Double bendy tram buses built by Skoda and Solaris arrive in Prague

Skoda and Solaris have presented their nearly 25-metre double-articulated electric trolleybus. The Prague public transport operator DPP ordered 20 units from the consortium last year.

Image: Skoda Group

The Trollino 24 was built for DPP by said consortium comprising Polish bus manufacturer Solaris, its subsidiary Solaris Czech and the Czech Skoda Group. Although the Skoda Group has the exact origins as the well-known Volkswagen subsidiary, it is independent of Skoda Auto – recognisable, for example, by its blue instead of green logo.

DPP reportedly will deploy the new trams to run between Prague’s Nádraží Veleslavín railway station and Václav Havel Airport. Bus route 119 will be renamed trolleybus route 59 as part of this move. Passenger capacity on the line to the airport is set to increase by 25 to 30 per cent.

The electric trolly buses are 24.7 metres long and each equipped with four axles – two of which are drive axles. Two traction motors deliver 160 kW each. The motors get power from a 60 kWh battery, which draws energy from the overhead line via a pantograph mounted on the roof. The Trollino 24 can also cover distances without overhead lines thanks to the large buffer battery. The driver can switch between the overhead line and battery mode at the touch of a button. Solaris specifies a minimum range of eleven kilometres in battery mode.

The trolleybuses for DPP have space for a total of 179 passengers, 54 of which are seated. Two areas are provided for wheelchair users. The buses have five doors in a 2-2-2-2 arrangement, a video surveillance system consisting of cameras for surveillance, a reversing camera and a pantograph camera.

The very bendy bus is designed for up to 38 tonnes; Skoda does not specify the unladen weight in today’s statement. Despite their length, the vehicles should behave similarly to shorter trolleybuses for drivers, according to Skoda.

“This is not just another vehicle type and an expanded portfolio but also a symbol of the change in the comfort and efficiency of travelling. We are confident that passengers will appreciate the news,” says Radek Svoboda, Managing Director of Components & Bus Mobility at the Skoda Group.

Solaris debuted the double-articulated trolleybus at Busworld in Brussels in 2019 and tested it in regular passenger service in Bratislava a year later. 

The Trollino buses are also available in different lengths. Since 2001, the bus builder says it has delivered 1,800 Trollino to European customers.

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