Bus Manufacturer News & Discussion

Goldfish62

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Usually everybody else has to put up with some tat after London have finished with it, it's unusual for London to have to put up with something that somebody else got rid of!
There's always been plenty of tat around the edges of London!
 
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Bwsbro

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Probably sold more due to price, build time etc.
Unfortunatley Optare over the recent years have developed a reputation for long delays in delivery, I know of some operators have cancelled their Optare orders reordered with ADL and delivered before the rescheduled Optare Date

Some examples include the Optare Metrocities for NAT Group for the T9 Service delivered almost a year late, and the Metrodeckers due for the Greenline 702 were originally ordered in 2018, and only recently been finished
 

Eyersey468

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Usually everybody else has to put up with some tat after London have finished with it, it's unusual for London to have to put up with something that somebody else got rid of!
True, we got some ex London Presidents in 2012 and they were worn out.

Unfortunatley Optare over the recent years have developed a reputation for long delays in delivery, I know of some operators have cancelled their Optare orders reordered with ADL and delivered before the rescheduled Optare Date

Some examples include the Optare Metrocities for NAT Group for the T9 Service delivered almost a year late, and the Metrodeckers due for the Greenline 702 were originally ordered in 2018, and only recently been finished
Why are Optare lead times so long?
 

Volvodart

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ADL’S BRITISH-BUILT H2.0 NEXT GENERATION HYDROGEN BUS TO DELIVER UP TO 300 ZERO-EMISSION MILE RANGE​


https://www.alexander-dennis.com/me...o-deliver-up-to-300-zero-emission-mile-range/


Published: 25 Feb 2021

Larbert, Scotland, UK – 25th February 2021: (TSX: NFI) Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced that its next generation double deck hydrogen bus will deliver a zero-emission range of up to 300 miles. It will be powered by a Ballard fuel cell power module through the efficient Voith Electrical Drive System (VEDS).
Designed and fully built in Britain, ADL’s next generation hydrogen double decker – which is being developed under the project name H2.0 and expected to be on the road before the end of the year – supports the development of skills in the growing clean vehicle technology sector and boosts the UK hydrogen economy, while delivering governments’ net zero targets through the carbon-neutral electrification of high-mileage bus routes.
H2.0 is ADL’s second-generation hydrogen platform, incorporating learnings from nationwide trials to set new standards for range and efficiency. It builds on more than 25 years of hydrogen experience of New Flyer, another NFI Group subsidiary and one of the global pioneers in hydrogen buses.
With hydrogen tanks and key components intelligently packaged by the engineers that developed the market’s widest range of clean buses, ADL’s next generation hydrogen bus is an integral vehicle design that perfectly balances weight and maximises saloon space.
Powered by a class-leading Ballard fuel cell power module, it continues ADL’s philosophy of working with only the best in their field. Specified to just the right power output, the fuel cells minimise fuel consumption and maximise performance for lowest total cost of ownership. With fewer higher volume tanks, H2.0 reduces maintenance effort while increasing fuel capacity to deliver increased zero emission range.
H2.0 uses the latest technology in the form of the Voith Electrical Drive System. This boosts energy regeneration during the braking phase and delivers increased efficiency that is further enhanced by advanced thermal management which uses excess heat from the fuel cells and driveline to heat the saloon, minimising additional power requirement.
ADL President & Managing Director, Paul Davies said: “H2.0 is going to be a milestone for zero emission technology with unrivalled efficiency that gives a class-leading range, perfect for high mileage routes that battery technology doesn’t cover.
“Designed and built in Britain, our next generation hydrogen bus will retain investment in our economy and boost skills in clean vehicle technology, a crucial sector for future development as the United Kingdom targets net zero by 2050.”

DOWNLOADS​

 

Jordan Adam

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That'll certainly make Bamford Bus (Wright?) unsettled, an additional 100 miles of range on their Hydrogen DD.
100 miles extra on the Aberdeen examples, but only 45 on the NXWM ones currently in build. There comes a point where the extra range on a "city bus" is less relevant, what matters more is if it can do a full day of service and if the range quoted actually matches up to the "real-world range". Just as an example the longest route at First Aberdeen is around 20 miles end to end and takes just over an hour. So even if it did a full 18 hour shift on that route you're still only talking about 200 miles, probably less when you take in to account layover.

That aside it's great to finally see a ADL Hydrogen Bus being launched that's actually production ready and not just a concept.
 

Volvodart

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Wrightbus on their website says the basic range is 250 miles but further tanks can be added to extend the range.

https://www.wrightbus.com/#benefits

I am unsure how heavy the tanks are, that may affect the number of passengers the bus can carry, as they are already heavy buses.
 
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fgwrich

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These are a group of seven vehicles refused by Arriva for the 110 Wakefield to Leeds service, due to their poor built quality.

These will enter service in early March and will replace older vehicles on routes that enter the newly expanded London ULEZ zone
Thanks! I couldn't work out where they are from as the interior looked different to standard Arriva (Leather or E-leather than moquette). I wonder what work will have been done to them to bring them up to a useable standard.
 

