The Northern Irish based bus builder Wrightbus is getting ready to launch the Eclipse 2, the latest version of its best-selling single-deck city bus model.
Neil Renilson, Chief Executive of Transport Edinburgh, visited the Wrightbus production facility at Ballymena today (Tuesday 21st October) to get a special preview of the new-look Wrightbus Eclipse 2 Single Deck bus.
The Eclipse 2 – featuring new styling and a host of other refinements – is the successor to what has become one of the leading single deck buses in the British Isles. Ten of these new-styled vehicles are currently in the final stages of production for Lothian Buses as part of an order for a total of 60 vehicles placed by the Edinburgh-based bus operator last year.
All ten of the new Wrightbus Eclipse 2 single deck buses have been built on Volvo B7RLE Euro 5 chassis and have been specified with 38 Lazzerini Practico seats, have a facility for a wheelchair including an electronic ramp and also feature a seven camera LOOK CCTV system.
The new single deck buses are an integral part of Lothian Buses’ on-going fleet renewal process, aimed at improving the city’s public transport services and making it completely wheelchair accessible by 2010. Once deliveries are completed, Wrightbus will have supplied Lothian with nearly 300 vehicles in over four years, and will account for almost a third of the entire Lothian fleet.
Speaking during his visit, Neil Renilson said “I am delighted today to get a first look at the new Eclipse 2, with the Eclipse 1 already a familiar sight on a number of Edinburgh key bus routes. The new styling and specification enhancements to the Eclipse 2 further add to its excellent reputation with passengers and drivers alike and are very much in line with our strategy of having one of the most modern fleets in operation anywhere in Britain today.”
Welcoming the Lothian Buses CEO to the Ballymena facility, Wright Group Managing Director Mark Nodder said, “We are thrilled that Neil has been able to take time out of his busy schedule to pay us a visit. Since placing their first order with us some four years ago, Lothian Buses has become an important and much valued customer of Wrightbus and I am delighted that Lothian will be first to take delivery of this new generation of Eclipse product.”
A Wrightbus Eclipse 2 Single Deck bus destined for service with Lothian Buses will be one of three vehicles to be exhibited by the Wright Group at next month’s Euro Expo Show 2008 in Birmingham.