Trolleybuses in Bergen
|Bergen trolleybus system|
|Open||24 February 1950|
|Electrification||(?) V DC parallel overhead lines|
|Route length||7 km|
|Website||ATM (in Norwegian)|
It opened on February 24, 1950, as the Bergen Tramway was gradually closed and some of the tram lines were converted to trolleybus. It was built and operated by Bergen Sporvei, and is now operated by its successor, Tide Buss.
As of 2007, it had six trolleybuses and two dual-mode buses.
The first trolleybus network in Norway, in Drammen, opened in 1909. Planning for a trolleybus system began in Bergen in 1928, and in 1937 Bergen Sporvei, the company operating Bergen's tramway, began studying trolleybus systems around Europe. On July 7, 1940 the city council decided to build two trolleybus lines: Line 5, Mulen - city centre - Møhlenpris, and line 7, Nordnes - city centre - Fjøsangerveien. In 1942 Bergen Sporvei started converting some of its gasoline buses to trolleybuses, but in 1944 the German occupation forces took the completed bus and moved it to Lübeck, and the company stopped rebuilding.
The fuel shortage during World War II made trolleybuses extremely popular, since Norway had an abundance of cheap electricity. After the war the construction of the 4.1-km line 5 started, and in 1950 it replaced tram line 3. By that time, five gasoline buses had been converted, giving a headway of 10 minutes. A year later, three more buses were bought from Strømmens Værksted and the headway was reduced to 7.5 minutes. The line was popular, and traffic increased. In 1954 the conversion of tram line 2 to trolleybus started, and in 1957 the 6.5-km line 2 opened with 18 new buses. The ridership reached its peak in 1959 with more than ten million passengers per year on the two routes. In 1960 the sale of cars in Norway was deregulated, resulting in fewer public transport riders.
Through the 1970s Bergen Sporvei tried to end trolleybus operation, but the city council would not allow that. However, in 1995 there was major road works resulting in the closure of line 5. As of 2007 line 5 was still closed, leaving line 2 the only trolleybus line in Norway.
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