In Memory of Kiev Trams + Photo Gallery of Trams and Trolleybuses:: Photo Galleries:: Trolleybuses:: 8Tr: Hello from Czechoslovakia



The year 1960 marked the first arrival of imported trolleybuses in Kiev. The main motivation was the same as the main reason for Kiev to have been the first to open an electric tram line: its steep hills. Trams were running out of fashion at that time, and the second rail route in the city, rising steeply from Ploschad III (Evropeyskaya) up Ulitsa Kirova (Grushevskogo), was to be replaced with trolleybuses. However, the Soviet-manufactured vehicles were not up to the task, and that is how the Czech guests ended up being summoned for help.

The first two trolleybuses were delivered at the beginning of 1960. They actually came from Simferopol, where they had already earned an excellent reputation serivcing the mountain line in the Crimea. They retained their Simferopol fleet numbers, 112 and 116; when later in the same year a batch of twenty more were delivered, the newcomers were given numbers such that the first two would fall within range: 110–131.

No more 8Tr's were ever delivered, because their successor, the 9Tr, came into being very soon, eventually setting an all-time record, with more than 1000 vehicles in service. The existing 8Tr's were gradually written off, but one is still alive today! The former 125 is now a service vehicle in Depot No. 1, numbered T-3.

One of the two ex-Simferopol vehicles, which has retained its original fleet number. The photo spot is most likely the old territory of Trolleybus Depot No. 1 on Krasnoarmeyskaya.
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]
116116, in factory livery, is passing Bessarabskaya Ploschad, about to enter the main thoroughfare of Kreschatik. Trailing it is a Volga GAZ-21, going in the opposite direction is an GAZ-66 military jeep, a postwar clone of the American Willys. In the background, on the left, two more trolleybuses are visible: another 8Tr and a Kiev-2. Back there, next to the Syayvo bookstore, was the location of the trolleybus stop in the opposite direction. There are no trolleybuses here today — only buses, jitneys, and the innumerable automobiles.
[Aare Olander collection, 08.1961]
118On Kirova (Grushevskogo) by Mariinsky Park, or perhaps on Yanvarskogo Vosstaniya by Park Slavy. This is route 20, which appeared in 1960, replacing a tram route under the same number. The Pechersk stretch of that route was probably the most picturesque: it largely ran along parks founded on the Dnieper's heights back in the XVIII–XIX centuries, and its terminus was next to the entrance to Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, an ancient Russian monastery founded back in the XI century.
[Aare Olander collection, 1963]
123The trolleybus is leaving Vokzalnaya Ploschad and descending down Ulitsa Kominterna, bound for the downtown area. In the background one can see an MTV-82 tram with a Kiev-manufactured KTP-55 trailer. Also visible are a Volga GAZ-21 and a ZiL-130 truck. This trolleybus would become a service vehicle, numbered T-2, but it would not survive to this day. Also gone are the tram tracks, whereas the trolleybus line is still there — presently used by route 14.
[Aare Olander collection, 06.1969]
125125 is the only representative of this family to have survived until now (also as a service vehicle, numbered T-3). Here it is depicted on Yanvarskogo Vosstaniya, near Ploschad Slavy, with the Kiev Road and Car Institute (nowadays the National Transportation Academy) building in the background. Route 20 from Ploschad Tolstogo, which the trolleybus services in this picture, does not exist any longer; instead, there is route 38 from Metro Vydubichi.
[Aare Olander collection, 08.1961]
130Once again, Bessarabskaya Ploschad. The trolleybus proceeds from Kreschatik towards Krasnoarmeyskaya, passing by the oldest covered market in the city (the corner of that building, completed in 1912, is visible on the right). Meeting it is a Soviet MTB-82 trolleybus, whose production had just ceased in 1961. Behind the trolleybuses are a few typical samples of the postwar Stalin-monumentalist architecture of Kreschatik — and a miraculously surviving small pre-revolutionary house amidst it.
[Aare Olander collection, 08.1961]
131This cityscape might well be in the Crimea rather than Kiev... However, this is as much as one block away from the railway station, on Kominterna near the crossing with Zhilyanskaya. The trolleybus, most probably in factory livery, carrying a "Testing" plaque, is bound for the station. Old buildings are in the picture, including a one-storey house with an inscription reading Apteka (Pharmacy). This is the present-day site of the Stolichny service center. Following the trolleybus is a Volga GAZ-21.
[Aare Olander collection, 06.1961]
131Leaving Pechersky Most for Ulitsa Kikvidze, on route 15 bound for Zheleznodorozhnoe Shosse. The trolleybus line on this picture is brand new; that is most probably why we see an 8Tr servicing it — afterwards, they would hardly ever appear here. It is largely because of this trolleybus line that tram tracks on Bulvar Lesi Ukrainki got removed; and just a few years ago, trolleybus route 15 itself fell victim to a so-called "passenger flow optimization", the new route 38 replacing it.
[Aare Olander collection, 11.1966]

© Stefan Mashkevich, Aare Olander, Alexander Chernov, and authors of photos, 2007–2008
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Last updated 12 December 2008