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Buses in Poland

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I've FINALLY found time to upload my summer pics of buses in Lublin ( a large city in southeastern Poland, home to my mom's side of the family). We'll start with trolleybuses (the buses that run on electric power from overhead wires)-

Between 1950-1970, many trolleybus systems sprang up in Poland as a cheap and simple alternative to streetcars and overcrowding on urban public transit. Among the cities that this occurred were Warsaw, Gdynia, Slupsk, Tychy, Lublin, Debica, and select other cities. These systems started to slowly die out in Poland between 1975-2000. However, Lublin, Gdynia, Tychy are the three remaining cities in Poland today that retain trolleybuses. To date, Lublin has the largest system, and has been expanding it since about 2005.

The following pictures are of a well-known Soviet trolleybus, the ZiU-9. The ZiU-9 has been built without significant changes since 1973, and numbers 40,000 buses worldwide, making it the world's most numerous trolleybus. It was considered a breakthrough trolleybus (in other words, one that wasn't an epic fail, like previous Eastern-European trolleybuses), and was/is exported to cities throughout the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and South America. Today, the factory's name is Trolza (instead of ZiU), and the official designation of the model is XTU-682 (but it is still popularly referred to as the ZiU-9). In Lublin, ZiU-9s first showed up in 1975, and continued arriving en masse until 1987, with the final (3 or 4) being delivered in 1988, 1989, and 1990. In Lublin, the good sides of the ZiU-9 were good acceleration, rugged body, good insulation (they would always start in the coldest days of winter, and never freeze over, as opposed to some of the other trolleybuses), and simplicity. The bad sides were outdated technology, loud propulsion, excessive electricity consumption, and somewhat flawed underbody and frame (in fact, the first ZiU-9s were already being scrapped in 1980-1981, and one that arrived in late 1984 was scrapped in early 1986, even though it was never involved in any accidents). Nevertheless, they managed to survive until 2001, when the last two were withdrawn from service. I actually rode the last one in service during the summer of 2001, two weeks before it was scrapped. ANYWAY, this one here is the last Lublin ZiU-9 trolleybus. It was built in 1985, and refurbished in 2002 as a mobile bar. When I was in Poland during this summer, it was running on a historical line on every Sunday. It was a loud, bouncy, and somehow fun ride: poland2009647.jpg





And here are pictures of pictures taken by my uncle in October 1999-

An array of ZiU-9s at one of the end-stops for trolleybuses:




The red-and-cream trolleybus is a Polish Jelcz PR-110E from 1988. The red and cream-trim livery was the official paint scheme used for ALL city buses and trolleybuses in Communist Poland.

The next trolleybus type is the Polish-built Jelcz PR-110E. PR-110Es were based off of the bus model Jelcz PR-110M, and were built (as officially stated) between 1980 and 1991. I'm pretty sure though, that 1980 to 1986, the trolleybuses were probably experimental production runs or direct conversions from buses. 1986-1991 were probably the years of actual/regular production. Most major cities got them in 1986-1989, and Lublin got the first Jelcz PR-110Es in 1988. The PR-110Es partially replaced the aging ZiU-9s between 1988 and 1994. ZiU-9s scrapped after 1994 were probably not replaced by anything.

The following picture shows a Jelcz PR-110E in October 1999:


The rest are all pictures of Jelcz PR-110Es running as of August 2009. Today, these are the chief representatives of the trolleybus fleet in Lublin. The average age for them is 18-19 years, and they number 45 vehichles. they will slowly be replaced in about 2 or more years. Jelcz PR-110Es aren't as good in the fields where ZiU-9s were, but were the ZiU-9 fell short, they didn't.









The yellow one above, #809, has an interesting history. If I can recall correctly, this used to be a bus. 5 PR-110Ms were converted into trolleybuses in 1999 to replace ZiU-9s. The PR-110M buses ran alongside the PR-110E trolleybuses until the last one, #2137, was withdrawn in 2003. It's a long story, but in general, it can be said that the Jelcz PR-110 performed well as a trolleybus, but poorly as a bus.

Next up, we have a bus popular throughout the Eastern Bloc, known as the Ikarus, manufactured to this day in Hungary. Ikaruses were delivered to Poland roughly between 1975 and 1997, with virtually no real changes. They were/are popular with many cities. 126 of them were delivered to Lublin between 1982 and 1991. The model shown here, 280.26, is the 16.5-meter long standard articulated bus model offcially designated for Poland, and produced between 1979 and 1992. Currently, 17 of them still operate. Being that the Ikaruses are the oldest buses in Lublin, they are being retired first by the new Mercedes Conecto standard and articulated buses. I don't know when exactly they're supposed to go, but they'll probably be mostly/completely gone by summer of next year.:):






I thought this was an interesting bus. The paint colors are the remains of an incomplete ad. Regardless, this particular Ikarus 280.26 is as bad as it looks. It is from 1985, and hopefully it will be put out of its misery by the MPK (City Transportation Company of Lublin, a state-owned entity) pretty soon:


