Trolleybuses in Kabul

Last updated
Kabul trolleybus system
Locale Kabul, Afghanistan
OpenFebruary 9, 1979 (1979-02-09)
Operator(s) Millie Bus
Stock86 Škoda 9Tr
Route length 12.5 km (7.8 mi)

The Kabul trolleybus system was a public transport service in Kabul, the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The system was built by the Czechoslovak Elektrizace železnic Praha  [ cz ](Electrification of railways, Prague) from 1976. The service launched on February 9, 1979, with 25 Škoda 9TrH23 trolleybuses, eventually expanding to 86 vehicles by 1988, of which 80 were in operation. Operated by the state-owned Millie Bus, it used the same branding and a light-blue and white livery.


The initial line built by the Czechoslovak company ran between Pamir Cinema in downtown Kabul to Silo Road (Kote Sangi) in western Kabul, via Kabul Zoo, Karte Char and Kabul University. Subsequently, the Afghans themselves extended the line from Silo Road northwards back to downtown at Spinzar Hotel in Deh Afghanan. The line was also extended in the other direction, via Jadayi Maiwand to a textile factory located to the north-east. The total length of the system was 12.5 km (7.8 mi).[ when? ] The line was intentionally split into three routes with transfer points. The routes were distinguished only by destinations and not by numbers. [1] [ better source needed ]

The trolleybus service was highly popular due to its low price compared to the regular bus service of Millie Bus. It carried about 21 million passengers per year. [2] However its overhead line and electric contact network was reportedly in bad condition by the late 1980s with poor maintenance. Following the outbreak of civil war, the last trolleybus came to a halt in late 1992. The copper overhead wires were subsequently looted and sold to scrap dealers. The steel poles and some of the overhead can still be seen in Kabul today. [3] [ unreliable source? ]

In 2003 and 2004, there were plans for a resurrected trolleybus service to ease congestion. [4] Its revival was discussed with Czech officials in 2011 [5] and again with an Indian delegation in 2017. [6] [ page needed ] The Kabul Times reported in 2013 that the government was committed to renovating the system to tackle air pollution and deal with the busy traffic and increasing population in the city. [7] In 2017, a new bus rapid transit system was revealed, which would be Kabul's first public transport system since the trolleybuses and which will run on much of the roads that were once served by trolleybuses. [8] [ failed verification ]


A Skoda 9Tr in Czechoslovakia, the same type that was used in Kabul Opava, Skoda 9Tr, rok 1992 (1).jpg
A Skoda 9Tr in Czechoslovakia, the same type that was used in Kabul

The Škoda 9TrH23 is a variant of the 9Tr, produced from 1961 to 1982. It was one of the most popular models used in the former Soviet Union. The model in Kabul had three doors and operated on an overhead line voltage of between 550 and 600 volts.

See also

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  1. "Afghanistan: Trolleybuses in Kabul". Společnost pro veřejnou dopravu. December 5, 2011.
  2. "Afghanistan Development Forum Transport National Programme" (PDF). Government of Afghanistan. April 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2014. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  3. Lytle, Catherine (December 18, 2016). "From Gerbils to Trolleybus". Blogs, Islamic & Peace Studies at Oberlin College. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  4. Saded, Lailuma; Tarakhel, Shahbuddin; Amani, Wahidullah (March 1, 2004). "Trolley Buses to Ease Kabul's Tangled Traffic". Environment News Service . Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  5. "The delegation of Czech businessmen in Afganistan". Czech–Middle Asian Chamber of Commerce. November 25, 2011. Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  6. "Agreed Minutes, Second Meeting of Joint Working Group on Trade, Commerce and Investment Between India and Afghanistan, Held at New Delhi on 29th–30th March 2017" (PDF). 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 29, 2017. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  7. "Government committed to renovate trolley bus service in Kabul city" (PDF). The Kabul Times . February 12, 2013. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 29, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  8. "Kabul metro bus project to be launched today". 1TV Afghanistan. June 15, 2017. Archived from the original on January 17, 2018. Retrieved 2020-12-29.