ONE IN TWELVE – The Lowfloor Trials of 1999

As part of our series of older photos celebrating this site’s 12 years of operation, today we present a series of photos of the vehicles involved in the Dublin Bus lowfloor double-decker trials of 1999.

6 buses were operated to gain experience of the 3 types available at the time – the Volvo B7TL (which was the eventual choice, though not with the President body), the Dennis Trident II, and the DAF DB250LF.

One of two Volvo B7TL / Plaxton President buses, seen at Donnybrook

One of two Volvo B7TL / Plaxton President buses, seen at Donnybrook

The President was the nicest body, in my opinion, and it is a pity that it was not favoured when the company eventually ordered their own Volvos.

The President was the nicest body, in my opinion, and it is a pity that it was not favoured when the company eventually ordered their own Volvos.

The second Volvo/President was based at Phibsboro

The second Volvo/President was based at Phibsboro

The Dennis Trident with ALX400 body was not chosen at the time, but did eventually win a small order

The Dennis Trident with ALX400 body was not chosen at the time, but did eventually win a small order

Arriva London DAFs DLA124/125 were loaned to Dublin for the trials

Arriva London DAFs DLA124/125 were loaned to Dublin for the trials

ONE IN TWELVE – A Thousand Words

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you my choice of photos from the past 12 years

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

KC5 in Cork, summer 2000.

KC5 in Cork, summer 2000.

I could write a long article about how lowfloor accessible buses make life easier for so many more people than just wheelchair users, but I reckon this picture says it better!

No matter how much you love old buses, and I loved the KDs and KCs, you have to admit that a modern lowfloor bus is easier when you have two armfuls of shopping bags, or are on the high side of 60!

Translink add to Volvo order-book

Volvo Bus have confirmed an order for 45 B7RLE single-deck buses with ADL Enviro 300 bodywork for Translink, as well as confirming current Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus double-deck orders.

Volvo Bus)

Volvo B7RLE ADL Enviro 300 (Photo: Volvo Bus)

PRESS RELEASE

Orders totalling more than 200 vehicles confirmed at this week’s Euro Bus Expo show have underlined the market-leading position of the current Volvo bus range in the British Isles.

Whilst the new Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck may have stolen the headlines at the show, the current Volvo bus line up – the Volvo B7RLE Single Deck and the Volvo B9TL Double Deck, which are now available with four and three body choices respectively – continue to rack up important orders, maintaining their positions as the market-leading products in their respective classes.

Volvo B7RLE – versatile, durable and economic

Volvo’s low entry single deck citybus, the B7RLE, is part of the B7R family – Volvo’s best selling chassis worldwide. Renowned for its versatility, economy, durability and reliability it’s easy to see why the B7RLE is a truly competitive, efficient chassis – ideal for any urban environment. Two examples of the Volvo B7RLE are on the Volvo stand at Euro Bus Expo.

The Volvo Wrightbus Eclipse Single Deck is now a mainstay of the FirstGroup fleet and the example featured – destined for service with First Leeds – has the tried and tested 7.1 litre Volvo D7E Euro 4 engine rated at 290hp coupled to the ZF 6 speed automatic gearbox.

The Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork features 44 seats and ACIS RTPI system, guide arm compatibility and ten camera CCTV system. A newly face lifted Eclipse 2 is also displayed on the Wrightbus stand, one of 10 Volvo B7RLEs poised to enter service with Lothian Buses.

Another long-standing Volvo customer, Transdev Blazefield, has ordered 19 Euro 5 compliant Volvo B7RLE Eclipse 2s for their Burnley & Pendle operation, whilst Warrington Borough Transport have ordered 12 similarly specified vehicles – their first of this combination – as part of their fleet upgrade programme, which are due to go into service on a variety of routes around the borough in June next year.

In addition to the 27 Volvo B7RLE Eclipses delivered in the summer to trentbarton for their Rainbow 5 service between Derby and Nottingham, a further 14 of the new Eclipse 2 bodied B7RLEs will be delivered in the New Year for their Calverton Link service running from Nottingham. GHA in Wrexham have also taken three of the Ballymena-bodied Volvo single decks.