Swanny200

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Thanks! I couldn't work out where they are from as the interior looked different to standard Arriva (Leather or E-leather than moquette). I wonder what work will have been done to them to bring them up to a useable standard.
Also makes me wonder what is different compared to Wright's ownership and Bamford's ownership, I imagine it is the same staff and somewhere along the line, quality dropped enough that companies obviously refused them, I can only assume QA has improved. Problem is, has damage already been done? It also makes me wonder if the pandemic may have done them some good, given them time to improve rather than had there not been a pandemic and operators put off them because of build quality.
 

Bwsbro

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Also makes me wonder what is different compared to Wright's ownership and Bamford's ownership, I imagine it is the same staff and somewhere along the line, quality dropped enough that companies obviously refused them, I can only assume QA has improved. Problem is, has damage already been done? It also makes me wonder if the pandemic may have done them some good, given them time to improve rather than had there not been a pandemic and operators put off them because of build quality.

The biggest change for the company is now they have a strong vision for the future in alternative fuel vehicles. Electric and Hydrogen (Of which could become a major player soon)

Im not sure if processes have changed much in the factories, however most of the remaining workers have been there before the new owners. However one wonders if they became overeliant on the New Routemaster Buses for the order books

I must admit that one of the company’s saving grace was the Rotala deal for 163 vehicles both Streetlite and Streetdeck agreed just before Lockdown helped to keep the company afloat during the last couple of months
 

Volvodart

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Bamford did bring in JCB people at the start. I think that they were to be there for some time, I think a few years. I remember him saying that the Wrightbus processes and procedures were not up to modern standards.
 
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scosutsut

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Problem is, has damage already been done?
I think for many probably yes. Stagecoach never really bothered with them for whatever reason. First and Arriva built up huge fleets. Nat Express were keen on them too for a good while.

Lothian bar a small batch of Solos and a small batch of ADL Hybrids bought nothing but Wright's from 2005 to 2018, and I don't think they'll be back in a hurry with their disastrous experiences at the end of that period.

The truth will be if people trust them and go for electric / hydrogen as quickly as Wright's seem to be banking on happening.

Most ULEZs are content with Euro 6 diesel so I don't think there will be this mass switch to either overnight, not when all fleets are going to have replacement backlogs and financial challenges for years to come.

Personally I think they've backed the wrong horse, or more to the point, the right horse, just several years too early!
 

busesrusuk

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These are a group of seven vehicles refused by Arriva for the 110 Wakefield to Leeds service, due to their poor built quality.

These will enter service in early March and will replace older vehicles on routes that enter the newly expanded London ULEZ zone
This appears to be one of the batch that actually got delivered to Arriva and presumably is still running for them:

Arriva Yorkshire 1577 Feb20 | Park Row, Leeds. Feb 2020 | Flickr

As for lots of tat running around London, yes there is plenty but some of the smaller operators have been attempting to raise the bar, no doubt driven by the upcoming ULEZ changes. The operators in Surrey have certainly been investing in recent years. Most of the tat you see is on rail replacement work - and a number of those vehicles really are tat!
 

Mikey C

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Wrights had a very good reputation not that long ago, I imagine that goodwill helped maintain sales, even when the quality was slipping

From a London perspective, the Gemini 1 and 2 double deckers seemed like high quality products, for example, a step up from rivals like the ALX400, President, Omnidekka and Omnicity

Similarly the Wright Cadet seemed a more substantial product than the Plaxton or Marshall bodied Darts
 

Robertj21a

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Wrights had a very good reputation not that long ago, I imagine that goodwill helped maintain sales, even when the quality was slipping

From a London perspective, the Gemini 1 and 2 double deckers seemed like high quality products, for example, a step up from rivals like the ALX400, President, Omnidekka and Omnicity

Similarly the Wright Cadet seemed a more substantial product than the Plaxton or Marshall bodied Darts
Agreed, that's the problem - it's all in the past.
 

KendalKing

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Therefore short wheelbase for double decks was settled upon (the Borismaster, which no one other than the mayor wanted is quite another story).
It be interesting to see, who if anybody, gets the Borismaster's, when they are too old for London. Then as you say that another story or thread.
 

CN04NRJ

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It be interesting to see, who if anybody, gets the Borismaster's, when they are too old for London. Then as you say that another story or thread.

I imagine the majority will be a rather expensive field adornment with a handful getting picked up for bargain prices by operators to run until something expensive goes wrong.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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It be interesting to see, who if anybody, gets the Borismaster's, when they are too old for London. Then as you say that another story or thread.

They won't be popular outside of London; too many bespoke features and the technology has moved on. They will be stuck with them until the depreciation is run out or they take a hit early.

A guess a few will head to preservation (cos we need more preserved ex London buses) and a few non-PCV but I don't see much future after London
 

MotCO

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It be interesting to see, who if anybody, gets the Borismaster's, when they are too old for London. Then as you say that another story or thread.

Would they make useful open top tour buses - you should be able to get a lot of punters upstairs, even if you have to remove one of the staircases?
 

