A Bit Extra Trolley Bus 616

1949 Sunbeam F4

Reg No: FJW 616
Chassis: Sunbeam F4
Engine: Trolleybus
Body: Park Royal DD

Trolleybuses were powered by electricity, drawing power from overhead wires. Wolverhampton Corporation was one of the most enthusiastic operators of trolleybuses from the 1920s onward.

Wolverhampton-based Sunbeam was one of Britain’s most important trolleybus builders, with a strong export market too. Guy Motors, also Wolverhampton based, took control after World War II. The local corporation, needing to replace its worn out pre-war fleet, took delivery of 99 of these fine trolleybuses between 1948 and 1950, on Guy and Sunbeam chassis. The Park Royal bodies were all to the newly permitted width of 8 feet.

Trolleybuses were vibration free and capable of long lives, many chassis being given new bodies. However, like other operators, Wolverhampton chose in the 1960s to scrap its trolleybus system and 616 retired in November 1963. It was presented to the Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford, and was stored at Alton in Hampshire for many years. To safeguard the future of this classic example of Wolverhampton’s post-war trolleybus fleet, the RPS passed it to the Trust’s predecessor in 1975. The Trust soon moved 616 to secure, undercover accommodation in north-west England and there it remained until arriving at Wythall at last, for the first time, in July 2004.

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