Industrial trolleybus design

Bulat Okudzhava used the trolleybus as a means of fighting the blues. We are not encouraging you to go in circles while waiting for the injection of endorphins into your bloodstream, but sometimes the design of the vehicle can really lift your spirits.

Creative trolleybus design

Photo. Unusual design of trolleybuses

In the article, we will consider how Ukrainian trolleybuses differ from foreign ones, how the design has changed since 1944, and what new items on the trolleybus market await us in the near future.

Greenpeace and Ministry of Finance approve

Although buses and minibuses are the most popular in Ukraine as public transport, trolleybuses have an undeniable advantage: they do not harm the environment. Trolleybuses do not have an internal combustion engine. They are driven by a drive that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.

Also, the use of electricity is more profitable than the use of fuel. Muscovites, who are not indifferent to the fate of the city, compared the cost of operating trolleybus and bus networks.

The cost of the annual operation of 1 trolleybus is 3.41 million rubles, the bus – 3.94 million. The cost of electricity for 1 km of a trolleybus is about 9 rubles, and diesel fuel for 1 km of a bus will cost 16 rubles. The reason why, in the end, the trolleybus is only 15.5% cheaper is the need to maintain complex infrastructure.

That is why the KLONA agency believes that it is worth taking a closer look at this type of transport.

Trolleybus design: back in time

The first post-war “out into the world” took place on November 5, 1944. The design of the vehicle can be described as follows: a parallelepiped on wheels. Indeed, there was nothing superfluous in the external appearance of the trolleybus – which is quite justified in conditions of shortage.

Industrial trolleybus design

Photo. The first post-war trolleybus

Then the propaganda workers (as they say now – PR people) realized that the trolleybus is not only a means of transportation, but also an excellent platform for advertising. And they “decorated” the minimalistic design of the case with slogans about a bright communist future.

Vehicle design

Photo. “Let the Party live.” As it turned out, trolleybuses are more durable

Between 1957 and 1968 there was a “softening of design”. The body lines become smooth and rounded. In terms of industrial design, this improves aerodynamic performance. From an aesthetic point of view, it’s just beautiful. The trend of smooth lines can be traced not only in trolleybuses, but also in car design

Design of the first trolleybuses

Photo. New rounded body. 1960 year

There used to be an excursion line 9.5 km long on the territory of the Exhibition Center. Sightseeing trolleybuses had huge side windows and small windows on the roof. Of course, this affected the strength of the body. In 1968, excursions around VDNKh stopped and trolleybuses began to run along Moscow routes.

Trolleybus at VDNKh

Photo. VSKhV, aka VDNKh-trolleybus

In 1969, the body stiffness error was corrected. After that, the design of the trolleybus did not fundamentally change, except that the glazing area became smaller.

Transport design

Photo. Trolleybus of the 70s

Now the phrase “freight trolleybus” is puzzling, but in the crazy 80s they boldly ply the streets of the Union. The red-yellow TG-3 is a duobus, it is equipped with two engines at once: internal combustion and a traction electric motor. The yellow KTG-1 also has an additional cab on top. It is designed to control contact paths.

The design is based on the principle of “nothing more”. And the bright body color helps to avoid road accidents.

Industrial design of freight trolleybuses

Photo. Freight trolleybuses TG-3 and KTG-1

In the 1980s, engineering solutions dictated changes in the industrial design of trolleybuses: a third door appeared. The ZiU-9 model runs along the routes of the USSR, Eastern Europe and even Latin America. An additional door made it easier for passengers to disembark and board, but made the body unreliable. He began to sink down the center.

The Belarusians solved the problem. They moved the electrical equipment to the roof. The AKSM-101PS model was produced from 1997 to 2003.

Transport design

Photo. Three-door ZiU and its Belarusian counterpart

In 1992, the Bogdan company began to grow and develop in Cherkassy. During the years of Ukrainian independence, buses, trolleybuses, cars, trucks and commercial vehicles of its production appeared on the roads.

