[as of 05.2005]
Abakan is a capital of the Khakas Republic. The population is 169 000 people (as of 2001). The settlement was established in 1675. Abakan gained the status of the city in 1931. It used to be called Ust'-Abakanskoe prior to 1925, and Khakassk from 1925 to 1931. The city is positioned in the middle of the Minusinsk Valley, on the left side of the Yenisey River, where it meets with the Abakan River. The city is located 4218 Km. east of Moscow.
Abakan is a relatively green city, as 1/3 of the city centre is covered with boulevards. The central area consists mostly of the Stalin-era neoclassical buildings of the 1950s. There is also a preserved section of the old Ust'-Abakanskoe village.
Abakan used to be a major industrial city, with most of its industry now fading away. The main factory is the railroad car-building plant "Abakanvagonmash". There are also a steel mill, a container plant, an experimental-mechanical plant and building materials' plant, along with a number of textile and food factories.
HISTORY OF NETWORK'S DEVELOPMENT
(data prior to 1999 provided by Dmitriy Merzlov)
31 Dec 1980 - the first section opened, from Trolleybus Depot to Dvorets Brakosochetaniya via Sovetskaya Ul., Volodarskogo Ul., Pushkina Ul., Schetinkina Ul.
1982 - from Schetinkina Ul. to Rechnoy Vokzal via Pushkina Ul., Abakanskaya Ul. and Abakan River Naberezhnaya.
1982 - from Dvorets Brakosochetaniya to 7-y Mikrorayon (Kati Perekreschenko Ul.) via Druzhby Narodov Pr.
1983 - from Trolleybus Depot to PO "Abakanvagonmash" via Sovetskaya Ul.
1983 - from Volodarskogo Ul. to Sovetskaya Ul. via Pushkina Ul.
1983 - from Kati Perekreschenko Ul. to Airport via Druzhby Narodov Pr.
1987 - from Pushkina Ul. to DK Zheleznodorozhnikov via Mira Ul., Askizskaya Ul., Stofato Ul.
1987 - from Pushkina Ul. to Autovokzal via Shevchenko Ul.
1992 - closure of the line from Abakanskaya Ul. to Rechnoy Vokzal.
1996 - closure of the line to Autovokzal via Shevchenko Ul.
1999 - the 4-y Mikrorayon one-way loop via Kati Perekreschenko Ul., Torgovaya Ul., Torosova Ul.
29 Dec 2005 - from Pushkina Ul. to Polyarnaya via Marshala Zhukova Ul.
08 Jan 2006 - the new loop at Sovetskaya Ul. and Skladskaya Ul.; closure of the section of the line via Sovetskaya Ul. from Skladskaya to PO "Vagonmash".
Trolleybus lines somehow manage to avoid all most presentable older areas of the city. The main thoroughfare Pushkina Ul. is remarkably unremarkable. This street is served by trolleybuses in its entirety, yet it is hard to find any picturesque location worthy of taking a picture. With exception of the Airport line, outside of the city centre trolleybuses mostly go through identical neighborhoods of unspecified village-like character, mixed with dusty pro-industrial intrusions. In most cases any transportation-related photography is predominantly restricted to trolleybus network's ergonomics
The line to the Airport goes via the most noteworthy Schetinkina Ul. and Druzhby Narodov Pr. This line could be considered a suburban line, as it terminates beyond the official city boundary. The plan to take trolleybuses even further north, to the neighboring city of Chernogorsk, never materialized.
In 1999 a new line shaped in a form of a one-way loop was opened with the terminus of Preobrazhenskiy Sobor (Cathedral), also known as 4-y Mikrorayon. There is also a major city market near by, right next to the Cathedral.
The line to Abakanskaya used to continue on beyond the current terminus, some 300 meters further to the Rechnoy Vokzal terminus (passenger pier and terminal on the river). The segment was closed in 1992, all wires dismantled. By 2004 there were no signs left neither of the trolleybus line or the passenger terminal on the river.
1 Skladskaya - Preobrazhenskiy Sobor (4-y Mikrorayon) (weekdays only)
1A Zoopark - Preobrazhenskiy Sobor (4-y Mikrorayon) (weekends only)
2 Skladskaya - Abakanskaya (weekdays only)
2A Zoopark - Abakanskaya (weekends only)
3 Abakanskaya - Airport
3A Abakanskaya - Preobrazhenskiy Sobor (4-y Mikrorayon)
4 Zoopark - Airport
5 DK Zheleznodorozhnik (DK MPS) - Airport
5A DK Zheleznodorozhnik (DK MPS) - Preobrazhenskiy Sobor (4-y Mikrorayon)
6 DK Zheleznodorozhnik (DK MPS) - Abakanskaya
7 Polyarnaya - Skladskaya (weekdays only)
7A Polyarnaya - Zoopark (weekends only)
8 Polyarnaya - DK Zheleznodorozhnik (DK MPS)
Trolleybuses officially operate between the hours of 6:00 and 19:00. Only private buses and minibuses remain in service in the evening.
