GMC-BBC HR150G – 152

The trolleybus is part of a single batch of 100 trolleybuses built on General Motors’ “New Look” chassis, of which over 44,000 buses have been produced. They were manufactured in 1981 and 1982 and delivered to Edmonton, Canada. The design of this model is world famous, thanks to the movie “Speed” with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, whose plot takes place in a bus of this model.

The model is constructed in an extremely advanced and contemporary manner. The electrical equipment is by the Brown Boveri & Cie (BBC) concern. The electrical components are located at the rear of the trolleybus, like all modern trolleybuses. It is controlled by an electronically controlled thyristor unit, and the auxiliary low-voltage dynamo, typical of all European trolleybuses of the period, has now been replaced by a static converter with up to 240 A! The construction of the trolleybus is extremely robust and weatherproof, as the cladding is made of aluminium panels, riveted securely to the skeleton, like aircraft skeletons. A solution that is extremely rare in European manufacturers. The windscreen has a strange atypical shape that gives these machines their nickname “The fishbowls”.

Unlike all the other trolleybuses, this one will be a unique exhibit, as there is only one other example of it in Europe – in the Trolleybus Museum in the city of Lviv. Sandtoft (UK), where it can, however, run in a limited area within the museum. Here in Sofia, it will be able to run anywhere and will not depend on the opening hours of the museum complex.

This particular trolley bus has a very interesting history. It was the last trolley bus to come off the line in Edmonton, on May 2, 2009, when trolley service in the city closed for good. It was part of a group of 28 trolleybuses that were purchased by the now former private trolleybus operator in the city. Plovdiv. They were brought by ship to the port of Burgas. The operator and the supplying company did not understand who should pay the import duty and as a result, the customs confiscated the trolleybuses and subsequently sold them for scrap to the morgue in Yambol. At the request of the Urban Transport and Infrastructure Association, the owner of the scrap company kept only number 152 so that it could be bought back for restoration. Unfortunately, as of 01/2018, the owner has not kept his word and has chopped up the trolleybus, for which we sincerely regret.

Gallery from Yambol: