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Chomutov-Jirkov: A modern interurban trolleybus system

Both types of trolleybuses today in Chomutov: Skoda Electric 26 Tr and 27 Tr | © Gunter Mackinger

Since 1995, trolleybuses have linked the cities of Chomuto (49,000 residents) and Jirkov (20,000) in Northern Bohemia. Forty years ago there was a project for an express tramway, but it was expected to be too expensive and so a very efficient trolleybus system was built instead, famous for its interurban lines using the motorway between the cities.

After initial problems between both cities about the future of trolleybuses it was decided in 2016 to keep and modernise the infrastructure as well as the fleet. Since 2018 the modern fleet roaster consists of 5 trolleybuses type SKODA 26Tr (no. 106-110) and 10 articulated trolleybuses type SKODA 27Tr (no. 027-036).

All previous vehicles were taken out of service:

25 Skoda 15 Tr articulated trolleybuses built in 1994-96 (no. 008 retained as historical vehicle)

5 Solaris Trollino 12 AC/Cegelec built in 2009 (sold to Szeged)

1 Skoda/IVECO 25Tr built in 2009 (sold to Zlin)

Skoda 15 Tr Nr. 009 at the motorwayn E13 in March 2009 | © Martin Harák
Solaris Trollino 12/Cegelec were replaced by Skoda Electric 27Tr with Solaris body, March 2019 | © Gunter Mackinger
New Skoda Electric 27 Tr along the single Skoda/IVECO and a Skoda 15 Tr built in 1995, here in March 2019 | © Gunter Mackinger
Skoda 15 Tr | © Gunter Mackinger

Within a very short time the interurban system, with about 35km of single line infrastructure, changed its face completely to a modern and very efficient electric trolleybus system.

The current lines in service are:

340 Jirkov, aut.nádr. – Jirkov, Horník – Palackého – Poliklinika                     

341 Jirkov, aut.nádr. – Vodní – Palackého – Jirkov, aut.nádr.                                       

350 Písečná – Zahradní TIP – Palackého – Poliklinika                        

351 Písečná – Zahradní TIP – Vodní – Chomutov, aut.nádr.                           

352 Písečná – Zahradní I – Palackého – Poliklinika                             

353 Písečná – Zahradní I – Vodní – Chomutov, aut.nádr.

The headway is every 30 or 60 minutes on each route, however, some section are overlapping and subsequently reduce the frequency of service.

Network scheme (as per 2015/16) | © Robert Schwandl (http://www.robert-schwandl.de/)

(Photo gallery – click to open)

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Harry Jones
Harry Jones
8 months ago

Very interesting, quite a nice system