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Retrobus collection under threat

filed on: 12.11.2019 (12th Nov 2019)

Retrobus is a Swiss trolleybus and bus preservation group. Besides having collected numerous vehicles from different fleets, they also have in their care some vintage vehicles previously preserved privately or disposed from the sadly dwindling heritage fleets of the municipal operators.

Unfortunately, not all news concerning Retrobus is good. With the help of, among others, support from lottery funds, they were able to build storage facilities on in Moudon (a small town between Lausanne and Fribourg). The continuing growth of the collection however meant that further vehicles had to be stored outdoors.

The community of Moudon, who previously welcomed the group has taken offense at this and is taking legal steps against Retrobus. A court ruled that the stored vehicles were a public nuisance and ordered their scrapping. The costs of this action would have to be borne by Retrobus and could end up bankrupting the association, endangering not only the vehicles stored outside but also those under cover. I understand Retrobus is presently appealing the decision.

One sad lesson here is that preservation should not just be about collecting vehicles but groups should also allocate resources to their restoration, presentation and operation to build bridges to the local community and the public at large, recruit further members and supporters and create a broad base of sympathizers. Maybe concerating on a smaller and manageable core of representative vehicles is better than trying to obtain one of each type with little real perspective of ever meaningfully restoring most of them.


Retrobus website:

This news item is from the 2019 newslog.

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