Drawing by David Jones London Trolleybuses exported to Penang

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825 Picture 825 - Ex London #138 [GTMT #24]
Picture of the rear of 138 taken by Derek Watts [while conscripted to Singapore] which also shows an RAF mate, plus some natives grinning nicely. This picture and another below are from a 2¼ square transparencies electronically restored using Photoshop.
Sadly this picture has noticeable camera shake.
Picture of vehicle in service at Ayer Itam.
826 Picture 826 - Ex London #142 [GTMT #20]
Taken at Ayer Itam, an outer suburb of Georgetown Penang. This area is well known for postcard photos because of the World War II memorial, also the junction to the Hills Railway.
827 Picture 827 - Ex London #148 [GTMT #21]
[From a picture by A.M.Wright]
Shepherds Bush Green at the terminal point on the South Side of the Green at the eastern end, facing westwards.
Picture of vehicle in service in Penang.
825 Picture 828 - Ex London #175 [GTMT #22]
Three LTE trolleybuses still in London livery at the depot in 1956 with 175 on the left, 183 on the right and the back end of 138 in view behind 183. That's Derek Watts cluttering up the front.

With acknowledgements to Derek Watts.
829 Picture 829 - Ex London #183 [GTMT #23]
Pictured shortly after delivery, and is seen in the livery of Penang Georgetown Municipal Transport with a fleet number of 23.
Another picture of this vehicle in service in Penang.

Acknowledgements to "David Jones" <ddjones@paradise.net.nz>
for permission to use the line drawing at the head of this page

Information on Penang's trolleybuses was extracted on 2 March 2004 from
[Site URL: www.tbus.bravepages.com/index.html]

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From: "Ric Francis" <tram1@dodo.com.au>

The new Transport board had decided as an experiment to purchase five ex-London transport double-deckers in 1956. The vehicles themselves had been some of the oldest working for London Transport when withdrawn by them in 1955. They were ex-C1 class AEC vehicles and arrived at the quayside in May and June 1956. Having seen already 20 years service they could be said to be a curious choice, but they had been well maintained by their former owners and were, even taking into account shipping charges, rather inexpensive.

Given the random order of the numbers it can be assumed that they were members of the class in best condition and in fact whilst four had Metro-Cammell bodies, the fifth had a body built by Weymann.

They became No's. 20 to 24 with Georgetown Municipal Transport, taking the numbers formerly allocated to pre-war Ransomes trolleybuses. They were numbered in chassis number order and their previous London Transport fleet numbers had been 142, 148, 175, 183 and 138 respectively. When new they were used on routes 657, from Isleworth Depot and 667 from Fulwell Depot and had been replaced in 1952 by 70 seat BUT 9641s the last ever London trolleybuses to be delivered - Nos.1842 to 1891. In 1952 the C1 class were transferred to Highgate (Holloway) depot to replace 60 seat B2 class trolleybuses and for their last three years in service had been kept to the relatively quiet "Hampstead Routes" i.e. 513, 613, 615 and 639. At the time many London trolleybuses were being withdrawn due to service cuts and these "lucky" five were the only pre-war trolleybuses to be sold for further use and thereby avoid the cutters torch.

On arrival they were towed to the depot for certain modifications. Ventilation for example was inadequate, and the solution was to fix full drop depth sliding windows. The existing seating was unsuitable as it encouraged cockroaches so standard tropical materials were fitted. They were also fitted with automatic acceleration. Initially the rear registration plate displayed the fleet number in red and the fleet number was also displayed centrally on the front panel.

Staff had to be consulted as to the manning of these "giants" and conducting staff would only work on them on the principle of "one deck, one man". The Department went into consultation with the only other double-deck operator G.T.C. of Kuala Lumpur. They used this system and found that the extra revenue earned by their double-deck vehicles more than paid for the extra man's wages. It would seem that the lower deck man held seniority and to him fell the honourable tasks of replacing poles, pulling over junction frogs and being in charge of the platform.

Initially it is believed that these vehicles worked the Jelutong route. The only difficulty was at the town end of the route at the Jetty, where these longer vehicles were unable to negotiate the turning circle without reversing. Extensive road works were put in hand and the circle enlarged. In theory they could operate on all routes except the Hill Railway shuttle and photographic evidence would suggest that fairly soon after entering service they more often than not worked the Ayer Itam route.

Initially they apparently "gave a good account for themselves". This may have been almost a honeymoon period as with three crew members on board, despite Kuala Lumpur experience, with relatively low fare levels they soon became uneconomic. Their age must also have told against them and one can only assume that they were purchased basically to assess double-deck operation, whether it be trolleybus or motor bus.