Swiss Hess has increased its trolleybus order book considerably in less than a month. The Bellach-based manufacturer has signed orders with two Swiss transport companies for a major renewal of their trolleybus fleets in Lucerne and Lausanne, confirming the strong partnership with both networks.

New trolleybuses from Hess ordered in Lucerne

On 31 May 2024, VBL of Lucerne signed an order for 53 high-capacity trolleybuses. Of the 53 vehicles, 46 will be 18-metre articulated trolleybuses, while seven will be 24-metre bi-articulated trolleybuses. VBL intends to further extend the trolleybus network, and the oldest vehicles will be replaced, probably 10 18-metre articulated trolleybuses and the first three triple-cab trolleybuses built in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

All trolleybuses will be equipped with battery packs and zero-emission autonomous running capability, as is now the standard for all new trolleybuses in Switzerland. They will be used both on the existing network and on the new lines 12 and 30 as far as the village of Litau.

hess trolleybuses lausanne lucerne

Lausanne buys 51 trolleybuses from Hess

Today, TL in Lausanne confirmed to Hess an order for 51 new trolleybuses (37 lighTram 19 DC and 14 lighTram 25 DC), which from 2026 will replace not more trolleybuses but a large part of the diesel buses that have now reached the end of their lifespan.

TL currently operates 11 trolleybus lines with 103 double and triple trolleybuses purchased between 2009 and 2023. Of the 51 vehicles, 37 will be 18-metre and 14 will be 24-metre; the latter, which will bring the fleet of maxi trolleybuses to 26 units, are yet another bet won by TL, which in 2020 first put these very manoeuvrable, giants of the road into service on line 9 (Lutry – Pully), achieving great success with the public. Line 9 is in fact used by more than 6 million passengers a year.

All the vehicles will be low-floor, air-conditioned and with a layout that will guarantee an excellent loading capacity, characteristic of Hess vehicles.  Currently, more than 100 Hess trolleybuses are in service in the city on Lake Geneva

Both for Lucerne and especially for Lausanne, we are not talking about replacements, but about fleet increases and network expansion, which will also include for Lausanne the BHNS network (Bus ad Haut Niveau de Service) service, which will of course will be served with the new trolleybuses.

by Stefano Alfano


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