According to the order placed by the Keolis Norge AS operator, Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. will provide 10 Solaris Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses to Bergen, Norway’s second largest city. Bergen, called ‘the gate to the fjords’, a city on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the only city in Norway and one of only two in entire Scandinavia with a trolleybus system in operation.
In line with the agreement, with a total value of €8 million ($8.8 million), the deliveries of Solaris Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses to Norway will commence in September 2020 and the beginning of line operation is also scheduled for Autumn 2020. The zero-emission vehicles of the Polish manufacturer will be used to service the only maintained trolleybus line in Bergen, whose length is currently 7.5 km
“I am very happy to present the first trolleybuses of our brand in Norway. The fact that Bergen has opted for Solaris vehicles to operate the only trolleybus line in the country is a truly milestone event for us,” said Sverre Skaar, Managing Director of Solaris Norge AS, which will be responsible for LCC and after-sales service at the local depot in Bergen.
The Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses ordered by Keolis will be powered by a 250 kW electric motor. The vehicles will also be equipped with 55 kWh traction batteries, thanks to which it will be possible to cover a distance of over 11 kilometres without the need to connect to the catenary system. The batteries will be charged while driving the trolleybus using ‘in motion charging’ technology (through current collectors mounted on the vehicle connected to the overhead contact line).
Thanks to the ergonomic use of passenger space, as many as 47 seats will be fitted on board the modern Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybuses – all equipped with seat belts. 10 seats will be available from the low floor level, which will make it easier for passengers with reduced mobility to take up their seat. Interestingly, one of the seats behind the driver’s cabin will have the option of folding, thanks to which a place dedicated to the guide dog accompanying the blind will be created. For those traveling on wheelchairs or with prams, two bays with straps will be provided, as well as a folding ramp located at the second door. The trolleybuses will of course be fully low-floor and have the so-called kneeling function, further lowering the right side of the vehicle by 7 cm when stopping at the stop.
The Polish manufacturer will use a number of solutions in its vehicles to increase the comfort and safety of travelers. Among them there will be, air conditioning for the driver’s cabin and passenger compartment as well as passenger information system with two large screen monitors and voice announcement of stops. Trolleybuses will also be equipped with CCTV system consisting of cameras monitoring the interior of the vehicle, door area cameras, a reversing camera and one on the roof, watching the pantograph. Above each of the doors, mounted in a 2+2+2+0 system, there will be passenger counting system installed.
The trolleybuses ordered by Keolis Norge AS will have a built-in breathalyser to check the driver’s sobriety before starting the vehicle. They will also be equipped by the manufacturer with a special Scandinavian thermal insulation package, which improves the thermal comfort of passengers and reduces energy consumption in harsh Scandinavian atmospheric conditions. It includes, among others additional insulation of the side walls, the ceiling and the chassis in the area of the wheel arches, as well as double side windows. The vehicles will also be adapted to the use of snow chains.
The Polish company has so far delivered two vehicles to Bergen, both operating at the local airport. The Trollino 18 ordered will be the first trolleybuses of the manufacturer delivered to Norway, but not the first in Scandinavia. Being the leader of the trolleybus market in the European Union, Solaris has previously delivered five trolleybuses to the Swedish city of Landskrona, the only Scandinavian city besides Bergen that uses trolleybuses in public transport.