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Electric buses.

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Electric buses.

Old 25th Apr 2018, 11:26
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In the 1950s as diesels became as cost effective the 'inflexibility' of a fixed infrastructure became to be perceived as a disadvantage. At that time, decreasing public transport ridership was often just accepted as inevitable and environmental issues were of little concern. As equipment wore out, many trolleybus systems were replaced by diesels. Falling markets for trolleybuses and their equipment increased costs and accelerated the decline.
The reasons for London's dieselisation are complex.

First the economics post-war were different to pre-war. Pre-war, trolleys were definitely cheaper than motor buses per passenger mile for many reasons including the small maximum capacity of motor buses [56 to keep within laden weight restrictions] and the high price of fuel [with a double deck petrol bus doing only about 4.5 miles per gallon] and the lower wages of trolleybus drivers compared to motor bus drivers. Post war all of these factors changed and the costs were around equal. No one in authority was interested in the environmental factors at that time and it was a fact that to change the wiring for any new traffic schemes required a large amount of paper work at associated high cost to LT [even though the actual costs of the poles and wires might be fairly cheap].

The other reason [although never really admitted by LT] was that the Chiswick bus people had spent a fortune producing the 'ultimate' motor bus, the Routemaster. This money had to be recouped by a production run of Routemasters to replace something. By 1958 [when the Routemasters were supposed to come on stream] and even by 1959 [when they actually did] the RT family fleet was not old enough to need replacing [the last ones having been built in 1954 and having only entered service in 1956]. The only vehicles the RM's could replace were the trolleybuses. So the demise of the London Trolleys and thus the remaining UK systems is the usual complex mix of ingredients, very few of which applied to the mainland of Europe.

In provincial systems, electricity nationalization in 1948 meant that local operators could no longer generate their own cheap electricity [often from power stations built for the trams which was getting life expired], so the cost of operating went up.

At a similar time, petrol-engined motor-buses which could not shift 70+ passengers up any sort of hill, were being superseded by ever-improving diesel engined buses, whose capacity was rapidly approaching that of a trolleybus.

Gathering pace during the post-war decade were improvements and changes which culminated in the 1960's penchant for removing anything perceived as 'old'. One result of which was massive inner-city development, with their ring-roads, one-way systems and the like, which of course meant escalating costs for trolleybus overhead moving, just at the time when the above, more flexible [in this sense] diesel buses became practical.

There were subsidies for buying new diesel buses around this time, and subsidies on their fuel, neither of which applied to trolleybuses.

The post-war boom in private cars meant that revenues from public transport were declining at the same time.

Councils were being squeezed on their budgets, if only because of the immense pressures on a multitude of other projects, hence anything that saved capital expense [or replacement] was seen as justifiable.

There is no doubt that the nationalization of power supplies, which meant that cities could not "cross-subsidise" power for transport, had a big effect. Glasgow in particular lost out when their generating plant was transferred to the government.

However, the major factor was the suppliers. They were just not interested. I remember bumping into the Huddersfield Manager about 1963, when we both gazed in amazement at a section of new overhead on the Inner Ring Road, then being constructed. The amazement was due to the mix-up between the contractors and Corporation's wiring people, resulting in buses running down the wrong carriageway [i.e. against the traffic] for a few weeks. I did ask him that as they had gone to the expense of re-wiring quite a bit of the Waterloo route whether they meant to keep the remaining trolleys. No, he said, he would like to but the final straw was that British Leyland [who had come to own all the trolleybus makers] had just told him to order all spares needed for the next ten years as after they were made no spare parts would be supplied. So Huddersfield trolleys had to go and ten minutes was added to the Marsden route to allow for the slower motor buses.
From:- Why the Demise of UK Trolleybuses?
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 17:07
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The schoolboy trick when exiting an Edinburgh tram, was to tweak the rope, thus pulling the pole off the wire.
The clippie then had to manoeuver the pole back onto the wire before progress could be resumed.
Or so I was told.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 18:44
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Here on the Basque coast (Biarritz/Anglet/Bayonne) a new "Tram'Bus" network is being implemented. The infrastructure requirement has been minimised (no overhead wires) as the new Tram'Bus will be battery powered - this means zero emissions in town. The units recharge at the termini. ISD 2019.

Last edited by sidevalve; 25th Apr 2018 at 18:55.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 18:46
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And how is it working out?
Any "Battery Flat" service disruptions?
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 18:52
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Not in service yet. In and around Bayonne they've had a free electric shuttle bus (battery powered) for 15 years or so. Works fine!

Last edited by sidevalve; 25th Apr 2018 at 19:26. Reason: Added link
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 21:57
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
I think we still had trolley buses into the 1950's and 60's, as I have distant memories of seeing them in High Wycombe, when staying with my grandmother as a small boy. I have a feeling that they were phased out because of the limitations of all the overhead cables they required. As a small boy I remember seeing a trolley bus stuck in the middle of the road because the power collecting rods had become detached from the cable, and the driver was using a long pole to try and hook the things back on to the overhead cables. Not sure if this was a one-off, or a regular problem with them. Maintaining all those overhead cables must have cost a fair bit too, as well as impose a lot of restrictions on the other services that wanted to sling cables along and across roads.

