Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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KeithW
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by KeithW »

The old communigate site for Teesside trolleybuses has been resurrected on the web archive and is worth a visit as it has some rare pictures of early trollybuses including this early hybrid vehicle. The wheels were driven by electric motors and it had a petrol engine driving a dynamo for power when not under the wires.

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https://web.archive.org/web/201206231215 ... ge13.phtml
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by FleetlinePhil »

KeithW wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2019 14:49 The old communigate site for Teesside trolleybuses has been resurrected on the web archive and is worth a visit as it has some rare pictures of early trollybuses including this early hybrid vehicle. The wheels were driven by electric motors and it had a petrol engine driving a dynamo for power when not under the wires.

Image

https://web.archive.org/web/201206231215 ... ge13.phtml
Interesting link, many thanks. One of the later trolleybus batches was described as having "Bridlington-built East Lancs bodies", which I found puzzling. I wasn't aware of their connection to the East Coast (or possibly I since have forgotten something I did know in my teens!) but there is a bit of discussion about it towards the bottom of this page.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by Glenn A »

Trolleybus pylons converted to street lighting in the sixties, when trolleybuses were scrapped, were always an indication of where the trolleybuses ran in Newcastle. There was the previously mentioned terminus at West Denton and a terminus in the east end on Jesmond Dene Rd, where the street light conversions ended. Presumably there was a major route from West Denton to Jesmond Dene, crossing what is now the Central Motorway East, and I do recall these light conversions on Shields Rd in the east end.
It was a shame Newcastle scrapped their trolley buses in 1966 as they were green, quiet and faster than diesel buses, but new housing estates had no provision for them and they could only operate under wires, so were limited to certain routes.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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Glenn A wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 Trolleybus pylons converted to street lighting in the sixties, when trolleybuses were scrapped, were always an indication of where the trolleybuses ran in Newcastle. There was the previously mentioned terminus at West Denton and a terminus in the east end on Jesmond Dene Rd, where the street light conversions ended. Presumably there was a major route from West Denton to Jesmond Dene, crossing what is now the Central Motorway East, and I do recall these light conversions on Shields Rd in the east end.
It was a shame Newcastle scrapped their trolley buses in 1966 as they were green, quiet and faster than diesel buses, but new housing estates had no provision for them and they could only operate under wires, so were limited to certain routes.
They would also have had the same problem as TRTB on Teesside where they soldiered on into the 70's. The buses were all of prewar manufacture although they been rebuilt after WW2. Manufacture of spares had ceased decades ago and they were reliant on buying vehicles scrapped by other operators and scrapping them for spares. When the trolleybus company (TRTB) was incorporated into Cleveland Transit it simply made no sense to the new company to take on the costs of maintaining the entire system and depot for what was a small fraction of the business.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by Glenn A »

KeithW wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 14:52
Glenn A wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 Trolleybus pylons converted to street lighting in the sixties, when trolleybuses were scrapped, were always an indication of where the trolleybuses ran in Newcastle. There was the previously mentioned terminus at West Denton and a terminus in the east end on Jesmond Dene Rd, where the street light conversions ended. Presumably there was a major route from West Denton to Jesmond Dene, crossing what is now the Central Motorway East, and I do recall these light conversions on Shields Rd in the east end.
It was a shame Newcastle scrapped their trolley buses in 1966 as they were green, quiet and faster than diesel buses, but new housing estates had no provision for them and they could only operate under wires, so were limited to certain routes.
They would also have had the same problem as TRTB on Teesside where they soldiered on into the 70's. The buses were all of prewar manufacture although they been rebuilt after WW2. Manufacture of spares had ceased decades ago and they were reliant on buying vehicles scrapped by other operators and scrapping them for spares. When the trolleybus company (TRTB) was incorporated into Cleveland Transit it simply made no sense to the new company to take on the costs of maintaining the entire system and depot for what was a small fraction of the business.
The Newcastle Corporation trolleybuses mostly plied the main roads in the city, and housing estates built after the 1930s were built without the necessary infrastructure, or were built too far from the trolleybus routes. It's probable as well as the reasons you've given that it wasn't economic to keep an ageing transport system going that was only serving certain areas of the city. Also the pre 1974 Newcastle City Council was smaller than the 1974 authority and when Newcastle incorporated Newburn and Gosforth UDCs, the trolleybus network would have been even smaller, had it survived, and the county council was favouring a Metro system by then.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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Glenn A wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 17:56
The Newcastle Corporation trolleybuses mostly plied the main roads in the city, and housing estates built after the 1930s were built without the necessary infrastructure, or were built too far from the trolleybus routes. It's probable as well as the reasons you've given that it wasn't economic to keep an ageing transport system going that was only serving certain areas of the city. Also the pre 1974 Newcastle City Council was smaller than the 1974 authority and when Newcastle incorporated Newburn and Gosforth UDCs, the trolleybus network would have been even smaller, had it survived, and the county council was favouring a Metro system by then.
On Teesside they actually extended the system in the 1960's but that simply worsened the spares problem and the prospect of bus crews having to re position pickups on live wires on a rainy day with long wooden poles would give Health and Safety people a case of the screaming hab dabs. To keep the trolley bus viable what was needed was a new setup with AC overhead wire, pantograph pickups and an onboard battery for when power was lost. At a time when diesel was 30p per gallon nobody was going to make that sort of investment. You couldnt even make an argument they were green as most of the power was generated by burning coal and modern diesels were more thermally efficient.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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From what I can see the Gateshead tram system ran across the Tyne Bridge then all the way through Low Fell and terminated around where the A167 now becomes dual carriageway.

