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"Trackless trolley" redirects here. For the non-electric buses that resemble historic streetcars, see Tourist trolley.

A trolleybus (also known as trolley bus, trolley coach, trackless trolley, trackless tram – in the 1910s and 1920s – or trolley) is an electric bus that draws power from dual overhead wires (generally suspended from roadside posts) using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires, and two trolley poles, are required to complete the electrical circuit. This differs from a tram or streetcar, which normally uses the track as the return path, needing only one wire and one pole (or pantograph). They are also distinct from other kinds of electric buses, which usually rely on batteries. Power is most commonly supplied as 600-volt direct current, but there are exceptions.

Busscar trolleybus in São Paulo, Brazil
Solaris trolleybus in Landskrona, Sweden
Video of a trolleybus in Ghent, Belgium

Currently, around 300 trolleybus systems are in operation, in cities and towns in 43 countries. Altogether, more than 800 trolleybus systems have existed, but not more than about 400 concurrently.

Contents

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The "Elektromote", the world's first trolleybus, in Berlin, Germany, 1882.

The trolleybus dates back to 29 April 1882, when Dr. Ernst Werner Siemens demonstrated his "Elektromote" in a Berlin suburb. This experiment continued until 13 June 1882, after which there were few developments in Europe, although separate experiments were conducted in the U.S. In 1899, another vehicle which could run either on or off rails was demonstrated in Berlin. The next development was when Louis Lombard-Gérin operated an experimental line at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 after four years of trials, with a circular route around Lake Daumesnil that carried passengers. Routes followed in six places including Eberswalde and Fontainebleau. Max Schiemann on 10 July 1901 opened the world's fourth passenger-carrying trolleybus system, which operated at Bielatal (Biela Valley, near Dresden), Germany. Schiemann built and operated the Bielatal system, and is credited with developing the under-running trolley current collection system, with two horizontally parallel overhead wires and rigid trolleypoles spring-loaded to hold them up to the wires. Although this system operated only until 1904, Schiemann had developed what is now the standard trolleybus current collection system. In the early days there were many other methods of current collection. The Cédès-Stoll (Mercédès-Électrique-Stoll) system was first operated near Dresden between 1902 and 1904, and 18 systems followed. The Lloyd-Köhler or Bremen system was tried out in Bremen with 5 further installations, and the Cantono Frigerio system was used in Italy.

Throughout this period, trackless freight systems and electric canal boats were also built.

A double-deck trolleybus in Reading, England, 1966.

Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain, on 20 June 1911. Supposedly, though it was opened on 20 June, the public was not admitted to the Bradford route until the 24th. Bradford was also the last city to operate trolleybuses in the UK; the system closed on 26 March 1972. The last rear-entrance trolleybus in service in Britain was also in Bradford and is now owned by the Bradford Trolleybus Association. Birmingham was the first UK city to replace a tram route with trolleybuses, while Wolverhampton, under the direction of Charles Owen Silvers, became world-famous for its trolleybus designs. There were 50 trolleybus systems in the UK, London's being the largest. By the time trolleybuses arrived in Britain in 1911, the Schiemann system was well established and was the most common, although the Cédès-Stoll (Mercédès-Électrique-Stoll) system was tried in West Ham (in 1912) and in Keighley (in 1913).

Smaller trackless trolley systems were built in the US early as well. The first non-experimental system was a seasonal municipal line installed near Nantasket Beach in 1904; the first year-round commercial line was built to open a hilly property to development just outside Los Angeles in 1910. The trackless trolley was often seen as an interim step, leading to streetcars. In the US, some systems subscribed to the all-four concept of using buses, trolleybuses, streetcars (trams, trolleys), and rapid transit subway and/or elevated lines (metros), as appropriate, for routes ranging from the lightly used to the heaviest trunk line. Buses and trolleybuses in particular were seen as entry systems that could later be upgraded to rail as appropriate. In a similar fashion, many cities in Britain originally viewed trolleybus routes as extensions to tram (streetcar) routes where the cost of constructing or restoring track could not be justified at the time, though this attitude changed markedly (to viewing them as outright replacements for tram routes) in the years after 1918. Trackless trolleys were the dominant form of new post-World War I electric traction, with extensive systems in among others, Los Angeles, Chicago, Rhode Island, and Atlanta; Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia still maintain an "all-four" fleet. Some trolleybus lines in the United States (and in Britain, as noted above) came into existence when a trolley or tram route did not have sufficient ridership to warrant track maintenance or reconstruction. In a similar manner, a proposed tram scheme in Leeds, United Kingdom, was changed to a trolleybus scheme to cut costs.

MU ZiU-9 in Soviet Union, 1987
A trolleybus in Qingdao, China.

Trolleybuses are uncommon today in North America, but their use is widespread in Europe and Russia. They remain common in many countries which were part of the Soviet Union. Generally trolleybuses occupy a position in usage between street railways (trams) and motorbuses. Worldwide, around 300 cities or metropolitan areas on 5 continents are served by trolleybuses. (Further detail under Use and preservation, below.)

This mode of transport operates in large cities, including Athens, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Chisinau, Geneva, Kyiv, Lyon, Minsk, Pyongyang, Riga, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sarajevo, Tallinn, Vilnius and Zurich, as well as in smaller ones such as Arnhem, Bergen, Coimbra, Dayton, Gdynia, Kaunas, Lausanne, Limoges, Lucerne, Modena, Plzeň, Prešov, Salzburg, Solingen, Szeged, and Yalta. As of 2020 Kyiv has, due to its history in the former Soviet Union, the largest trolleybus system in the world in terms of route length while another formerly Soviet city, Minsk, has the largest system in terms of number of routes (which also date back to the Soviet era). Landskrona has the smallest system in terms of route length while Marianske Lazne is the smallest city to be served by trolleybuses. Opened in 1914, Shanghai's trolleybus system is the oldest operating system in the world. With a length of 86 km, route #52 of Crimean Trolleybus is the longest trolleybus line in the world. See also Trolleybus usage by country.

Transit authorities in some cities have reduced or discontinued the use of trolleybuses in recent years, while others, wanting to add or expand use of zero-emission vehicles in an urban environment, have opened new systems or are planning new systems. For example, new systems opened in Lecce, Italy, in 2012; in Malatya, Turkey, in 2015; and in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2017. Beijing and Shanghai have been expanding their respective systems, with Beijing expanding to a 31-line system operated with a fleet of over 1,250 trolleybuses. Trolleybuses have been long encouraged in North Korea with the newest city to have a network being Manpo in December 2019.

Diagram of a 1947-built Pullman Standard model 800 trolleybus, a type still running in Valparaíso (Chile).
  1. Parallel overhead lines (overhead wires)
  2. Destination or route sign
  3. Rear view mirror
  4. Headlights
  5. Boarding (entry) doors
  6. Direction (turning) wheels
  7. Exit doors
  8. Traction wheels
  9. Decorative elements
  10. Retractors/retrievers
  11. Pole rope
  12. Contact shoes
  13. Trolley poles (power collector)
  14. Pole storage hooks
  15. Trolley pole base and fairing/shroud
  16. Bus number

Modern design vehicles

Drive system

This section needs expansion with: Drive train, controls, contact shoe operation, how it stays in contact etc.. You can help by adding to it.(June 2022)
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A San Francisco Muni trolleybus (ETI 14TrSF) climbing Nob Hill.

Comparison to trams

  • Cheaper infrastructure – The initial start up cost of trams is much higher, due to rail, signals, and other infrastructure. Trolleybuses can pull over to the curb like other buses, eliminating the need of special boarding stations or boarding islands in the middle of the street, thus stations can be moved as needed.
  • Better hill climbing – Trolleybuses' rubber tires have better adhesion than trams' steel wheels on steel rails, giving them better hill-climbing capability and braking.
  • Easier traffic avoidance – Unlike trams (where side tracks are often unavailable), an out-of-service vehicle can be moved to the side of the road and its trolley poles lowered. The ability to drive a substantial distance from the power wires allows trackless vehicles to avoid obstacles, although it also means a possibility that the vehicle may steer or skid far enough that the trolley pole can no longer reach the wire, stranding the vehicle. Trackless trolleys also are able to avoid collisions by manoeuvring around obstacles, similar to motor buses and other road vehicles, while streetcars can only change speed.
  • Quietness – Trolleybuses are generally quieter than trams.
  • Easier training – The control of trolleybuses is relatively similar to motorbuses; the potential operator pool for all buses is much larger than for trams.

