October 1, 2010 is the Dalian trolleybus 50th Anniversary. The first 4.5-km line, built from Dalian Railway Station westbound via Huanghe Road, ended at Gaizhou Street. Then it was extended by 3 km to new city edge terminus "Before Malan Village" (由马栏村, "You Malancun") and thus was finally completed. The village does not exist anymore; the city was expanded westward; a new Malan Square (马栏广场) was formed here, separating Huanghe Road from its continuing Hongqi ("Red Banner") East Road; the stop was renamed accordingly.
Seventeen years after opening the first line, the second line was opened on Liberation Road (解放路, "Jiefang lu") between downtown and Tiger Beach (老虎滩, "Laohutan") on the southern side, replacing tram Route 6 (originally also planned as Route 2). The Grand Opening was held on September 23, 1977, two days after the tram line closure.
The new line was completely independent, having its own depot at Tiger Beach and isolated overhead wiring; the downtown terminus was just few blocks away from the Railway Station, but the service connection between routes 1 and 2 was never built. The main portion of the line had two pairs of wires in each direction, allowing both local and express service.
On January 1, 1983 tram and trolleybus routes were renumbered to eliminate duplicate numbers; the 100-series was assigned to trolleybus routes, and the 200-series - to tram routes (bus routes numbers were not changed). Thus routes 1 and 2 became 101 and 102 respectively.
In 1980s there were also short trips between Changsheng Street and Xishancun (西山村, i.e. "Westen Hills Village"; the old name of the Dalian University of Transportation stop), served by single coaches. The Xishancun loop was located where Xinan Road overpass is now (Xishan Road was not exist at that time); the Changshen Street loop had no wiring, so coaches had to do an off-wire-jump U-turn, having service men to run with the coach while holding poles.
On July 2, 1987 the new "Tiger Beach" termination loop was put in service.
In 1998 the city decided to completely renovate Liberation Road; the work required to dismantle the existing trolley line. On December 31, 1998 Route 102 after 22 years and 3 months of service was converted to a diesel bus route and renamed back to #2. After the road construction was completed, the trolleybus line was not rebuilt from scratch, thus the history of the unique four-way line was ended. Six years later, on January 1, 2005, the bus route was extended from the old "Tiger Beach" terminus to a new area (虎滩新区) via Binhai East Road and Hutan Road with two intermediate stops "Workers Sanatorium" (工人疗养院) and "Tiger Beach - Harbor" (虎滩港) at Ocean Square (海洋广场), see the route map. There are no express trips anymore, but additional short trips between downtown and Taoyuan Street stop (桃源街) with all intermediate stops.
Locals often call trolley coaches "long braids". Initially trolleybus were driven by men only, then it became a women-only job; eventually men started returning. Trams are still operated only by women.
By October 1, 1960, when the first line was opened, the city had 13 Beijing-1 trolley coaches, all based in the tram depot; five of them started service on the Grand Opening day. As local public transit veterans witness, the trolleybuses were not reliable, so drivers had to be jacks-of-all-trades to fix breakages themselves. One coach was later converted to a driver-training vehicle (see the photo by Bruce Lake), no more details or photos of others were found.
Later the city received articulated "Shanghai" SK-663 - the most popular Shanghai-made model of 1960s in China, often nicknamed "panda". The coaches were numbered from 601 and retired in 1991 or 1992, replaced dy DL-D72C. There was also one single rigid coach #619, also retired in 1991 or 1992, the model and other details are unknown.
In 1974 Dalian Tram Factory designed and manufactured its first trolleybuses - the articulated "Dalian" DL-661. The total of 120 coaches were made, many of them sold to Xi'an, Benxi, Wuhan Iron and Steel Company, etc. In 1980s it was the only type on Route 102.
Since 1988, Shenyang-made coaches appeared. There were two liveries, green and blue, fleet numbers were 85x to 86x, no other details are known yet.
In 1991 the Tram Factory began manufacturing single DL-DC52C coaches that were assigned to Route 102 (their presence on Route 101 is not confirmed). In May of 1991 a 16-meter 4-door articulated DL-D72C-model model was introduced, equipped with 90kW engine. These coaches initially worked on Route 101, and since 1995 - on Route 102.
In 1995 the D772-model was made and the D72CQ-model - a year after, no further details about them were found.
Dalian also received four "Shenfeng" SYD-60C trolley coaches, made by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, now a member of the Norinco group (military and civil products manufacturer), they worked on Route 102 until its closure (see photo); numbered 001 - 004, it is unknown whether they were scrapped or sold to other cities.
On September 28, 2006 two new models, single WGD61U, made by Wuhan-based Yangtze Dongfeng Automobile, and articulated CJWG150, made in Hangzhou by Changjiang Bus Co., started revenue service, replacing the aged rolling stock. The total replacement took only three days and was completed by October 1, the national holiday; it is unknown if any of old trolleybuses were preserved for history. WGD-61U coaches were originally numbered from 3901 to 3934, then renumbered to 2294 - 2327; articulated CJWG150 coaches received numbers from 3951 to 3975, then renumbered to 2330 - 2354.
There are totally 60 trolleybuses in the city (34 single and 25 articulated) plus one service vehicle #0870 (originally #2297), based on DD6121HS5 bus.
Changjiang CJWG150 Articulated Trolleybus Specifications
- Length - 15,885 mm; Width - 2,480 mm; Height - 3,050 mm.
- Weight Empty - 12,800 kg; Weight Fully Loaded - 19,857 kg.
