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BTS Collection

Glasgow TB78  (FYS 839)

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Registration Number : FYS 839

Chassis: BUT 9613T (2 axle)
Chassis No. BUT9613T044
Motor : Metropolitan Vickers Type 210AWG (125 hp)
Bodywork : Crossley H37/34R
Body Number : 5826
Length 28ft 7¾in, Width 7ft 6in.
Unladen Weight : 8tons 10cwts 3qtrs
Entered Service : 25 March 1958
Withdrawn : 27 May 1967



Glasgow was the last trolleybus system to be inaugurated in the British Isles, the system opening on 3 April 1949. In the first three years five routes had been opened, with most services replacing the once extensive tramway network.

With the planned introduction of three new trolleybus routes in 1958, 106 (Millerston or Riddrie and Bellahouston), 107 (Muirend and Maitland Street) and 108 (Mount Florida and Paisley Road Toll, Linthouse or Shieldhall) a total of 90 BUT9613T trolleybuses with Crossley bodywork were purchased and entered service between July 1957 and December 1958. TB78 entered service on 25 March 1958.

The Glasgow trolleybus system only lasted a total of 18 years and TB78 was less than 10 years old when withdrawn from service following the last day of trolleybus operation on 27 May 1967.

During its short lifetime TB78 was the only vehicle of its class to have had three different liveries and it was also based at three different depots throughout its life i.e., Dennistoun, Govan and Hampden.

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Following the abandonment of trolleybus operations in May 1967 Glasgow TB78 was purchased for preservation by the then Reading Transport Society. The reason for choosing TB78 was because it was seen to be the vehicle in best condition. It is the only Glasgow double-deck trolleybus in preservation.

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On 24 October 1967, TB78was towed from Glasgow and was initially accommodated in Mike Dare’s chapel at Westgate before moving to Sandtoft in November 1969. On 21 April 1973 TB78 was taken back to Glasgow where it received an external repaint into the standard trolleybus livery, returning to Sandtoft in September 1973.

Click to view a larger photoThere have been a couple of occasions when TB78 spent time away from Sandtoft. On 16 April 1978, a return to Glasgow was made to take pride of place in the Greater Glasgow PTE Open Day in Larkfield Works.

TB78 was a regular runner at Sandtoft until the early 1990s. However, the bodywork was deteriorating and required some structural restoration, and it was taken out of service.

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This work commenced at Sandtoft but it in 1996 it was taken to Fifield near Reading to continue the task. On its return to Sandtoft in 1999 there was still some outstanding work to be completed before she was finally relaunched into service along with London 1812 on
28 May 2001.

In 2009 TB78 was taken to Crich to take part in a 1950s weekend, where it was posed with Glasgow tram 812.

In more recent times TB78 has been off the road for some three years due to the rear platform requiring rebuilding. This was completed in 2022 but new internal air vents are to be fitted and the lower deck ceiling and staircase needs sanding down and a a repaint. It is hoped to get TB78 back in service during the 2024 operating season.

BTS Collection