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I caught a bus on Hardbrücke yesterday, before reading this news, and suspected something might be happening, seeing the fresh shimmer on the rails.
Today marks the official comemncemnt of work on Limmattalbahn. At the same time it is also the end of trolleybus route 31 on its Farbhof to Schlieren section. This will be replaced by the new tram. In the interim this section will be worked by a dieel bus shuttle, route 31E.
As from the timetable switch of this December, trolleybus route 34 will be joined up with route 31, finally fulfilling the ambitions of Witikon to gain a direct connection to central Zürich. The three new trolleybuses ordered are intended for this purpose. However, as they won't be available in time, it is to be expected that single articulated trolelybuses wil make more frequent appearances on routes 31 and 32.
All the SwissTrolley3 buses originally delivered with a diesel as emergency power source have now been refitted with batteries. Of the double articulated units, seven are still equipped with diesel.
Various speculations have been doing the rounds recently that surplus BLT Be4/6 and Be 4/8 trams might be finding their way to Zürich. The reason is that Zürich's new tram order has been delayed so far that VBZ could be facing a rolling stock shortage. Apparently the Tram 2000 fleet are in serious need of major overhauls if they are to be kept running until the new trams arrive, and VBZ has been looking into alternatives. However, the BLT trams would also be in need of overhauls and platforms would have to be modified to permit their use. There those won't be any BLT trams in Zürich for the time being.
With the completion of the tram link across Hardbrücke approaching, VBZ's website features an article on the history of the link from farm tram track to trolleybus route to urban motorway to tram. Below are some interesting views from the article.
Following the failure of the experimental battery trolleybus 183 at Bucheggplatz, which took two hours to clear, the press has been questioning the overal reliability of the experimental vehicle.
VBZ has ordered three additiona double articulated trolleybuses from Hess. These are part of the option that was part of the 2011 order. These trolleybuses will have similar non-overhead line operational parameters to the single-articulated prototype 183.
It is interesting to see this spoken of as "Notantrieb" (emergency power) and no longer as alternative to overhead lines.
A landbote report on the WV reports that an extension of route 1 is planned and that double articulated trolleybuses are to be ordered.
The cantonal parliament of Bern has released 102 million CHF for the Ostermundigen tram extension. Construction of the 264 million CHF project should begin in 2022.
Follwing Siemens' withdrawal from the appeal against the awarding of the tram order to Bombardier on 2nd March, Stadler has announced that it is following suite.
The order for 70 new trams from Bombardier has finally been signed.
The administrational court of Zürich has ruled that the objections voiced by Stadler and Siemens against the awarding of VBZ's new tram order to Bombardier should not postpone the realisation of the order.
Swisstrolleyplus is a trolleybus with an improved energy management system developed by ETH. The bus has an increased range of operation away from the wires. The improvements are not jsut in terms of battery capacity, but also smarter algorithms to choise the best point to feed energy back into the grid.
The project has its own website www.swisstrolleyplus.ch