Ireland in the Age of the Trolleybus - Belfast
Silver Link Publishing The Trundle, Ringstead Road, Great Addington, Kettering, Northants, NN14 4BW, UNITED
* Author - Mike Maybin
Industrial heritage does not usually extend to buses, however, I am prepared to make an exception for trolleybuses – given that a fixed overhead network of electric
wire was necessary for supply and even more so for the Belfast trolleybus network, which by and large used the network of the tramway system.
The Belfast Corporation Act (NI) of 1930 gave authority to the corporation to run trolley buses. The first trolleybus ran in 1938 as an experimental affair to Fruithill Park
and was deemed a success with the result that recommendation to close the tramway and convert to trolleybus operation was made. The outbreak of WW2 slowed
the process down. It is interesting to note that whilst trolleybus operation used the generating plant and poles of the tramway routes, replacement overhead was
required. This appears to have been carried out so as to allow trams to continue operating in parallel.
The history of the development of the network is covered, including details of extensions to the network on routes not served by trams. It would be interesting to see if
any overhead support poles still exist on these extensions - similar to the way that trampoles remain in use as lampposts in Dublin.
The author has done excellent work in uncovering interesting material concerning the network, including details of the Whitehouse war between the Corporation (as
owners of the network) and the UTA and that Belfast, in the aftermath of WW2, was considering making its city centre a public transport free zone (you read that
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