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Trolley Buses

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I noticed a post on this forum about trolleybus poles coming off the overhead wires.

That brought back many potent memories. Canning Circus was a ‘Spaghetti Junction’ of overhead wires criss-crossing in all directions and poles came off regularly. Some of the ‘points’ above were hand changed by the conductor, pulling down a handle on a nearby post. I think sometimes they forgot.

Occasionally the loose, swinging, poles would get so tangled up with nearby wires that they would be impossible to unravel from the ground. This involved sending for the ‘tower truck’- a wooden lift arrangement, operated manually by a handle and a rack and pinion device. The man on the top (wearing very thick rubber gloves) and thus standing level to the wires would disentangle the mess by hand.

(H & S – Get a life – no-one ever died)

Passengers could either ‘sit it out’ – it could be for an hour or more. Or, they could transfer to the next bus - they were very frequent. How was this done?

I can only assume that these vehicles could travel short distances on their batteries.

They would disconnect their poles before the ’accident’, drive around the stalled bus, and reconnect them on the other side.

Incidentally if anyone is wondering about the pole used by the conductor – it was a 20ft+length of bamboo with a hook at the top end. This housed in a tube running behind the downstairs seats.

Can anyone remember these Canning Circus episodes?

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Dunno about "Pre 1950s", but I can remember this happening at Tourney's old tannery (Terminus for the 44??) and the trolleys poles coming off of the wires and wanging through the windows, so much so that the windows at a certain level where just boards! (Or was this because of begrudged Florist/ County fans venting their spleens !)

I can also remember seeing said tower truck at Carlton Square (39/38) on numerous occasions also.

(An interesting footnote, I have just ran Speeel chucker over this post , and it doesn't recognise the word "Wanging". It's first choise of alternative ???????? Yup "Wanking"

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The handle to pull which changed the points was called s "Frog".

Trolley buses could travel a short distance on battery power, this would get em round an obstruction.

The trent bridge terminus was for the service 43.

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Dunno about "Pre 1950s", but I can remember this happening at Tourney's old tannery (Terminus for the 44??) and the trolleys poles coming off of the wires and wanging through the windows, so much so that the windows at a certain level where just boards! (Or was this because of begrudged Florist/ County fans venting their spleens !)

I can also remember seeing said tower truck at Carlton Square (39/38) on numerous occasions also.

(An interesting footnote, I have just ran Speeel chucker over this post , and it doesn't recognise the word "Wanging". It's first choise of alternative ???????? Yup "Wanking"

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Try again! there were lots of turn arounds on main routes,ie some trolleys ended there and others carried on, (as in 43 and 44 at Bulwell Market, ones I recall were on Nottingham Rd at junc of Haydn Road (37 route) and outside gas works at Radford Rd/Eland St. (42) 2 more were at Pevril St/Alfreton Rd and on Vernon Rd at Northern Bridge but not sure what (if any) buses turned there, think there was another somewhere near Albert Hall institute on Derby Road? When you think about the relative simplicity of getting the power to trolley buses and the speed routes could be set up as opposed to doing as much damage to the roads as the blitz for these "status symbol" white elephant trams why the govt are wasting millions? Yes I remember the "fishing pole" lol, as I recall it went in a tube as stated from the passenger entry platform down the side of the seats on the left. Re the handle on points. On railway ones the moving part of the point, ie the actual diverter was/is called a frog.

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..... Re the handle on points. On railway ones the moving part of the point, ie the actual diverter was/is called a frog.......

The moving part if a railway turnout (point) is the blade, the part where the rails 'cross over one another' is the crossing vee, known as the frog in model terms. I'm not sure if it is called a frog in the real thing.

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Try this picture:-

http:www.sandtoft.org.uk/picviewer.php?=buses/nottingham506.jpg&name=Nottingham506

Sandtoft trolleybus museum, the other side of Doncaster, a bit remote but worth a visit if you've never been. There are 5 Nottingham trolleybuses there, some in working order and, as you can see, one of the tower lorries has miraculously survived and can just be seen in the left of the photo.

The method of collecting the current from the top of the pole was via a carbon skate which had to be frequently replaced, the head was kept on the wires by two brass plates either side of the carbon skate, these weren't very deep, which is why the poles frequently came off. On trams, the collecting head was often a wheel, but that was only a single pole, the neutral returning via the tramtrack.

I seem to remember from my days at the Nottingham Trolleybus Museum that the bamboo pole was in a tube below the floor of the bus positioned centrally, but this may have varied according to the manufacturer ie, Karrier, Sunbeam, B.U.T etc.

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They ran on DC Firbeck, trams were positive on the wire, negative return via the rails. Trollybusses picked up both positive and negative return via the "wires". I think it was 600 volts, not dead certain on that, but the traction was a series wound motor, used because they produced a very high starting torque.