Comparison to motorbuses

Trolleybus on tunnel line in Tateyama.
Underground trolleybus in Kurobe Dam.
  • Better hill climbing – Trolleybuses are better than motorbuses on hilly routes, as electric motors provide much higher static torque at start-up, an advantage for climbing steep hills. Unlike internal combustion engines, electric motors draw power from a central plant and can be overloaded for short periods without damage. San Francisco and Seattle, both hilly American cities, use trolleybuses partly for this reason. Given their acceleration and braking performance, trolleybuses can outperform diesel buses on flat stretches as well, which makes them better for routes that have frequent stops.
  • Environmentally friendly – Trolleybuses are usually more environmentally friendly in the city than fossil fuel or hydrocarbon-based vehicles (petrol/gasoline, diesel, alcohol, etc.). Power from a centralized plant, even taking into account transmission losses, is often produced more efficiently, is not bound to a specific fuel source, and is more amenable to pollution control as a point source, unlike individual vehicles with exhaust gases and particulates at street level. Trolleybuses are especially favoured where electricity is abundant, cheap, and renewable, such as hydroelectric. Systems in Seattle and in Vancouver, BC, draw hydroelectric power from the Columbia River and other Pacific river systems. San Francisco operates its system using hydro power from the city-owned Hetch Hetchy generating plant.
  • Trolleybuses can generate electricity from kinetic energy while braking, a process known as regenerative braking. For regenerative braking to function, there must be another bus on the same circuit needing power, an electric storage system on the vehicle or the wire system, or a method to send the excess power back to the commercial electric power system. Otherwise the braking energy must be dissipated in resistance grids on the bus; this is called "dynamic braking". The use of trolley buses also eliminates pollution during idling, thus improving air quality.
  • Minimal noise pollution – Unlike trams or gasoline and diesel buses, trolleybuses are almost silent, lacking the noise of a combustion engine or wheels on rails. Most noise comes from auxiliary systems such as power steering pumps and air conditioning. Early trolleybuses without these systems were even quieter and in the United Kingdom were sometimes referred to as the "Silent Service". This however can also be seen as a disadvantage, with some pedestrians falling victim to what was known as "Silent Death" (in Britain) or "Whispering Death" (in Australia).[citation needed]
  • Usable in enclosed space – The lack of exhaust allow trolleybuses to operate underground. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, trackless trolleys survived because Harvard Station, where several bus lines terminate, is in a tunnel once used by streetcars. Although diesel buses do use the tunnel, there are limitations due to exhaust fumes, which running the trolleybuses through aids in ventilation. Also, the trackless trolleys continue to have popular support. The only trolleybus systems in Japan, the Tateyama Tunnel Trolleybus and Kanden Tunnel Trolleybus lines, both run in tunnels serving the Kurobe Dam and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, and were converted from normal diesel buses specifically for their lack of exhaust.
  • Longevity and maintenance – Electric motors typically last longer than internal combustion motors, and cause less secondary damage from vibration, so electric buses tend to be very long-lived compared to motorbuses. As the basic construction of buses has not changed much in the last 50 plus years, they can be upgraded such as when air conditioning was retrofitted to many trolleybuses. Such upgrades are often disproportionately expensive. Wheelchair lifts are relatively simple to add; kneeling front suspension is a common feature of air suspension on the front axle in lieu of springs. In comparison to battery-powered buses, the lack of a specially designed battery or fuel cell (typically with expensive patents) decreases the price and weight, and in locations with a sufficient power delivery network, the trolleybus is cheaper and easier to maintain in comparison to charging stations.[dubiousdiscuss]
A Rocar DAC 217E articulated trolleybus in Bucharest, Romania, in April 2007.
Pole bases with springs and pneumatic pole lowering cylinders.
Insulated poles, contact shoes, and pull–ropes.
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Comparison to trams

Note: As there are numerous variations of tram and light-rail technology, the disadvantages listed may be applicable only with a specific technology or design.

  • Like any bus, much less capacity than trams.
  • More control required – Trolleybuses must be driven like motorbuses, requiring directional control by the driver.
  • Higher rolling resistance – Rubber-tired vehicles generally have more rolling resistance than steel wheels, which decreases energy efficiency.
  • Less efficient use of right-of-way – Lanes must be wider for unguided buses than for streetcars, since unguided buses can drift side-to-side. The use of guidance rail allows trams running in parallel lanes to pass closer together than drivers could safely steer.
  • Difficulties with platform loading – Implementation of level platform loading with minimal gap, either at design stage or afterwards, is easier and cheaper to implement with rail vehicles.

Comparison to motorbuses

  • Difficult to re-route – When compared to motorbuses, trolleybuses have greater difficulties with temporary or permanent re-routings, wiring for which is not usually readily available outside of downtown areas where the buses may be re-routed via adjacent business area streets where other trolleybus routes operate. This problem was highlighted in Vancouver in July 2008, when an explosion closed several roads in the city's downtown core. Because of the closure, trolleys were forced to detour several miles off their route in order to stay on the wires, leaving major portions of their routes not in service and off-schedule.
  • Aesthetics – The jumble of overhead wires may be seen as unsightly. Intersections often have a "webbed ceiling" appearance, due to multiple crossing and converging sets of trolley wires.
  • Dewirements – Trolley poles sometimes come off the wire. Dewirements are relatively rare in modern systems with well-maintained overhead wires, hangers, fittings and contact shoes. Trolleybuses are equipped with special insulated pole ropes which drivers use to reconnect the trolley poles with the overhead wires. When approaching switches, trolleybuses usually must decelerate in order to avoid dewiring, and this deceleration can potentially add slightly to traffic congestion. In 1998, a dewirement in Shenyang on poorly maintained infrastructure killed 5 people and ultimately led to the destruction of the trolleybus network.
  • Unable to overtake other trolleybuses – Trolleybuses cannot overtake one another in regular service unless two separate sets of wires with a switch are provided or the vehicles are equipped with off-wire capability, with the latter an increasingly common feature of new trolleybuses.
  • Higher capital cost of equipment – Trolleybuses are often long-lived equipment, with limited market demand. This generally leads to higher prices relative to internal combustion buses. The long equipment life may also complicate upgrades.
  • More training required – Drivers must learn how to prevent dewiring, slowing down at turns and through switches in the overhead wire system, for example.
  • Overhead wires create obstruction – Trolleybus systems employ overhead wires above the roads, often shared with other vehicles. The wires can restrict tall motor vehicles such as delivery trucks ("lorries") and double decker buses from using or crossing roads fitted with overhead wires, as such vehicles would hit the wires or pass dangerously close to them, risking damage and dangerous electrical faults. The wires also may impede positioning of overhead signage and create a hazard to activities such as road repairs using tall excavators or piling rigs, use of scaffolding, etc.
On this articulated Beijing trolleybus, the operator uses ropes to guide the trolley poles to contact the overhead wires.

With the re-introduction of hybrid designs, trolleybuses are no longer tied to overhead wires. The Public Service Company of New Jersey, with Yellow Coach, developed "All Service Vehicles;" trackless trolleys capable of operating as gas-electric buses when off wire, and used them successfully between 1935 and 1948. Since the 1980s, systems such as Muni in San Francisco, TransLink in Vancouver, and Beijing, among others, have bought trolleybuses equipped with batteries to allow them to operate fairly long distances away from the wires. Supercapacitors can be also used to move buses short distances.

Trolleybuses can optionally be equipped either with limited off-wire capability—a small diesel engine or battery pack—for auxiliary or emergency use only, or full dual-mode capability. A simple auxiliary power unit can allow a trolleybus to get around a route blockage or can reduce the amount (or complexity) of overhead wiring needed at operating garages (depots). This capability has become increasingly common in newer trolleybuses, particularly in China, North America and Europe, where the vast majority of new trolleybuses delivered since the 1990s are fitted with at least limited off-wire capability. These have gradually replaced older trolleybuses which lacked such capability. In Philadelphia, new trackless trolleys equipped with small hybrid diesel-electric power units for operating short distances off-wire were placed in service by SEPTA in 2008. This is instead of the trolleys using a conventional diesel drive train or battery-only system for their off-wire movement.

A dual-mode bus operating as a trolleybus in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, in 1990.

