The Trolleybus Museum

Posted by Chris Graham on 13th August 2021

Derek Rayner reports on a very successful weekend of driver training and visitor rides at The Trolleybus Museum, near Doncaster.

The Trolleybus Museum

The Trolleybus Museum: London Transport No 1348 is a Leyland K2, and is waiting to move up in line so that passengers can board. In the background are the single-deck Cédès-Stoll replica and also BUT 9641T No 506 – a six-wheeler – which was the last example to operate in Nottingham, in July 1966.

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, near Doncaster, opened to the public over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend for the first time since early November 2019. Saturday was given over to a training day – for driver familiarisation etc ­– after the long lay-off. It was a weekend of glorious weather and a steady stream of visitors on both Sunday and Monday enjoyed a ride or, indeed, more than one ride, on those trolleybuses which were in operation over the weekend.

Sharing the duties at the event were Bradford No. 746, London Transport No. 1348, Bournemouth No. 297 and Manchester No 1344, although only three out of the four were in service at any one time.

The museum’s newest trolleybus, a replica of a 1911 Vienna-built Cédès-Stoll, which was commissioned and built in the Czech Republic, was out of the storage sheds and on display, although not in operation. It’s apparently awaiting the delivery of some new seals for the brake master cylinder, which more than likely failed as a result of its long, pandemic-enforced lay-up. None of these vehicles appreciate sitting around unused.

On Sunday, the museum, which boasts the largest collection of preserved trolleybuses in the world – several of which have come from abroad – enjoyed a visit from the Lincolnshire Louth Motor Club Classic Section, which brought with it an interesting display of classic and other types of car.

One of the nine, ‘foreign’ vehicles which can be seen at Sandtoft is this imported, GMC (Canada) example, which came over 4,000 miles from Edmonton, in October 2009. (Pic: Derek Rayner)

An interesting, museum-related development is that the organisation is planning an extension, having recently acquired a piece of land adjacent to the present site. This is very good news, especially so since it will eventually be possible to offer longer rides to members of the public.

In another development, back in the summer of 2019, British Trolleybus Society trustee, Francis Terry, kindly offered his 7¼in gauge railway to the museum. This well-established railway at his home in Northamptonshire, was known as the Ise Valley Railway.

As 2019 drew to a close, the railway was dismantled then it and the rolling stock was brought to Sandtoft. It’s due for installation there once planning issues are resolved, and will run in the most part on the museum’s newly-acquired land. Unfortunately, the knock-on effects of the pandemic have delayed this installation, but it’s hoped that this can now be progressed in a timely manner.

The museum is signposted from Hatfield Woodhouse, just off Junction 1 of the M180, south of Thorne. The postcode is DN8 5SX and, for details of other Trolley Days throughout the year, or to volunteer to help, please visit the website at: sandtoft.org

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