Skoda 9Tr20 trolleybus from 1975 was renovated inOstravainCzechRepublicby the The Ecova company. The renovation was ordered by Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Trolejbusowej (Trolleybus Transport Company) following the purchase of the old trolleybus from Ecological Transport Association in Lublin (LTEK). Ecova offered the best price in the public tender beating two other companies fromZlin,Czech Republic. The obligatory requirement, beside many technical and administrative requirements, was experience in repairing the historic trolleybus. Ecova had the required experience as part of Dopravni Podnik Mesta Ostrava corporation (Public Transport Enterprise inOstrava). The company gained this experience mainly in reconstructing Tatra T400 trolleybus, produced in 1954.
The amount of revitalization and reconstruction works on Skoda 9Tr was huge. The trolleybus, after being brought toOstrava, was dismantled and then constructional works started. It was sandblasted and all the destroyed elements were exchanged. The scope of works is illustrated by the photos, which show totally destroyed construction. After construction works they started installation of car body during which the tins were stick to the trolley but on their junctions the original method of screw driving had been kept. Meanwhile, during the works on the body all drive, axles, pantographs’ basis, and resistors were fully revitalized. The trolleybus was protected from corrosion, the last varnish layer was put and then the drive and interior were installed, which officially completed the vehicle restoration.
In Gdynia Skoda was given the 359 fleet number, compatible with the original 1970s numbering. Together with Saurer 4TIILM trolleybus from 1957 (fleet number 128), and Jelcz 120MTE (fleet number 10121), it makes a great tourist attraction inGdynia.
Skoda 9TR Trolleybuses in Gdynia
Skoda 9TR trolleybuses were used inGdyniafrom 1962 to1979. Inthat period 79 vehicles of that type were in service. 72 of them were brand new and 7 were used, withdrawn fromWałbrzychafter the trolleybus network was decommissioned there.
The trolleybuses from the first delivery impressed inhabitants mostly because of their modern look and other innovative technical solutions, distinctive from Skoda 8TR trolleys, delivered in 1958-1961. First Skoda 9TR was introduced inGdyniaon 19.10.1962. Those three-door vehicles, of11 mlength had more streamlined, glass body. On the front and on the back they had bigger, panoramic windows.
New Skoda 9TR were painted in the standard colours – cream and red, whilst for painting they used better, more shining varnish. The front interior part of the vehicle was quite significant because of control board painted in vivid green colour by hammer paint. The interior was very well planned to facilitate moving inside the vehicle, especially thanks to special baby-carts place and passenger standing in the back part. Trolleys fantastically presented at twilight because of using glow-tubes for the first time.
In the following deliveries the colour of the front interior part was innovative, because in some vehicles it was not green and light grey but also vivid cherry. The innovation in the last series of brand new trolley was the usage of modern, smaller and black steering wheel. Trolleys from previous deliveries had white steering wheels with light brown interior parts.
All brand new vehicles got 3 digit fleet numbers starting with 3. Numbers 355-399 were used for the first time. Other numbers were used for the second time replacing decommissioned Vetra (300-312) and Skoda 8TR (different numbers). Only one Skoda 9TR from the last delivery of brand new vehicles in 1970 got the number of the earlier decommissioned Skoda 9TR. It was no. 359. This fact decided about giving historic Skoda 9TR inGdyniapublic transport this number.
Used Skoda 9TR, brought fromWałbrzychin 1973 got 5 digit numbers after public transport changed the system between 1972 and 1973.
Skoda 9TR with no. 357 was the first that appeared inGdyniastreets. It functioned in double-shift system on every line with ticket inspector service, that is:
21: Gdynia Konstytucji Square – Sopot Reja Street (temporarily Wybickiego Street).
22: Gdynia Konstytucji Square – Grabówek Zakręt to Oksywie Street through Świętojańska, Czołgistów (now Piłsudskiego) and Śląska Streets.
23: Gdynia Konstytucji Square – Mały Kack Spokojna Street
24: Gdynia Konstytucji Square – Oksywie Dolne Grudzińskiego Street through Marchlewskiego (now Wiśniewskiego) Street.
25: Gdynia Pl. Konstytucji (Konstytucji Square) – Cisowa Janowska Street through 10 Lutego, Czerwonych Kosynierów (now Morska) and Chylońska Street.
Skoda 9TR entered the streets with the following fleet numbers: 355, 358, 360, and 366. They were the first to run only in the rush hours on line 26, on the changed on 7 November 1962 route connecting Orłowo (terminus next to the Post Office) and Grabówek (terminus in Zakręt do Oksywia street) through Świętojańska and 10 Lutego Streets. According to the timetables only 4 trolleybuses operated the line. So, line no. 26, was the first line serviced only by the new Skoda 9TR. Resigning from the conductors’ service on line no. 26 was a very innovative decision and meant that only passengers with monthly tickets and free travel entitlements could use this line. The second group was much smaller than nowadays because of limited entitlements. Elderly people were not entitled. Monthly tickets were made of paper. Every day of the month was marked by the square filled with alphabet letters closed in smaller squares. In self-service vehicles passengers had to valid their tickets by putting them in needle validator and hitting exactly the square of the given day of the month.
As a historic link to line no. 26, serviced only by Skoda 9TR trolleybuses, ZKM Gdynia launched a historic 326 line on the following route: Grabówek SKM – Orłowo Klif through 10 Lutego and Świętojańska Streets.
Skoda 9TR trolleybuses in Gdynia chronicle
1. First delivery: 15 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 355 – 369 introduced in 1962 (19.10.). They had green control boards.
2. Second delivery: 3 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 370 – 372 introduced in 1963 (29.08.). They had light grey control boards.
3. Third delivery: 6 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 373 – 378 introduced in 1964 (01.04.). They had green (no. 373 – 375) and cherry (no. 376 – 378) control boards
4. Fourth delivery: 10 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 303 – 312 introduced in 1965 (7.03.). They had light grey control boards.
5. Fifth delivery: 2 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 301 – 302 introduced in 1966 (3.03.). They had light grey control boards.
6. Sixth delivery: 4 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 379 – 382 introduced in 1966 (9.12.). They had light grey control boards.
7. Seventh delivery: 8 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 383 – 389 and 300 introduced under exploitation in 1968 (10.01.). They had light grey control boards.
8. Eighth delivery: 12 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 390 – 399 and 314 and 316 introduced in 1969 (18.09.). They had light grey control boards.
9. Ninth delivery: 12 brand new vehicles.
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 313, 317, 318, 319, 322, 325, 328, 329, 332, 336, 339 and 359 introduced in 1970 (1.12.). They had light grey control boards.
10. Tenth delivery: 7 used vehicles withdrawn fromWałbrzychdue to trolleybus network decommission
Trolleybuses with fleet numbers 11415, 11420, 11421, 11423, 11424, 11426 and 11427 introduced in 1973 (1.10.). Produced in 1969. They had light grey control boards.
Elaborated on the basis of data and materials from Krystian Jacobson, Mariusz Uziębło i Olgierd Wyszomirski