Built by Railless Ltd and fitted with a 30 seat body by Shorts of Rochester, this bus,
registered DX 3988, entered service with Ipswich Corporation
Tramways as number 2 in 1923. It recalls the very early days of bus travel with
its solid tyres and antique appearance. The drive was by two 20 h.p. electric motors,
each driving one rear wheel, with no differential, controlled via a hand operated speed
controller. It operated on an experimental route from the Cornhill to Ipswich Station.
|Acquired by the Museum:||1977|
|Current State:||Restored to static condition|
It was rebuilt by Ipswich Corporation in 1932 when its original open smokers compartment
at the rear was covered in and it was altered to allow passengers to get on
at the back and
off at the front.
It only survived in service for another two years before being sold to become a caravan at
It was rescued by Museum volunteers in 1977 and was externally restored in 1981 at a cost
of around £4500. A replica Estler trolley base was fabricated at a cost of £2000. The interior
of the vehicle was never completed as, at the time, no information or photographs on the
interior layout were known to exist.
The interior of the vehicle was reinstated in 2010 and 2011, with work continuing to complete the cab in 2012. The Science Museum PRISM fund and Transport Trust provided grants to enable this work to be completed by museum volunteers.
Trolleybus 2 is believed to be the oldest complete trolleybus on public display in the world. It was a featured object in the 'BBC History of the World project in 2010'