DJames

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How are Diamond getting on with all their recent Wrightbus products?
The 20 reg Streetlites are performing well, the only one that's been off the road had a stolen car crash into it. The 70 plates are great too, although they're headed down south soon. They know how to maintain them properly if you ask me, the 62 reg ones they transferred in for the 31/32 had some work done to them, and those go like the clappers now.
 

Jordan Adam

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The new Streetdeck-FCEVs in Aberdeen seem very well built and solid. Very few (next to no) rattles. If the build quality of those is consistent with the other products then it seems Wright are heading down the right path.
 

DJames

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The new Streetdeck-FCEVs in Aberdeen seem very well built and solid. Very few (next to no) rattles. If the build quality of those is consistent with the other products then it seems Wright are heading down the right path.
The newer Streetlites are the same at Diamond, mainly the 68 plates onwards. I went down to Showbus 2019 on 20167 (SK19 FCG), which barely had any rattles, and sat at motorway speeds with no issue.
 

GusB

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The thread was drifting a little with discussion of the future of the Borismasters. I've moved those posts to a separate thread which you will find here:
 

M803UYA

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Agreed, that's the problem - it's all in the past.
Depends - the past is the reason Wrights went down. You can't keep setting fire to customers.

I'll use the example of an operator I worked for who was a loyal Wright customer until 2015. They had bought Gemini's when these first came out alongside East Lancs bodies which aged pretty badly by comparison. They were a very different vehicle and a quality product. Even at 10 years of age, they wore that well. These were followed by some Cadets, and by 5 Volvo B9TL Gemini 2s, again lovely vehicles.

The problems started in 2013, when we were one of the first orders for the Streetlite Max. There was much discussion about what ADL was offering (either Enviro 200s, proven in the fleet and would have been fine, or the Enviro 300, which wasn't a vehicle we had many of) and what Wrights were offering. The order was made and a delivery date given of end of June/ early July 2013. We registered the service changes accordingly to take account of the new buses arrival, and for maximum impact they were to be concentrated on one route grouping.

July came and went and the promised vehicles didn't come. There was an issue with a certain type of London bus, which was also about to enter service. I can't mention it's name as that part of the thread has been moved, but it was viewed as an important deal for Wrights, so much so that all available factory staff were diverted onto it. Our 8 vehicle order was deemed less important. This wasn't a problem as we had lots of low floor Darts which could solider on, but these Darts were, being polite, a little 'ancient'... coming with the usual issues old buses have of wanting lots of attention.

Eventually as we went into July some buses did come from Wrights. The final ones in the batch came in August. Being a 'new' type of bus there were bound to be teething troubles and there were. The ticket machines wouldn't download as the master switch was turned off, thus losing power to the machine. So of course the ticket machines on the buses weren't downloading their information at the end of the day. This type of Wayfarer machine does have issues itself and missing data was an issue being made worse. This got the finance department quite excited as revenue and passenger numbers were 'down'...

There were other teething issues...So much so, people from Wrights came to meet the management. This was rewarded with an order for 10 more, increased to 11 after the award of another tender which would want a new bus. So, 19 Streetlites in a fleet with barely 8 weeks operational experience of this type of vehicle. Hmm.... :D

Out of this batch of 11, the first arrived and had various issues that should have been sorted with the pre-delivery inspection. This bus was the first of the 19 to require a new engine, three months in after the first one failed. The problem with the Streetlite being that the Cummins engine is the standard 4 cylinder as opposed to the uprated 6 - this particular bus had a lot of high speed dual carriageway running. So, the engine was always working hard, and thus it failed first. Others in the batch then started to have engine failures. Not a problem of course, as Wrights supplied them with a 4 year bumper to bumper warranty. Regardless of how much less fuel is being consumed the cost of replacement engines outweigh the savings.

Then the company turned it's attention to double deckers, which were a long overlooked part of the fleet and not one which had benefited from regular investment over the years. 5 stock build Gemini 2s arrived and went into service with no issues, but in 2015 8 B5TLs with Gemini 3 bodies arrived. I left the business at that point but I got to hear about the warranty claims which Wrights refused to honour.

The company then wanted some more double deckers, and ADL was very keen to get the order, us not being a volume customer over the years and so 6 Enviro 400 MMCs arrived a couple of years later. The order was announced at the Coach and Bus show, and Wrights were very upset. 'You could have told us you were talking to ADL. We could have matched their price.'

The response from the now hacked off Wrights customer I'll leave to your imagination. It might involve some 'naughty' words :D

By no means were we a big customer of Wrights, but for 10 years a lot of the new vehicles which came to us were their vehicles. If the experiences of the company I worked for are the same as other operators it does explain a lot about why Wrights went out of business. Put simply, you have to make vehicles which customers can use, want to buy and can keep on the road. If there's a problem they need support, normally yesterday, and they need the vehicle turned round so it can go out and earn money and keep the people who pay everyone's wages happy.
 

Mikey C

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By the sound of things, things started to go wrong when Wrights decided to start making integral buses, instead of just concentrating on bodying Volvo, Scania and VDL chassis. It's quite a major step, one which was perhaps beyond their abilities.

Optare made a related decision too to stop bodying other chassis, which really affected the East Lancs side of the business which had (in London) picked up some decent work on Volvo and Scania double deckers
 

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