Until early 2011,the Black Country Living Museum had the only double deck trolleybus
route left in the world. On Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to
Christmas a service operated taking visitors to and from the various
points of interest on the 26 acre site. Unfortunately, due to thieves stealing part of the
copper overhead wires, operation ceased at the end of 2010. However operation has now been
The start of the route is the top turning circle (862, 237 and 735
are pictured here parked up). Having come from
the stop just before the depot, the bus had to stop before descending
the hill as a safety measure. Between the stop and the Iron Houses
(about where 862 is on the photograph) is a dead spot where the depot
wires join the route. This had to be coasted through.
The hill going down to the coal mine stop. The return stop can be seen
in the photo, but the otward stop is just off picture. This was usually
taken with one notch of electric brake as one of the main paths from
the entrance building crosses the road at this point and the stop was
a compulsory one.
The tramway also crosses the road at this point. Here, Tividale car
no 34 is seen heading for the tramway mine stop.
From the mine stop, we headed towards the bridge over the stream running
through the site. The tramway crossing can be seen in the foreground
and immediately after the bridge, the roadway splits and the route
took a one way loop round the site. There was a 5mph speed limit going
under the crossing in the overhead, too fast through here and the poles
would be off.
Just over the bridge at the Tilted Cottage, we had a sharp left hand
bend followed almost immediately by a right hand bend. Just to make
life more interesting, there was a request stop here as well. In fact,
you can probably just see the green stop sign on the traction pole
(count 4 traction poles from the left). There are quite a few blind
spots here, so it was a case of going carefully.
Once out of the S-bend, we were on the Back Road, which did mean you
could put your left foot down a bit and then coast all the way to the
corner. There was a request stop at the Lenches Oliver Shop, which
wasn't often used and a picnic area on the right at the corner, a sharp
eye needed to be made for wandering pedestrians. This view is very different
now with the Institute and park occupying the empty land on the left and the
new row of shops on the right alongside the causeway, now named "Birmingham
At the end of the Back Road we had a compulsory stop before a very
easy corner onto the Causeway. In front are the pigeon lofts and the
turn to the left is a rough track to the lime kilns. The large iron
pieces on the left hand side of the road are the missing sections of
the bridge over the canal leading into the village itself. There are
steps down to the bridge just past the corner.
Once round the corner, we were on the Causeway. This view is from
Schoolroom Corner and we can just see the end of the Back Road in this
shot. The track down to the village can just be seen on the right hand
side. The left hand side is now occupied by a row of shops set in the 1930s.
At the end of the Causeway, we have St James' School and the tight
turn into the Village terminus. To get round safely, we had to steer
left to dip the nose of the bus into the roadway on the left and then
hard right to get round and into the stop. Cutting this corner was a
guaranteed dewirement. Added to that it was a danger spot for
pedestrians, as they tended to wander up from the village, run out of
the school or panic and run in front of the bus to get to the stop.
Once round the corner, we had the second terminus. As these shots
were all taken during the winter, when the trolleybuses did't run, 34
had the stop all to itself. This is the closest we got to the Black
Country Village itself, which is a very short walk down the path in
Leaving the lower terminus, we had a nice fast piece of roadway up
to the Tollhouse, with the tramway running on its reserved track to
the left. When there's few pedestrians about, this was a fast run, but
it could be another danger spot as there's no pavement. At the end of
this road we came back to the bridge.
We'd been here before! At the tollhouse, we came round the corner
and came in to the compulsory stop at the mine, again observing the
5mph limit through the crossing.
Having left the mine stop, we then had take the hill on full power,
which showed the trolleybus to its full advantage. This was another
danger point for pedestrians, so the horn was always sounded on
approaching the corner at the top.
At the top, the bus should have had enough speed to coast safely into the
stop. Here we see it occupied by D9 5342 (6342HA). We'd now done the
round trip of 0.8 miles.
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Wolverhampton trolleybus No 74, a Guy BTX with Guy bodywork, the
Black Country Museum in Dudley has No 78, which is identical. It was
discovered in a field in Ireland and returned to the museum for