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Edmonton Trolleys


doglover44
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13 hours ago, doglover44 said:

Why did they get rid of their trolley network ?

In a nutshell, laziness.  ETS and City Administration did not want to put forth the effort to run a proper trolley system. So with a hidden agenda, lots of propaganda, malicious lies about trolleys (to anyone that would listen - and also to the media) they set about their nefarious deeds to slander the trolleys. New route configurations purposely cut up trolley routes, or rendered them useless by adding on sections that had no wire, to lessen trolley kilometers and by the numbers this would show the trolley system as small and hardly worth it. By purposely sabotaging and fudging the numbers, plus trotting out all the old myths that trolleys are old, cumbersome, unreliable, etc. they fostered a  huge hate-on among employees and citizens for these innocent buses. Overhead was purposely neglected so that 'incidents' were more common, and commuters and drivers (bus and car) would gripe more and more about 'those useless buses'. Even with the demo E40LFR from Vancouver, it sat around more than it was out, and barely got any hype, while the hybrids (the flavor of the month bus) got tons of hype, media coverage, fancy ad wraps, and tons of ETS public relations and talking heads spewing out the word hybrid at every opportunity. The E40LFR was liked by operators and the public, but this got downplayed to the point of being ignored. Basically, ETS officials and senior management team at the city hoodwinked council and the citizens to get their way. It was dirty politics at its finest. Even if council had swung the other way, ETS would not run a fleet of new trolleys any more efficiently than their former fleet of BBC trolleys.  To run a trolley system, you have to WANT to run a trolley system. ETS would rather do what is easy, not what is right. They are paying for that decision now, but would never admit it.

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 7:16 AM, captaintrolley said:

In a nutshell, laziness.  ETS and City Administration did not want to put forth the effort to run a proper trolley system. So with a hidden agenda, lots of propaganda, malicious lies about trolleys (to anyone that would listen - and also to the media) they set about their nefarious deeds to slander the trolleys. New route configurations purposely cut up trolley routes, or rendered them useless by adding on sections that had no wire, to lessen trolley kilometers and by the numbers this would show the trolley system as small and hardly worth it. By purposely sabotaging and fudging the numbers, plus trotting out all the old myths that trolleys are old, cumbersome, unreliable, etc. they fostered a  huge hate-on among employees and citizens for these innocent buses. Overhead was purposely neglected so that 'incidents' were more common, and commuters and drivers (bus and car) would gripe more and more about 'those useless buses'. Even with the demo E40LFR from Vancouver, it sat around more than it was out, and barely got any hype, while the hybrids (the flavor of the month bus) got tons of hype, media coverage, fancy ad wraps, and tons of ETS public relations and talking heads spewing out the word hybrid at every opportunity. The E40LFR was liked by operators and the public, but this got downplayed to the point of being ignored. Basically, ETS officials and senior management team at the city hoodwinked council and the citizens to get their way. It was dirty politics at its finest. Even if council had swung the other way, ETS would not run a fleet of new trolleys any more efficiently than their former fleet of BBC trolleys.  To run a trolley system, you have to WANT to run a trolley system. ETS would rather do what is easy, not what is right. They are paying for that decision now, but would never admit it.

Another new twist they tried, besides the "visual pollution" of overhead" The trolleys run on "dirty" thermal power - as does the LRT. They tried to make the LRT look "clean", but trolleybuses "dirty" even though both got their power from the same source. Some of that even spilled over into the countryside around Edmonton. I remember a letter to the Edmonton Journal from someone in an outlying town saying the city could keep its dirty emissions; he didn't want them fouling his clean air.

A few Councillors - including now-Mayor Don Iveson - tried to fight the good fight. I once e-mailed the entire Council; Iveson was among the po-trolley Councillors who replied. (Karen Leibovici was another). Not one of the antis, including then-Mayor Steve Mandel, defiled my inbox. Most of those antis, including Mandel, were reelected the next year.

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1 hour ago, Mark Walton said:

Another new twist they tried, besides the "visual pollution" of overhead" The trolleys run on "dirty" thermal power

Basically these statements are included in my phrase 'trotting out all the old myths', I just didn't want to list dozens of them. We all know what they old myths are.

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When I went to the Trolleybus Museum in Sandtoft which has Edmonton BBC #189, I was told that the ant trolleybus people in Edmonton used the same false arguments that Britain used to abandon various trolleybus systems as well. 

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Didn't Wellington also made that same excuse to get rid of its system? I read somewhere that the last day of its operation was even more low key than what Edmonton did---actually, hardly even celebrated at all besides a few fans that tried to boast it as much as they can, which would have otherwise not exist in any form. Very sad over there...

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1 hour ago, sturmnacht said:

Didn't Wellington also made that same excuse to get rid of its system? I read somewhere that the last day of its operation was even more low key than what Edmonton did---actually, hardly even celebrated at all besides a few fans that tried to boast it as much as they can, which would have otherwise not exist in any form. Very sad over there...

Yes. Edmonton set a very dangerous precedent by doing what it did. Indeed Wellington was very sad. I could barely watch the Wellington videos without reliving the pain.

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 7:55 PM, captaintrolley said:

Basically these statements are included in my phrase 'trotting out all the old myths', I just didn't want to list dozens of them. We all know what they old myths are.

