88V8 wrote:Gosh, I remember trolleybuses. The sparks, the acceleration, the panto falling off the wire and having to be put back with a long wooden pole.
They used to have a turning point down our road, always entertaining to watch the conductor moving the pantograph from one set of wires to the other with a long pole. I think modern tram systems manage without that!
Just on semantics. The trolleybuses and old trams had poles for current collection (and return in the case of the trolleybuses). As stated, pantographs are the rhomboid, or half rhomboid (i.e. dogleg) type of retractable current collection. AIUI modern electric trains and trams have pantographs because they cannot be dislodged by wind etc which is a problem with the old fashioned poles.
I have been reading recently about the Manx Electric Railway which has poles, but the connected Snaefell Mountain Railway has bow type pickups like pantographs because it gets windy on the top of the mountain.