MAN trolleybuses in Ukraine (1939–1951): a history, technical characteristics, features of operation

  • Anatoliy Lytvynenko Baltic International Academy, Latvia, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine, Robert Gordon University, United Kingdom
  • Viktor Sarancha Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University
  • Viktoriia Shabunina Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University
Keywords: electric transport, trolleybus, operation, machine, Chernivtsi, Germany


The growth of the vehicle assets and bus services in Ukrainian cities increases the level of environmental pollution. During the environmental crisis, electric transport (e-transport) is becoming a matter for scientific inquiry, a subject of discussion in politics and among public figures. In the program for developing the municipal services of Ukraine, priorities are given to the development of the infrastructure of ecological transport: trolleybuses, electric buses, electric cars. The increased attention to e-transport on the part of the scientific community, politicians, and the public actualizes the study of its history, development, features of operation, etc. The historiographic analysis carried out by the authors allows us to say about insufficient coverage by Ukrainian researchers of a number of aspects and periods in the history of e-transport. A small number of special works on the history of the operation of foreign-made trolleybuses in Ukrainian cities in the first half of the 20th century and an analysis of their technical characteristics determine the relevance and scientific novelty of this study. When writing the work, Ukrainian and foreign scientific reference publications, monographs, papers, mainly from foreign electronic resources, have been used. The authors have used both general scientific (analysis, synthesis, deduction, induction) and historical research methods, in particular, problem-chronological, comparative-historical, retrospective methods, etc. The aim of the study is to highlight little-known facts of the history of production and operation of MAN trolleybuses in Ukrainian cities, as well as to introduce their technical characteristics into scientific circulation. The etymology of the model names of German trolleybuses, which usually consisted of the names of the manufacturers of chassis, body, and electrical equipment, has been clarified. The types, specific design solutions of the first MAN trolleybus generation and the prerequisites for their appearance in Chernivtsi have been determined. Particular attention has been paid to trolleybuses that were in operation in Germany and other Western European countries from the first half of the 1930s to the early 1950s. In the mid-1930s, the MAN plant in Nuremberg began production of trolleybuses; its models had the most modern constructive solutions at that time, a characteristic design and a state-of-the-art heating system. Depending on the length, German manufacturers divided the trolleybus models into four types. As a result of problems with the operation of the bus fleet in Chernivtsi, the city authorities have decided to build a trolleybus line in the city; four trolleybuses manufactured by the MAN plant were purchased. The paper traces the stages of operation of the MAN trolleybuses in Chernivtsi, where they worked during 1939–1944 and after the end of the Second World War, they were transferred to Kyiv. After two years of operation in the Ukrainian capital, the trolleybuses entered the routes in Dnipropetrovsk during 1947–1951. The technical characteristics of the first MAN trolleybus generation, which were operated in Ukrainian cities, have been presented and analyzed. It was determined that in all the main indicators and operational parameters, they were as close as possible to similar models of German trolleybuses. The proposed methodology and the structure of the study can later be used to write papers on the history of science and technology, in particular, of an e-transport.


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How to Cite
Lytvynenko, A., Sarancha, V., & Shabunina, V. (2021). MAN trolleybuses in Ukraine (1939–1951): a history, technical characteristics, features of operation. History of Science and Technology, 11(2), 411-436.