It's a real shame that the system doesn't exist today, as it's certain that if it did it would be one of the most popular ways to get into Newcastle, given that the busses that run the same route are always rammed.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by Chris Bertram »

Mark Hewitt wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:34 From what I can see the Gateshead tram system ran across the Tyne Bridge then all the way through Low Fell and terminated around where the A167 now becomes dual carriageway.

It's a real shame that the system doesn't exist today, as it's certain that if it did it would be one of the most popular ways to get into Newcastle, given that the busses that run the same route are always rammed.
Was it jointly run with Newcastle?
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by Mark Hewitt »

Chris Bertram wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:23
Mark Hewitt wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:34 From what I can see the Gateshead tram system ran across the Tyne Bridge then all the way through Low Fell and terminated around where the A167 now becomes dual carriageway.

It's a real shame that the system doesn't exist today, as it's certain that if it did it would be one of the most popular ways to get into Newcastle, given that the busses that run the same route are always rammed.
Was it jointly run with Newcastle?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateshead ... ys_Company I don't think so.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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FleetlinePhil wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 09:28
fras wrote: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:47 The Rome trolleybuses swap from battery to wires en-route as the centre is not wired, these start at Porta Pia, just outside the city wall. The depot is not wired and is of-route too. I do have my doubts on battery-only buses. The battery has tp provide traction heating lighting and probably air conditioning, so some charging during the day will be needed. Time spent charging during the operational day is time not earning money. At least with buses like those in Rome, the charging takes place whilst the vehicle is on the wired section. There are no complex junctions on the Rome system, and the overhead is fairly discrete in appearance.
Prague has joined the ranks of trolleybus operators, or more accurately rejoined as they had run quite a large system between 1936 and 1972. After trials started in October 2017 (I think), in July 2018 route 58 began regular operation in the NE of the city between Palmovka and Letňany metro stations, using one vehicle on an hourly frequency. It is in fact very much a battery bus, as there is a charging station at Palmovka, under which the vehicle sits for around thirty minutes out of each hour. The wires are provided on only around 1km out of the 5km route, this being the section climbing the long hill up to Prosek which would produce most drain on the batteries. Last week I got chance to try an uphill journey, and the booms are raised to the wires automatically in the layby at the stop at Kundratka. All the bus stop plates have been suitably adapted to show a trolleybus as well, I think even on the stretches where there are no wires.

The intention is to convert route 140, which follows the same route but extends to Čakovice and Miškovice and operates every 7/8 minutes. I am not sure if any further stretches are intended to be wired or any additional charging stations built for this. The one at Palmovka has been supplied from the adjacent tramway infrastructure, which is one justification for the scheme.

I had a further surprise later in the afternoon when I returned to Palmovka to see a smart single decker under the charging station. It was showing a destination for route 109, and indeed operated a journey on that normally diesel route a few minutes later. There is a reference to this on DPP's website here in the final paragraph.

For such a hilly city, I would think the reintroduction of trolleybuses to Prague would be a hugely sensible idea. Apparently they were phased out because the supply of diesel was more reliable than that of electricity, but hopefully we are long past such privations now. It is also sadly true that on the outskirts of the city there are many places where there is no chance of a few poles and wires making the aesthetics any worse than they are now :( !
I thought I'd posted some photos on here, turns out it was another forum :oops: . Anyway, having just revisited four years on, the charging station refered to above has been removed from Palmovka and the conversion to "normal" trolleybus operation is fairly imminent. Well, I believe there is to be an unwired gap between Prosek and Letňany, where the route operates along a D2 - not exactly sure why, I've seen trolleybuses on such roads elsewhere. The garage is also fairly close to Prosek (I guess this may be one reason this route has been chosen first, out of all the hilly routes in the city) and it appears journeys to and from garage will also be under battery power.