This yellow Ikarus was delivered to Lublin in 1983. It is currently the oldest bus that has been operating in Lublin for its entire service history. It is not the oldest-operating bus in Lublin, though (key words: Lublin, entire service history). It is the second oldest. This bus is probably going to be set aside for preservation:


The Ikarus 280.26 seen below is the oldest bus to be currently operating in Lublin. it has been designated for historical preservation. Built in 1980/1981, it ran in Warsaw for the first 10 years of its life. In 1990, it was sent to the state-run and renowned Lublin Auto Repair Works (LZNS) for a complete overhaul. At about that time, MPK of Lublin bought this bus from the Warsaw bus company, and since 1991, it has run in Lublin. It is pretty amazing, though, that this bus has made it through 28/29 years. Its brethren (all from 1980/1981) were all scrapped by MPK Lublin by the year 2000. And you guys thought that the RTS's running on the private lines were old:p....


These standard-length (11-meter) Ikarus 260 bus models were formerly articulated buses. They were shortened as a cost-saving measure, and due to the fact that the MPK did not need 7 articulated buses. Them and 5 others were renovated and shortened between 2004 and 2006/7 through an ingenious method: The two sections of the articulated bus were separated, the rear end of the rear section was cut off and renovated, the remaining part of the rear section was scrapped, the front section was renovated, and the two remaining pieces (rear end and front section) were welded together to create a standard-length bus (good thing these guys had rulers). Nevertheless, I question the structural integrity of a bus originally built as an articulated, then shortened and welded together. Well so far, all 7 are still running, although many of them already have pieces (doors, bumpers, etc.) from other Ikaruses. Here are #1825 and #1977:



Continuing, we get to the Jelcz M-11. Built between 1985 and 1990, the M-11 was a realistic attempt to partially replace the problematic Jelcz PR-110M. The body, frame, and interior were from the PR-110M. The engine, transmission, and underbody were from Ikarus, and derived from the Ikarus 260. This produced great results. The bus, with a weight of 9.5 tons, was able to accelarate quickly, and maintain high speeds. They also make very quick turns. The Jelcz M-11 never fully replaced the PR-110M, though, as the Jelcz PR-110M ended production a year after the M-11. 117 Jelcz M-11s were delivered to Lublin between 1985 and 1990. Currently 45 to 50 still operate. They are the chief representatives these days of the bus fleet in Lublin:









This particular Jelcz M-11, along with one bus of each communist-era type, was repainted in the historical colors from the old days, as part of this year's celebration of the 80th anniversary of the City Transportation Company in Lublin. On the side of each bus painted like this, it says: 80 years of MPK in Lublin/1929-2009/year x/In this year, bus model x begins service in the city. So not only does the bus look nice, it is also informational;):



Then there is the major downside of all the old buses: the RABA D2156 engine, centrally mounted between the front/rear axles, and loud and smoky as hell. However outdated it may be, it is very durable/long-lasting, easy to repair, and allows the articulated Ikarus 280 buses to maneuver better, since they have the engine mounted in the front section (so they're not a pusher). They also allow the Jelcz M-11s and Ikarus 260s to perform better.

In the below picture, the vagueness in the picture is not due to an error in shooting the photo- it is all the smoke that has poured out of the exhaust pipe as the bus pulled away from the bus stop:



Finally, we get to a few odds and ends involving buses in Lublin-


This is one of ~7 buses that made it to Lublin in 2004-2007. They were built in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, and are known as the Karosa B731. They're like a boxy, quiet version of the Ikaruses:



This is the coach version of the Jelcz PR-110, the PR-110D. They are similar in all except body design and interior layout. The PR-110D was built between 1984 and 1992. Unlike the PR-110M, they didn't have as many flaws, and have widely been considered a sucess. Now this is a bus that I wouldn't mind seeing on express routes....




The other, more common coach bus to be seen in Poland is this, the Autosan H9-20 (later 21). They were built between 1973 and 2001 (a few of them being sporadically produced until 2006) with very few changes. They are the most common intercity bus in Poland, and are 10 meters long, and have doors that are opened and closed manually (in other words, you turn the handle and swing it open to get in, and you turn the handle and slam it shut to get out). They are popular, and although they are not too modern or fast, they are one of my favorite bus models, and are relatively quiet. Nevertheless, if the previous bus represents a good candidate for an express bus route, than this one does not, unfortunately:



As for the Jelcz PR-110M, which is not shown here, just picture one of the trolleybuses without trolley poles and the electrical system(s) on the roof. And an air-intake grill near the rear and on the side.


I hope all of you enjoyed these pictures. Credit is given to those who are responsible for the existence of the bus/trolleybus information on the Internet, and to myself (for taking the pictures, of course!). Feel free to leave comments/suggestions/feedback.:cool:

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