- Wheelbase (1st to 2nd axle) - 5,000 mm; Wheelbase (2nd to 3rd axle) - 3,985 mm; Overhang (front) - 1,615 mm.
- Track - 2,020 / 1,795 / 1,795 mm.
- Min. Clearance - 263 mm.
- Lower Step Level - 380 mm.
- Passenger Seating Capacity - 41; Passenger Standing Capacity - 110.
- Speed ≥ 45 km/h.
- Power - 90 Kwt; Torque - 392 N-m.
- Entrance/Exit Angle - 7°/ 7°.
- Max. Incline ≥ 12%.
Route number - 101, from Dalian Railway Station westbound via Changjiang Road (长江路) and Huanghe Road (黃河路) to Malan Square (马栏广场); total distance - 7.5 km; all stops except at Railway Station are located on Huanghe Road (see the map).
- Railway Station (火车站, "Huo Che Zhan"). Victory Square (胜利广场) with the underground shopping center is located nearby.
- Tongqing Jie (同庆街, i.e. "Celebration Street").
- Office of the Mayor (市政府, "Shi Zheng Fu"), see the photo.
- Changsheng Jie (长生街, i.e. "Longevity Street") near Yida Square (亿达广场) with the car overpass on crossing Dongbei (i,e.East-North) Road.
- Lianhe Lu (联合路, "Unification Road"), near Zhongshan Park (中山公园) and Dalian TV Station (see the photo).
- Xi'an Lu (西安路, "Xi'an Road"), before October 2008 г. - "Technology Valley" (科技谷); tram route 202 crossing; Jinhui Shopping Mall (锦辉商城) is located at the street corner, see photo 1 and 2.
- Gaizhou Jie (盖州街, "Gaizhou Street"), the original route terminus from October 1, 1960; there are two railroad crossings on the next span.
- Dalian University of Transportation (大连交通大学, "Da Lian Jiao Tong Da Xue"), before August 14, 2004 - "The Railway Institute" (铁道学院).
- Liaoning Normal University (辽宁师范大学, "Liao Ning Shi Fan Da Xue"), the trolleybus depot is located on the right side of the road.
- Lan Yu Jie (兰玉街, i.e. "Jade Orchid Street").
- Malan Square (马栏广场, "Ma Lan Guang Chang", i.е. "Stable Square", originally -"Before Malan Village" (由马栏村, "You Ma Lan Cun"). Nearby places: Dalian Horizon Hotel (大连摩天饭店), on the right to the north - New Century Department Store (新世纪商场) and Southern Liaoning Bone Hospital (辽南骨伤医院), on the left to the south - Dalian Bohai Hospital (大连渤海医院).
Fares and Fare Media
Originally trolleybus fare was 6 fens, which was higher than tram fare, eventually it became lower since all public transportation fares were based on the total route length. Bruce Lake, a UK trolleybus enthusiast who visited Dalian in the beginning of 1999, found the trolleybus fare as much as twice lower than the tram fare, which was 1 yuan. Today the cash fare is 1 yuan for all city routes; users of electronic smart card get larger discount in trolleybuses (10% vs 5% in trams) due to the total route length (less than 8 km).
Fares were originally collected on board by two conductresses, sometimes they had to push their way through the crowd; there were no tickets, but fare receipts, issued only if asked. After replacing old trolleybuses, new boarding rules were enforced along with pay-as-you-enter system; passengers were required to board at the front door (in articulated buses also at the rear door) when middle door was for exit only. Conductresses became fare supervisors; one per articulated coach, stationed at the rear door and watching passengers to deposit money in farebox or to scan electronic cards upon entering. There are no fare supervisors in single coaches since all passengers enter at the front door only. Drivers and fare supervisors don't carry cash, exact fare is required.
As any major city in China, Dalian has it's own "electronic wallet" - a contactless stored value smart card called Pearl Card (明珠I卡, "Min Zhu Ka", or 明珠IC卡, where IC stands for 'Integrated Circuit'), available at city public transportation ticket offices or at Dalian Commercial Bank (大连市商业银行) branches. The card was first introduced on July 15, 2001; it can be loaded with any amount from 20 up to 300 yuan (in only 20 or 50-yuan increments or combinations), fares are deducted from balance. There is a 30-yuan deposit, refundable when card is returned undamaged. Card users get 10% off cash fare (it applies to every bus route with total length less than 12 km; for 12 to 15 km routes discount is 5%; no discount is given on longer routes. Previously discounts were larger: 20% for up to 8 km routes, 15% for 8-12 km routes and 10% for 12-15 km routes).
Card is beneficial on 201 tram route for two fare zones trips (35% off cash fare) and on the commuter light rail; it is also accepted in blue taxis, pharmacies, by some payphones, to pay park admission fees, etc.
When card balance drops below 2 yuan, a special sound reminds to add value; if balance is insufficient, another sound prompts to pay fare in cash (negative balance is not allowed).
A special card, available to students, gives 60% off regular cash fare, but can only store up to 200 yuan. There are also cards for seniors (they can ride for free) and other special categories.
Monthly flash passes were discontinued from November of 2006 (I don't know whether passes were eliminated completely, or converted to an electronic form, stored on Pearl Card). These passes were sold at work, school, college, etc. (not to general public) only for the specific route, prices were vary, depending on the route length. As of September 15, 2003, after another price increase, the trolleybus monthly pass for workers was cost 28 yuan; for students - 30 yuan per semester.