SE7408 : The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Huddersfield trolleybus 619, near Sandtoft, Lincs

taken 8 years ago, near to Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire, Great Britain

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Huddersfield trolleybus 619, near Sandtoft, Lincs
The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Huddersfield trolleybus 619, near Sandtoft, Lincs
This BUT (British United Traction) 9641T trolleybus was built in 1956 but went into service at Huddersfield in January 1957. The bodywork is by East Lancs Coachbuilders and the vehicle is a six wheeler, as were many UK trolleybuses. It was withdrawn in May 1968. The Huddersfield Corporation trolleybus system had 15 routes at its maximum and operated from December 1933 to July 1968. Behind the vehicle is a French trolleybus from Marseille.
The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft

The museum is run by Sandtoft Transport Centre Limited, a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is run entirely by volunteers and gets no Government assistance. The museum aims are:- “To be nationally acknowledged as the Museum of the Trolleybus and to entertain, educate and give excellent value and service to our visitors”. The museum houses a wide range of British trolleybuses and a few foreign vehicles but not all of them are in operating condition.

Trolleybuses are electric buses which receive their power from overhead wiring, to which they are connected by twin trolleybooms or poles fitted to the roof. Often they have auxiliary power, either batteries or a diesel engine, to enable them to operate away from the wires for short distances. Because trolleybuses have not run in commercial service in the UK since the large system at Bradford in West Yorkshire closed in 1972, a lot of people have no idea what they are like or confuse them with trams, which unlike trolleybuses run on rails.

Abroad the trolleybus still flourishes with well over 300 systems in operation. Unlike the UK, which mainly ran double deck trolleybuses, abroad the single decker rules and currently there are no double deck vehicles in commercial operation anywhere. The museum has an operating circuit but is only open at selected weekends. Unfortunately its rather remote location does not encourage visitors but the volunteers do a terrific job with limited resources and a visit is very worthwhile. A connecting bus service is operated from Doncaster to the museum on some operating days. Currently the longest museum circuit in the UK remains that at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley in the West Midlands, but there are only a couple of vehicles regularly in service and then usually only at weekends. There are also two or three other museums with short operating lines.

Visiting the museum it is easy to write off the trolleybus as antiquated but of course the majority of the vehicles here are decades old and are present for their historic and sentimental interest. Elsewhere, where they are still operated, the technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, not only the vehicles, but also in tidier overhead and junctions which can be taken at speed. The old systems in the UK had overhead which necessitated vehicles slowing to a crawl at junctions to avoid dewirement of the trolley poles. The problems this caused other traffic was one of several reasons why they lost favour. There have been several attempts to bring them back in the UK including schemes for Bradford, Doncaster, Liverpool and Leeds but without success. It's a pity as they still have a lot to offer and the installation costs and disruption are appreciably less than that of a tramway.

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SE7408, 42 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 31 March, 2013   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 24 September, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Roads, Road transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 747 082 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.9158N 0:52.3303W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 748 082
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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