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Major order for HESS: lighTram® go to Zurich

Hess lightTram 25® for VBZ | © Hess AG

The Swiss bus manufacturer HESS has been awarded a major contract by the Zurich Transport Authority (VBZ). They are renewing their trolleybus fleet in the coming years and, following an international tender, awarded HESS the contract worth a total of around 330 million Swiss francs.

The first delivery to VBZ comprises 13 battery articulated trolleybuses and 13 battery double articulated trolleybuses of the type HESS lighTram®. The new lighTram® from HESS will operate on the VBZ lines from 2024. In the following years, additional orders of up to 140 additional vehicles are planned: 85 lighTram® 19 DC as well as 55 lighTram® 25 DC have been agreed as options. The new vehicles are intended for the upcoming expansion of electric operation in the route network, but also in the long term to replace the current trolleybus fleet, which also consists of Hess trolleys. The oldest of the current double-articulated trolleybuses from 2007 have already successfully covered well over a million kilometres.

Hess double articulated trolleybus no. 75 built in 2008 on Zurich’s line 31 at Hegibachplatz in June 2009 | © Budach

At the beginning of August 2021, Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich had already published the invitation to tender for the delivery of 13 battery articulated trolleybuses and 13 battery double articulated trolleybuses, with options for 140 additional vehicles. The scope of the contract also includes part of the preventive maintenance of the vehicles by HESS.

The new lighTram® electric buses require less energy than comparable vehicles and allow operators to run additional diesel bus routes electrically. They are charged without loss of time during the journey under the existing overhead line. The innovative energy management of the vehicles allows an integral optimisation of all energy consumption on board.

The new design of the lighTram® fleet is intended to increase the attractiveness of public transport. The design allows for efficient passenger flow and generous standing areas at doors 2, 3 and 4.

Further lighTram® by HESS have been granted by the following cities in the current year 2022:

Neuchâtel & La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)
18 lighTram® 19 DC (DC stands for Dynamic Charging on the overhead line)

Nancy (F)
25 lighTram® 25 DC

Brisbane (AU)
60 lighTram® 25 TOSA (TOSA stands for Flash Recharging along the line)

Clermont-Ferrand (F)
40 lighTram® 19 TOSA

Salzburg (A)
8 lighTram® 19 DC

(Info: Hess)