The Trolley-Citybus of Salzburg. Austria

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

For 70 years electric trolleybuses have been used in Salzburg. Trolleybuses are a clean, electricity-based transport mode for urban mobility.

Background & Objectives

Since 1940, trolleybuses have been used for public transport in Salzburg. The system started with a single line and 4.8 km (3 miles) of trolley wires, and grew to a full length of 98 km (60 miles). Almost 40 million passengers are transported annually by the modern fleet of 97 trolleybuses. Without the trolleybus system, CO2-emissions would increase annually by some 60,000 tonnes and cause an additional macro-economic damage of approximately €14 million per year. 3 suburban train lines and a couple of conventional diesel bus routes complete a very dense integrated public transport network. Nearly all parts of Salzburg’s historical city centre have been converted into pedestrian areas, which invite people to discover the city by foot. In addition, Salzburg offers one of the best cycling path networks in Austria.

The PT service provider in Salzburg, Salzburg AG, is also a partner on the Trolley project ( It has responsibility for project management, communication and dissemination, and focuses on two topics within the Trolley project:

Increasing Efficiency

Transport feasibility studies and technical planning on network expansion in the agglomeration will be made. Well known, traditional methods of energy supply and overhead-wire systems will be scrutinised and new solutions will be discussed.

Reshaping Image

Not all European political and economic decision-makers are aware of the system’s advantages: A clean transport system without emissions or particulate matter, less noise, a cost-effective solution and a system which is attractive to customers.

Salzburg also plays an important role in spreading operational and political initiatives to promote the ecologically friendly trolleybus systems. To be able to disseminate information about the positive aspects of trolleybuses, a "Trolleybus Image Campaign“ is planned.>This will include the implementation of a "European Trolleybus Day“, a "Trolleybus Knowledge Centre“, a "Trolleybus Library“ and a "Trolleybus Pool of Experts“ to provide detailed information and continuing advanced training for technicians.


In addition to the existing fleet of 86 trolleybuses, a further 23 buses will be introduced according to the following schedule:

  • 3 buses in 2009 (already delivered);
  • 12 buses in 2011 (already delivered);
  • 8 buses in 2012.

The Solaris articulated bus has the following specificaitons:

  • Gross vehicle weight of 28.000kg;
  • Length of 18 metres, width of 2.55 metres and height of 3.49 metres;
  • Stance of a maximum of 104 persons (6 persons/m2);
  • Seating for 38 persons;
  • Maximum speed of 65 km/h (25 km/h with emergency aggregation);
  • Propulsion motor: SKODA Electric a.s., Pilzen (CZ), ML 3846 K6 (6-poles) 250kW (425V, 1374rpm)


Future challenges will be the building of new additional trolleybus routes in and around Salzburg as well as the development of trolleybuses to a "Tram Light". Trolleybus producers use the Salzburg AG network for test purposes and many international delegations visit Salzburg every year to experience the advantages of a modern trolleybus system. The advantages are clear: cleaner transport, less direct emissions and less noise. However, there are also disadvantages which must be taken into consideration: less route flexibility, the cost of the wiring system and the investment costs. The advantages probably outweigh the disadvantages. With the political and public will that can be seen in Salzburg, a customer-friendly, company-friendly and environmentally-friendly system is possible.


Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
Volker Hoffmann
05 Apr 2011
29 Aug 2014