Trolleybuses of the 21st Century


Edmonton 2008 - a new low floor trolleybus with electrical equipment from world renowned manufacturer Vossloh Kiepe is loaned by Edmonton from Vancouver for testing.


Vancouver, British Columbia has operated trolleybuses since 1948. Its current fleet of 235 Flyer trolleybuses dates back to the 1982, the same vintage as Edmonton's trolleys. TransLink, the transit authority in Vancouver, has ordered 188 standard and 40 articulated low floor trolleys from a Winnipeg-based company, the same company that has built Edmonton's fleet of low floor diesel buses. Together with Vossloh Kiepe of Germany, TransLink unveiled the prototype in Vancouver's Stanley Park on July 20, 2005. Click here to learn more about this brand new Canadian-built low floor trolley bus.


Landskrona, Sweden attracted much international attention with the opening of Europe's newest trolleybus system on September 27, 2003. New Solaris 12 metre low floor trolleybuses provide the service on the 3 km line. Measuring at source on the Swedish power grid, the trolleybus represents a 91% emissions reduction over the latest diesel bus models. The Landskrona line is expected to be a model followed by other municipalities in Northern Europe.


The new Cristalis, with its streamlined appearance and covered wheels, carries transit patrons around Lyon, France in style.


This Gillig trolleybus is the latest addition to the Seattle fleet. To renew its trolley fleet, Seattle has adopted the approach of rebuilding and upgrading the electrical propulsion systems from its current vehicles and installing them in new bodies. In this way, a cost savings can be realized over the purchase of a totally new vehicle, while at the same time upgrading the fleet to meet today's needs.

San Francisco Standard and Articulated TrolleysSan Francisco San Francisco has one of the largest trolleybus fleets in North America, largely due to public opposition to emissions and noise from diesel buses. High tech describes the new accessible ETI/Skodas recently purchased for San Francisco. 250 standard-length versions of these 21st Century vehicles will soon be in service in the City by the Bay, providing a continued commitment to zero emission public transit. And in addition to the new 40 foot trolleys, San Francisco will add 33 new articulated coaches to its electric fleet.


A visit to Budapest, Hungary will prove that the modern trolleybus has earned itself a place there as a preferred means of transport.


The latest Italian Ansaldo-Breda trolleybuses grace the streets of Naples, Italy, moving passengers with a minimum of noise. Low floor designs ease entry and exit.


Volvo, the famed auto-maker, also produces low-floor articulated trolleybuses that are used in a number of European cities. These examples are from Linz, Austria, a city whose trolleybus system is currently undergoing expansion. The pride taken in transit vehicles in Central Europe is evident. On the right, a bright, clean new Volvo articulated trolleybus pulls into a transit centre.


In Beijing, China, modern technology lets the newest trolleybuses in the fleet traverse several blocks without the need for overhead wiring. Trolleybuses operate daily through a portion of downtown Beijing using battery power.


Ever a colorful city, the streets of Athens, Greece are brought to life even more by the latest generation of Kiepe trolleybuses. Athens is expanding its trolleybus system as a measure against air pollution. Expanding the use of environmentally sound trolleybuses was a showpiece for the city in hosting the Olympic Games in 2004.


Lausanne's Neoplan dual-mode trolleybus is heralded by the sign on the side as "the new revolution in urban transport".


The City of Arnhem, Holland shows its pride and commitment to operating trolleybuses with the slogan on this Volvo-Kiepe low-floor vehicle: "Arnhem blijft trolley stad nog 50 jaar!" (Arnhem will be a trolley city for another 50 years!)


Arnhem's undertook a plan to revamp its trolley operations to meet the service demands of the 21st Century, called "Trolley 2000". Arnhem's trolleys, such as these articulated low-floor models, carry the "Trolley 2000" logo on the side. Arnhem's modern and diverse trolley fleet includes the Van Hool-Kiepe trolleybus on the left and the newer stylish Berkhof-Kiepe trolleybus on the right.


Berkhof has also supplied its 21st century design articulated trolleys to Solingen, Germany, adding to that city's electric bus fleet.


The snow and ice that make Switzerland a skiers paradise aren't evident in this August 2001 photo taken in Bern, where this low-floor Swiss built trolleybus (Hess-NAW-Kiepe) delivers the ultimate in quality accessible transit.


"All-over advertising" seems to be the "in-thing" these days. The ad colors may be loud, but the coach is definitely not! Innsbruck's quietest in public transport is exemplified by the trolleybus.


A new articulated Swiss Trolley aptly skirts a sidewalk construction project in Neuchatel, Switzerland.


Czech built Skoda model 14 Tr trolleybuses wait at a transit centre in Brno, Czechoslovakia. The body of this popular Skoda design features clean, square lines.

Photo credits

TBus Group, B. Lake, A. Bruce, E. Filiatrault, D. Galt, K. Brown, W. MacDonald, D. Bonsall, A. Wong