merry Christmas and a happy new to all readers!
All 2008 news items (106 in total) have been moved to: www.proaktiva.ch/tram/zurich/newslog/2008.html#latest.
2008 was another eventful year. Among the greatest highlights was doubtlessly the Euro 2008 football championship. Besides handling the crowds, VBZ contributed to the festivities by repainting nine trams (five sets) and two trolleybuses into special football liveries. The vehicles concerned have since all been withdrawn or returned to their usual liveries, returning Zürich to normality.
The other highlight was the opening of the second phase of Glattalbahn between Glattpark and the airport, and with it VBG's white tram livery, so far applied to 3062-6.
For several decades now, the growth of the tram network has been slow and new projects advanced sparingly. However, Zürich is now in the enviable situation of seeing two separate extension projects presently being built simultaneously. Work on both of these started in 2008 The third phase of Glattalbahn will open in 2010 and Tram Zürich West in 2011.
2008 was also a year of great rolling stock changes. Cobra numbering has advanced from about 3046 to about 3066. The retreat of the Mirage trams is meanwhile continuing with only routes 2, 8 and 13 seeing regular appearances. With Cobra numbering ultimately to reach 3088, the year 2008 may see deliveries being practically completed. It may well be that no further trams of this type will be ordered, with VBZ rumoured to be looking into a different type to replace the oldest Tram 2000 sets starting in 2013.
On the trolleybus side, 2008 saw delivery of the double-articulated Lightram3 vehicles completed and the Mercedes O405 GTZ trolleys of the 2-36 batch vanishing from passenger service, although some driver training examples remain. Although several towns have expressed interest in obtaining them, it appears that VBZ do not wish these trolleybuses to see further service due to concerns over the level of support it would have to provide.
Another highlight for the trollebus year was the Trolleymotion conference which saw a Solaris trolleybus from Winterthur and Neoplan from Barquisimeto (Venezuela) demonstarted in Zürich, a truly rare occurence.
This news item is from the 2009 newslog.
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