King County Metro in Seattle, Washington and the MBTA in Boston's Silver Line uses or have used dual-mode buses that run on electric power from overhead wires on a fixed right-of-way and on diesel power on city streets. Metro used special-order articulated Breda buses with the center axle driven electrically and the rear (third) axle driven by a conventional power pack, with electricity used for clean operation in the downtown transit tunnel. They were introduced in 1990 and retired in 2005, replaced by cleaner hybrid buses, although 59 of 236 had their diesel propulsion equipment removed and continue (as of 2010) in trolley bus service on non-tunnel routes. Since 2004, the MBTA uses dual-mode buses on its Silver Line (Waterfront) route.

With the development of battery technology in recent years, trolleybuses with extended off-wire capability through on-board batteries are becoming popular. The on-board battery is charged while the vehicle is in motion under the overhead wires and then allows off-wire travel for significant distances, often in excess of 15 km. Such trolleybuses are called, among others, trolleybuses with In-Motion Charging, hybrid trolleybuses, battery trolleybuses and electric buses with dynamic charging. The main advantages of this technology over conventional battery electric buses are reduced cost and weight of the battery due to its smaller size, no delays for charging at end stops as the vehicle charges while in motion and reduced need for dedicated charging stations that take up public space. This new development allows the extension of trolleybus routes or the electrification of bus routes without the need to build overhead wires along the whole length of the route. Cities that utilize such trolleybuses include Beijing, Ostrava, Shanghai, Mexico City, Saint Petersburg, and Bergen. The new trolleybus systems in Marrakesh, Baoding and Prague are based exclusively on battery trolleybuses. The city of Berlin, Germany is planning to build a new trolleybus system with 15 routes and 190 battery trolleybuses.

With increasing diesel fuel costs and problems caused by particulate matter and NOx emissions in cities, trolleybuses can be an attractive alternative, either as the primary transit mode or as a supplement to rapid transit and commuter rail networks.

Trolleybuses are quieter than internal combustion engine vehicles. Mainly a benefit, it also provides much less warning of a trolleybus's approach. A speaker attached to the front of the vehicle can raise the noise to a desired "safe" level. This noise can be directed to pedestrians in front of the vehicle, as opposed to motor noise which typically comes from the rear of a bus and is more noticeable to bystanders than to pedestrians.

Trolleybuses can share overhead wires and other electrical infrastructure (such as substations) with tramways. This can result in cost savings when trolleybuses are added to a transport system that already has trams, though this refers only to potential savings over the cost of installing and operating trolleybuses alone.

Trolleybus wire switch (Type Soviet Union).
A switch in parallel overhead lines

Trolleybus wire switches (called "frogs" in the UK) are used where a trolleybus line branches into two or where two lines join. A switch may be either in a "straight through" or "turnout" position; it normally remains in the "straight through" position unless it has been triggered, and reverts to it after a few seconds or after the pole shoe passes through and strikes a release lever. (In Boston, the resting or "default" position is the "leftmost" position.) Triggering is typically accomplished by a pair of contacts, one on each wire close to and before the switch assembly, which power a pair of electromagnets, one in each frog with diverging wires. ("Frog" generally refers to one fitting that guides one trolley wheel/shoe onto a desired wire or across one wire. Occasionally, "frog" has been used to refer to the entire switch assembly.)

Multiple branches may be handled by installing more than one switch assembly. For example, to provide straight-through, left-turn or right-turn branches at an intersection, one switch is installed some distance from the intersection to choose the wires over the left-turn lane, and another switch is mounted closer to or in the intersection to choose between straight through and a right turn. (This would be the arrangement in countries such as the US, where traffic directionality is right-handed; in left-handed traffic countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the first switch (before the intersection) would be used to access the right-turn lanes, and the second switch (usually in the intersection) would be for the left-turn.)

Three common types of switches exist: power-on/power-off (the picture of a switch above is of this type), Selectric, and Fahslabend.

A power-on/power-off switch is triggered if the trolleybus is drawing considerable power from the overhead wires, usually by accelerating, at the moment the poles pass over the contacts. (The contacts are lined up on the wires in this case.) If the trolleybus "coasts" through the switch, the switch will not activate. Some trolleybuses, such as those in Philadelphia and Vancouver, have a manual "power-coast" toggle switch that turns the power on or off. This allows a switch to be triggered in situations that would otherwise be impossible, such as activating a switch while braking or accelerating through a switch without activating it. One variation of the toggle switch will simulate accelerating by causing a larger power draw (through a resistance grid), but will not simulate coasting and prevent activation of the switch by cutting the power.

A Selectric switch has a similar design, but the contacts on the wires are skewed, often at a 45-degree angle, rather than being lined up. This skew means that a trolleybus going straight through will not trigger the switch, but a trolleybus making a turn will have its poles match the contacts in a matching skew (with one pole shoe ahead of the other), which will trigger the switch regardless of power draw (accelerating versus coasting).

For a Fahslabend switch, the trolleybus' turn indicator control (or a separate driver-controlled switch) causes a coded radio signal to be sent from a transmitter, often attached to a trolley pole. The receiver is attached to the switch and causes it to trigger if the correct code is received. This has the advantage that the driver does not need to be accelerating the bus (as with a power-on/power-off switch) or trying to make a sharp turn (as with a Selectric switch).

Trailing switches (where two sets of wires merge) do not require action by the operator. The frog runners are pushed into the desired position by the trolley shoe, or the frog is shaped so the shoe is guided onto the exit wire without any moving parts.

A ZiU-9 trolleybus in service in Piraeus, Greece, on the large Athens-area trolleybus system. The Russian-built ZiU-9 (also known as the ZiU-682), introduced in 1972, is the most numerous trolleybus model in history, with more than 45,000 built.: 114 In the 2000s it was effectively rendered obsolete by low-floor designs.

Well over 200 different trolleybus makers have existed – mostly commercial manufacturers, but in some cases (particularly in communist countries), built by the publicly owned operating companies or authorities.: 91–125 Of the defunct or former trolleybus manufacturers, the largest producers in North America and Western Europe – ones whose production totalled more than 1,000 units each – included the U.S. companies Brill (approx. 3,250 total), Pullman-Standard (2,007), and Marmon-Herrington (1,624); the English companies AEC (approx. 1,750), British United Traction (BUT) (1,573), Leyland (1,420) and Sunbeam (1,379); France's Vétra (more than 1,750); and the Italian builders Alfa Romeo (2,044) and Fiat (approx. 1,700). The largest former trolleybus manufacture is Trolza (formerly Uritsky, or ZiU) since 1951, until they declared their bankruptcy in 2017, building over 65000 trolleybuses. Also, Canadian Car and Foundry built 1,114 trolleybuses based on designs by Brill.

As of the 2010s, at least 30 trolleybus manufacturers exist. They include companies that have been building trolleybuses for several decades, such as Škoda since 1936 and New Flyer, among others, along with several younger companies. Current trolleybus manufacturers in western and central Europe include Solaris, Van Hool and Hess, among others. In Russia ZiU/Trolza has historically been the world's largest trolleybus manufacturer, producing over 65,000 since 1951, mostly for Russia/CIS countries, but after its bankruptcy, its facilities were partially loaned out to PC Transport Systems. Škoda is Western and Central Europe's largest and the second largest in the world, having produced over 14,000 trolleybuses since 1936, mostly for export, and it also supplies trolleybus electrical equipment for other bus builders such as Solaris, SOR and Breda. In Mexico, trolleybus production ended when MASA, which had built more than 860 trolleybuses since 1979, was acquired in 1998 by Volvo. However, Dina, which is now that country's largest bus and truck manufacturer, began building trolleybuses in 2013.: 134

A significant change to trolleybus designs starting in the early 1990s was the introduction of low-floor models, which began only a few years after the first such models were introduced for motorbuses. These have gradually replaced high-floor designs, and by 2012, every existing trolleybus system in Western Europe had purchased low-floor trolleybuses, with the La Spezia (Italy) system being the last one to do so, and several systems in other parts of the world have purchased low-floor vehicles.

In the United States, some transit agencies had already begun to accommodate persons in wheelchairs by purchasing buses with wheelchair lifts, and early examples of fleets of lift-equipped trolleybuses included 109 AM General trolleybuses built for the Seattle trolleybus system in 1979 and the retrofitting of lifts in 1983 to 64 Flyer E800s in the Dayton system's fleet.: 61 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 required that all new transit vehicles placed into service after 1 July 1993 be accessible to such passengers.

One of the NAW/Hess articulated trolleybuses delivered to Geneva in 1992, which were among the first production-series low-floor trolleybuses.

