The industrial town of Plzen was first recorded in history in 996, when a castle was built there. The Bohemian city became well known because of the beer brewery Pilsner Urquell and the manufacturing enterprise Skoda Holding. In 1869, Emil Škoda took over a machine factory from Count Wallenstein-Vartenberk and expended its business to various steel castings for both civil and military use. It became a joint stock company 30 years later, and Škoda Works became the largest arms manufacturer in Austria-Hungary before the First World War.
After the First World War and the formation of Czecho-Slovak Republic in 1918, the demand for ammunition reduced and the company diversified its works to trains, aircraft, ships, machines, generators, etc.
During the Second World War, Škoda became a weapon manufacturer for Germany and the 70% of the plant suffered destruction from Allied bombing in 1945.
After the company was nationalized in 1945, Škoda Works was gradually split up into sections specialised in production of cars, aircraft, public transportation, power engineering, etc. The products were sold to various communist countries. Trolleybuses could not only be seen in the then USSR, but also exported to democratic countries like Canada.
After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Škoda underwent privatization and expansions. However, it graduately became financially unstable and a restructuring of the group by creditor banks started in 1999. Many takeovers and sale of subsidiaries have carried out since then.
The production of trolleybuses belonged to the transport sector of the group. The first trolleybus Škoda 1 was introduced in 1936. After the Second World War, they produced world class trolleybuses with support from electrical and traction systems produced by their own. In recent years, trolleybuses were also exported to the USA.
The following official page of Škoda
gives you a pictorial history of their trolleybuses:
Return to Anthony's Bus Homepage
Page created: 18 May 2005