Trolleybus (from the English Trolleybus: trolley - contact wire, roller collector, bus - abbreviation from the Latin. Omnibus - "carriage for everyone") - a vehicle (passenger, occasionally - freight) equipped with an electric drive and receiving electric current from an external power source , and in emergency cases - from an alkaline type battery (supplying the control and lighting system) or a diesel generator. The trolleybus receives an electric current with a voltage of 550 volts from a two-wire contact network (overhead (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 brought his brother's idea to life, calling his invention Electromote. In the same year, the first trolleybus line was opened on the outskirts of Berlin Galense.
In Russia, the first trolleybuses appeared in 1933 in Moscow, after which they quickly spread along the roads of large cities in the country. Nowadays, there are more than 400 cities in the world with a developed trolleybus network, in some cases this type of transport runs between cities.
The attitude towards the trolleybus changed - from positive to negative and vice versa. There have been many attempts to completely replace the trolleybus with buses or replace trolleybuses with trams, but all experiments of this kind failed, proving once again that all types of public transport have a right to exist, and quite often our ideas about them are wrong. We will try to illuminate the true state of affairs, along the way to debunk some of the most famous myths about trolleybuses.
Trams can be replaced with trolleybuses. This opinion was quite widespread at the end of the last century, and, both in the West and in the countries of the post-Soviet space, attempts were made to replace trams with trolleybuses or buses. However, in few places such an attempt has been crowned with success. Today, the tram is experiencing a real renaissance, while the trolleybus, on the other hand, is slowly giving way to other types of public transport.
The trolleybus has no future; soon it will be replaced by buses everywhere. Indeed, these days the operation of a bus is almost equal to the cost of supporting the life of a trolleybus. However, this state of affairs will persist only as long as oil prices remain at a relatively low level. If the cost of fuels and lubricants rises sharply, the infrastructure of electric transport will have to be expanded.
The trolleybus is the cheapest form of transport (both construction and operation do not require large investments). It depends on what you compare it to. For example, building a trolleybus infrastructure is cheaper than building a tram line, but more expensive than building a road for buses. Operating a trolleybus is not much cheaper than a bus one, but buying cars will cost much more. The tram, of course, is even more expensive, but it is cheaper to operate than a trolleybus, and the cars will last longer than any bus transport. In addition, it should be taken into account that in sections where the passenger traffic is 3-4 thousand per hour, the trolleybus (even "double") definitely loses to the tram.
Trolleybus is a very whimsical transport. Indeed, it is quite difficult to organize a trolleybus infrastructure - both the road surface must be of high quality, and the contact network without sagging or breaking the fasteners, and such a machine cannot always overcome slopes. But for the city, each of the above disadvantages turns into an advantage. And good roads are being built that can withstand heavy traffic, and the network is maintained in proper condition, which ensures the safety of both pedestrians and passengers. And a lot of effort is spent on fighting ice and snow drifts in winter - and for this all the drivers will only say "thank you" to the employees of the relevant services.
The trolleybus does not travel in the mountains. Indeed, many domestically produced trolleybus models are not capable of climbing uphill. At the same time, abroad it is the trolleybuses equipped with a powerful engine and reliable braking system that are used on steep slopes, and overcome difficult sections faster than, for example, buses.
Trolleybuses are extremely sensitive to weather conditions. It all depends only on the lineup. For example, Western manufacturers pay a lot of attention to tightness, which allows the operation of machines in almost any weather. In Russia, electrical equipment is installed on the roof of trolley buses, etc.
Trolleybuses are noisier than trams. Both the trolleybus and the tram emit noise during operation, to reduce which the rails, for example, are equipped with rubber pads, trolleybuses - with 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 more easily tolerated by humans. And the engine of a modern trolleybus is very quiet. The noise of trams has a higher frequency and corresponds in level to the noise of trucks, therefore its effect is more noticeable and unpleasant.
Only buses are double-decker. Misconception. Trolleybuses, trams, and funiculars can be double-decker, which are not widely used for many reasons. For example, in Moscow, a double-decker trolleybus (length - 9.4 m, height - 4.7 m, cabin height - 1780 cm, 72 seats: 32 in the cabin on the first floor, 40 on the second) ran through the streets in 1937 ... Ten vehicles of this type were created, but due to the complexity of control, instability (there were cases of rollover, especially on a snowy road or in icy conditions) and problems with dimensions, these trolleybuses were decommissioned after the war. Double-deck trolleybuses of the road train type were also produced in the GDR.
A trolleybus does not run without a contact network. This is not entirely true. In fact, attempts to "combine" the useful properties of a trolleybus and a bus have been made more than once. For example, in the 50s of the last century, gyrobuses drove along the roads of Switzerland, Belgium and Congo (from the Greek gyros - circle, turnover and Novolatinism omnibus - omnibus). They were a type of vehicle, the movement of which was carried out due to the kinetic energy of a rotating flywheel, driven by an electric motor. The electric motor was charged sporadically, the current flowed through three rods mounted on the roof of the gyrobus. The charge was enough to drive about six km at a speed of 50-60 km / h. With all its advantages (environmental friendliness, noiselessness, mobility), the gyrobus also had a number of disadvantages. The fact is that this car is difficult to control, power-consuming, too heavy - this often became the cause of the destruction of the road surface, and the design of the engine requires special precautions, a lot of time is spent on recharging, etc. Therefore, today the gyrobus is almost never used, although research in the field of improving this vehicle continues.
There are also duobuses (from German Duobus, the English version of the name - Dual-mode bus) - freight trolleybuses equipped with a gasoline (or diesel) engine and possessing the properties of a freight bus. And ordinary trolleybuses are driven not only from the contact network, but also (if necessary) from an auxiliary battery or diesel generator.
Duobus and trolleybus are one and the same. After all, both vehicles can move without a contact network. After all, trolleybuses are equipped with a battery or an auxiliary diesel generator that does not directly transmit the driving moment to the drive axle, but rotate a dynamo that generates current for the electric motor. Duobuses, on the other hand, have a cardan transmission to the drive axle from both a diesel (gasoline) engine and an electric engine. In addition, most often duobuses are equipped with an automated system for lifting and lowering the rods (using magnetic traps at certain points of the contact network, etc.).
The more expensive the trolleybus fare, the higher the drivers' salary. In fact, the ticket price does not affect the driver's salary.