Trolleybuses in other countries also began to introduce better access for the disabled in the 1990s, when the first two low-floor trolleybus models were introduced in Europe, both built in 1991, a "Swisstrolley" demonstrator built by Switzerland's NAW/Hess and an N6020 demonstrator built by Neoplan. The first production-series low-floor trolleybuses were built in 1992: 13 by NAW for the Geneva system and 10 Gräf & Stift for the Innsbruck system [de]. By 1995, such vehicles were also being made by several other European manufacturers, including Skoda, Breda, Ikarus and Van Hool. The first Solaris "Trollino" made its debut in early 2001.: 30 In the former Soviet Union countries, Belarus' Belkommunmash built its first low-floor trolleybus (model AKSM-333) in 1999, and other manufacturers in the former Soviet countries joined the trend in the early 2000s.

However, because the lifespan of a trolleybus is typically longer than that of a motorbus, the budget allocation and purchase typically factored in the longevity; the introduction of low-floor vehicles applied pressures on operators to retire high-floor trolleybuses that were only a few years old and replace them with low-floor trolleybuses. Responses varied, with some systems keeping their high-floor fleets, and others retiring them early but, in many instances, selling them second-hand for continued use in countries where there was a demand for low-cost second-hand trolleybuses, in particular in Romania and Bulgaria. The Lausanne system dealt with this dilemma in the 1990s by purchasing new low-floor passenger trailers to be towed by its high-floor trolleybuses, a choice later also made by Lucerne.

The Vancouver trolleybus system completed the transition to an exclusively low-floor fleet in 2009.

Outside Europe, 14 vehicles built by, and for, the Shanghai trolleybus system in mid-1999 were the first reported low-floor trolleybuses in Southeast Asia. Wellington, New Zealand, took delivery of its first low-floor trolleybus in March 2003, and by the end of 2009 had renewed its entire fleet with such vehicles. Unlike Europe, where low floor means "100%" low floor from front to back, most "low floor" buses on other continents are actually only low-entry or part-low floor.

In the Americas, the first low-floor trolleybus was a Busscar vehicle supplied to the São Paulo EMTU system in 2001. In North America, wheelchair lifts were again chosen for disabled access in new trolleybuses delivered to San Francisco in 1992–94, to Dayton in 1996–1999, and to Seattle in 2001–2002, but the first low-floor trolleybus was built in 2003, with the first of 28 Neoplan vehicles for the Boston system. Subsequently, the Vancouver system and the Philadelphia system have converted entirely to low-floor vehicles, and in 2013 the Seattle and Dayton systems both placed orders for their first low-floor trolleybuses. Outside São Paulo, almost all trolleybuses currently in service in Latin America are high-floor models built before 2000. However, in 2013, the first domestically manufactured low-floor trolleybuses were introduced in both Argentina and Mexico.: 134

With regard to non-passenger aspects of vehicle design, the transition from high-floor to low-floor has meant that some equipment previously placed under the floor has been moved to the roof. Some transit operators have needed to modify their maintenance facilities to accommodate this change, a one-time expense.

A trolleybus in Bradford in 1970. The Bradford Trolleybus system was the last one to operate in the United Kingdom; closing in 1972.

Since the end of 1997, no double-decker trolleybuses have been in service anywhere in the world, but in the past several manufacturers made such vehicles. Most builders of double-deck trolleybuses were in the United Kingdom, but there were a few, usually solitary, instances of such trolleybuses being built in other countries, including in Germany by Henschel (for Hamburg); in Italy by Lancia (for Porto, Portugal); in Russia by the Yaroslavl motor plant (for Moscow) and in Spain by Maquitrans (for Barcelona). British manufacturers of double-deck trolleybuses included AEC, BUT, Crossley, Guy, Leyland, Karrier, Sunbeam and others.

In 2001, Citybus (Hong Kong) converted a Dennis Dragon (#701) into a double-decker trolleybus, and it was tested on a 300-metre track in Wong Chuk Hang in that year. Hong Kong decided not to build a trolleybus system, and the testing of this prototype did not lead to any further production of vehicles.

Monument to Crimean Trolleybus.

There are currently 300 cities or metropolitan areas where trolleybuses are operated, and more than 500 additional trolleybus systems have existed in the past. For an overview, by country, see Trolleybus usage by country, and for complete lists of trolleybus systems by location, with dates of opening and (where applicable) closure, see List of trolleybus systems and the related lists indexed there.

Of the systems existing as of 2012, the majority are located in Europe and Asia, including 85 in Russia and 43 in Ukraine. However, there are eight systems existing in North America and nine in South America.

Trolleybuses have been preserved in most of the countries where they have operated. The United Kingdom has the largest number of preserved trolleybuses with more than 110, while the United States has around 70. Most preserved vehicles are on static display only, but a few museums are equipped with a trolleybus line, allowing trolleybuses to operate for visitors. Museums with operational trolleybus routes include three in the UK – the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, the East Anglia Transport Museum and the Black Country Living Museum – and three in the United States – the Illinois Railway Museum, the Seashore Trolley Museum and the Shore Line Trolley Museum – but operation of trolleybuses does not necessarily occur on a regular schedule of dates at these museums.

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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Trolleybus.

