Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
On 15 Jan 2020 20:17:18 GMT
Post by Marland
I wonder if it was Twickenham I saw some tram lines on my last London
My Grandad took me out for a last day of rides on the Trolleys just before
they ceased and we went to the end of the route 667 from Chiswick to
I do sometimes wonder what - if anything - was going through the minds of
the people who authorised the destruction of tram and trolleybus systems
around the UK back then to replace them with diesel buses that in those days
were utterly filthy with thick blue-grey and even black smoke coming out of
the exhaust being the norm. I can't help thinking some brown envelopes were
involved at some point.
There were several factors that intermingled and this far away from the
events the debate probably cannot fully reach a conclusion as those who
took the decisions have long died,the initial moves starting in the 1930’s.
Many tram systems were worn out by then and the capital cost of replacing
rails was just too much,
the bigger places that could afford too sometimes decided that the power
distribution network still had some life so opted for trolleybuses but
many smaller towns went to the Motor bus.
WW2 altered things considerably, it actually prolonged the life of some
tram routes that should have ceased including London the Trolleybus
conversion being interrupted.
By the time that was over smaller diesel engines were available that were a
better proposition than the older 1930’s versions and so the programme was
Post war building and expansion of towns did not help either together with
extensive road remodelling
making it difficult to to accommodate trams or trolleys with their
Another factor was the alterations to the power supply industry as councils
lost control of power stations that had originated to provide power for the
tramway but now they had to pay the nationalised
electricity boards just like everyone else.
A few places that looked like they would have kept trolleybuses came
across the problem that as there were now only a handful of them the
manufactures no longer made them or if they did they were
going to be very expensive compared to motor bus chassis coming of
production lines in quantity for here and export. A glut of serviceable
vehicles went from closed systems to others which filled in some gaps but
did nothing to encourage a manufacturer to stay in such a small market.
It was quite hostile environment for electric traction in city streets.
It would have taken something from central government to make the
conditions more favourable
such as cheaper electric . Brown envelopes probably were not needed, the
whole nation was turning petrolhead and the Motor industry had more
potential to export IC engined vehicles than electric
and at the time the UK badly needed foreign earnings from manufacturing
which means dirt.
It is only in recent times that we have got foreign earnings from financial
services etc so have the luxury of keeping our hands clean and the heavy
pollution in China ,India etc.