Prague's first trolleybus line in 50 years goes into operation

A 12-kilometer long track from Palmovka to Čakovice has been completed, and Prague's first trolleybus since 1972 is now in operation.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 03.12.2022 09:52:00 (updated on 05.12.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's first trolleybus line in 50 years went into trial operation this morning as line 58 officially began taking passengers between Palmovka and Čakovice. Buses on the line will use electric cables for roughly half of the journey, and electric batteries power the buses for the other half.

The new line is part of a project to power the previous 140 bus line between Palmovka and Miškovice by electricity, and can be ridden over the next two weekends in trial operation.

"It's a celebratory moment, because after 50 years we have successfully established this new trolleybus line," Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr told journalists yesterday while introducing the new line.

"Trolleybuses are on roughly 50 percent of the track. This means that we are not going back to completely conventional trolleybuses, but using a hybrid bus that also utilizes battery power."

According to Scheinherr, the trolleybuses are preferable for passengers as they offer a smoother and more comfortable journey. They also benefit the areas surrounding the line.

"At the same time, it is an improvement for the neighborhood because, unlike the bus, it is not as noisy and does not produce any emissions in the area" he said.

While the line itself is new, the trolleybus itself isn't... yet. Prague has borrowed a Škoda 30Tr trolleybus from nearby Hradec Králové to ride the line over the next two weeks, but the city will return it on December 18.

After a Christmas break, Prague will put a Škoda 24Tr into operation, as well as another trolleybus that it will lease temporarily. Eventually, 15 new SOR TNS 18 articulated trolleybuses built for the Czech capital by SOR Libchavy will be put into operation.

Full construction of the trolleybus line began in January of this year. A portion of the line from Letňany to Čakovice was symbolically put into operation on October 15, which marked the 50th anniversary of the last trolleybus to ride in Prague.

In 2017, a one-kilometer portion of the line on Prosecká street was electrified as a test operation, enabling hybrid buses to gain electric power for a demanding uphill portion of the line.

Trolleybus in the PID Lítačka app. Screengrab: PID Lítačka
Trolleybus in the PID Lítačka app. Screengrab: PID Lítačka

The first trolleybus on the new line took off at 9:06 a.m. this morning from Letňany to Čakovice, then continued in the opposite direction from Čakovice to Palmovka at 9:26 a.m. The final trolleybus on the line will leave from Palmovka at 4:55 p.m. and from Čakovice at 5:26 p.m.

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