Trolleybus Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Trackless trolley Trackless trolley redirects here For the non electric buses that resemble historic streetcars see Tourist trolley A trolleybus also known as trolley bus trolley coach trackless trolley trackless tram in the 1910s and 1920s 1 or trolley 2 3 is an electric bus that draws power from dual overhead wires generally suspended from roadside posts using spring loaded trolley poles Two wires and two trolley poles are required to complete the electrical circuit This differs from a tram or streetcar which normally uses the track as the return path needing only one wire and one pole or pantograph They are also distinct from other kinds of electric buses which usually rely on batteries Power is most commonly supplied as 600 volt direct current but there are exceptions Busscar trolleybus in Sao Paulo Brazil Solaris trolleybus in Landskrona Sweden source source source source source source source source source source Video of a trolleybus in Ghent Belgium Currently around 300 trolleybus systems are in operation in cities and towns in 43 countries 4 Altogether more than 800 trolleybus systems have existed but not more than about 400 concurrently 5 Contents 1 History 2 Vehicle design 2 1 Drive system 3 Advantages 3 1 Comparison to trams 3 2 Comparison to motorbuses 4 Disadvantages 4 1 Comparison to trams 4 2 Comparison to motorbuses 5 Off wire power developments 6 Other considerations 7 Wire switches 8 Manufacturing 9 Transition to low floor designs 10 Double decker trolleybuses 11 Use and preservation 12 See also 13 Notes 14 Further reading 15 Periodicals 16 External linksHistory EditThis section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed May 2010 Learn how and when to remove this template message The Elektromote the world s first trolleybus 6 in Berlin Germany 1882 The trolleybus dates back to 29 April 1882 when Dr Ernst Werner Siemens demonstrated his Elektromote in a Berlin suburb This experiment continued until 13 June 1882 after which there were few developments in Europe although separate experiments were conducted in the U S 7 In 1899 another vehicle which could run either on or off rails was demonstrated in Berlin 8 The next development was when Louis Lombard Gerin operated an experimental line at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 after four years of trials with a circular route around Lake Daumesnil that carried passengers Routes followed in six places including Eberswalde and Fontainebleau 9 Max Schiemann on 10 July 1901 opened the world s fourth passenger carrying trolleybus system which operated at Bielatal Biela Valley near Dresden Germany Schiemann built and operated the Bielatal system and is credited with developing the under running trolley current collection system with two horizontally parallel overhead wires and rigid trolleypoles spring loaded to hold them up to the wires Although this system operated only until 1904 Schiemann had developed what is now the standard trolleybus current collection system In the early days there were many other methods of current collection 7 The Cedes Stoll Mercedes Electrique Stoll system was first operated near Dresden between 1902 and 1904 and 18 systems followed The Lloyd Kohler or Bremen system was tried out in Bremen with 5 further installations and the Cantono Frigerio system was used in Italy Throughout this period trackless freight systems and electric canal boats were also built A double deck trolleybus in Reading England 1966 Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain on 20 June 1911 8 Supposedly though it was opened on 20 June the public was not admitted to the Bradford route until the 24th Bradford was also the last city to operate trolleybuses in the UK the system closed on 26 March 1972 The last rear entrance trolleybus in service in Britain was also in Bradford and is now owned by the Bradford Trolleybus Association Birmingham was the first UK city to replace a tram route with trolleybuses while Wolverhampton under the direction of Charles Owen Silvers became world famous for its trolleybus designs 10 There were 50 trolleybus systems in the UK London s being the largest By the time trolleybuses arrived in Britain in 1911 the Schiemann system was well established and was the most common although the Cedes Stoll Mercedes Electrique Stoll system was tried in West Ham in 1912 and in Keighley in 1913 11 12 Smaller trackless trolley systems were built in the US early as well The first non experimental system was a seasonal municipal line installed near Nantasket Beach in 1904 the first year round commercial line was built to open a hilly property to development just outside Los Angeles in 1910 The trackless trolley was often seen as an interim step leading to streetcars In the US some systems subscribed to the all four concept of using buses trolleybuses streetcars trams trolleys and rapid transit subway and or elevated lines metros as appropriate for routes ranging from the lightly used to the heaviest trunk line Buses and trolleybuses in particular were seen as entry systems that could later be upgraded to rail as appropriate In a similar fashion many cities in Britain originally viewed trolleybus routes as extensions to tram streetcar routes where the cost of constructing or restoring track could not be justified at the time though this attitude changed markedly to viewing them as outright replacements for tram routes in the years after 1918 13 Trackless trolleys were the dominant form of new post World War I electric traction with extensive systems in among others Los Angeles Chicago Rhode Island and Atlanta Boston San Francisco and Philadelphia still maintain an all four fleet Some trolleybus lines in the United States and in Britain as noted above came into existence when a trolley or tram route did not have sufficient ridership to warrant track maintenance or reconstruction In a similar manner a proposed tram scheme in Leeds United Kingdom was changed to a trolleybus scheme to cut costs 14 MU ZiU 9 in Soviet Union 1987 A trolleybus in Qingdao China Trolleybuses are uncommon today in North America but their use is widespread in Europe and Russia They remain common in many countries which were part of the Soviet Union 15 Generally trolleybuses occupy a position in usage between street railways trams and motorbuses Worldwide around 300 cities or metropolitan areas on 5 continents are served by trolleybuses Further detail under Use and preservation below This mode of transport operates in large cities including Athens Belgrade Bratislava Bucharest Budapest Chisinau Geneva Kyiv Lyon Minsk Pyongyang Riga Rome San Francisco Sao Paulo Sofia St Petersburg Sarajevo Tallinn Vilnius and Zurich as well as in smaller ones such as Arnhem Bergen Coimbra Dayton Gdynia Kaunas Lausanne Limoges Lucerne Modena Plzen Presov Salzburg Solingen Szeged and Yalta As of 2020 Kyiv has due to its history in the former Soviet Union the largest trolleybus system in the world in terms of route length while another formerly Soviet city Minsk has the largest system in terms of number of routes which also date back to the Soviet era 16 Landskrona has the smallest system in terms of route length while Marianske Lazne is the smallest city to be served by trolleybuses Opened in 1914 Shanghai s trolleybus system is the oldest operating system in the world With a length of 86 km route 52 of Crimean Trolleybus is the longest trolleybus line in the world See also Trolleybus usage by country Transit authorities in some cities have reduced or discontinued the use of trolleybuses in recent years while others wanting to add or expand use of zero emission vehicles in an urban environment have opened new systems or are planning new systems For example new systems opened in Lecce Italy in 2012 in Malatya Turkey in 2015 17 and in Marrakesh Morocco in 2017 18 Beijing and Shanghai have been expanding their respective systems with Beijing expanding to a 31 line system operated with a fleet of over 1 250 trolleybuses 19 Trolleybuses have been long encouraged in North Korea with the newest city to have a network being Manpo in December 2019 20 Vehicle design Edit Diagram of a 1947 built Pullman Standard model 800 trolleybus a type still running in Valparaiso Chile Parallel overhead lines overhead wires Destination or route sign Rear view mirror Headlights Boarding entry doors Direction turning wheels Exit doors Traction wheels Decorative elements Retractors retrievers Pole rope Contact shoes Trolley poles power collector Pole storage hooks Trolley pole base and fairing shroud Bus number Modern design vehicles Irisbus Cristalis in Limoges Van Hool Exquicity 18T in Parma AKSM 420 Vitovt in Minsk New Flyer XT60 in Seattle Youngman JNP6183BEV in Beijing Solaris Trollino 18 in Salzburg Trolleybus in Castellon de la Plana Trolleybus in Malatya Drive system Edit This section needs expansion with Drive train controls contact shoe operation how it stays in contact etc You can help by adding to it June 2022 Advantages EditThis section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed May 2010 Learn how and when to remove this template message A San Francisco Muni trolleybus ETI 14TrSF climbing Nob Hill Comparison to trams Edit Cheaper infrastructure The initial start up cost of trams is much higher due to rail signals and other infrastructure Trolleybuses can pull over to the curb like other buses eliminating the need of special boarding stations or boarding islands in the middle of the street thus stations can be moved as needed Better hill climbing Trolleybuses rubber tires have better adhesion than trams steel wheels on steel rails giving them better hill climbing capability and braking Easier traffic avoidance Unlike trams where side tracks are often unavailable an out of service vehicle can be moved to the side of the road and its trolley poles lowered The ability to drive a substantial distance from the power wires allows trackless vehicles to avoid obstacles although it also means a possibility that the vehicle may steer or skid far enough that the trolley pole can no longer reach the wire stranding the vehicle Trackless trolleys also are able to avoid collisions by manoeuvring around obstacles similar to motor buses and other road vehicles while streetcars can only change speed Quietness Trolleybuses are generally quieter than trams Easier training The control of trolleybuses is relatively similar to motorbuses the potential operator pool for all buses is much larger than for trams Comparison to motorbuses Edit Trolleybus on tunnel line in Tateyama Underground trolleybus in Kurobe Dam Better hill climbing Trolleybuses are better than motorbuses on hilly routes as electric motors provide much higher static torque at start up an advantage for climbing steep hills Unlike internal combustion engines electric motors draw power from a central plant and can be overloaded for short periods without