Trollybus Or Trackless

What is in a name? Do you call his a trolley bus, as I do, a trackless as my grandfather did or some more esoteric name. It probably matters little in the scheme of things except when it comes to providing this blog theme.

If you are too young or new to the concept of an electric bus like the Bradford version shown then here are some pointers. The electricity is supplied from two wire normally  suspended from tall roadside posts. The connection to the trolley bus is via two trolley poles that make a complete electric circuit for the direct current.

Leeds was the first British city to put trolleybuses into service in  1911 along with Bradford where they ran until 1972.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Trolley Buses

  • On the plus side they are quiet, none polluting and generally eco friendly.
  • Steep hills similar to those around Bradford were negotiated with ease and economy.
  • Investment in infrastructure and maintenance costs were high
  • Trolleys came off the wires at inopportune moments and had to be relocated by the conductor using a long pole located under the chassis.
  • Buses could only go where the supported wires were available and couldn’t easily overtake.
  • It is hard to say what the impact  of fuel costs and the allocation between public bodies caused in the buses demise.
  • Around Europe, America and Russia Trolley bus systems are still common.



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