A new articulated public transport vehicle to be tested in Tallinn

Until the beginning of December, a new public transport vehicle with two bellows will be tested on Tallinn trolleybus lines, which can run as a trolley in the city centre, but can also disconnect its poles from the overhead wires if necessary and run on battery power like an electric bus.

The Trollino 24 MetroStyle, manufactured at the Solaris factory, can capacitate approximately two hundred passengers - four times more than a regular bus. A trolley with two pivoting joints, or bellows, has a total of five doors and rides on four axles with eight wheels.

Such public transport vehicles are suitable for running on the so-called rapid transit metro bus lines, which would run during the peak hours on the main roads connecting the city centre with other major districts. The metro bus corridor is traditionally separated from the rest of the traffic so that public transport can run freely and quickly on the reserved track.

“We plan to create new public transport lines in Tallinn, as well as bring new types of public transport on the streets,” said Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart. “Building a metro bus system would be several times less expensive than building tram lines, and a metro bus can have similar passenger capacity while being as environmentally friendly. However, this does not mean that we are renouncing tram or bus lines. Public transport lines and rolling stock issues need to be addressed in a complex way, and each solution needs to be viewed in the bigger picture.”

According to Deputy Mayor Andrei Novikov, the passenger capacity of the tested vehicle is comparable to that of the tram, which has the highest passenger capacity of all the public transport types currently in use. “At the same time, the metro bus does not require as expensive infrastructure as the tram, and is also cheaper as rolling stock,” Novikov explained. “The advantage of such a public transport vehicle over a conventional electric bus is that it can be charged as it drives via overhead wires and does not necessarily require a large charging infrastructure at the terminals. However, the electricity used in the trolley network is already 100% green.”

Trollino 24 MetroStyle will run on all trolleybus lines in Tallinn until the beginning of December. Passengers will be able to travel on it from Monday next week and initially on trolleybus line No. 1.

The fully electric public transport vehicle charges its batteries via the overhead power lines and can automatically disconnect its poles from the wires and run approximately 10 kilometres on battery power.

This allows such a public transport to be used on routes that are partly outside the power line network, as well as to temporarily lower the poles in the city's more complex traffic junctions and pass them faster than the trolleys currently used in Tallinn.