A second Volvo B7RLE  is displayed on the stand, this time Euro 5 compliant and featuring the ADL Enviro 300 bodywork, which forms part of an order for 45 vehicles for Translink, It has 55 seats with 3&2 seating in the rear section.

The Volvo B7RLE is also available with body options from Plaxton in the guise of its Centro model and now, for the first time – Optare with its newly launched “Esteem” model.

Rotola plc has purchased 33 Volvo B7RLE single decks for use on its Diamond Bus Network in the Midlands, twenty-two of which feature the Plaxton Centro bodies and have gone into service on a number of key routes in the Black Country under the ‘Black Diamond’ brand. The remaining eleven B7RLEs have Wrightbus Eclipse bodywork and are entering service in partnership with Worcestershire County Council under the ‘Red Diamond’ brand.

Kent County Council
will be the first operator to put the new Volvo/Optare single deck combination into service with a total of six such vehicles. Whippet Coaches are hot on their heels, with three due to enter service on the Cambridge busway in 2009 – a further 10 Volvo B7RLEs with Wrightbus Eclipse bodies, operated by Stagecoach and fuelled by bio-diesel are set to join them.

Volvo B9TL – leader of its class

Over 500 Volvo B9TL Double Decks have been registered in the UK alone this year, and with body options available from Wrightbus, ADL and Optare further orders in the pipeline are likely to cement its leading position, both in the UK and Ireland.

The Isle of Man
will see their first ever new Volvo bus when 11 Wrightbus Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL Double Decks enter service on the island in early 2009.

Across the Irish Sea,  a batch of 10 B9TL Geminis are currently being delivered to Bus Eireann, whilst Dublin Bus is currently taking delivery of 50 Volvo B9TLs with ADL Enviro 400 bodywork, with a further 50 to follow, and their first ever Wrightbus double decks will enter service in the Irish capital before the year end.

London sighting tour operator Big Bus have recently taken delivery of 10 Volvo B9TL Double Decks with Optare Visionaire body work – three of which are open top, with the other seven “half top”. The Euro 5 compliant vehicles are being deployed on all three of the companies “hop-on hop-off” tour routes which take in many of the capital’s tourist sights.  A further order for 10 has been confirmed for delivery during 2009.

Speaking at the show, Volvo Bus Sales Director Phil Owen said, “Our product range and the comprehensive options available is attracting new customers as well as retaining existing Volvo operators. “We are committed to providing the best in customer service – from the initial quotation to the vehicle handover and support through the life of the vehicle, with an emphasis on being able to recommend the best driveline configuration for a particular application to maximise performance and optimise fuel return.”

He added, “Whether it’s product information, driver training, soft products or after sales service, we want Volvo customers to feel that they truly are getting the best.”

Wright ready for Eclipse 2 launch

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 and Mark Nodder Wright Group Managing Director view the new Wrightbus Eclipse 2 prior to its debut at Euro Bus Expo 2008.

(LtoR) – Sam McLaren, Wrightbus Commercial Director: Neil Renilson, Chief Executive of Transport Edinburgh and Mark Nodder Wright Group Managing Director view the new Wrightbus Eclipse 2 prior to its debut at Euro Bus Expo 2008.

PRESS RELEASE

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.

Belfield morning shots

Some shots taken at the main bus station at UCD Belfield in the morning peak, Friday 17th October 2008.

All photos can be seen fullsize by clicking on them

Bus Eireann Scania/Irizar SC263

Bus Eireann Scania/Irizar SC263

AV25 has arrived in as a 70B

AV25 has arrived in as a 70B

Route 17 is still Olympian operated. RV443 is seen heading for Blackrock

Route 17 is still Olympian operated. RV443 is seen heading for Blackrock

AV43 has arrived into Belfield as a euro-duty 25X

AV43 has arrived into Belfield as a euro-duty 25X

 . . . and departs for town as a 46A

. . . and departs for town as a 46A

AV303 on duty 10/10 with another 10 behind it. Note the contrasting James Bond ads.

AV303 on duty 10/10 with another 10 behind it. Note the contrasting James Bond ads.

