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A Catenary for Electrobuses is being built in Prague

The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) has commenced the construction of a catenary on Prosecká Street. Once completed, the track will be used for testing dynamically charged electrobuses. This is the next stage on the way to greener urban transport in the capital city.


In the years 2015-2017, the DPP has already been testing static-charged electrobuses in the Želivského turning loop by the A line metro station, where several tram lines cross. For backbone lines with high passenger transport demand, it would be necessary to prolong the charging breaks when using electrobuses with static charging (i.e. only when they are standing in turning loops). For the DPP however, testing the operation of dynamically charged electrobuses will be a new experience. The actual dynamic charging will take place over a maximum distance of 15% of the total test section. This section was selected because of a very steep hill, which otherwise could limit battery life.

The project for the construction of a catenary in Prague represents a part of the ELIPTIC European research project (for the Electrification of Public Transport in Cities) within the framework of the Twinning Cities Group. In practice, the DPP will test the available technological solution at the minimal necessary cost during a 10-kilometre-long test run between Palmovka (the B line metro station) and Letňany (the C line metro station). It is only after proving the viability and effectiveness of the tested solution that a decision will be made concerning routine operation together with appropriate investment in the purchase of vehicles and the provision of a fully-fledged infrastructure.

The construction of the contact track by the DPP's own staff will take place for two months. At the same time, the DPP will be negotiating with potential suppliers about the provision of test vehicles. Most important will be testing during the winter, which will check the system most effectively.
The DPP is considering the possibility of future expansion to include other sections for the full coverage of Line No. 140 on the B line Palmovka - Čakovice - Miškovice section at the northeastern edge of Prague. The first evaluation of the operation of the electrobuses is planned for the spring of next year.

The parameters of the electrobus

  • in the first stage of the project there will be a 12 m electric bus, in the second stage an 18 m articulated electrobus,
  • pantograph(s) for a two-pole system on the roof of the vehicle,
    • the technical solution must enable both stationary and dynamic charging,
    • the technical solution must enable connection to a catenary during standing, ideally also during riding too, however.

Charging points

  • dynamic charging – a contact track on Prosecká Street,
    • charging will be provided via a container exchange station,
    • the overhead contact line will be suspended on traction poles with booms.
  • charging during operation breaks – in a bus turning loop near the Palmovka B line metro station,
    • charging from an adjacent contact track via a stationary galvanic separator (transferred from the Želivského terminus),
    • cca. a 20-metre-long contact track for charging 1 electrobus (12 or 18 m) - using the DPP's mobile poles.
  • night charging – in the Klíčov bus garage,
    • 2x three-phase socket (63A or 32A) from the low voltage grid in the garage.


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