SE7408 : The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Renault PR100 bus, near Sandtoft, Lincs

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

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Renault PR100 bus, near Sandtoft, Lincs
The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Renault PR100 bus, near Sandtoft, Lincs
This motorbus is an ex-Renault demonstrator. Registration F100AKB, it was one of five righthand drive examples that Renault brought over to the UK in the late 1980's. It is a cousin of the electric trolleybus type ER100, of which Marseilles 202 is an example. Unfortunately for Renault there was no interest in the UK in either the PR100 or the ER100. Elsewhere they sold in great numbers, including Australia.

One of the other demonstrators was used by London buses. This one came to the museum a few years ago, to complement the Marseilles trolleybus, and in 2011 it was repainted into the London Buses livery used in the late 1980's/early 1990's. On the day this photograph was taken, it was being used as a shuttle bus between Doncaster and the museum.

SE7408 : The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft - Marseille trolleybus 202, near Sandtoft, Lincs.
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)
Wednesday, 25 September, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Roads, Road transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 748 082 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:33.9059N 0:52.3179W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 748 081
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Bus  Transport Museum 

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