Trolleybuses in Sydney

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Sydney trolleybus systems
1934 Kings Cross.Australia.jpg
Two trolleybuses in Kings Cross in 1934
Locale Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Eastern Suburbs era: 1934 (1934)–1948 (1948)
Status Closed
Routes 1
Depot(s) Rushcutters Bay
Stock 5
Kogarah era: 1937 (1937)–1959 (1959)
Status Closed
Routes 1
Depot(s) Ritchie Street, Sans Souci
Stock 21

The Sydney trolleybus system in New South Wales consisted of two unconnected lines in the Eastern Suburbs and St George areas of Sydney.


Trolleybus no 2 in January 1934
Opening of the Kogarah network on 3 July 1937

The first of these opened on 22 January 1934 when route 3 from Wylde Street, Potts Point to Town Hall station via Kings Cross and William Street. The route was temporarily converted to motor bus operation on 11 April 1948 while Liverpool Street was rebuilt. It was later decided not to reinstate the service.[1][2]

On 3 July 1937, the second line opened from Rockdale station to Sans Souci via Kogarah station, Rocky Point Road and Dolls Point replacing the Kogarah to Sans Souci steam tramway. It closed on 29 August 1959.[1]


Sydney's trolleybus routes were as follows:

Route via Opened Closed
Town Hall station - Potts Point William Street, Kings Cross 22 January 1934 10 April 1948
Rockdale station - Dolls Point Kogarah station 3 June 1937 29 August 1959
Kogarah station - Sans Souci Dolls Point 3 June 1937 29 August 1959


For the commencement of operations in the Eastern Suburbs, two single deck three-axle AEC 663Ts were purchased.[2][3] One was bodied by Park Royal, London and the other by H McKenzie of White Bay. They were later joined by three AEC 761T double deck vehicles, one bodied by Park Royal and two locally by Syd Wood. For the commencement of the Kogarah services, 11 Leyland TTB4 and 10 AEC 664T double deck three-axle buses were bodied by Ritchie Brothers, Auburn.[1][4] After the Eastern Suburbs line, the four surviving buses were transferred to Sans-Souci.

Image Fleet numbers Quantity Chassis Body Configuration In service
Sydney trolleybus number 1 - 1930s.jpg 1 1 AEC 663T Park Royal Three axle, single deck 1934-1956
Sydney trolleybus number 2 - 1930s.jpg 2–3 2 AEC 663T H McKenzie Three axle, single deck 1934-1956
SLNSW 6692 Trolley bus being unloaded from ship from England.jpg 3 1 AEC 761T Park Royal Two axle, double deck 1934-1948
Sydney trolleybus number 4 - 19361229.jpg 4-5 2 AEC 761T Syd Wood Two axle, double deck 1936/37-1956
Sydney trolleybus number 7 - 193708.jpg 6-16 11 Leyland TTB4 Ritchie Brothers Three axle, double deck 1937-1959
Sydney trolleybus number 17 - 19370703.jpg 17-26 10 AEC 664T Ritchie Brothers Three axle, double deck 1937-1959


The Eastern Suburbs buses were based at Rushcutters Bay Tram Depot with a turntable installed. The Kogarah services were based at the former Ritchie Street tram depot in Sans Souci. After the trolleybuses ceased in 1959, it was used by the New South Wales Police as a storage area for recovered stolen vehicles before passing to the Housing Commission.[1]


The Powerhouse Museum has AEC 663T trolleybus number 1 in its collection[2] while the Sydney Tramway Museum has AEC 664T number 19.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Travers, Greg (1982). From City to Suburb...a fifty year journey. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. pp. 10, 12, 27–31, 71. ISBN 0 959601 6 27. 
  2. ^ a b c Sydney Trolley Bus No 1, 1933 Powerhouse Museum
  3. ^ Trolley Buses Sydney Morning Herald 13 July 1933 page 6
  4. ^ Sydney Trolleybuses Bus Australia
  5. ^ Collections Sydney Tramway Museum

Further reading[edit]

  • Jones, David (2000). Australian Trolley Buses: the trolley buses that once served Australian cities. Tawa, NZ: City Tramway Publications. ISBN 0-473-07118-5. 
  • MacCowan, Ian (1988). The Sydney trolley buses: a pictorial and detailed history of Sydney's two trolley bus systems. Oakleigh, Vic: I A MacCowan. ISBN 0-473-07118-5. 
  • Patton, Brian (2004). Double-Deck Trolleybuses of the World: beyond the British Isles. Brora, Sutherland: Adam Gordon. ISBN 978-1-874422-50-1. 
  • Simpson, Margaret (2004). On the Move: A History of Transport in Australia. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86317-101-4. 

External links[edit]