Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Trolley boats

Trams and trolley buses use electricity coming from overhead power wires. They connect to the wires via poles or pantographs. Pantographs are what you normally see on a diesel train (just checking to see if you are concentrating). If a tram uses a pole, it only needs one pole as the electricity comes in and then goes out (earths) via the metal wheels on the metal tracks (I need to keep it simple for you). Trolley buses with rubber tyres need two poles, one for the power and one for the earthing.

I am surprised to learn there are trolley boats. Clearly there are limitations. We can't string wires across the Pacific Ocean and I believe these boats featured in the photos were on canals in the US. As you can see, they needed two poles too.



18 comments:

  1. No doubt about you Andrew, you uncover all manner of curiosities.

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    1. And at times Victor, they are even interesting.

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  2. great and interesting post

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  3. I am in favour of anything that avoids the use of coal or petrol!!

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  4. But does it have to be two Poles?
    Wouldn't two Dutchmen do? Or any other nationality?
    (*~*)

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    1. Not Greeks, River. They would be attaching wires to the overhead power and using the electricity for their homes.

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  5. How intriguing. Thank you.

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  6. I guess they would need two poles, rather than discharge electricity into the super conductor that is water. Kill all the darn fish, or anyone who stuck a toe in.

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    1. Er yes, Strayer. I don't think it would work either.

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  7. I've never heard of trolley boats Andrew. But I suppose that it makes sense on narrow waterways such as canals.

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    1. Craig, I am surprised the method wasn't used in Britain.

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  8. Interesting are the boats. Didn't know of such a thing...

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    1. Margaret, some tiny information to file away for future use, or not.

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  9. I have heard of but never seen the trolly boats Andrew, didn't realise they were still in operation.

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    1. Grace, I don't know that they are. These are very old photos. I am surprised you have heard of them.

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