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Heritage trolleybuses

filed on: 24.09.2014 (24th Sep 2014)

Reports on indicate that VBZ has sold two of its four preserved trolleybuses to Rétrobus. The two units disposed of are:

- number 53 of 1939 (Saurer 4 TP). Upon withdrawal from Zürich this unit saw further service in Neuchâtel as number 6. It was later returned to Zürich as a heriatge bus, but retains its Neuchâtel yellow livery.

- number 1 of 1957 (FBW Tr 51).

Remaining in Zürich are:

- number 102 of 1959 (FBW GTr 51, articulated), of which sister units 105 and 129 still exist in Valaraíso.

- number 70 of 1974 (FBW GTr 91, articulated)

Their status as "preserved" is to be set in inverted commas, as to my knowledge no attempts were ever made to restore any of these vehicles to operating condition. It was even extremely rare for them to be even officially made available for public viewing. Rétrobus has acquired such a large collection that it is unlikely any Zürich units will be prioritised for restoration. But maybe this move can provide them a safe home in expectation of better times. Several diesel heritage buses have also been transferred to new owners. With VBZ under increasing pressure to achieve more with less, the luxury of having heriatge buses sleeping in a far corner of a depot are alas a thing of the past, and it is to be expected that the fleet will be decreased further.

A more positive development can be reported from Winterthur, where apparently FBW GTr 51 number 101 of 1958 has been overhauled (this trolleybus is related to VBZ 102 mentioned above). Further details of this restoration are at present lacking.

This news item is from the 2014 newslog.

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