To me the thermal power being dirty for trolleybuses, but not for LRT, was a new twist, I never heard that one before or since.

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1 hour ago, Mark Walton said:

To me the thermal power being dirty for trolleybuses, but not for LRT, was a new twist, I never heard that one before or since.

I have, but then these clowns stay up at night conjuring up myths to hoodwink the public. It's a jolly sport for them.

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  • 7 months later...
25 minutes ago, Jaymaud0804 said:

ETS should bring its historical Trolley fleet out on May 2, 2019 to mark the 10th anniversary of service ending. Do they have a BBC restored?

Apparently 100, 113, 137, 140, and 151 are in storage at Centennial Garage. They are not restored (only stored 🤣 )  They are not really historical - although now that there is no more trolley system - they may as well be. Brills 148, 202, and Pullman 113 are part of the 'historical' fleet. Don't get your hopes up for a display of any sort in May 2019. ETS is not likely to expend any energy in towing a bus or two for a display. The trolleys now sit unloved in a dank corner of a far flung garage and are merely curios for the new hires.

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8 hours ago, captaintrolley said:

Apparently 100, 113, 137, 140, and 151 are in storage at Centennial Garage. They are not restored (only stored 🤣 )  They are not really historical - although now that there is no more trolley system - they may as well be. Brills 148, 202, and Pullman 113 are part of the 'historical' fleet. Don't get your hopes up for a display of any sort in May 2019. ETS is not likely to expend any energy in towing a bus or two for a display. The trolleys now sit unloved in a dank corner of a far flung garage and are merely curios for the new hires.

I would consider them historical. They are the only New Look body trolleys, and no more New Looks are in revenue service anymore.

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@captaintrolleyBitter memories for you.

I made my only visit to Edmonton in 1982, when the BBC trolleys were new and new wiring extensions had been built for additional routes out to Westgate (is that the right name?). The drivers were talking enthusiastically about the new "speedwire" (Swiss K&M) that had just been installed. My impression of the BBC trolleybus was that it was a very smooth runner.

I remember joining in at the request of local campaigners to send some emails to local councillors.

As you say, all the usual BS was trotted out. Everything was going to be so much better and cheaper (?) once the trolleys went. Of course nothing of the sort happened.  This was a forerunner of the recent Wellington disaster. There the "vision" was an all green service over a wider area than just the trolleybus system. People thought the replacements were going to be all electric. In fact it was going to be turbine generators driving electric motors but even that doesn't seem to have happened and there's just an all diesel service. Voters complain and feel cheated though I feel less sympathy with Wellington because there were plenty of articles explaining that the plan was just a confidence trick.  

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1 hour ago, martin607 said:

Bitter memories for you.

Yes, and still sticks in my craw as if it were only yesterday. There were planned trolley extensions to West Edmonton Mall (not Westgate - but close enough), Northgate, Abbotsfield, Kaskitayo (now called Century Park).  So basically extensions in all four directions. All it would have taken was some traction poles and a bit o' wire. Maybe a substation or two. It could have been built quickly and a lot less expensively than the LRT that they are building now which can't seen to get out of its own way on the road. Anyhow, all the progressive thinkers, movers and shakers of the time have since retired or passed away, and ETS is left with these buffoons who can't even run a fifth grade birthday party, let alone a transit system.

A friend of mine was given BBC unit # 100 on his run every day when it was new in November 1981. He basically had to report on its performance, and help work the bugs out before pressing the new trolleys into service. Some photos from day one of revenue service for # 100.

100-1.jpg

100-2.jpg

100-3.jpg

100-4.jpg

100-5.jpg

100-7.jpg

100-8.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 hour ago, captaintrolley said:

A friend of mine that was in the garage a few years back sent me those unit numbers.  I have not been in the garage personally.

 Could've been 150 (no mentions of current state, last trolley to run on route 5)

Also, how many trolley routes did Edmonton have?

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7 hours ago, Jaymaud0804 said:

Also, how many trolley routes did Edmonton have?

The most were 10 routes. Towards the end there were 7 routes. (3, 5, 7, 9, 120, 133, 135).

4 hours ago, Blake M said:

Is there anywhere I could find a map of the trolley routes Edmonton had at it's peak? I'm curious to know where they all went

There are probably various maps around, I do not have one though.

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4 hours ago, Blake M said:

Is there anywhere I could find a map of the trolley routes Edmonton had at it's peak? I'm curious to know where they all went

There is a new book now available for purchase that should have maps for each Canadian trolley system, including Edmonton. It is entitled "TIRES and WIRES: The story of electric trolley coaches serving sixteen Canadian cities"

For more information, see:

https://transitheritage.ca/tires-wires/

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20 hours ago, A. Wong said:

There is a new book now available for purchase that should have maps for each Canadian trolley system, including Edmonton. It is entitled "TIRES and WIRES: The story of electric trolley coaches serving sixteen Canadian cities"

For more information, see:

https://transitheritage.ca/tires-wires/

I ordered one. Does anyone know if it will ship by Canada Post or some other method? I really hope it ships by Canada Post because our building has a Canada Post parcel box.

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26 minutes ago, captaintrolley said:

I ordered one. Does anyone know if it will ship by Canada Post or some other method? I really hope it ships by Canada Post because our building has a Canada Post parcel box.

No, they just leave them on a BBC somewhere. You just have to track it down. (/s)

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