damage San Francisco and Seattle both hilly American cities use trolleybuses partly for this reason Given their acceleration and braking performance trolleybuses can outperform diesel buses on flat stretches as well which makes them better for routes that have frequent stops Environmentally friendly Trolleybuses are usually more environmentally friendly in the city than fossil fuel or hydrocarbon based vehicles petrol gasoline diesel alcohol etc Power from a centralized plant even taking into account transmission losses is often produced more efficiently is not bound to a specific fuel source and is more amenable to pollution control as a point source unlike individual vehicles with exhaust gases and particulates at street level Trolleybuses are especially favoured where electricity is abundant cheap and renewable such as hydroelectric Systems in Seattle and in Vancouver BC draw hydroelectric power from the Columbia River and other Pacific river systems San Francisco operates its system using hydro power from the city owned Hetch Hetchy generating plant Trolleybuses can generate electricity from kinetic energy while braking a process known as regenerative braking For regenerative braking to function there must be another bus on the same circuit needing power an electric storage system on the vehicle or the wire system or a method to send the excess power back to the commercial electric power system Otherwise the braking energy must be dissipated in resistance grids on the bus this is called dynamic braking The use of trolley buses also eliminates pollution during idling thus improving air quality Minimal noise pollution Unlike trams or gasoline and diesel buses trolleybuses are almost silent lacking the noise of a combustion engine or wheels on rails Most noise comes from auxiliary systems such as power steering pumps and air conditioning Early trolleybuses without these systems were even quieter and in the United Kingdom were sometimes referred to as the Silent Service This however can also be seen as a disadvantage with some pedestrians falling victim to what was known as Silent Death in Britain or Whispering Death in Australia citation needed Usable in enclosed space The lack of exhaust allow trolleybuses to operate underground In Cambridge Massachusetts trackless trolleys survived because Harvard Station where several bus lines terminate is in a tunnel once used by streetcars Although diesel buses do use the tunnel there are limitations due to exhaust fumes which running the trolleybuses through aids in ventilation Also the trackless trolleys continue to have popular support The only trolleybus systems in Japan the Tateyama Tunnel Trolleybus and Kanden Tunnel Trolleybus lines both run in tunnels serving the Kurobe Dam and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and were converted from normal diesel buses specifically for their lack of exhaust Longevity and maintenance Electric motors typically last longer than internal combustion motors and cause less secondary damage from vibration so electric buses tend to be very long lived compared to motorbuses As the basic construction of buses has not changed much in the last 50 plus years they can be upgraded such as when air conditioning was retrofitted to many trolleybuses Such upgrades are often disproportionately expensive Wheelchair lifts are relatively simple to add kneeling front suspension is a common feature of air suspension on the front axle in lieu of springs In comparison to battery powered buses the lack of a specially designed battery or fuel cell typically with expensive patents decreases the price and weight and in locations with a sufficient power delivery network the trolleybus is cheaper and easier to maintain in comparison to charging stations dubious discuss A Rocar DAC 217E articulated trolleybus in Bucharest Romania in April 2007 Pole bases with springs and pneumatic pole lowering cylinders Insulated poles contact shoes and pull ropes Disadvantages EditThis section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed October 2010 Learn how and when to remove this template message Comparison to trams Edit Note As there are numerous variations of tram and light rail technology the disadvantages listed may be applicable only with a specific technology or design Like any bus much less capacity than trams More control required Trolleybuses must be driven like motorbuses requiring directional control by the driver Higher rolling resistance Rubber tired vehicles generally have more rolling resistance than steel wheels which decreases energy efficiency Less efficient use of right of way Lanes must be wider for unguided buses than for streetcars since unguided buses can drift side to side The use of guidance rail allows trams running in parallel lanes to pass closer together than drivers could safely steer Difficulties with platform loading Implementation of level platform loading with minimal gap either at design stage or afterwards is easier and cheaper to implement with rail vehicles Comparison to motorbuses Edit Difficult to re route When compared to motorbuses trolleybuses have greater difficulties with temporary or permanent re routings wiring for which is not usually readily available outside of downtown areas where the buses may be re routed via adjacent business area streets where other trolleybus routes operate This problem was highlighted in Vancouver in July 2008 21 when an explosion closed several roads in the city s downtown core Because of the closure trolleys were forced to detour several miles off their route in order to stay on the wires leaving major portions of their routes not in service and off schedule Aesthetics The jumble of overhead wires may be seen as unsightly 22 Intersections often have a webbed ceiling appearance due to multiple crossing and converging sets of trolley wires Dewirements Trolley poles sometimes come off the wire Dewirements are relatively rare in modern systems with well maintained overhead wires hangers fittings and contact shoes Trolleybuses are equipped with special insulated pole ropes which drivers use to reconnect the trolley poles with the overhead wires When approaching switches trolleybuses usually must decelerate in order to avoid dewiring and this deceleration can potentially add slightly to traffic congestion In 1998 a dewirement in Shenyang on poorly maintained infrastructure killed 5 people and ultimately led to the destruction of the trolleybus network 23 Unable to overtake other trolleybuses Trolleybuses cannot overtake one another in regular service unless two separate sets of wires with a switch are provided or the vehicles are equipped with off wire capability with the latter an increasingly common feature of new trolleybuses Higher capital cost of equipment Trolleybuses are often long lived equipment with limited market demand This generally leads to higher prices relative to internal combustion buses The long equipment life may also complicate upgrades More training required Drivers must learn how to prevent dewiring slowing down at turns and through switches in the overhead wire system for example 24 Overhead wires create obstruction Trolleybus systems employ overhead wires above the roads often shared with other vehicles The wires can restrict tall motor vehicles such as delivery trucks lorries and double decker buses from using or crossing roads fitted with overhead wires as such vehicles would hit the wires or pass dangerously close to them risking damage and dangerous electrical faults The wires also may impede positioning of overhead signage and create a hazard to activities such as road repairs using tall excavators or piling rigs use of scaffolding etc Off wire power developments Edit On this articulated Beijing trolleybus the operator uses ropes to guide the trolley poles to contact the overhead wires With the re introduction of hybrid designs trolleybuses are no longer tied to overhead wires The Public Service Company of New Jersey with Yellow Coach developed All Service Vehicles trackless trolleys capable of operating as gas electric buses when off wire and used them successfully between 1935 and 1948 Since the 1980s systems such as Muni in San Francisco TransLink in Vancouver and Beijing among others have bought trolleybuses equipped with batteries to allow them to operate fairly long distances away from the wires Supercapacitors can be also used to move buses short distances Trolleybuses can optionally be equipped either with limited off wire capability a small diesel engine or battery pack for auxiliary or emergency use only or full dual mode capability A simple auxiliary power unit can allow a trolleybus to get around a route blockage or can reduce the amount or complexity of overhead wiring needed at operating garages depots This capability has become increasingly common in newer trolleybuses particularly in China North America and Europe where the vast majority of new trolleybuses delivered since the 1990s are fitted with at least limited off wire capability These have gradually replaced older trolleybuses which lacked such capability In Philadelphia new trackless trolleys equipped with small hybrid diesel electric power units for operating short distances off wire were placed in service by SEPTA in 2008 This is instead of the trolleys using a conventional diesel drive train or battery only system for their off wire movement 25 A dual mode bus operating as a trolleybus in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel in 1990 King County Metro in Seattle Washington and the MBTA in Boston s Silver Line uses or have used dual mode buses that run on electric power from overhead wires on a fixed right of way and on diesel power on city streets Metro used special order articulated Breda buses with the center axle driven electrically and the rear third axle driven by a conventional power pack with electricity used for clean operation in the downtown transit tunnel They were introduced in 1990 and retired in 2005 replaced by cleaner hybrid buses although 59 of 236 had their diesel propulsion equipment removed and continue as of 2010 in trolley bus service on non tunnel routes Since 2004 the MBTA uses dual mode buses on its Silver Line Waterfront route With the development of battery technology in recent years trolleybuses with extended off wire capability through on board batteries are becoming popular The on board battery is charged while the vehicle is in motion under the overhead wires and then allows off wire travel for significant distances often in excess of 15 km 26 27 Such trolleybuses are called among others trolleybuses with In Motion Charging hybrid trolleybuses battery trolleybuses and electric buses with dynamic charging The main advantages of this technology over conventional battery electric buses are reduced cost and weight of the battery due to its smaller size no delays for charging at end stops as the vehicle charges while in motion and