Ferrymead Heritage Park
Christchurch, New Zealand

The Tramway Historical Society Inc.

Type British United Traction RETB 1, body work by New Zealand Motor Bodies, Christchurch
Date Built Went into service in Dunedin 13 April 1951
Written Off Withdrawn from service 31 March 1981(?)
Acquired by THS No. 5 was purchased by Society member Earl Ewers of Canberra from Dunedin City Transport back in 1981 and later donated to the Society
Restored Acquired in going order. Currently in storage.
No 5 was one of the buses used on the last night of trolley bus operation when the system closed down for the second time. The Dunedin system first closed down in 1979, but was re-instated shortly after because of one the oil crisis at that time. No. 5 was purchased by Society member Earl Ewers of Canberra from Dunedin City Transport back in 1981. It was his favourite trolley bus, and he used to come to Dunedin just to see and ride it!! No. 5 was towed to Christchurch by courtesy of Stewarts Transport, Christchurch. At that time there was some thoughts that a museum line might be created in Dunedin, but this came to nought. As a consequence Earl gifted the bus to the Society for use on our trolley bus line, which was then under active construction, using much material purchased from the Dunedin City Council. Earl died before it was operational and never saw the Ferrymead circuit in operation. Basil Horwood, who was the DCT trolley bus overhead engineer, kindly drew up the plans in great detail for the Ferrymead line, plans that were not fully adhered to! Make: British United Traction RETB 1 Bodywork: New Zealand Motor Bodies, Christchurch,steel frames with aluminium side panels. Weight: 12,044lbs Dimension: 33ft 4 in by 8 ft Electrical: Metropolitan Vickers Motor: 135 bhp with over hung generator Controllers: Electromagnetic contactors operated by 2 12v batteries in series (batteries non-regenerative). Acceleration not automatic, but on a 13-stage scissor arm system. Current limit relay for hill climbing Braking: 2-step rheostatic; compressed air; and coasting brake for hill work (limits speed to 15mph forward or 2mph reverse on hills) Tire Size: 110 x 20 (12 ply) Air Pressure: 80psi (fully inflated) Seating: 40 plus driver