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London transport officials see the latest Trolleybus technology 

Following Transport for Londons summer exhibitions, officials form TfL, London Boroughs and the Thames Gateway Partnership, visit the Irisbus test track and City of Lyon transport undertaking.

Event pages -
  roadshow 1
  roadshow 2

Thames Gateway Partnership
Transports en Communs Lyonnaise

Promoting quiet, clean urban transport using Overhead Electric, Zero Emission Trolleybuses -
email The Electric Tbus Group

updated 1/2/06

  In conjunction with Thames Gateway Partnership, the Electric Tbus Group was invited to inspect the Irisbus Cristalis 12m trolleybus and the 18m articulated Civis at the test track near Lyon. As the biggest purchaser of the Cristalis model, the transport operator of Lyon, TCL also invited the party and described their future commitment to Trolleybus technology. The Lyon transport authority, Systral, spoke of the modernity, comfort and accessibilty of the new vehicles.

  Cristalis 18m trolleybus  
Irisbus specification

Design Three-axle articulated trolleybus with 100% low-floor technology
Type Cristalis ETB
Vehicle width 2.550 mm
Vehicle length 18.000 mm
Vehicle capacity 19 + 15 tipup seats, 74 to149 standing
Boarding height 305 mm ? 20 mm
Headroom 2.5250 mm
Tare mass 19.1 t
Total mass 32.0 t (4 Pers./m2)
Maximum speed 75 km/h
Starting acceleration 1,3 m/s2
Braking deceleration 1,4 m/s2
Traction motor 4 wheel mounted 6 pole hub motors, glycol water cooled
Type 3-phase asynchronous, Alstom 6LKA1412, 350x270mm, 170kg
Nominal voltage 350 V
Nominal power (each) 80 kW
Max. torque (each) 350 Nm, 420 Nm peak
Onboard diesel motor 4 cylinder diesel generator set
Motortype 2.8 litre 4 stroke EURO II
Max. power 65 kW
Generator type Alternator
Generator output 65 kW at 1800 rpm
Generator max.power 2 x 165 kW at 1500 rpm
Traction motor converter Alstom Onix 350 IGBT Direct Pulse Inverter
Input voltage DC 600 V or 750 V (+25%, -33%)
Output power 80 kW
Design Pulse inverter operated directly at the line
Cooling Glycol water to external air/water refrigeration exchanger
Characteristics IGBT technology, triggering of the driver stages via fibre optics
Dimensions 350x300x100mm, 18kg
On-board power supply 3 AC 350/230 V, 50 Hz, 14 kVA
  DC 24 V, 220 A
Heating type Electrical ceramic convection heating for passenger compartment
Electrical collectors 6.2m poles, min. operating height 3.9m
Retarder Electrical with notch controller, dissapation via rheostat or to overhead
Line voltage 600 V or 750V
  The Thames Gateway report states -  
The Study Tour to Lyon/Irisbus has given Officers and Members a tangible demonstration of the non-tram rapid transit technology potentially available for implementation for Thames Gateway Transit. Much of what has been seen has impressed and provides some answer on how to give a bus-based system a tram-like image. It is also likely that the implementation of Cristalis/Civis technology, has far greater chance of persuading car drivers to switch mode to public transport. It is clear from feedback that some members of the delegation are strongly sold on trolleybuses as the solution to Thames Gateway Transit, particularly if articulated. Key advantages include lower cost and greater flexibility compared to tram, lower noise and emissions impacts and improved performance on acceleration and braking making for shorter journey times.

  Civis demonstration  
Irisbus also showed the optical guidance system fitted as standard to the Civis electric traction vehicle. Developed by Matra this system provides accurate automatic steering. The major functions are -
vision that analyzes the video camera image and extracts the roadway marking
estimation of required trajectory by combining data from system senors that include
       steering wheel angle encoder
       steering arm encoder
computer command that sets the angular velocity set-point to apply
servo control that pilots the servo acting on the vehicle steering
supervisory control to ensure guidance safety

Ashley Bruce, with thanks to Bruno Arabian, Jonathon Spear and Martin Wright