Switzerland - Lugano


These photographs were taken on a trip to Lugano in October 2000, while we were visiting Italy. Lugano is not far from the Italian border, and a quick train-ride from Milan was all that was required. It was essential to get to Lugano, as the system was expected to close shortly due to the unconventional operating voltage of 1000 V. This meant that new vehicles were difficult to obtain, and the fleet was steadily being replaced by new articulated motorbuses. At the time, route 4 was off, but only for roadworks, leaving routes 1, 3 and 5 operational. The system finally closed at the end of June 2001. It was hoped that the voltage would be standardised and new vehicles purchased; this would have been great news as the system was excellent, with lakeside running and magnificent scenery. However, the overhead has been removed so there is little chance of this.

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Lugano 125 at the town terminus of route 5 (Vezia).
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Articulated 122 leaves the lakeshore stop en-route on another 5.
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207 in advertising livery on route 1arrives from Paradiso south-west of town and makes the turn from the lakeshore into the centre. This route ran alongside the lake for most of its length.
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Another shot of route 1, this time 209 is leaving the lake and ascending the long hill to Castagnola east of the town.
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Between the two depots on the way to Pregassona on route 3.
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Surprisingly for a system about to be closed, we found that 208 had just been repainted into the new TPL livery. Here she waits in the repair depot before being presented to the public a few days later on the 6th October 2000.
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A line-up of withdrawn trolleybuses in the running depot. 127 is nearest the camera. Some of these vehicles have since been bought for preservation.
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Artic 125 turns off the main road to turn round at the Vezia terminus of route 5.