The latest addition to the Illinois Railway Museum’s historic collection, electric trolley bus 9809 from Dayton, Ohio, arrived at the museum on May 1, 2020. The type 14TrE2 trolley bus was built in 1998 by Electric Transit Inc, a joint venture between US defense contractor AAI and longtime Czech Republic streetcar and bus manufacturer Skoda. It was the last 14TrE2 trolley bus in regular service in Dayton and was retired in December 2019.
Dayton 9809 is the second-youngest piece of equipment preserved at IRM. It is also the first trolley bus acquired by the museum to have been built with batteries sufficient to operate off-wire for brief periods. Number 9809 represents a third generation of Dayton’s trolley buses at the museum, joining a 1947 Pullman-Standard and two 1977 Flyer Industries models. The newly-acquired trolley bus is complete and operational.
The Illinois Railway Museum is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of historic trolley buses in North America. With this new addition, the museum is home to 24 electric trolley buses as well as 12 motor buses. It is the museum’s intention to operate Dayton 9809 for visitors on IRM’s demonstration trolley bus line, the only such route in regular use in an American museum.