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Everything posted by martin607

  1. Yes the last trolleybuses were on Saturday, with last runs to the garage early Sunday morning https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/boston-no-more-trolley-buses-in-cambridge/
  2. Although there has been a commitment for the last two years to renewing the trolleybus fleet, it is still good to see some concrete information with the replacement of the standard trolleybuses scheduled for 2027 and included in the report to the Mayors' Council Meeting. I'm not sure why they didn't also mention replacement of the articulated fleet, which presumably has to be by 2028 to meet the promise of an all air-conditioned fleet by that year. TransLink to replace 188 trolley buses with new models in 2027 | Urbanized (dailyhive.com) The main concern for trolleybus advocates now will be to ensure it is not just a one for one replacement but exploitation of the possibilities offered by battery-trolleybuses and conversions of some diesel routes that run substantially under the wires e.g. R4, R5 etc. as discussed before.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. Why? In the current situation, they can't be short of serviceable trolleys, can they?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. I was hesitating whether to reply but @captaintrolley has posted the excellent article from Mass Transit Magazine. The management at Dayton seem to be pretty pleased with the greater flexibility that batteries give and the scope for extensions without wires. Generally, the trick is to find a "sweet spot" when specifying battery size: batteries big enough to support the likely length of future extensions; but no bigger then they need to be. The NexGen trolleybuses have a battery capacity of 67 kWh. The spec sheet doesn't quote the battery weight separately, but I suspect the weight is closer to 500kg. I take your point for example about the north end of the 7 which is apparently about 3 miles away from the substation. This wouldn't be great, even for a traditional trolleybus system. I understand there is a budget to add some substations and it sounds like this location would be a top priority Like you, I had always believed that modern trolleybuses are less robust than the old trolleybuses with DC motors and resistor controls. That's probably still true but modern trolleybuses with IGBT control *can* cope with some voltage drop - I checked with an electric traction expert who tells me that "the voltage fluctuation in DC lines is standardized by the IEC [International Electrotechnical Commission] and whoever designs equipment for tram or trolleybus lines needs to ensure that it will operate within certain margins. For 750 V DC, the lower limit is 520 V, for 600 V DC it is 420 V." In addition, some IMC trolleybuses are able to blend power from the battery with that from the overhead line.
  19. Translink could use battery-trolleybuses with In Motion Charging on the R4, running on battery power from Crown to UBC. Technically it seems feasible and compared with a 100% battery bus operation, it would save on the space demands of charging stations at UBC Loop. Charge as you go, rather than spend a long time at the charger.
  20. Yes, that's true. There's a plan for a third charger but I'm not sure whether it has been ordered yet. Even three chargers wouldn't be enough for a fairly frequent route like the 100 served by 19 buses. Too much risk that delayed buses would cause a queue at the charger. I wonder whether the order for the depot-charged LFSe+ is a change of plan or if the plan always was for just 4 fast-charging buses for the CUTRIC trial and the rest to be long range battery buses.
  21. I wonder if the choice of the long range version indicates that the fast charging system is not yet reliable enough to entrust a complete route allocation to. Has anybody had feed back on charging problems? From what I hear about systems, the main problem can be communications between the bus and the charging station.
  22. Has anybody got a handle on the availability levels of each of the models yet - even an estimated one?
  23. There could be incidents that don't involve a collision. A vehicle skidding off the road may not hit another vehicle so there's no collision. I guess we will all have to go along with this change but the original meaning of "accident" was simply something that happened. And modern times people were blamed for causing an accident. Using the word accident didn't exonerate people from blame if they were at fault.
  24. The LCFS envisages a mixture. VTC, the forthcoming Marpole TC and Burnaby TC would operate garage charged buses while other transit centres would use in-route charging. Although the official line is that there is still a commitment to an "aggressive" strategy, the next step of adding 57 in-route charged buses at PTC by 2023/24(?) may in practice indicate a slowing down of the plan, more like the "middle of the road" strategy which the consultants called the "progressive" option.
  25. Moving a discussion about battery buses compared to trolleybuses that started over in the Dayton RTA thread. Here is a recent report on the performance of the 5 BEBs so far. The summary on the first page says that "the technology is not yet mature enough to support full bus service operation". A number of familiar problems are brought out in the slides such as: - limited range - limited service hours - excessive charging downtime - cold weather reduces range even further - need for 30% larger fleet https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2020-09/2020-09-14-fmcb-L-bus-electrification-accessible.pdf While it is no doubt worthwhile continuing to trial battery buses, it doesn't seem to make sense to go all-out for them at the moment until their performance improves. Meanwhile there are urbanists in Boston such as the Transit Matters group who question the MBTA's policy of ignoring the recent development of battery-trolleybuses, which use in motion charging off the wires.
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