The Construction of a Modern Electric Trolley Bus

1935 , Ipswich (Suffolk)

The Construction of a Modern Electric Trolley Bus

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The manufacture of an electric trolley bus at Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies.

The film is described as a visit to the Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies works while an order for fifty trolley buses for Cape Town is going through. The first shots show the foundry in general. Foundry processes are shown in detail. A general view of the Smith's shop is followed by a demonstration of the steam drop hammer and other processes. These include heat treatment, flame cutting and welding. There is a scene from the laboratory and then a log shot of the machine shop. An overhead shaft and pulley system supplies the power. Machine shop operations are shown in close up. Shots of at work with heavy machine tools and the final inspection of components. Women are shown coil winding. The fabrication of the armatures and the testing of the motors is recorded. This includes aerospaced test and high voltage tests. Chassis are moved by overhead crane to the erection shop, which is big enough to hold 40 or 50 chassis. The first component, for example the springs, are put on whilst the chassis is upside down, then the chassis is turned over for fitting the wheels, motor and later parts. Insulators are fitted. Outside the factory an electric lorry pulls out with a test cab fitted. In the suburbs of Ipswich the conductor pole are put up, and the chassis moves off. Captions explain the braking system and we see this demonstrated on the road. The next sequence is filmed in the body builders, Weymann Motor Bodies (1925) Ltd. Craftsmen are at work on both single and double decker chassis. A finished trolly bus goes for a final test run. The trolley buses are shown being towed out of the factory on their way to the docks. They are loaded onto a cargo ship by crane. Two brief sequences show the trolley buses at work in a Cape Town suburb. The film ends showing other Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies trolley buses at work. The first sequence emphasises their success on the cobbled streets of Liege. The second, filmed in 1930, shows the trams in their home town of Ipswich. This shows good views of Cornhill.

Featured Buildings

Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries Ltd. Factory, Ipswich; Weymann Motor Bodies (1925) Ltd. Factory

Keywords

Foundries; Machine engineering; Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies; Trolley buses

Intertitles

In the forefront of British trolley bus makers are Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies Ltd., of Ipswich.A visit to their works while an order for the Cape Town tramways is going through.The foundry, where huge numbers of castings are made including carious kinds for trolley buses.Making aluminium castings for pedals, covers and similar parts.The Smith's shop.Steam drop hammer - forging brake levers.Heat treating armature shafts. Note the furnace temperature being measured by pyrometer.Heating the case of the lightening set motor before rolling.Flame cutting.Welding the lightening set motor case.The works laboratory ensures that all material is up to specification. Hardness test on strap bolts.Section of machine shop.Various operations on spring brackets, propeller and armature shafts, motor cases, end cases, and so on. The special Ransomes-Garrett propeller shaft is dynamically balanced by the lasted method.Corner of inspection room. All finished parts are subjected to the closest inspection. Coil winding, making interpole coils and armature winding.Vacuum impregnation of driving motor armature.Like the propeller shaft, it is also dynamically balanced. All commutators are finished with a special diamond tool. Fitting up the driving motor. Note the all welded construction.Motor testing.Overspeed test - up to 3,600 revolutions per minute.Flash test - 2,500 volts.Testing motor with control equipment before mounting on the chassis.The erecting shops.The earlier stages of erection are carried out with the chassis upside down.A ride on the overhead crane.The Construction Of A Modern Electric Trolley Bus.Wiring up.Various chassis views.Both air compressor and motor-generator sets are electrically and mechanically insulated from the frame.Porcelain and rubber insulation compression is used for supporting the resistance boxes.Chassis testing. Note the cab fitted for testing purposes.Acceleration.The Cape Town routes are exceptionally hilly and electric braking is therefore employed to the fullest extent.As the controller pedal comes back, regeneration is obtained. The buses are fitted with Ransomes patent system of regenerative and rheostatic control. Pressure on the brake pedal also gives regeneration, followed automatically by rheostatic braking while full depression applies the air brakes.Breaking. Off to the body builders. At the works of Weymann's Motor Bodies (1925) Ltd., the suppliers of the all-steel bodies.The Cape Town buses comprise both single and double deckers.The single deckers seat 39 passengers and the double deckers 62 passengers, a 4-wheel chassis being employed in each case.One of the finished products.Final test run.On the way to the docks.Aboard for Cape Town - in the rain! In the Sunshine! In service in Cape Town with Table Mountain & its table cloth in the background.This film shows the first trolley bus service to run in Belgium - the financial home of the tram car.The service in question is in the famous city of Liege, and has been running since 1930 between the City Centre and the Cointe.The road surface largely consists of cobbles, often in extremely bad condition - not conducive to high speeds.The service has been strikingly successful and popular. Receipts are 35% greater than with the tram cars previously employed.Ipswich 1930.Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies offer their services for any information or help they can give you about trolley buses.And they trust you have had as much pleasure in seeing this film as they have had in presenting it to you.

Other Places

Cape Town; Liege

Background Information

Trolley buses were introduced to Ipswich between 1923 and 1926. Some were made by Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries in Ipswich. Others were made by Richard Garrett at Leiston.

Manifestations

The Construction of a Modern Electric Trolley Bus

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