Letňany bus station and northwards to Čakovice are wired, and were tested with preserved vehicles back in October. Palmovka bus station is currently unwired, I'm not sure if this is intended to remain a battery section.

The trolleybus service is already showing as line 58 on DPP's website, although without timetables as yet. I also noticed that since I wrote the original piece, the existing 140 bus line has been upped to every 6 minutes at peak times.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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FleetlinePhil wrote: Wed Mar 29, 2023 14:36
FleetlinePhil wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 09:28
fras wrote: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:47 The Rome trolleybuses swap from battery to wires en-route as the centre is not wired, these start at Porta Pia, just outside the city wall. The depot is not wired and is of-route too. I do have my doubts on battery-only buses. The battery has tp provide traction heating lighting and probably air conditioning, so some charging during the day will be needed. Time spent charging during the operational day is time not earning money. At least with buses like those in Rome, the charging takes place whilst the vehicle is on the wired section. There are no complex junctions on the Rome system, and the overhead is fairly discrete in appearance.
Prague has joined the ranks of trolleybus operators, or more accurately rejoined as they had run quite a large system between 1936 and 1972. After trials started in October 2017 (I think), in July 2018 route 58 began regular operation in the NE of the city between Palmovka and Letňany metro stations, using one vehicle on an hourly frequency. It is in fact very much a battery bus, as there is a charging station at Palmovka, under which the vehicle sits for around thirty minutes out of each hour. The wires are provided on only around 1km out of the 5km route, this being the section climbing the long hill up to Prosek which would produce most drain on the batteries. Last week I got chance to try an uphill journey, and the booms are raised to the wires automatically in the layby at the stop at Kundratka. All the bus stop plates have been suitably adapted to show a trolleybus as well, I think even on the stretches where there are no wires.

The intention is to convert route 140, which follows the same route but extends to Čakovice and Miškovice and operates every 7/8 minutes. I am not sure if any further stretches are intended to be wired or any additional charging stations built for this. The one at Palmovka has been supplied from the adjacent tramway infrastructure, which is one justification for the scheme.

I had a further surprise later in the afternoon when I returned to Palmovka to see a smart single decker under the charging station. It was showing a destination for route 109, and indeed operated a journey on that normally diesel route a few minutes later. There is a reference to this on DPP's website here in the final paragraph.

For such a hilly city, I would think the reintroduction of trolleybuses to Prague would be a hugely sensible idea. Apparently they were phased out because the supply of diesel was more reliable than that of electricity, but hopefully we are long past such privations now. It is also sadly true that on the outskirts of the city there are many places where there is no chance of a few poles and wires making the aesthetics any worse than they are now :( !
I thought I'd posted some photos on here, turns out it was another forum :oops: . Anyway, having just revisited four years on, the charging station refered to above has been removed from Palmovka and the conversion to "normal" trolleybus operation is fairly imminent. Well, I believe there is to be an unwired gap between Prosek and Letňany, where the route operates along a D2 - not exactly sure why, I've seen trolleybuses on such roads elsewhere. The garage is also fairly close to Prosek (I guess this may be one reason this route has been chosen first, out of all the hilly routes in the city) and it appears journeys to and from garage will also be under battery power.

Letňany bus station and northwards to Čakovice are wired, and were tested with preserved vehicles back in October. Palmovka bus station is currently unwired, I'm not sure if this is intended to remain a battery section.

The trolleybus service is already showing as line 58 on DPP's website, although without timetables as yet. I also noticed that since I wrote the original piece, the existing 140 bus line has been upped to every 6 minutes at peak times.
A further update. The Prague trolleybus route 58 began "beta" operation just after that visit in March 2023, with a single diagram on Saturdays and Sundays only. This was upped in October to a daily two-diagram operation, still overlaid on the full diesel route 140 service. I managed a ride in November, and noted that the bus station at Palmovka was still not wired: it took me a minute or two to realise the trolleybuses use the adjacent tram stops instead, their respective overhead wires running in parallel but never crossing. As well as the gap mentioned above, the outer section through Čakovice and out to the terminus at Miškovice is also unwired apart from a short section in Čakovice, where terminating short journeys will lay-over for several minutes.

