(from English Trolleybus: trolley – contact wire, roller current collector, bus – short for Latin Omnibus – “coach for all”) – a vehicle (passenger, occasionally – freight) equipped with an electric drive and receiving an electric current from external power supply, and in emergency cases – from an alkaline battery (supply control system and lighting) or diesel generator. The electric current of 550 volts trolleybus receives from the two-wire contact network (suspension (trolley) wires) through current collectors (rods).


The first trolleybus was invented by Dr. William Siemens (England) in 1880, and in 1882 in Germany engineer Werner von Siemens implemented the idea of ​​the brother to life, calling his invention Electromote. In the same year, the first trolleybus line was opened in the suburb of Berlin, Galenze.

In Russia, the first trolleybuses appeared in Moscow in 1933, after which it quickly spread along the roads of the country’s large cities. Nowadays there are more than 400 cities in the world with a developed trolleybus network, in some cases this type of transportation runs between cities.

The attitude towards the trolley bus changed from positive to negative and vice versa. There have been many attempts to completely replace the trolleybus with buses or to replace the trolley buses with trams, but all experiments of this kind have failed, proving once again that all types of public transport have the right to exist, and quite often our ideas about them are erroneous. We will try to highlight the true state of things, incidentally debunking some of the most famous myths about trolleybuses.

Trams can be replaced with trolley-buses.

This opinion was quite common at the end of the last century, and, in the West and in the post-Soviet countries, attempts were made to replace the trams with trolley buses or buses. However, few where such an attempt was crowned with success. Today the tram is experiencing a real renaissance, the trolley bus is on the sly, giving way to other types of public transport.

The trolleybus has no future, it will soon be replaced by buses everywhere.

Indeed, in our days the operation of the bus is almost equal to the cost of supporting the life of the trolleybus. However, this state of affairs will remain only as long as oil prices stay at a relatively low level. If the cost of fuels and lubricants increases sharply – will have to expand the infrastructure of electric transport.

The trolleybus is the cheapest type of transport (both construction and operation does not require large investments).

It depends on what to compare. For example, building a trolleybus infrastructure is cheaper than building a tram line, but more expensive than building a road for buses. The operation of the trolley bus is not much cheaper than the bus, but the purchase of cars will cost much more. The tram, of course, is even more expensive, but it is less expensive to operate than a trolleybus, and the cars will last longer than any bus transport. In addition, it should be noted that in the areas where the passenger traffic is 3-4 thousand per hour, the trolleybus (even the “twin”) clearly loses the tram.

The trolleybus – the transport is very whimsical.

Indeed, it is rather difficult to organize a trolleybus infrastructure – and the road surface must be of high quality, and the contact network without sagging or breaking fastenings, and deviations to overcome such a machine can not always be. But for the city, each of the above flaws turns into dignity. And the roads are laid good, able to withstand the intensive auto traffic, and the network is properly maintained, thus ensuring the safety of both pedestrians and passengers. And in the fight against ice and snowdrifts in winter, a lot of effort is wasted – and for this all drivers will only say “thank you” to the employees of the relevant services.

The trolleybus does not ride through the mountains.

Indeed, many models of domestic production trolleybuses can not overcome the upsurge. At the same time abroad, it is the trolley buses, equipped with a powerful engine and reliable braking system, used on steep gradients, and overcome difficult areas faster than, for example, buses.

Trolleybuses are extremely susceptible to weather conditions.

Everything depends only on the model range. For example, Western manufacturers pay a lot of attention to the tightness, which allows the operation of cars in almost any weather. In Russia, electrical equipment is installed on the roof of trolleybuses, etc.

Trolleybuses are noisier than trams.

Both the trolleybus and the tram make noise during operation, to reduce which the rails, for example, are equipped with rubber gaskets, trolleybuses – elastic shock absorbers, etc. However, it should be remembered that the low-frequency noise of trolleybuses is close in level to the noise emitted by passenger cars, and is easier to tolerate by man. And the engine of the modern trolleybus is very quiet. The noise of trams has a higher frequency and corresponds to the noise of freight transport, therefore its impact is more tangible and unpleasant.

There are only two-story buses.

Wrong opinion. There are also two-story trolleybuses, trams and funiculars, which have not been widely used for many reasons. For example, in Moscow, a two-story trolleybus (length – 9.4 m, height – 4.7 m, height of the salon – 1780 cm, 72 seats for seating: 32 in the salon on the ground floor, 40 – on the second) plied the streets in 1937 . Ten machines of this type were created, but because of the complexity of the management, the instability (there have been cases of overturning, especially on a snowy road or in the icy conditions) and the problems with the dimensions, these trolleybuses were written off after the war. Two-story trolleybuses of the type of road train were also produced in the GDR.

The trolleybus without the contact network does not travel.

This is not quite true. In fact, attempts to “combine” the useful properties of the trolleybus and bus have been undertaken repeatedly. For example, in the 50s of the last century on the roads of Switzerland, Belgium and Congo went gyroscopes (from the Greek gyros – the circle, the turnover and novolatinizma omnibus – omnibus). They were a kind of vehicle, the movement of which was carried out at the expense of the kinetic energy of the rotating flywheel, driven by an electric motor. Charge the electric motor occasionally, the current came through three bars mounted on the roof of the gyro. The charge was enough to drive about six kilometers at a speed of 50-60 km / h. With all its advantages (environmental friendliness, noiselessness, mobility), the gyrobus had a number of shortcomings. The fact that this machine is difficult to manage, energy-intensive, too heavy – it often caused the destruction of the road surface, and the engine design assumes the observance of special precautions, a lot of time is spent on recharging, etc. Because in our days the gyroscope is almost not used, although the research in the field of improving this vehicle continues.

There are also duobus (from Duobus, English version of the name – Dual-mode bus) – cargo trolleybuses equipped with a petrol (or diesel) engine and possessing the properties of a cargo bus. And ordinary trolleybuses are set in motion not only from the contact network, but also (if necessary) from an auxiliary battery or diesel generator.

The Duo and the trolley are the same. After all, both vehicles can move without a contact network.

This is not quite true. After all, the trolley buses are equipped with a battery or an auxiliary diesel generator that does not directly transmit the driving moment to the driving axle, but rotates the dynamo that generates the current for the electric motor. Duobuses also have cardan gear on the driving axle both from a diesel (petrol) motor and from an electric motor.In addition, more often, the dome is equipped with an automated system for raising and lowering the rods (using magnetic traps in certain places of the contact network, etc.).

The more expensive the journey in the trolleybus, the higher the salary of the drivers.

In fact, the price of a ticket for driver’s wages is not affected.

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