reduced need for dedicated charging stations that take up public space This new development allows the extension of trolleybus routes or the electrification of bus routes without the need to build overhead wires along the whole length of the route Cities that utilize such trolleybuses include Beijing 28 Ostrava 27 Shanghai 26 Mexico City 29 Saint Petersburg 30 and Bergen 31 The new trolleybus systems in Marrakesh Baoding 32 and Prague are based exclusively on battery trolleybuses The city of Berlin Germany is planning to build a new trolleybus system with 15 routes and 190 battery trolleybuses 33 Other considerations EditWith increasing diesel fuel costs and problems caused by particulate matter and NOx emissions in cities trolleybuses can be an attractive alternative either as the primary transit mode or as a supplement to rapid transit and commuter rail networks Trolleybuses are quieter than internal combustion engine vehicles Mainly a benefit it also provides much less warning of a trolleybus s approach A speaker attached to the front of the vehicle can raise the noise to a desired safe level This noise can be directed to pedestrians in front of the vehicle as opposed to motor noise which typically comes from the rear of a bus and is more noticeable to bystanders than to pedestrians Trolleybuses can share overhead wires and other electrical infrastructure such as substations with tramways This can result in cost savings when trolleybuses are added to a transport system that already has trams though this refers only to potential savings over the cost of installing and operating trolleybuses alone Wire switches Edit Trolleybus wire switch Type Soviet Union A switch in parallel overhead lines 34 Trolleybus wire switches called frogs in the UK are used where a trolleybus line branches into two or where two lines join A switch may be either in a straight through or turnout position it normally remains in the straight through position unless it has been triggered and reverts to it after a few seconds or after the pole shoe passes through and strikes a release lever In Boston the resting or default position is the leftmost position Triggering is typically accomplished by a pair of contacts one on each wire close to and before the switch assembly which power a pair of electromagnets one in each frog with diverging wires Frog generally refers to one fitting that guides one trolley wheel shoe onto a desired wire or across one wire Occasionally frog has been used to refer to the entire switch assembly Multiple branches may be handled by installing more than one switch assembly For example to provide straight through left turn or right turn branches at an intersection one switch is installed some distance from the intersection to choose the wires over the left turn lane and another switch is mounted closer to or in the intersection to choose between straight through and a right turn 35 This would be the arrangement in countries such as the US where traffic directionality is right handed in left handed traffic countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand the first switch before the intersection would be used to access the right turn lanes and the second switch usually in the intersection would be for the left turn Three common types of switches 35 exist power on power off the picture of a switch above is of this type Selectric and Fahslabend A power on power off switch is triggered if the trolleybus is drawing considerable power from the overhead wires usually by accelerating at the moment the poles pass over the contacts The contacts are lined up on the wires in this case If the trolleybus coasts through the switch the switch will not activate Some trolleybuses such as those in Philadelphia and Vancouver have a manual power coast toggle switch that turns the power on or off This allows a switch to be triggered in situations that would otherwise be impossible such as activating a switch while braking or accelerating through a switch without activating it One variation of the toggle switch will simulate accelerating by causing a larger power draw through a resistance grid but will not simulate coasting and prevent activation of the switch by cutting the power A Selectric 36 switch has a similar design but the contacts on the wires are skewed often at a 45 degree angle rather than being lined up This skew means that a trolleybus going straight through will not trigger the switch but a trolleybus making a turn will have its poles match the contacts in a matching skew with one pole shoe ahead of the other which will trigger the switch regardless of power draw accelerating versus coasting For a Fahslabend switch the trolleybus turn indicator control or a separate driver controlled switch causes a coded radio signal to be sent from a transmitter often attached to a trolley pole The receiver is attached to the switch and causes it to trigger if the correct code is received This has the advantage that the driver does not need to be accelerating the bus as with a power on power off switch or trying to make a sharp turn as with a Selectric switch Trailing switches where two sets of wires merge do not require action by the operator The frog runners are pushed into the desired position by the trolley shoe or the frog is shaped so the shoe is guided onto the exit wire without any moving parts Manufacturing EditFurther information List of trolleybus manufacturers A ZiU 9 trolleybus in service in Piraeus Greece on the large Athens area trolleybus system The Russian built ZiU 9 also known as the ZiU 682 introduced in 1972 is the most numerous trolleybus model in history with more than 45 000 built 5 114 In the 2000s it was effectively rendered obsolete by low floor designs Well over 200 different trolleybus makers have existed mostly commercial manufacturers but in some cases particularly in communist countries built by the publicly owned operating companies or authorities 5 91 125 Of the defunct or former trolleybus manufacturers the largest producers in North America and Western Europe ones whose production totalled more than 1 000 units each included the U S companies Brill approx 3 250 total Pullman Standard 2 007 and Marmon Herrington 1 624 the English companies AEC approx 1 750 British United Traction BUT 1 573 Leyland 1 420 and Sunbeam 1 379 France s Vetra more than 1 750 and the Italian builders Alfa Romeo 2 044 and Fiat approx 1 700 5 The largest former trolleybus manufacture is Trolza formerly Uritsky or ZiU since 1951 until they declared their bankruptcy in 2017 building over 65000 trolleybuses Also Canadian Car and Foundry built 1 114 trolleybuses based on designs by Brill 5 As of the 2010s at least 30 trolleybus manufacturers exist They include companies that have been building trolleybuses for several decades such as Skoda since 1936 and New Flyer among others along with several younger companies Current trolleybus manufacturers in western and central Europe include Solaris Van Hool and Hess among others In Russia ZiU Trolza has historically been the world s largest trolleybus manufacturer producing over 65 000 since 1951 mostly for Russia CIS countries but after its bankruptcy its facilities were partially loaned out to PC Transport Systems Skoda is Western and Central Europe s largest and the second largest in the world having produced over 14 000 trolleybuses since 1936 mostly for export and it also supplies trolleybus electrical equipment for other bus builders such as Solaris SOR and Breda In Mexico trolleybus production ended when MASA which had built more than 860 trolleybuses since 1979 was acquired in 1998 by Volvo However Dina which is now that country s largest bus and truck manufacturer began building trolleybuses in 2013 37 134 Transition to low floor designs EditA significant change to trolleybus designs starting in the early 1990s was the introduction of low floor models which began only a few years after the first such models were introduced for motorbuses These have gradually replaced high floor designs and by 2012 every existing trolleybus system in Western Europe had purchased low floor trolleybuses with the La Spezia Italy system being the last one to do so 38 and several systems in other parts of the world have purchased low floor vehicles In the United States some transit agencies had already begun to accommodate persons in wheelchairs by purchasing buses with wheelchair lifts and early examples of fleets of lift equipped trolleybuses included 109 AM General trolleybuses built for the Seattle trolleybus system in 1979 and the retrofitting of lifts in 1983 to 64 Flyer E800s in the Dayton system s fleet 39 61 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 required that all new transit vehicles placed into service after 1 July 1993 be accessible to such passengers 40 One of the NAW Hess articulated trolleybuses delivered to Geneva in 1992 which were among the first production series low floor trolleybuses Trolleybuses in other countries also began to introduce better access for the disabled in the 1990s when the first two low floor trolleybus models were introduced in Europe both built in 1991 a Swisstrolley demonstrator built by Switzerland s NAW Hess and an N6020 demonstrator built by Neoplan 41 42 The first production series low floor trolleybuses were built in 1992 13 by NAW for the Geneva system and 10 Graf amp Stift for the Innsbruck system de By 1995 such vehicles were also being made by several other European manufacturers including Skoda Breda Ikarus and Van Hool 43 The first Solaris Trollino made its debut in early 2001 44 30 In the former Soviet Union countries Belarus Belkommunmash built its first low floor trolleybus model AKSM 333 in 1999 45 and other manufacturers in the former Soviet countries joined the trend in the early 2000s However because the lifespan of a trolleybus is typically longer than that of a motorbus the budget allocation and purchase typically factored in the longevity the introduction of low floor vehicles applied pressures on operators to retire high floor trolleybuses that were only a few years old and replace them with low floor trolleybuses 46 Responses varied with some systems keeping their high floor fleets and others retiring them early but in many instances selling them second hand for continued use in countries where there was a demand for low cost second hand trolleybuses in particular in Romania and Bulgaria The Lausanne system dealt with this dilemma in the 1990s by purchasing new low floor passenger trailers to be towed by its high floor trolleybuses 46 a choice later also made by Lucerne The Vancouver trolleybus system completed the transition to an exclusively low floor fleet in 2009 Outside Europe 14 vehicles built by and for the Shanghai trolleybus system in mid 1999 were the first reported low floor trolleybuses in Southeast Asia 47 Wellington New Zealand took delivery of its first low floor trolleybus in March 2003 48 and by the