Irisbus Cristalis trolleybus in LimogesFrance Comparison to trams[ edit ] Cheaper infrastructure - The initial start up cost of trams is much higher, due to rail, signals, and other infrastructure. Trolleybuses can pull over to the curb like other buses, eliminating the need of special boarding stations or boarding islands in the middle of the street, thus stations can be moved as needed. Easier traffic avoidance - Unlike trams where side tracks are often unavailablean out-of-service vehicle can be moved to the side of the road and its trolley poles lowered.
Irisbus Cristalis trolleybus in LimogesFrance Comparison to trams[ edit ] Cheaper infrastructure - The initial start up cost of trams is much higher, due to rail, signals, and other infrastructure.
Trolleybuses can pull over to the curb like other buses, eliminating the need of special boarding stations or boarding islands in the middle of the street, thus stations can be moved as needed. Better hill climbing - Trolleybuses' rubber tires have better adhesion than trams' steel wheels on steel rails, giving them better hill-climbing capability and braking.
Easier traffic avoidance - Unlike trams where side tracks are often unavailablean out-of-service vehicle can be moved to the side of the road and its trolley poles lowered. The ability to drive a substantial distance from the power wires allows trackless vehicles to avoid obstacles, although it also means a possibility that the vehicle may steer or skid far enough that the trolley pole can no longer reach the wire, stranding the vehicle.
Trackless trolleys also are able to avoid collisions by maneuver, while trams can only change speed. Quietness - Trolleybuses are generally quieter than trams.
Easier training - The control of Smart trolley is relatively similar to motorbuses; the potential operator pool for all buses Smart trolley much larger than for trams. Comparison to motorbuses[ edit ] Better hill climbing - Trolleybuses are better than motorbuses on hilly routes, as electric motors provide much higher static torque at start-up, an advantage for climbing steep hills.
Unlike internal combustion engines, electric motors draw power from a central plant and can be overloaded for short periods without damage. San Francisco and Seattleboth hilly American cities, use trolleybuses partly for this reason.
Given their acceleration and braking performance, trolleybuses can outperform diesel buses on flat stretches as well, which makes them better for routes that have frequent stops.
Power from a centralized planteven taking into account transmission lossesis often produced more efficiently, is not bound to a specific fuel source, and is more amenable to pollution control as a point sourceunlike individual vehicles with exhaust gases and particulates at street level.
Trolleybuses are especially favoured where electricity is abundant, cheap, and renewable, such as hydroelectric. San Francisco operates its system using hydro power from the city-owned Hetch Hetchy generating plant.
Trolleybuses can generate electricity from kinetic energy while braking, a process known as regenerative braking. For regenerative braking to function, there must be another bus on the same circuit needing power, an electric storage system on the vehicle or the wire system, or a method to send the excess power back to the commercial electric power system.
Otherwise the braking energy must be dissipated in resistance grids on the bus; this is called " dynamic braking ". For routes that have more frequent stops, the use of trolley buses eliminates pollution during idling, thus improving air quality.
Minimal noise pollution - Unlike trams or gasoline and diesel buses, trolleybuses are almost silent, lacking the noise of an engine or wheels on rails. Most noise comes from auxiliary systems such as power steering pumps and air conditioning.
Early trolleybuses without these systems were even quieter and, in the UK at least, were often referred to as the "Silent Service". This however can also be seen as a disadvantage, with some pedestrians falling victim to what was known as "Silent Death" in Britain or "Whispering Death" in Australia [ citation needed ].
Usable in enclosed space - The lack of exhaust allow trolleybuses to operate underground. In Cambridge, Massachusettstrackless trolleys survived because Harvard Stationwhere several bus lines terminate, is in a tunnel once used by streetcars. Although diesel buses do use the tunnel, there are limitations due to exhaust fumes.
Also, the trackless trolleys continue to have popular support. The only trolleybus systems in Japan, the Tateyama Tunnel Trolleybus and Kanden Tunnel Trolleybus lines, both run in tunnels serving the Kurobe Dam and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Routeand were converted from normal diesel buses specifically for their lack of exhaust.
Longevity and maintenance - Electric motors typically last longer than internal combustion motors, and cause less secondary damage from vibration, so electric buses tend to be very long-lived compared to motorbuses.
As the basic construction of buses has not changed much in the last 50 plus years, they can be upgraded such as when air conditioning was retrofitted to many trolleybuses.
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A trolleybus (also known as trolley bus, trolley coach, trackless trolley, trackless tram [in early years] or trolley) is an electric bus that draws power from overhead wires (generally suspended from roadside posts) using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit.
This differs from a tram or streetcar, which normally uses the track as the.