Trolleybuses still officially operate between the hours of 6:00 and 19:00 (service starts somewhat later on weekends). Only private buses and minibuses remain in service in the evening. As per local media reports, the official reason for this is absence of drivers. The city is planning to train a number of new drivers to restore evening operation by spring 2005.
Routes 1A, 4, 5 and 5A operate on relatively acceptable headways within 20 minutes. Routes 2A, 3, 3A and 6 are served with lengthier and less dependable headways. None of route 1 runs were observed in operation during the visit on 13 Sep. 2004.
The number of vehicles required for service during weekdays is 20 (note, the number of available vehicles on the property remained at 22 as per 09.2004), and 14 vehicles during weekends.
The trolleybus network is completely overwhelmed by private carriers. A citywide ratio of private diesel buses of various sizes to trolleybuses is roughly 11.5 to 1. As many as 250 public transport vehicles operate in the city, only 20 of those are trolleybuses. This is worsened even further, as the trolleybus service is not predictable. A long 15-20 minute wait for a trolleybus could be rewarded with a few vehicles arriving at the same time. The network structure is such that many routes converge at one point (the Pushkina / Schetinkina intersection) and follow the same path together (via Pushkina Ul. and Schetinkina Ul.). Yet the length of these routes and the headways do differ, thus the timetable can not written efficiently enough.
Between the hours of 9:00 and 11:30, and between 14:00 and 16:00, outside of the rush hour, all trolleybuses periodically divert from their regular routes to visit the depot for a lunch break. Such runs to the depot do carry passengers, yet they add extra confusion to the service that is already considered unreliable. Thus, roughly each 3rd trolleybus serving routes 1, 3, 3A, 5, 5A and 6 is not expected to follow its complete regular route, and each 3rd trolleybus serving routes 1A, 2A, 4 will not complete a full lengthy one-way loop via the western terminus of Zoopark and will discharge passengers at the depot.
The section via Pushkina Ul. west of Volodarskogo Ul. is served by routes 1A, 2A and 4 that operate via a lengthy one-way loop along Pushkina Ul., Sovetskaya Ul. and Volodarskogo Ul. thus passing near the zoo and the depot. The segment of the line on Pushkina Ul. between Zoopark and Volodarskogo Ul. is now operated in one direction only, outbound from the city centre, the other side remains out of service.
The new extension to Preobrazhenskiy Sobor and 4-y Mikrorayon is potentially a highly effective project. It serves the main city market and smartly encircles a few city blocks of recently erected apartment blocks. The new loop also provides an option for a short turn for half of the trolleybuses that serve the line to the Airport. The latter line lost some popularity over the recent years. The shorter versions of routes 3 and 5 were introduced, labeled 3A and 5A respectively. Route 1A became a shorter variant of route 4. Thus each 2nd trolleybus now serves the full length of the Airport line, while others short turn at Preobrazhenskiy Sobor. Timetables for full and shorter versions of the same route are more or less synchronized, but not between the routes of different number. Overall, the new extension allowed to optimize the route network in accordance with newly developed passenger flows.
Trolleybuses operate between the hours of 6:00 and 19:00. During the summer season trolleybuses operate until 23:00. The trolleybus undertaking does not recognize a need to operate late night service due to low ridership.
Timetable inefficiencies are expected to be resolved with the proposed introduction of portable radios. The trolleybus undertaking has applied for the airwaves rights within 140-170 mhz.
There are 23 service vehicles on the property.
ZIU-682V and ZIU-682G:
05 - 07
09 - 12,
17, 18, 20, 27, 34, 35, 44
43, 45 (2002)
08, 47 (12.2004)
04, 50 (03.2005)
All trolleybuses appear to be in relatively fair condition. Almost all vehicles are covered with advertisements.
VZTM-5284 trolleybuses are a result of a rehab of older ZIU-682 vehicles with the use of new bodies delivered from Volgograd. Abakan gets a so-called special completeness package, which is almost a complete trolleybus with 8 modules missing, assembled locally.
Two fully assembled vehicles were delivered in November, 2005. The city of Abakan requires the process of competitive bidding. In spring 2005 the bidding commission decided on one VZTM-5284 trolleybus. The Bashkirskiy Trolleybus Factory provided the lowest bid on another vehicle in 09.2005, thus the second trolleybus was of BTZ-5276-04 type.
The length of the entire network is 49,5 km. The wirework is in fair condition.
Abakan trolleybus network might first appear to be unstable, but the introduction of the new line and, most notably, the aggressive policy of acquiring newer vehicles might signal a tendency toward the revitalization of the system.
Two more trolleybus bodies and 2-3 (or more, depending on funds availability) fully assembled vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2006. By 2009 the number of trolleybuses in the fleet is expected to go up to 35-40.
© 2002 Author: Yury Maller
Content: Yury Maller, Vladimir Borodin, Vladimir Podkorytov
Presentation: Stefan Mashkevich
Usage of material found herein is permitted provided the source is mentioned. Usage for public display is possible with authors' permission only.