The odd thing seems to be that we phased out electric trams and trolley buses around the same time as we were being promised free electricity in the future, thanks to nuclear power.
Can remember as a 8 year old trolley buses in Walsall. They would use a bamboo pole to reattach the pick up arm
They have a couple of trolley buses at the Black Country museum, Dudley.
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Old 25th Apr 2018, 22:11
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As a small boy the diesel fumes on the corporation motor buses made me feel nauseous, I loved the trolley buses.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 02:41
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Remember the trolley buses in Wimbledon. My aunt explained that unlike trams, they did not have to follow set tracks.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 03:13
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When I was a young lad, back in the early 60's, all milk delivery vehicles were electric plus some lorry's in railway goods yards.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 06:12
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Originally Posted by jolihokistix View Post
Remember the trolley buses in Wimbledon. My aunt explained that unlike trams, they did not have to follow set tracks.
They used to terminate outside the Town Hall: had a turning loop around Bog Island where the pickups sometimes came off the overhead, resulting in sheets of blue flame (if you were lucky) and a dead bus in the middle of the road, with the conductor getting a long pole out from underneath to re-attach them. Quiet, quick & clean, though: on complicated sections they had light bulbs strung along the overhead so they could be followed in fog.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 06:16
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Originally Posted by Lantern10 View Post
When I was a young lad, back in the early 60's, all milk delivery vehicles were electric plus some lorry's in railway goods yards.
ISTR that back then the UK had more electric vehicles on the roads than - something ridiculous, like the rest of the world combined? They were all milk floats.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 06:44
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Originally Posted by k3k3 View Post
As a small boy the diesel fumes on the corporation motor buses made me feel nauseous, I loved the trolley buses.
And my mother always sat on the cross benches at the back as she wanted to be near the conductor; in the war she once missed her stop at night and had to walk home with me from the terminal. I hated the shaking when the bus stopped.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 06:50
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Originally Posted by sidevalve View Post
Here on the Basque coast (Biarritz/Anglet/Bayonne) a new "Tram'Bus" network is being implemented. The infrastructure requirement has been minimised (no overhead wires) as the new Tram'Bus will be battery powered - this means zero emissions in town. The units recharge at the termini. ISD 2019.
It was tried in London, in the early 50s. With the trams under a death sentence, they thought of using trolley buses through the Kingsway tram tunnel. A special bus was built, with the rear passenger platform accessible from either side, and due to height restrictions or something all tunnel running was on batteries. Poor thing couldn’t get up the ramp at the end.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 08:25
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When Pa was posted to Sopley in 1966 (we lived in AMQ in the delightfully named Betsy Lane, Bransgore) the yellow trolley buses were still humming between Christchurch and Bournemouth. 20 direct, 21 via Tuckton Bridge. Still can see the conductor hopping off at the roundabout at the top of Christchurch by-pass with a gert long bamboo pole to put the pantograph back on the wires if the driver had gone around too wide.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 10:09
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Talking about pea-soupers, my great uncle (ex-Navy) who lived on Wimbledon Hill loved telling the story of the terrible racket in the garden one winter evening when a double-decker turned into their driveway by mistake, followed by a line of dimly-lit cars.
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Old 5th May 2018, 05:22
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Winnebago dips it's toe in the waters.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/electric...tric-rv-25552/

Mining trucks too.

Home
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Old 5th May 2018, 11:59
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Originally Posted by Lantern10 View Post
Winnebago dips it's toe in the waters.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/electric...tric-rv-25552/

Mining trucks too.

Home
How would you 'jump-start' an EV with a flat battery?
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Old 7th May 2018, 00:34
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I still want to know where all the electricity to power all these electric vehicles is coming from - plus the UK railway electrification demand. European projections for demand for electric cars alone would require some 28 or so Hinckley Point C power stations. Regrettably, the politicians are too dim to do the sums and the civil servants are too busy sucking up to the politicians even if they - being political science and the like graduates - were bright enough to understand the problems.
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Old 7th May 2018, 01:32
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China has electric motorbikes as well which can be quite dangerous as they are totally silent and often ridden on the pavement or wrong side of the road, giving no warning of their approach.
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Old 7th May 2018, 02:31
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Originally Posted by radeng View Post
I still want to know where all the electricity to power all these electric vehicles is coming from ........
In the case of the Swiss mining trucks, it's coming from gravity. As close as you'll ever get to perpetual motion.
The trucks are running downhill loaded and return, uphill, empty. Typically that would be about 35 - 40% of loaded weight.
The battery(s) are charged using dynamic braking on the downhill run.

Only useful on site with a downhill haul which is not all that common.
You would need to be very careful with grades when developing your mine plan.
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