Canada - Edmonton


As mentioned on the Vancouver page, we travelled to Edmonton in 2006 after visiting Vancouver. I had always wanted to do Edmonton for their unique General Motors trolleybuses, but had been put off by the difficulty of getting there. Combining with a trip to Vancouver turned out to be the answer. In fact the trolleys are not called GMC's as General Motors didn't really want to produce trolleybuses in the standard 'fishbowl' body, but had constructed 100 which Brown Boveri Canada fitted out electrically. They therefore became known as BBC's. Had they been more successful, it was possible that Vancouver may have used them for replacing the Brills instead of buying the E900's.

Edmonton also has the added attraction of the High Level Bridge carrying a preserved streetcar service 210 feet above the North Saskatchewan River.

There is also a living museum with several periods in different streets, 'Wild West' and 'Victorian' for example. There is a street tramway with operating preserved trams as well as a steam railway.

The trolleybus system was under threat in 2006 even though proposals for new trolleybuses were in the pipeline, although the council and management weren't too keen on operating the remaining 30-40 trolleybuses amongst 7-800 diesels. One of the Vancouver New Flyers was hired to show the travelling public what a new trolleybus could be like. However, little did anyone know that in May 2009 the system would close suddenly after a forced vote in the council. In addition, little did I know in 2006, that this would prompt me to obtain one of these fishbowls for the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft. Here is a picture of 189 which arrived at Sandtoft in October 2009 after 6 months of negotiation with ETS, shippers and agents.

A nice study of 163 at the Coliseum terminus.

The offside of 139.

A back view of a fishbowl, this time 148.

160 at Parkallen terminus.

172 on its way to Rossdale.

172 again, but this time from an overbridge in the town centre. Edmonton has many overbridges and underpasses connecting various shopping areas, so that in the severe cold of the winters, shoppers don't need to venture outside!

151 in trouble at Cromdale. The learner driver had not set the frog correctly and thus dewired. A 'push-truck' had to be called to get the wedged trolleyhead off the wire.

170 passes the Glenora Bed and Breakfast Inn where we stayed - very convenient for the trolleybuses!

One of the High Level Bridge trams - Hannover 601. The fleet also includes Osaka 247 and Melbourne 930 (see right).

The two other operational trams.

Off across the bridge. The centre used to be for the Canadian Pacific Railway with the trams on either side, but with the closure of the former in the early 1990's, the trams returned, using the safer central part this time.

The High Level Bridge from below. In the foreground is the modern LRT bridge. The High Level also carries a road underneath the tramway, and trolleybuses crossed this in a southbound direction.

Edmonton 42 in Fort Edmonton Park.

A different view of 42 showing some of the old buildings in the Park.