Big danger with series wound DC motors was "runaway" if taken off load, the armature will reach speeds whereby it destroys itself. Not likely while all wheels remain on the ground.

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I am not sure what a high starting torque is. But (and this might be the same thing) they had amazing acceleration from stop. I well remember that fully laden, including probably some 20 standing downstairs (and sometimes upstairs as well) they would take off like a rocket, from stationary whilst facing uphill on say Derby Road or Carlton Hill. Never failed to amaze me. No 'motor' bus could come anywhere close to that, - even empty.

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Very simply put, torque in an electric motor is rotational power. And to add, that's a very basic explanation!! The two main types of electric DC motors are series wound and shunt wound, there are others!! The series wound produces extreme power at startup loaded. ie the fast acceleration of a trolleybus.

Most DC traction machines use series wound motors, buses, milk and bread floats, battery locomotives used in mining etc.

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The "points" on the trolly wires were either pull operated by a poll rod on the adjacent pole or were operated by a detector on the wire when the trolly went over taking power the point went one way, if the trolly coasted over, the point went the other way. There were lamps st the top of the pole to tell the driver which way the point was set. The ones at Canning Circus were like that. The pull ones were at less busy junctions. In Bulwell the 43/44 junction on Highbury Road hill was one it couldn't be automatic, you couldn't accelerate on the hill! Others were at the end of Piccadilly to get into the depot.

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Try again! there were lots of turn arounds on main routes,ie some trolleys ended there and others carried on, (as in 43 and 44 at Bulwell Market, ones I recall were on Nottingham Rd at junc of Haydn Road (37 route) and outside gas works at Radford Rd/Eland St. (42) 2 more were at Pevril St/Alfreton Rd and on Vernon Rd at Northern Bridge but not sure what (if any) buses turned there, think there was another somewhere near Albert Hall institute on Derby Road? When you think about the relative simplicity of getting the power to trolley buses and the speed routes could be set up as opposed to doing as much damage to the roads as the blitz for these "status symbol" white elephant trams why the govt are wasting millions? Yes I remember the "fishing pole" lol, as I recall it went in a tube as stated from the passenger entry platform down the side of the seats on the left. Re the handle on points. On railway ones the moving part of the point, ie the actual diverter was/is called a frog.

42 Turned at Northern Bridge

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It says at height of it's operation? wonder when that was? it hasn't got the 42 route marked (which I got wrong) nor is the 37 terminus marked, another clue is the 36 terminus (plus another?) is marked as Vernon Rd, in later years it was Valley Road

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I think it's from this site http://www.trolleybus.net/

In the bottom left corner there's a © 2011, so I presume it's been put together fairly recently by a trolleybus fan. The print style is modern; you couldn't have produced something like that back in the 50s or 60s

Wonder if it was based on this? http://nottstalgia.c...es&fromsearch=1

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The days when you could get to where you wanted, on one bus and for a fair price too !

I was having a think about this the other day, I lived in Carlton and worked at Raleigh. I my dad didn't give me a lift in , I caught the 6.50am bus from Carlton Square, got to work in time to have a fag and a brew before the graft began, one bus and 12p all the way.

If it was the same system as nowadays it would mean leaving at 6.30am one bus into town , a walk to the bus to Wollaton, and a rush to get in in time for work, two buses 12p in to town 12p to Radford, double the fare and half as log again on the journey time .

Progress? don't make me laugh !!

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The two great features which I always remember about trolleybuses is they were very smooth and very quiet

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They ran on DC Firbeck, trams were positive on the wire, negative return via the rails. Trollybusses picked up both positive and negative return via the "wires". I think it was 600 volts, not dead certain on that, but the traction was a series wound motor, used because they produced a very high starting torque.

Big danger with series wound DC motors was "runaway" if taken off load, the armature will reach speeds whereby it destroys itself. Not likely while all wheels remain on the ground.

Anyone know which wire was positive & which negative? (E.G. wire near pavement positive or t'other way round.) Was the negative (or positive) wire earthed? Was the bus itself earthed?

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Easy way to find out would have been ..................................... hellothere

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Best thing about Trolley Buses was that you could jump on and off.

They did not go very fast and they had invisible door's.

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Had to laugh at this Mary I well remember just missing the No 45 at the side of the Palais de dance (sometimes had to wait as long as 20 mins for a 45) grabbing on the rail as it sped off and running 20 yards flat out unable to pull myself on,letting go and falling flat on my face and Mary i was pretty fit in my teens....

They did not go very fast and they had invisible door's.

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The last trolley bus to run in Nottingham ran on 1st July 1966 almost 50 years ago

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