Bye bye trolley buses (years past) - Hello trolley lorries

oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
6,530
9,484
West West Wales
Apart from creating a new tongue-twister, (should I insist they are yellow?), my attention was caught by this:

'E-highways' could slash UK road freight emissions, says study
System of overhead cables and adapted lorries could pay for itself within 15 years
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/27/ehighways-could-slash-uk-road-freight-emissions-says-study

Deeply sceptical of the claims. A Tesla car size battery sufficient for off-catenary use? When the biggest proposed system doesn't get closer than Swansea or Holyhead. That automatically means continuing to use diesel (at least, non-electric sources) over a vast proportion of Wales. And Scotland.

And that is without considering what would happen in high winds, or power failures.
 

Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,761
1,155
66
West Wales
I have fond childhood memories of the trolley bus system in and around Walsall. However i also remember the extensive system of poles, wires and support cables. It wasn't pretty.
Surely, despite claimed inefficiencies, hydrogen power is the way to go. Much more autonomous vehicles in terms of where they can go, can be applied to personal transport also, and hydrogen can be manufactured from 'spare' capacity on windy/sunny days, thus acting as a battery.
Infra structure costs, in the main, moved to individual vehicle purchasers.
Living in West Wales I imagine this cable system would come no further than Swansea (eventually), leaving the majority of land area uncovered, and a Tesla sized battery is not going to get a 40tonne artic to Cardigan let alone somewhere like Dolgellau. Good luck on those hills boys !
 
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oyster

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2017
6,530
9,484
West West Wales
I have fond childhood memories of the trolley bus system in and around Walsall. However i also remember the extensive system of poles, wires and support cables. It wasn't pretty.
Surely, despite claimed inefficiencies, hydrogen power is the way to go. Much more autonomous vehicles in terms of where they can go, can be applied to personal transport also, and hydrogen can be manufactured from 'spare' capacity on windy/sunny days, thus acting as a battery.
Infra structure costs, in the main, moved to individual vehicle purchasers.
Living in West Wales I imagine this cable system would come no further than Swansea (eventually), leaving the majority of land area uncovered, and a Tesla sized battery is not going to get a 40tonne artic to Cardigan let alone somewhere like Dolgellau. Good luck on those hills boys !
My memories of trolley buses are from visiting grandparents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The maze of wires near the central station was quite amazing.

With some autonomy, the complicated and expensive junctions could be abandoned entirely. And re-routing due to roadworks, accidents, etc. would be trivial. Automated pantographs would also be a major enhancement.

I think Carmarthen would be pushing it, Cardigan too far, and Dolgellau, a joke.

Also have this nagging feeling that there could be multiple standards - for example we use one voltage but other countries use a different one, or the (money) charging systems might be incompatible.

If, despite my misgivings, it were implemented, we could see buses and lorries using the same catenaries in towns and cities. But only if planned for.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,520
23,354
I've been saying this for along time, trunking trucks could be overhead cable powered along all the major routes to cover the vast majority of their mileages. It doesn't matter about the less densely populated areas that couldn't be covered that way, we only need to deal with the bulk of the problem.

These long distance "trolley trucks" wouldnt need today's large diesel engines for the urban end parts of their journeys, the "Scammel Mechanical Horse principle" of using smaller low geared engines could deal with that. That's also commensurate with the current expansion of 20mph urban speed limits with all urban traffic slowed down to maximise safety, suiting cycling.
.
 

mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,889
1,494
My memories of trolley buses are from visiting grandparents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The maze of wires near the central station was quite amazing.

With some autonomy, the complicated and expensive junctions could be abandoned entirely. And re-routing due to roadworks, accidents, etc. would be trivial. Automated pantographs would also be a major enhancement.

I think Carmarthen would be pushing it, Cardigan too far, and Dolgellau, a joke.

Also have this nagging feeling that there could be multiple standards - for example we use one voltage but other countries use a different one, or the (money) charging systems might be incompatible.

If, despite my misgivings, it were implemented, we could see buses and lorries using the same catenaries in towns and cities. But only if planned for.
Oh dear!
I am that old that I remember the trolley buses replacing the trams in Cardiff.
 
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