AKSM-321 (BKM-321)

AKSM-321 (BKM-321) is a Belarusian high-capacity low-floor trolleybus for intracity passenger transportation, mass-produced since 2003 at Belkommunmash. Belongs to the third generation of trolleybuses developed by the plant. It had a nickname “Belka” (“Squirrel”).

The trolleybus model is used in many cities in Russia, as well as in Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Serbia. Most of the vehicles produced were delivered to Minsk (28%), Chisinau (11%), Moscow (9%), Gomel (7%), St. Petersburg (5%), Belgrade and Mogilev (4% each).

Trolleybus model 321 is a two-axle low-floor city trolleybus with large capacity. The trolleybus body has a supporting structure. The roof and side cladding is made of high-strength galvanized steel sheets. Frame pipes, body trim, underbody, frame-truss surfaces, bridges and some other elements are treated with anti-corrosion enamels from the French company RM. The body is also covered with phosphate paint, which protects the body from corrosion; the body has a service life of at least ten years.

The front of the trolleybus, namely its casing, is made of a fiberglass panel. The trolleybus bumper is made of steel and lined with a fiberglass shell. The bumper consists of three parts. In 2008, the trolleybus model 321 was restyled and the headlights were replaced with lighting equipment unified with new models of MAZ trucks, made in Rudensk. In 2007, several copies with dot optics from Hella were produced, but subsequently cars with such headlights were no longer produced. Since 2009, trolleybuses have received new headlights made in Belarus and a new shaped front bumper.

The trolleybus is equipped with a pneumatic rod-catching system, which ensures remote removal of rods from the overhead wires; subsequently, the pantographs are fixed along the axis of the trolleybus. In addition, the trolleybus is equipped with two reels attached to the rear panel and drums inside them, on which ropes are wound for the usual removal of rods from the contact network. The rear part, like the front part, is made of fiberglass, the bumper is steel with fiberglass lining.

The AKSM-321 trolleybus is equipped with air suspension. The front suspension of the trolleybus is double-cylinder, dependent pneumatic. The rear suspension is dependent pneumatic. Elastic suspension elements – pneumatic bellows, in addition to ensuring a soft ride, provide the trolleybus with the opportunity to sit down at stops to the right, lowering the floor level by a few more centimeters to facilitate boarding for disabled people and passengers with strollers.

The trolleybus brake system is two-stage. The pneumatic braking system of the trolleybus is dual-circuit; the front wheel brakes are disc (when using ZF axles) or drum (when using Rába axles). The drive axle brakes are Rába drum type or ZF Passau disc type. In addition, the trolleybus is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS).

The trolleybus has a low floor level at all entrances; the floor height is 36 centimeters above ground level. There is a folding ramp at the entrance to the middle door.

The interior floor is made of bakelized plywood 12 mm thick, which is attached to the base of the body (truss frame); then covered with a wear-resistant carpet made of non-slip linoleum; The lining of the sides and ceiling is made of plastic in gray and white colors. The trolleybus handrails are made of thin steel pipe and painted with polymer paint, which improves their resistance to corrosion; the railings are resistant to mechanical wear and sunlight; the handrails are attached from below to the floor of the cabin, from above – to the ceiling; vertical handrails can be equipped with buttons for signaling the driver to stop the trolleybus upon request. Horizontal handrails can be equipped with leather handles for greater comfort. In 2011, the design of the handrails and glass partitions was changed to that of the MAZ-203 bus.

In 2016, the second restyling of the model was carried out. The trolleybus received a new mask with an octagonal windshield, as well as Hella lens optics, a new rear mask with the same chopped-broken window shape and round lights. Some trolleybuses are also produced using the same front lighting technology from 2009.

In 2021, at the Ecology Expo 2021 exhibition in Minsk, a restyled version of the trolleybus was presented. The body design was unified with the E321 Olgierd electric bus. The development of the restyled version began in 2017-2018: Belkommunmash took part in a tender for the supply of electric buses for Moscow. Although the company was unable to win the tender (and ultimately did not deliver a single electric bus for Moscow), it did not abandon the development of restyling.

Assembly: Белкоммунмаш (Minsk, Belarus)

Years of production: 1999—2010

Production: 2359 units

Length: 12,307 mm

Width: 2500 mm

Height: 3666 mm

Capacity: 115 passengers (26 seats)

Powerplant: АТЧД-250

Power: 180 kW

Max speed: 70 km/h

Tension: 550 V

Weight: 16500 kg

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Read more: History of autobuses with Simon Bloyd ...