Wednesday 27 February 2019

Puzzle Pictures, Places and Poles (3)

fbb never know that Basel had trolleybuses; No 3 son (who works there) didn't know either. But the former turning circle at Wanderstrasse and the remaining poles were some sort of clue.
But the 33 was the last trolley route to commence. The first was the 31, way back in 1941.

The transport authority was struggling with wartime fuel shortages and decided to convert two motor buses by adding electric power - a very early bi-mode - and install the wiring. Two pure trolleys had also joined the fleet.
Thankfully, the on-line wiring map shows how things developed.
In 1956 a route (initially unnumbered) ran from Claraplatz to Friedhof Am Hörnli.  Claraplatz was some way from the focus of trams which was mostly, as now, outside the main railway station.
It looks very different today!
The route took the buses past the end of Rankstrasse where sat a bus depot, also home for the trolleys. The depot is still there.
The Friedhof Hornli is a grand municipal cemetery.
The cemetery on Hörnli is the largest cemetery in Switzerland. It was built from 1926 to 1932 as the central cemetery of the whole canton of Basel-Stadt in the municipality of Riehen. Its symmetrical garden is about fifty hectares in size and houses tens of thousands of graves, including many well-known personalities such as Paul Hermann Müller, Fritz Haber, Karl Barth, Karl Jaspers or Jacob Burckhardt, some of which were moved here from older, abandoned cemeteries.

fbb has heard of Karl Barth!

There is a "turning circle" look to a roadway nibble at the end of the road past the cemetery (top right) ...
... but a later extension veered off left (picture above, bottom left) to a new terminus at Habermatten.

Service 34 ran along Bäumlihofstrasse to a terminus at Käferhofstrasse. (see wiring diagram).
Here poles proliferate still in use ...
... supporting street lighting. This route was also extended to join the 31 and run to the Harbermatten terminus.
This are is one of the many gaps in Swiss Streetview, but evidence of the circle can be viewed via Google Earth.
Here trolleys, trams and buses all met up, the latter two running across the T junction! Talking of poles, one at the junction where 31 and 34 met is rather splendidly adorned by nature!
It is not at all clear why the trolleybus fell from the favour of BVB.
The referendum was held, the people spoke and the Retention of the Trolleybus was defeated.
And the first shall be last! The 31 was the last to go in 2009. The vehicles ran with floral decorations ...
... and replacement buses follow similar routes.

As the panel above suggests, many of the vehicles found continued use elsewhere in Europe. notably in Brasov in Romania.
Many retain their basic Basel green livery, some with a little variety.
Other more modern trams went elsewhere.

Whilst tram routes are being extended at their outer ends, there is no talk of a totally new service of any kind replacing traditional diesel or gas motorbuses.

Maybe the trolley will enjoy a revival, but the betting is on battery electric (or hydrogen fuel cell) with no expensive overhead wires to install or maintain.

Here in the UK, however, bosses from both First and Stagecoach have recently gone public with a clear statement that, on cost grounds alone, diesel buses are likely to be around for a long, long time.

We shall see.

And talking of pollution, this from a contact in First Bus. The incident developed yesterday afternoon.

We have just been informed of a situation that is escalating at Nether Edge in Sheffield.

A cyclist has stopped our bus 60742 from leaving the terminus by sitting in front of the bus.

His complaint was that the bus was throwing out to much pollution.

The police called to clear the cyclist but he has now escalated the situation by inviting some of his fellow cyclists and informed the press.

There is now a TV crew and the newspaper in attendance at the scene.

fbb will add pictures if any materialise.

Tomorrow we shall pop back to Manchester to complete the story.

 Next take-over blog : Thursday 28th February 

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