The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Trolley buses, how do they do it?

by Mike Riversdale on November 2, 2007 in Transport

seashelle's Flickr: Island Bay -trolleybuslines

How do trolley buses get their poles to go right or left when they come to a junction?

Leave a comment to tell me how …

Anonymous January 12, 2008 at 2:51 am

break pedal is for bus to stay on main wire(main route)bus is off-power,accelerator pedal is for bus to go through branch route,bus is on-power,the switch which splits the wire is actually magnets,when bus is off power,the poles remain on the wire(no electromagnetic induction).when bus is on-power,the poles are shunted to the branch wires.

ajaynejr November 25, 2011 at 10:25 am

When the person was decapitated the trolley bus must have been going quite fast and the pole, reaching over to the wire over the next lane, disengaged from the wire and sprang upwards. Then the bus passed under a support wire going across the street and the pole got caught and was flung downward far enough to hit people or cars in the next lane.

Another time, very recently (October 2011), at a museum (Seashore Trolley Museum, USA) a trolley pole broke in half while someone was lowering it using the rope. The outer end hit the person although fortunately the injury was just a minor bruise. Examination of the pole showed it had rusted out where it broke, at a joint where the thinner outer portion fit into the thicker lower portion.

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