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Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Darwin/NT & Tasmania Transport Discussion

Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:55 am

How about bringing trolleybuses back to both Hobart and Launceston, given rising oil prices and Tasmania's supply of hydroelectric power? Note that modern trolleybuses are not limited to their wires, they have batteries for limited off-wire maneuvers.
Maybe interurban buses between Hobart and Launceston could even be dual-mode.
Last edited by Myrtone on Wed May 09, 2018 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby system improver » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:36 pm

Capital expenditure. You need buses (more than 50% higher in cost, for reasons that still elude me), poles, wires and other supply infrastructure (sub stations etc). However, electric buses, run by batteries which can be recharged, will soon be the same cost as diesel buses. China is now making them in their thousands and will be all electric in their major cities by 2025. At the moment, local need is greater than supply but that will change and exports will grow - exponentially!
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:45 pm

But trolleybuses don't need rails. And to be fair, trolleybuses are electric buses. But they are straight electric, rather than having only on-board storage supplying only on-board loads.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:04 pm

Ask this question to the authorities in Wellington NZ
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby 1whoknows » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:18 am

Myrtone, if you want to be around trolleybuses its simple - move to Europe. They will never make a comeback here due to the infrastructure costs (overhead and sub stations) and the fact that electric buses are well into development and will become the norm in major cities over the next couple of decades.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:11 am

Once again, trolleybuses are electric buses, and I am tried of this anti-trolleybus flag waving. They can collect electricity while moving (like most trams and practically all electric trains), while other electric buses need charging while stationary. The power supply infrastructure they need is not much different from straight electric rail vehicles, which includes most trams.
Also, why the double standard? If electric trams powered from overhead wires make a comeback, why not trolleybuses.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:51 am

I don't think we are anti-trolley bus per-se; we just can't see the financial sense in starting up a new system in the current technology climate. They are still restricted as to where you can use them.

Trams are about increasing capacity in a corridor. Trolley buses don't offer any gain over conventional buses.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:07 pm

Trolleybuses do offer gains, after all, all state capitals except Melbourne have had them, and most cities that still have them (not just in Europe). There are currently eight in North America, and another eight in South America. Most cities that still have trolleybuses have no plans for complete abandonment. As I noted, modern trolleybuses are not limited to their overhead wires, they have batteries for off-wire maneuvers.

If you guys can't see a financial benefit in starting up a new network of trolleybus wires in the current technological climate, can any of you seen a benefit in stringing overhead wires above completely new tram tracks with completely new trams? There are trams powered in the same way as those "electric" buses are powered.

And if one advocates replacing trolleybuses with something else, this being what they call electric buses, this is anti-trolleybus flag waving. Both because it is anti-trolleybuses and because it claims to distinguish between trolleybuses and electric buses.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 pm

Most of those existing systems you mention have been around for a long time. The Australian systems you mentioned all had tram networks from which to share power.

How many NEW systems have started up in, say, the last 10 years?

Imagine the outcry from "environmentalists" over "unsightly overhead wires" being strung up along streets these days. If they are offended by tram wires...?
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby 1whoknows » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:31 am

Exactly - and the new systems that are starting up are the rubber tyred tram without rails type of thing which get classified as trams but to my mind are also trolleybuses. Personally I think trolleybuses are great where already in place. I have ridden all the remaining old style ones in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France and sampled the Seattle one in the USA. I have also tried out several of the new types referred to above such as at Nancy in France.
I was also sad to see Wellington go but no one is going to sign up to bringing on a new "old style" trolleybus system.
The way of the future is going to be the battery storage electric bus or the type such as they use in central Vienna which puts up a panto to recharge at the terminus.
I believe Geneva and elsewhere are also trying ones that recharge at each stop.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:52 am

The battery storage bus still has on-board storage only supplying on-board loads, which is only recharged when stationary. Trolleybuses with battery packs can recharge and stay charged while moving or stationary. In fact, there have been a handful of brand new trolleybus systems recently.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Tas Bus Nut » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:10 am

Tasmania is always crying poor. Our Government is NOT interested in new technology (usual answer is ALWAYS cost) They say they're doing what they can for public transport, but they're not serious. BIG $$$ need to be spent, however they will continue to buy / follow the cheapest option. Tasmania will NEVER see a trolleybus system again, likewise I very much doubt we'll see trams (light rail) Hell, we can't even put up poles / wires above rail infrastructure that is already there :roll: Myrtone, if you're that passionate about it, lobby your local politician, but experience shows (particularly with THIS Government), you're p%#sing into the wind.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:01 am

Myrtone wrote:The battery storage bus still has on-board storage only supplying on-board loads, which is only recharged when stationary. Trolleybuses with battery packs can recharge and stay charged while moving or stationary. In fact, there have been a handful of brand new trolleybus systems recently.