The design of the trolleybuses pleases. Yellow on the outside, blue on the inside, with a small strip of Ukrainian ornament. Coincidence? Or an act of patriotism?

Industrial design of modern trolleybuses

Photo. Trolleybuses of Cherkasy production Bogdan

The first in the Ukrainian line of buses was Bogdan T501.10. The following production models had only minor modifications. The body is treated with anti-corrosion enamels. The maximum speed is 100 km / h.

In the rear of the T501 trolleybus, the rise has disappeared. The vehicle is now completely low-floor, with a new type of seat.

Trolleybuses on the streets of Russia, Belarus, Poland

Spoiler alert.

There are no fundamental differences between foreign and domestic trolleybuses. Consider, for example, our neighbors.


The largest trolleybus network in the world is located in Moscow. In second place are Minsk trolleybuses. By the way, it was the Soviet Union that was the first country to think about the impact of transport on the environment.

Now in the Russian capital you can find a Belarusian-made trolleybus BKM-43303A Vitovt Max Duo. Industrial design is thought out to the smallest detail:

  • a diesel generator set is available, which allows you to drive without electricity;
  • comfortable seating (the author did not try, he believed the reviews);
  • low floor;
  • two large platforms near the 2nd and 3rd doors.
Modern industrial design

Photo. Russian Vitovt


Belkommunmash is a Belarusian land transport manufacturer that supplies trolleybuses, passenger tram cars and electric buses to 9 countries of the world.

Belarusian trolleybuses are distinguished by an increased level of comfort:

  • there are 6 folding seats in the cabin, which increase the capacity during rush hour;
  • the trolleybus is equipped with a retractable ramp and a system for lowering the level to the height of the sidewalk;
  • there are air conditioners in the cabin;
  • thanks to the capacitor banks, the vehicle can travel 5 km without contact with the wires.

In 2015, KLONA for the Belkommunmash enterprise developed an industrial design of a validator – a device for checking travel tickets.

Industrial validator design

Photo. Ukrainian validator for the Belarusian trolleybus

Read about our other developments in the articles:


There are no trolleybuses in Poland. They ceased to exist in 1995, as contact wires crossed with tramways and interfered with the movement of large vehicles. Now Warsaw trolleybuses can only be seen in the Transport Museum.

What’s new in the trolleybus world?

German company Viseon has developed an industrial design for trolley buses for students Saudi Arabia

Modern industrial design

Photo. Trolleybus manufactured by Viseon

Trolleybuses provide communication between the university and hostels outside Abu Dhabi. The cost of one car is about a million euros.

The trolleybuses have wi-fi, climate control and air curtains near the doors. The cars are equipped with tinted double-glazed windows, which save from the 50-degree heat.

In Switzerland, trolleybuses appeared that work without overhead power lines. They are equipped with batteries, the energy supply of which is replenished during the disembarkation and embarkation of passengers. This energy is just enough to get to the next stop.

In Japan, the cities of Tateyama and Omachi are connected by an underground trolleybus line. It passes through part of the mountain range. By the way, there are no ordinary ground trolleybuses in the land of the rising sun.

Japanese trolleybus design

Photo. The trolleybus leaves for Tateyama

There is a similar underground trolleybus line in Boston. It is called the silver line.

American industrial design

Photo. American Silver Line

In the United States, the King County Metro Transit transport company began operating the Xcelsior XT40 trolleybuses in 2016. They have rechargeable batteries that allow you to move around without contact with wires. The power reserve is from 5 to 8 km. This hybrid of trolleybus and electric bus is already in operation on the streets of Seattle.

Industrial trolleybus design

Photo. Seattle trolleybus with battery

The CLONES team sincerely hopes that trolleybuses have a future, because they are:

  • environmentally friendly;
  • economically;
  • comfortable.

We still sincerely hope that our relationship with you has a future. If suddenly you need create a 3D model trolleybus or pour out of plastic a separate part of it – just dial our number.

We will be happy to help you.


+38 (044) 338 88 02