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London’s huge trolleybus network was planned and built in less than ten years. London United Tramways opened the first routes in the south-west suburbs in 1931. Soon after London Transport took over. In 1933 they announced a rolling programme to introduce trolleybuses across the capital
Trolleybuses need twin overhead power lines. The second wire provides the electric current return, which with trams runs through the rails. Tall green metal poles lined every street where trolleybuses ran, supporting the overhead network. Major junctions and intersections required complicated webs of suspended wiring.
London trolleybuses were large double-deckers with seats for up to 70 passengers. They were nearly as big as the trams they replaced and more efficient than buses on heavily used routes. In the 1930s the latest double deck diesel buses were much smaller, with only 56 seats. Trolleybuses were far quicker at swallowing up large crowds.