London Trolleybus Depot at Carshalton

Carshalton Depot
Click on picture for a slightly bigger version
Picture from the Terry Russell Collection

Notes by David Bradley based upon an article in Buses Illustrated - March 1959

Carshalton Depot provided the 26 trolleybuses required to operate Route 654. They were of Class B1 and by 1959 had covered around a million miles in service since being introduced in 1935. Especially designed for use on hilly routes they had only 60 seats against the 70 seats of the standard London trolleybus. An unusual feature was the fitting of two extra brakes - a run-back brake and a coasting brake. These brakes were a Ministry of Transport requirement for operation on Anerley Hill. The road rises in steps with gradient as steep as 1 in 9. The effect of the run-back brake was to reduce the speed of the trolleybus to a very low figure - about 2 mph - should it run backwards down the hill. The coasting brake performed a similar function in forward running. Carshalton Depot [CN] was formerly named Sutton Trolleybus Depot [and in an earlier life housed trams] but with the administrative changes of 1950 was renamed Carshalton to avoid confusion with Sutton Garage. The location was between the junction of Harold Road and Westmead Road. The depot is no longer operational having closed in 1964, so it is no longer possible to view the traversing turntable [operated by old tramcar equipment] that maximised the restricted space for trolleybus manoeuvres.

From: "John Linge" <>

I have tonight found your fascinating website. Thank you for providing such excellent pictures. You have invited input, so here goes. My father lived several doors away from Carshalton Depot [the same side - towards Sutton], where his parents ran a greengrocer's shop in the mid-thirties in a building which is now an Indian take-away [painted red, I think no. 99 Westmead Road].

From: "Bill Dyer" <>

Your Trolleybus site is of the best, most interesting and most explicit. Being an old Croydonian, I found most of the nostalgia came from the 654 and 630 trolleybus routes. Having lived in Waddon, travelling on the 654 in particular, was an every day occurrence. I knew a few of the drivers on this route who have passed on over the years, but I found a lot of interest in the picture TR2 of the old Carshalton bus garage. I served in the London Transport Home Guard prior to entering the Royal Navy in 1943, our Headquarters was in a house in Stafford Road I think it was number 20. One of our duties was sentry duty at the Carshalton Garage. The brick building to the right of the picture was our guard house, and we entered it by a slip door cut into the large main door, that is clearly shown in the picture. We stood sentry in the centre of the entrance to the garage, right by the centre column. it was done mostly on weekends and was a night time shift at 1 hour intervals. I recognised the building directly I saw it. It took me back 58 years.

Many thanks for the memories.

From: "Paul Tibblesr" <>

Congratulations on your fantastic website!

I live in Carshalton and drive along Westmead Road whenever going into Sutton town centre. The old trolleybus depot building is still there, but now a commercial premises.

The old admin building on the left hand side of the front entrance is more or less the same as it was back in the 654 days.

From: "Chris Cook" <>

I had a look at Carshalton Garage recently.

Still looks like a bus garage, in use as a self-storage depot [you know, you rent a cubic area to put your archives in]. This seems to be final fate of many redundant large buildings, prior to redevelopment.

TfL is said to be discussing buying-back some former bus garages [many have been demolished], as there is a serious shortage of garage space now bus services are being rapidly expanded. No idea if they've thought about this one.

Maybe Connex will have to stop using CN as their code for Beddington Garage soon. Seems very odd to see it on the side of a Route 3 in Whitehall.