World Debut for Wright’s Hybrid Streetcar

WORLDWIDE DEBUT FOR NORTHERN IRISH BUILT STREETCAR RTV

Wright Streetcar RTV (Wrightbus)

Wright Streetcar RTV (Wrightbus)

 

 

 

 

StreetCar RTV – new generation of Rapid Transit Vehicle from the Wright Group, makes its worldwide debut at the APTA Expo 2008 in San Diego California this week (5th – 8th October), in association with technology partner the ISE Corporation.

Exhibited in the stunning new livery of the “ACE Downtown Connector”, the 62ft (18.7m) long, 30 tonne GVW articulated Rapid Transit Vehicle (RTV) is the first of 50 such vehicles that have been commissioned by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada.

Wright Group’s StreetCar RTV is at the heart of a whole new initiative to attract existing commuters away from their cars, as well as provide fast and efficient transit for the high numbers of tourists who visit Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The ACE Downtown Connector rapid transit project is the first phase in an overall project to eventually provide a high speed transit connection from downtown Las Vegas, through the resort corridor.

A centrepiece worthy of any integrated Rapid Transit system, StreetCar RTV successfully transfers the key attributes and technologies of a light rail service onto the road. It has a distinctive light rail-like appearance, with a slanted front windscreen and large, seamless windows giving it a sleek, modern design. With three wide doorways facilitating easy access for all users, StreetCar RTV offers low floor boarding and level floors throughout for efficient passenger flow.

Powered by a state-of-the-art Hybrid Electric Drive System developed in conjunction with the ISE Corporation and Siemens, StreetCar RTV is the first Series Hybrid-configured articulated vehicle in the US, providing a highly fuel-efficient mode of transport with exceptionally low environmental impact.

StreetCar RTV is a development of the StreetCar concept successfully launched in the UK in 2005, with a specification customised to RTC of Southern Nevada’s exacting requirements. As such, it is unlike any other bus in operation. With a modular chassis, the Siemens (ISE) Electric Hybrid Drive System is based on a Cummins ISL engine and features water-cooled Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and also incorporates for the very first time in transit buses, highly efficient permanent magnetic technology which creates a highly efficient motor.

Incorporating a Carrier Avantac all-electric, modular air conditioning system, Streetcar RTV has an innovative vehicle packaging and layout, featuring three wide doors which allow unimpeded boarding and alighting, a sealed driver’s compartment, integrated telematics and Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI), WiFi as well as ambient lighting. Further innovations include two wheelchair positions, one of which is rearward facing in full compliance of legislation and three interior bike racks – improving the both the exterior aesthetics and aerodynamics of the vehicle.

 

Room for three bikes (Wightbus)

Room for three bikes (Wightbus)

 

The safety and security of the StreetCar RTV’s 104 passengers at maximum capacity (44 seated) is enhanced by a Panic button, with live video feed from CCTV cameras capable of being relayed both back to its operational base as well as the Local Police Department.

Speaking at the launch of the StreetCar RTV at San Diego, the Wright Group Managing Director Mark Nodder said, “Each element of the StreetCar RTV has been designed and engineered to set new standards in public transit. Taking a radically different and totally innovative approach to every aspect of the mode, it has challenged every aspect of the traditional concept of the bus.”

He added, “From its hybrid propulsion system, dramatic exterior styling, total rethinking of the driver’s workspace and the redefinition of the passenger experience, StreetCar has redefined the category from BRT – Bus Rapid Transit to RTV – Rapid Transit Vehicle”.

The first of a $55m contract for 50 vehicles for RTC of Southern Nevada’s ACE Downtown Connector system, StreetCar RTV is built at the Wright Group’s Ballymena production facility in Northern Ireland. As with all Wright Group products, StreetCar RTV has undergone an extensive programme of testing and proving to ensure that it can withstand the rigorous daily demands in even the most extreme operating environment or conditions. It is fully supported by the Wright Group’s Customcare organisation, which provides parts and technical support wherever a vehicle may be in operation.

Chief Executive of the ISE Corporation Rick Sander commented, “We are proud to play an integral part in this ground breaking project, which has seen many US corporations such as ourselves develop and apply innovative technologies to provide a whole new concept in passenger travel. As leaders in our field, we firmly believe that hybrid fuel system technology has huge potential in many market sectors in this country and beyond, now that it is a proven economic proposition.”