The bus lane on campus may get overhead power lines suitable for trolleybuses. This would allow a trolleybus line between Arnhem and Ede via Wageningen.
The trolleybus network in Arnhem and Oosterbeek could probably be extended to include Wageningen and Ede with the help of overhead power lines on campus. © Shutterstock
The days when trolley buses could only go along routes with overhead power lines are gone. Now the buses have batteries that are recharged as they go, which allows them to take routes without power lines. That offers opportunities for extending the trolleybus network. The Rhine Line from Arnhem to Ede via Wageningen and the campus is one possible route that is being examined.
To test the possibilities, the transport company Connexxion recently drove a trolleybus along the route that had been specially imported from Switzerland with the latest batteries. ‘Successfully,’ says Hans Aldenkamp, manager of the Trolley 2.0 project, in which Connexxion is one of the parties. Travelling to Wageningen and back is already feasible. ‘The range a bus like that can cover in the summer is 34 to 38 kilometres. We think we could manage 20 to 25 kilometres in the winter. But we’d need to do more to reach Ede.’
Aldenkamp says the Rhine Line is only feasible if they can recharge during the journey. ‘For example at the final destination in Ede, or by doing a section of the route with overhead power lines.’ The campus bus lane is the first option for installing power lines. The bus travels slowly enough there to let the batteries recharge. Aldenkamp: ‘If that section is too short, you could also use part of Mansholtlaan.’
Incidentally, the Arnhem-Ede line is not the only route being considered. Trial journeys have also been made to Nijmegen, Dieren and Zevenaar, for example. Bus transport in the Netherlands has to become completely electric in the next six years. Trolley 2.0 is the regional transport companies’ answer. The project is getting funding from the EU, the province of Gelderland and Arnhem municipality.