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martin607

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  1. I've been trying, from time to time, to get a complete handle on this, so your post provoked a further effort. Unfortunately the sources that I've found don't provide a completely clear picture of the situation. We know there's the Haro St rectifier station though the address given is 1050 Smythe St. In addition I've looked into the Murrin rectifier station which is located west of Main at Union Street. There's a very interesting page in the commemorative booklet "Vancouver's Trolley Buses 1948-1998", which has a lot of information about the Murrin station in particular as it was the last one to use mercury arc rectifiers. This was closed in 1993 and replaced by state of the art solid state equipment. There's one reference which seems to imply that the new installation was at Haro Street, but I think that was just ambiguous writing and there are two downtown rectifier stations: Haro St and Murrin. The article quotes the installed power of Murrin as 4 MW, which by my calculation is enough to power about 80 trolleybuses at any one time. Add on the Haro St unit and there's probably enough to power about half the trolleybus fleet.
  2. I agree that any interim order would need to be carefully specified as a pilot to test out IMC in anticipation of the main replacement order to be placed in the middle of this decade. But given that the new NFI brochure advertises batteries capable of doing 22 miles (35km) off-wire for the XT40 and 15 miles on the XT60, they would be worthwhile demonstrators right now, e.g. tests on the R4 or using battery-trolleybus on the 9 showing how the IMCsystem can deal with wiring gaps.
  3. The obvious solution to that would to be make the R4 battery-trolleybus with In Motion Charging and make the infrequent 41 a non-trolleybus route, initially diesel and then battery bus. It is more appropriate to allocate trolleybuses to the heavier duty route.
  4. This is a full brochure for the trolleybus version, at last. The most interesting thing is that they have upgraded the battery capacity from the existing buses in Seattle and in SF, which are about 26kWh to 71kWh which will give 22 miles off-wire range for the XT40 and over 15 miles for the XT60.
  5. New Flyer have at last produced new catalogue pages for the Xcelsior trolleybus. One interesting point is they have increased the size of the battery to 71kWh, giving 22 miles off-wire range for the XT 40 and over 15 miles for the XT60 - plenty of range for, say, a trolley R4 to get from 41st to UBC and back. I get the feeling that NFI want to have the widest electric bus choice available: pure battery, fuel cell and battery-trolley. They must have done some engineering to accommodate the much larger batteries. Trolleybus fleet renewal in Vancouver isn't due till the second half of the decade, but a trial batch to demonstrate the concept of the battery-trolleybus with In Motion Charging would be interesting. https://www.newflyer.com/site-content/uploads/2021/07/Xcelsior-Trolley-Brochure-2021.pdf
  6. I accept that trolleybuses would be highly unlikely at this point, but I don't follow your argument that there's "no infrastructure piece here". If Translink wanted to order a batch of trolleybuses, there wouldn't be any need for new infrastructure. The overhead network is massive and there is spare electrical installed power on the system. So new battery-trolleybuses could be allocated to any diesel route that runs extensively under wires. Trolley R4 anyone? Incidentally, New Flyer have at last produced new catalogue pages for the Xcelsior trolleybus. One interesting point is they have increased the size of the battery to 71kWh, giving 22 miles off-wire range for the XT 40 and over 15 miles for the XT60 - plenty of range for a trolley R4 to get from 41st to UBC and back. I'll post a link in the Vancouver trolleybuses thread.
  7. Thanks. This is emergency battery power, not the concept of In Motion Charging where the trolleybus has batteries giving a range of 20km which can repeatedly be recharged under the wires. It would be good if Translink got at least one E40LFR retrofitted with modern lithium ion traction batteries and tested the system on the 9 while there are the gaps in the wiring. It would of course depend on the bus structure being able to bear the extra weight which could be around 350kg - the internet quotes a wide range of weights per kWh.
  8. There is limited battery range for a block or two AFAIK. They could pass the station works on batteries but you would need to employ pole pullers at each station site, which would be expensive. But In Motion Charging is where a trolleybus has modern lithium ion batteries that give up to 20km off-wire range and charge up repeatedly during the day on sections of the route that are wired. In that situation you could run on battery right through from Kingsway to Arbutus, which is roughly 4km, I think
  9. Why? In the current situation, they can't be short of serviceable trolleys, can they?
  10. Now if only Vancouver had the latest battery-trolleybuses with in motion charging, they could have retained trolleybus operation on the 9, charging as they run under the wires on the outer sections of the route and running on batteries on the central section between main and Arbutus.
  11. Are there any statistics about the overall peformance of the Battery buses yet? e.g. availabilty ratio.? From this example, it doesn't sound too great.
  12. Thanks. While CARB's regulations do not ban future trolleybus purchases (in case I wasn't clear, my earlier post said that they are NOT "banned") they seem to exclude them from the bus electrification process by not including them in the definition of Zero Emission Bus. Hypothetically, if a system that wanted to electrify a diesel route using trolleybuses, would they not fall foul of the regulations at least by 2029? I'm glad to read that nothing is set in stone yet. The report sounds suitably sceptical about BEBs and I suspect that trolleybuses will be alive and kicking in 2030 and that there will be at least one manufacturer interested in an order for 300 trolleybuses.
  13. Regarding the Potrero rebuild, Muni confirmed in an email to me that the rebuild would accommodate trolleybuses as well as having capacity for additional battery buses. They said trolleybuses have a service life of 15 years and they would keep them for that period, so that implies a gradual run down of the fleet from about 2030 with, I guess, a transition period where increasing amounts of space would be switched to BEBs. Yes Moscow closed its trolleybus system, which is sad and was and remains a contentious issue locally. But world wide trolleybuses are generally doing well. For example, Mexico City is expanding its system after years of decline and is buying 500 trolleybuses. There's a steady growth of use of battery-trolleybuses in Europe. In addition to expanding existing systems, a new system is going to open in Prague and there plans for them also in Berlin. Trolleybus is admittedly a niche technology but it has its uses for very heavy duty work or in cities with challenging topography.
  14. Thanks, as you say, there is a fair amount of concern and uncertainty emerging between the lines of the text. As far as trolleybuses are concerned, it seems premature to commit to replace a technology that is known to work well in difficult terrain, with a technology that is not yet proven to have an adequate combination of hill climbing and daily range. But whose decision is it to phase out trolleybuses? City Hall/SFMTA or the California Air Resources Board (CARB)? A couple of years ago I wrote to CARB and they claimed that their new ICT regulations would not "ban" trolleybuses in California. Trolleybuses are not regarded as buses for these purposes legally, they are "fixed guideway". In other words sort of trackless trolleys/streetcars. So the CARB regulations don't seem to require that Muni replace life-expired trolleybuses say after 2030 with BEBs. If they so wished, Muni *could (in theory) replace trolleybuses with new trolleybuses. At least that's my understanding. And that means abandonment of trolleybuses would be a decision by the city in its 2018 resolution, rather than something imposed by CARB. But it's a decision that hasn't been publicly announced and debated.
  15. Agreed. I didn't want to go into detail but under a modified LCFS, if the R4 became battery-trolleybus, the 41 would be a battery electric bus. One day maybe there will be a way for completely automatic overtaking for trolleybuses but we're not there yet. However, here's a short clip of battery-trolleybuses in Beijing, lowering their poles while in motion. So you could imagine a 41 could lower its poles when it sees an R4 in the mirror. Believe it or not, there's a company in Germany that is researching reconnecting poles while in motion.
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