end of 2009 had renewed its entire fleet with such vehicles 49 Unlike Europe where low floor means 100 low floor from front to back most low floor buses on other continents are actually only low entry or part low floor In the Americas the first low floor trolleybus was a Busscar vehicle supplied to the Sao Paulo EMTU system in 2001 50 In North America wheelchair lifts were again chosen 46 for disabled access in new trolleybuses delivered to San Francisco in 1992 94 to Dayton in 1996 1999 and to Seattle in 2001 2002 but the first low floor trolleybus was built in 2003 with the first of 28 Neoplan vehicles for the Boston system 50 Subsequently the Vancouver system and the Philadelphia system have converted entirely to low floor vehicles and in 2013 the Seattle and Dayton systems both placed orders for their first low floor trolleybuses Outside Sao Paulo almost all trolleybuses currently in service in Latin America are high floor models built before 2000 However in 2013 the first domestically manufactured low floor trolleybuses were introduced in both Argentina and Mexico 37 134 With regard to non passenger aspects of vehicle design the transition from high floor to low floor has meant that some equipment previously placed under the floor has been moved to the roof 40 Some transit operators have needed to modify their maintenance facilities to accommodate this change a one time expense Double decker trolleybuses Edit A trolleybus in Bradford in 1970 The Bradford Trolleybus system was the last one to operate in the United Kingdom closing in 1972 Since the end of 1997 no double decker trolleybuses have been in service anywhere in the world but in the past several manufacturers made such vehicles Most builders of double deck trolleybuses were in the United Kingdom but there were a few usually solitary instances of such trolleybuses being built in other countries including in Germany by Henschel for Hamburg in Italy by Lancia for Porto Portugal in Russia by the Yaroslavl motor plant for Moscow and in Spain by Maquitrans for Barcelona 5 British manufacturers of double deck trolleybuses included AEC BUT Crossley Guy Leyland Karrier Sunbeam and others 5 In 2001 Citybus Hong Kong converted a Dennis Dragon 701 into a double decker trolleybus 51 and it was tested on a 300 metre track in Wong Chuk Hang in that year 51 Hong Kong decided not to build a trolleybus system and the testing of this prototype did not lead to any further production of vehicles Use and preservation Edit Monument to Crimean Trolleybus Main article Trolleybus usage by country There are currently 300 cities or metropolitan areas where trolleybuses are operated 4 and more than 500 additional trolleybus systems have existed in the past 5 For an overview by country see Trolleybus usage by country and for complete lists of trolleybus systems by location with dates of opening and where applicable closure see List of trolleybus systems and the related lists indexed there Of the systems existing as of 2012 the majority are located in Europe and Asia including 85 in Russia and 43 in Ukraine 4 However there are eight systems existing in North America and nine in South America 4 Trolleybuses have been preserved in most of the countries where they have operated The United Kingdom has the largest number of preserved trolleybuses with more than 110 while the United States has around 70 5 Most preserved vehicles are on static display only but a few museums are equipped with a trolleybus line allowing trolleybuses to operate for visitors Museums with operational trolleybus routes include three in the UK the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft the East Anglia Transport Museum and the Black Country Living Museum and three in the United States the Illinois Railway Museum the Seashore Trolley Museum and the Shore Line Trolley Museum 52 but operation of trolleybuses does not necessarily occur on a regular schedule of dates at these museums See also EditBattery electric bus Bus rapid transit Dual mode bus Electric bus Electric vehicle battery Electromote Guided bus Gyrobus List of trolleybus manufacturers List of trolleybus systems Parallel overhead lines Traction substation TrolleytruckNotes Edit Joyce J King J S and Newman A G 1986 British Trolleybus Systems pp 9 12 London Ian Allan Publishing ISBN 0 7110 1647 X Dunbar Charles S 1967 Buses Trolleys amp Trams Paul Hamlyn Ltd UK Republished 2004 with ISBN 0 7537 0970 8 or 9780753709702 Trolley service begins the next 60 years Press release Vancouver TransLink 16 August 2008 Archived from the original on 1 February 2014 Retrieved 6 September 2012 a b c d Webb Mary ed 2012 Jane s Urban Transport Systems 2012 2013 pp 23 and 24 in foreword Coulsdon Surrey UK Jane s Information Group ISBN 978 0 7106 2994 4 a b c d e f g h i Murray Alan 2000 World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia Yateley Hampshire UK Trolleybooks ISBN 0 904235 18 1 Elektromote Siemens History website on 14 August 2015 a b Ashley Bruce Lombard Gerin and Inventing the Trolleybus Trolleybooks 2017 ISBN 978 0 904235 25 8 p 88 et seq a b Charles S Dunbar Buses Trolleys and Trams Paul Hamlyn Ltd 1967 no ISBN p 81 et seq Henry Martin Lignes Aeriennes et Trolleys pour Automobile sur Route Libraire Polytechnique Ch 1902 no ISBN p 29 et seq Dunbar p 84 Dunbar p 83 J S King Keighley Corporation Transport Advertiser Press Ltd 1964 no ISBN p 39 et seq Dunbar p 90 Plan for city trolleybus comeback BBC News 15 June 2007 Retrieved 3 June 2009 Trolley with an internal combustion engine Electric cars of the USSR Excerpt of a Cargo Trolley Bus gtshina ru Retrieved 20 October 2020 Transport in Kiev Ukraine www classicbuses co uk Retrieved 20 October 2020 Trolleybus Magazine No 321 May June 2015 p 90 Marrakech trolleybus route inaugurated Metro Report International Railway Gazette International Archived from the original on 19 June 2020 北京多措并举治理PM2 5 一微克一微克往下抠 新华网 www xinhuanet com Retrieved 14 March 2020 www pyongyangtimes com kp http www pyongyangtimes com kp bbs 34493 Retrieved 2 September 2021 a href wiki Template Cite web title Template Cite web cite web a Missing or empty title help Power in downtown Vancouver won t be fully restored until Tuesday CBC News 14 July 2008 Other reports stated that the electrical explosion did not affect power supply to the trolleybuses only implied by this article Ashley Bruce Overhead Tbus org uk Retrieved 29 November 2010 沈阳1999年 电改汽 的真正原因 沈阳公交网 www shenyangbus com Retrieved 2 September 2021 Electric Trolley Bus Fact Sheet PDF Seattle Department of Transportation Archived from the original PDF on 17 February 2017 Retrieved 29 March 2012 Trolleybus Magazine No 267 May June 2006 p 71 National Trolleybus Assn UK a b 上海无轨电车 复兴 全换成新型辫子车 车辆增加两倍 无轨电车 辫子 高油价时代 混搭 上海公交 上海频道 东方网 sh eastday com in Chinese Retrieved 6 June 2020 a b Martin Harak 13 October 2019 Hybrid trolleybuses in the Czech Republic Urban Transport Magazine Wong Marcus 5 February 2019 Battery powered trolleybuses in Beijing Checkerboard Hill Retrieved 6 June 2020 Mario 11 May 2020 Yutong the Chinese leader on worldwide expansion as electric buses gain ground Sustainable Bus Retrieved 6 June 2020 THE INNOVATIVE TROLLEYBUS IN MOTION CHARGING IN NEW KNOWLEDGE BRIEF T Tom 25 September 2020 De nye Solaris trolleybussene er kommet til Bergen Bussmagasinet in Norwegian Bokmal Retrieved 6 December 2021 我市第一批双源无轨电车来啦十大亮点抢先看 in Chinese BVG Berlin plans implementation of hybrid trolleybuses Urban Transport Magazine 3 March 2020 G Cebrat Greenfleet Greenfleet info Archived from the original on 12 February 2006 Retrieved 29 November 2010 a b Electric Vehicle Technologies at the Wayback Machine archived 3 March 2006 Transport 2000 BC Archived from the original on 3 March 2006 Trademark of Ohio Brass Co maker of trolley wire fittings and equipment and trolley poles The typewriter from IBM bearing that name had not been invented yet a b Trolleybus Magazine No 311 September October 2013 Trolleybus Magazine No 305 September October 2012 p 119 DeArmond R C May June 1985 The Trolleybus System of Dayton part 2 Trolleybus Magazine No 141 pp 49 64 a b Getting on board July August 1993 Trolleybus Magazine No 190 pp 86 87 National Trolleybus Association UK Trolleybus Magazine No 179 September October 1991 pp 100 101 The Neoplan N6020 Low Floor Trolleybus Trolleybus Magazine No 183 May June 1992 p 68 Braddock Andrew March April 1995 Low floor Trolleybuses Making Access Easier Trolleybus Magazine No 200 pp 30 37 Turzanski Bohdan March April 2012 Trollino 500 Part 1 Trolleybus Magazine No 302 pp 28 35 Trolleybus Magazine No 226 July August 1999 p 89 a b c Low floor or Long Life November December 1998 Trolleybus Magazine No 222 p 122 National Trolleybus Association UK Trolleybus Magazine No 230 March April 2000 p 39 Trolleybus Magazine No 249 May June 2003 p 39 Bramley Rod November December 2012 New Zealand A Roller Coaster Ride Part 4 Trolleybus Magazine No 306 pp 126 134 a b Box Roland July August 2010 More about the 2000s Trolleybus Magazine No 292 pp 78 82 National Trolleybus Association UK ISSN 0266 7452 a b Trolleybus Magazine No 238 July August 2001 pp 73 and 88 Isgar Carl F January February 2011 Preservation Update Trolleybus Magazine No 295 p 11 National Trolleybus Association UK ISSN 0266 7452 Further reading EditBruce Ashley R Lombard Gerin and Inventing the Trolleybus 2017 Trolleybooks UK ISBN 978 0 904235 25 8 Cheape Charles W Moving the masses urban public transit in New York Boston and Philadelphia 1880 1912 Harvard University Press 1980 Dunbar Charles S 1967 Buses Trolleys amp Trams Paul Hamlyn Ltd UK republished 2004 with ISBN 0 7537 0970 8 or 9780753709702 McKay John P Tramways and Trolleys The Rise of Urban Mass Transport in Europe 1976 Murray Alan 2000 World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia Trolleybooks UK ISBN 0 904235 18 1 Porter Harry and Worris Stanley F X 1979 Trolleybus Bulletin No 109 Databook II North American Trackless Trolley Association defunct Sebree Mac and Ward Paul 1973 Transit s Stepchild The Trolley Coach Interurbans Special 58 Los Angeles Interurbans LCCN 73 84356 Sebree Mac and Ward Paul 1974 The Trolley Coach in North America Interurbans Special 59 Los Angeles Interurbans LCCN 74 20367Periodicals EditTrolleybus Magazine ISSN 0266 7452 National Trolleybus Association UK bi monthly Trackless Bradford Trolleybus Association quarterly Trolleybus British Trolleybus Society UK monthlyExternal links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Trolleybus in German TrolleyMotion an international action group to promote modern trolleybus systems and database of systems in the world British Trolleybuses Trolleybuses in Latin America North American trolleybus pictures Trolleybuses in Europe Urban Electric Transit Database Photo gallery Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Trolleybus amp oldid 1093209272, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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