06 December 2007
Trolley buses
Patrick Crozier

Now, why is it when our politicians want to spend huge amounts of our money on a transport scheme do they never think of trolley buses?

This was from about 1963.

  1. We still have some trackless trolley routes in the Boston area.  The vehicles are very quiet and ride pretty smoothly.  While streetcars running on rail would be even better, in my opinion, these are definitely better than traditional diesel buses.


    Posted by Charlie D. on  06 December 2007 at 09:02 pm

  2. I rode on a trolley bus on Sunday. One of the last ones to run in Britain in fact, withdrawn from service in Bradford in 1972. What happened in 1973 which would have made electric power handy? Hmmm.

    Anyway the trolleybus zipped up the hill at a fair lick. No gear-box or anything the conductor said so I guess accelerator pedal is just like a Scalextric trigger.

    Posted by Mark Holland on  06 December 2007 at 11:42 pm

  3. Trolly busses have always struck me as being utterly pointless. They’re a bus that can only go where there are overhead wires. What’s the point? Seriously?

    Trams are (slightly) more sensible since they get dedicated traffic routes.

    Posted by Al on  07 December 2007 at 04:21 am

  4. Well, if dedicated routes was the aim then you can always give them one.

    I understand that newer trolley buses are in some cases hybrids so the overheard problem disappears.

    I also wonder if, with their rubber tyres, they aren’t better at climbing hills.

    But I think the main point is cost.  I don’t know what the sums are but I presume that a body based on a bus (cost c.£100,000) is cheaper than a body based on a train car (cost c.£1m).

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on  07 December 2007 at 02:21 pm

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