On the other side of the city, the short 119 bus route from the airport to the nearest metro station at Nádraží Velaslavín will be next to be converted to trolleybus operation as route 59. Wiring is already complete, and a new fleet of 25m double-articulated trolleybuses is currently under delivery and testing.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

Post by Glenn A »

The Newcastle trolley bus along Shields Rd ran as far as Wallsend, probably not far from where the Forum shopping centre is now.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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The July edition of Buses magazine is reporting the sad but not surprising news of the final demise of the interurban trolleybus route between Sanremo and Ventimiglia on the Ligurian coast of Italy. Whilst it might honestly be said neither town qualifies as one of Italy's gems, the coastal route between them was surely the most scenic trolleybus route in the world.

Even in 2012, many of the journeys were covered by diesel replacements, and a ride on the vehicle shown below had required a wait and delicate spousal negotiation :wink: .
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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We regularly went on holiday to the French Riviera, and every time went over the border to Ventimiglia/San Remo. The atmosphere changes in a flash from French to Italian as you cross the border. The trolleybus wires were always tantalising, but only on a couple of occasions did I see a vehicle operating. Was aware of the coastal route and always I meant to take it, but like British urban bus operations of a generation ago there was no indication anywhere of where it went, or when. Presumably locals just know.

Mrs WHBM comes from a city where trolleybuses are widespread, and outside the house there are adjacent diesel and trolleybus stops. Intending passengers tend to stand halfway between them and note what the next approaching vehicle is. After a while I noticed that when boarding she said "watch your wallet" for the trolleybus, but not the diesel. They were otherwise identical inside. Further investigation revealed that in younger years she had her purse stolen on boarding a trolleybus. It amused me that the resulting caution had been carried forward to only the technical vehicle propulsion type involved. It wasn't even if the theft had happened there - that had been elsewhere in the city.
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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WHBM wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2024 16:54 We regularly went on holiday to the French Riviera, and every time went over the border to Ventimiglia/San Remo. The atmosphere changes in a flash from French to Italian as you cross the border. The trolleybus wires were always tantalising, but only on a couple of occasions did I see a vehicle operating. Was aware of the coastal route and always I meant to take it, but like British urban bus operations of a generation ago there was no indication anywhere of where it went, or when. Presumably locals just know.
Sure - pre-internet foreign public transport could be a bit of a mystery until you got to the city concerned. I recall being pleasantly surprised to find one trolleybus route still operating in Ghent when we went when our son was young, although we didn't go on it or even really work out where it went; just buying a day ticket proved a challenge, certainly compared with the ease of doing so in Antwerp.
WHBM wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2024 16:54 Mrs WHBM comes from a city where trolleybuses are widespread, and outside the house there are adjacent diesel and trolleybus stops. Intending passengers tend to stand halfway between them and note what the next approaching vehicle is. After a while I noticed that when boarding she said "watch your wallet" for the trolleybus, but not the diesel. They were otherwise identical inside. Further investigation revealed that in younger years she had her purse stolen on boarding a trolleybus. It amused me that the resulting caution had been carried forward to only the technical vehicle propulsion type involved. It wasn't even if the theft had happened there - that had been elsewhere in the city.
I wonder whether the increased seating capacity of the trolleybuses now running to Prague's airport might make pickpocketing harder - I'm assuming it must be easier with standing passengers? I know one former colleague was relieved of his wallet on the metro on his way from the airport to the city centre, but (touch wood) I've never suffered or even been aware of any such incident so far.

Oh, go on then, let's have a photo...
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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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fras wrote: Sat Jan 20, 2018 21:57 Just got a very nice book on the Belfast trolleybuses, (www.trolleybooks.co.uk), and the poem about the one-way scheme in the city centre is in there and the enormous amount of wiring needed to keep the trolleys running efficiently ! I was right about the million miles of wire but it also has "one thousand poles" in it as well. Some very nice colour photos too as this system lasted until 1968.
As a child, I visited my aunt in Belfast and I remember these trolley buses, which were quiet and smooth compared to the usual diesel vehicles. There is a one bus in the Ulster Transport Museum, a fine big spacious vehicle.

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Re: Anybody for trolleybuses ?

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The world's longest trolley bus route is in Crimea. I had plans to visit Crimea about 20 years ago, and I noted this, but I didn't go then and I think that I will not go in near future.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/cri ... eybus-line
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