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Links and tidbits for Fri June 4

An exploded diagram of a Brill trolley, from a May 25, 1956 Buzzer! Click the image to see a larger version, and click to download the full issue.

An exploded diagram of a Brill trolley, from a May 25, 1956 Buzzer! Click the image to see a larger version, and click to download the full issue.

Tidbits and links, tidbits and links! If you have any to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at!


  • By Sewing, June 4, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    It’s safe to assume that the inner workings of a trolleybus have not fundamentally changed in the last 54 years, although the appearance and fittings have!

    And lo and behold, the old Brills may have been manually steered with no lift, bike rack, or air conditioning, but they had regenerative braking, long before the dawn of hybrid cars!

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, June 4, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    $28,850 for a trolley then! If only that were the case today.

    The diagram has the polarity of the trolley wires reversed; usually the wire closest to the curb is the ground wire.

    Our current fleet operates off the same direct current overhead network of wires in use since 1948, but the propulsion system is actually alternating current.

  • By ;-), June 4, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    I would love to see a similar diagram for the newer buses and each generation of the Skytrain, as well as, Canada Line cars. I often wonder what’s on the roof of buses when I’m looking down from a tall building.

    Looks like the new vehicles might even have some warp capabilities.

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, June 4, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    The propulsion system manufacturer’s page for Vancouver’s trolleys can be found here:

    The spec sheet describing the rooftop components is here:

    I found this for an exploded MKI SkyTrain car diagram:

  • By Sewing, June 5, 2010 @ 12:27 am


    I caught that, too, vis-a-vis the power and ground wires, but I wasn’t 100% sure…

    And really, the propulsion system is AC!?

    That means that if you put a southbound bus under the northbound wires, it wouldn’t go backwards?

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, June 5, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    It would go backwards if the operator had the direction selector in “reverse”!

  • By Cliff, June 6, 2010 @ 1:36 am

    Out of curiosity…

    What prevents me from buying a trolley bus, hooking it up to the wires and driving it around as the museum does?

    I assume that because the vehicles that use the trolley wires are VERY few and generally restricted to transit buses that there is no reason for any type of metering.

    I’m sure there are hobbyists (at least in other cities) that own trolleybuses. Do they more or less get a free pass for their hobby?

    I think it would be kind of neat if they did.

  • By Jason V, June 6, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Love that exploded view trolley bus; always wanted to see tech drawings just like that! Post them anytime!!

  • By Hilary, June 7, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    Ooh, neat, transit shoes. But I’m more into Converse than Nike, so I’ll pop over to that website to make some TransLink shoe designs.
    Present day dark grey/yellow/blue:
    Millennium Line/early 2000s yellow and blue on white:
    Retro flavour:
    And the Canada Line, which doesn’t quite fit anywhere:

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 7, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Jason V:
    I think Bob Banks drew that exploded diagram actually. He loved drawing trucks and technical details!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    Hilary: those are too awesome. Wow!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 25, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Cliff: Sorry for the late reply! Here is the answer from fleet management.

    There is no technological mechanism in place to prevent an individual from hooking up their own trolley bus to our overhead network. That said, it wouldn’t be legal without TransLink’s permission, since TL is paying the electric bill…

    Given how expensive trolleys are, I can’t imagine any people would
    actually procure a trolley, tow it out to the trolley network, then hook up just to drive around. TRAMS excepted, of course. If an individual did want to run their private trolley bus for a special event or something, I’m sure they’d be able to come to an agreement with TransLink. I suspect TL’s main concern would be not causing damage to the overhead network, not interrupting passenger bus services, and they may or may not care about the electricity consumption.

  • By Nike Dunks, August 25, 2010 @ 1:33 am

    im a boy, im from USA. i like wear Nike dunks when play basketball. so i always buy Nike dunk High.

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