Ipswich Transport Museum
Preserving the transport heritage of Ipswich since 1965, and now supported by the Friends of the Ipswich Transport Museum. The Ipswich Transport Museum is a Registered Charity No. 276626 and an Accredited Museum, number RD890.
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Ipswich Trolleybus No 2
Ipswich Trolleybus No 2
Date:1923
Registration:DX 3988
Acquired by the Museum:1977
Current State:Restored to static condition
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.

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 Flatford, Suffolk.

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'