Buses tend to have layovers at the end of each run, which would be long enough to recharge batteries for the next segment. As they are claiming a battery bus has been able to run from Melbourne to Sydney on a single charge, a short run around Hobart or Launceston should not be a challenge.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:39 am

Trolleybuses have not been a new technology for a long time. Batteries with a range of hundreds of kilometers are a much newer technology. Buses may have layovers at the end of each run, waiting until the next bus is due according to the timetable, and on short routes, this could give enough time to charge batteries with enough range for short routes. But the idea that batteries that have no less range than a full tank of fuel is the answer is treating electricity like a fuel and a fuel tank like batteries.

A fuel tank on-board, for example, a diesel bus, can take it at least as far as it needs to go on single shift (between leaving the depot and returning) but can only be refilled while stationary. Batteries on a modern trolleybus (weighing no less than a full tank of fuel) can only take them as far as they need to go on limited off-wire maneuvers but can be charged while moving or stationary, and even stay charged until the bus needs to go off-wire.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby moa999 » Sun May 06, 2018 11:11 pm

Just go all electric with trolley-style rapid charging at key stops / terminus.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Sun May 06, 2018 11:16 pm

Trolleybuses are all electric and have been worked well for over a century.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby moa999 » Wed May 09, 2018 2:22 pm

Yes but require expensive to maintain and install wires and poles which are ugly to the streetscape.

Even Wellington, which was a long term holdout has closed its trolley bus network this year.
And is replacing with some all electric buses (and some diesels)
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Wed May 09, 2018 2:41 pm

moa999 wrote:Yes but require expensive to maintain and install wires and poles which are ugly to the streetscape.

So do straight electric trams, but they are making a comeback around the world. And trams of any type require rails, how much do these cost to maintain? As long as trolleybuses are cheaper than trams and are not limited to their wires, they will still have a place as long as overhead electric trams do.

moa999 wrote:Even Wellington, which was a long term holdout has closed its trolley bus network this year.
And is replacing with some all electric buses (and some diesels)

How many times do I have to tell everyone here that trolleybuses are all electric? Also, there are many trolleybus systems still surviving in Europe and a few in North America, with no plans to close them.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Wed May 09, 2018 2:56 pm

"all electric" in that context means they do not require overhead wires.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Wed May 09, 2018 3:10 pm

Well that's very wrong and misleading. If you mean buses with batteries and no trolleypoles, they are called battery-electric. An electric vehicle that uses external electricity while on the move is a straight-electric vehicle. And think about the cost of maintaining batteries that must power the traction motors every time those motors are on.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby moa999 » Wed May 09, 2018 4:30 pm

Myrtone wrote:How many times do I have to tell everyone here that trolleybuses are all electric? Also, there are many trolleybus systems still surviving in Europe and a few in North America, with no plans to close them.


Did I say they weren't.

While electric/environmental may be a driver of light rail (in Australia being mostly coal powered, all it does is shift the pollution) it's not the key driver.

Sydney is going light rail for capacity reasons. Unless you know of a 67m long articulated bus.

It's cheaper than a metro to construct (albeit seemingly not substantially in Sydney) but more importantly it has greater stop density and is street level which reduces pax journey times and staffing/cleaning/running costs.

For less dense routes a fully electric bus can do everything a trolley bus can do without the poles and wires.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Wed May 09, 2018 4:46 pm

moa999 wrote:Did I say they weren't.

See below.

moa999 wrote:While electric/environmental may be a driver of light rail (in Australia being mostly coal powered, all it does is shift the pollution) it's not the key driver.

Same with a trolleybus, but consider the efficiency of electric motors and those of power stations. Also, Tasmania apparently has a big supply of hydroelectric power.

moa999 wrote:Sydney is going light rail for capacity reasons. Unless you know of a 67m long articulated bus.

And it's not battery light rail.

moa999 wrote:It's cheaper than a metro to construct (albeit seemingly not substantially in Sydney) but more importantly it has greater stop density and is street level which reduces pax journey times and staffing/cleaning/running costs.

I'm not sure what this is about.

moa999 wrote:For less dense routes a fully electric bus can do everything a trolley bus can do without the poles and wires.

To be fair, trolleybuses are fully electric, your claim that Wellington replaced some trolleybuses with "fully electric" buses implies otherwise. And battery-electric buses cannot recharge or stay charged while moving, however can also go short distances away from the wires on auxiliary battery power. Apart from their limited off-wire range, a trolleybus with auxiliary batteries can in fact do everything a battery-electric bus can and also can recharge and stay charged while moving under wires.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby 1whoknows » Thu May 10, 2018 1:09 pm

Look you bat about on this all you want but the likelihood of trolleybuses returning to Australia in the near or even the far future is somewhere between negligible and nothing. If you really want to pursue it then lobby Governments rather than people here.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby Myrtone » Thu May 10, 2018 1:12 pm

Look, there's a double standard here. Trams have returned to Sydney, and have been introduced to the Gold Coast and there are tram extensions in Adelaide, and all of these are straight-electric, yet there are no proposals for return of trolleybuses.
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Re: Return of trolleybuses to Hobart and Lauceston

Postby boronia » Thu May 10, 2018 1:49 pm

Have you ever considered why?
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