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Avellino: The Trolleybus starts service – after 23 years of planning and construction!

Trolleybus 002 on 19 April 2023 | © Jürgen Lehmann

The city of Avellino, situated some 50 km eats of Naples in Southern Italy, finally opened its new trolleybus route to the public on 3 April 2023. It took 23 years of planning, re-planning, public discussions, political decisions, construction of the line and delivery of the vehicles and a long, long authorisation process, before this goal could have been achieved. But now the red Van Hool trolleybuses operate Monday-Saturday at half-hourly intervals between Via Fraternita della Misericordia and the railway station, over a length of 11 km (return trip) serving 39 stops as published in the official timetable of the company.

A bit of history

Back in 2000, plans got concrete to implement a modern trolleybus system in the city, which had the transport mode already before, between 1947 and 1973. Three years later, the national government’s Committee for Economic Planning approved the planning for the first line between the railway station and the area of Valle.

11 vehicles were ordered by Belgian manufacturer Van Hool in 2007 who supplied its A330T model equipped with an additional diesel motor for trips off-wire. The vehicles were completed at the Belgian factory in 2010 but were not supplied to Italy before 2014. They underwent some testing on part of the network in 2016 and 2017, but remained stored at the depot for several years. Construction of the overhead had started in 2009 but it took until 2018 to be largely completed, although some minor works still had to be carried on and were not finalized until 2021. Discussions about the financing of the completion of the infrastructure as well as the operational costs delayed the project further but could eventually be resolved.

© Metro Leggera Avellino

Political discussion about the future of the entire system continued, but as EU funding in the amount of approximately EUR 20mn was included in the financing package which would have been requested to be returned of the system did not open, the local authorities finally agreed on the completion of the system. The system has been Baptist “Metro leggera” – in order to promote it as a completely new mode of transport.

Good luck and a long-lasting future of the new electric, emission-free trolleybus service – for the benefit of the people of Avellino!

Trolleybus 002 on the new route on 19 April 2023 | © Jürgen Lehmann