Saturday, 19 January 2019

Stagecoach Gold Enviro200's for Wirral

Stagecoach Merseyside has expanded its luxury brand bus fleet in Wirral due to increasing demand.

From January 13, Stagecoach Gold buses will now operate on the 38 bus service between West Kirby and Eastham Ferry. 

Buses will run every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday with hourly services available Evenings and Sundays. The 38 bus service calls at popular destinations including Moreton, Birkenhead, Bromborough Croft Retail Park and New Ferry.

All Gold buses feature spacious legroom, comfortable e-leather seats and CCTV as standard. The buses also offer free Wi-Fi allowing passengers to stay connected while on the move. Contactless payment methods are available on board all Gold buses. The highly-sustainable fleet runs off bio diesel and is powered by low emission engines.

Rob Jones, managing director at Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire, said: “Since launching our first Gold route in 2015, the fleet has proven increasingly popular with passengers who love the added luxury and additional benefits the service offers.

“We’re pleased to be adding service number 38 to our existing Gold routes and look forward to rolling out this affordable alternative which will offer passengers enhanced connectivity and comfort during their journey, whether they are commuting to work or seeing friends.

“With the addition of service number 38 to our existing Gold routes, we will be delivering a new level of quality for customers across the region.”

Travel across Stagecoach’s bus network in Wirral including on the Gold buses costs £14 for adults and £7 for Under 19's per week.

Friday, 18 January 2019

91119 Repainted into Original 'Swallow' Intercity Livery and an Appeal for Photographs

During December 2018 London Northeastern Railway launched a very special Class 91 into passenger service.
Class 91s first entered passenger service on the 3rd March 1989, this year LNER will begin to bid farewell to them following 30 years in service.
To bring back the memories, and to honour the class, the train operating company have unveiled Class 91 No. 91119 in its original Intercity Swallow livery, just as it would have done all them years ago.
We held back our posting in the hope that we could obtain pictures of 91119 in the Swallow livery but so far, apart from the one below, have been unable to do so.

The 91's first task in its new look was to form 1D22 1633 London Kings Cross to Leeds service, along the route, many enthusiasts were there to welcome in the new look and to take photographs.
91119 will now haul trains between London Kings Cross and Leeds, York and Scotland whilst in its shiny new livery.

If you have pictures of 91119 in the new Swallow livery please send them to 
and we will add them to this posting.

19th Janruary
Thanks to Tommy Cooling who has sent us the following pictures of 91119 taken at Kings Cross last week.

Further pictures of 91119 required please, please send to


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Final Boeing 727 Passenger Flight

The final Boeing 727 commercial aircraft to carry passengers has made its last flight.

Operated by Iran Aseman Airlines, flight EP851 did a two-hour domestic route from Zahedan to Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport on Sunday 13 January.

The jet itself was a 38-year-old Boeing 727-200 Advanced, and was the last to be flown as a passenger plane with a commercial airline.

The 727 model has been in service for nearly 55 years, and was at one time a popular aircraft choice for a variety of airlines.

The tri-jet aircraft first came into service in 1963, able to fly more passengers than most competitor narrow-body jets, and at higher speeds with a lower operating cost per passenger.

 The 727 was flown by many airlines including Dan - Air

Most major airlines in the US had 727s as part of their fleet – more than 1,800 of the jets were purchased during its 20-year production run.

When it stopped being made in 1984, the 727 was the most widely sold commercial jet ever, a title that’s since been taken by the plane’s successor, the 737.

The 727’s use as a commercial aircraft has dwindled over the last two decades, as airlines find it much more cost-effective to fly twin-engine jets that use fuel more efficiently.

However, although Sunday marked its final commercial flight, the aircraft model is still used to transport freight, with some even used to operate charter flights or as private planes for government officials.

The news comes after British Airways announced it was retiring its final 767, Boeing’s first wide-body twin-jet, in November 2018.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Stagecoach BYD ADL Electrics for Guildford

Stagecoach has launched nine new BYD ADL Enviro200EVs on its Guildford Park & Ride service.

The launch ceremony was held at The Electric Theatre and the Artington Park & Ride, where the buses were unveiled to the public for the first time by Stagecoach South Managing Director, Edward Hodgson and BYD ADL representatives, as well as local council members.

Nine 10.8m pure electric buses have been supplied to Stagecoach South together with charging equipment for use on park and ride services in Guildford.

The delivery underlines the steady growth in the BYD ADL partnership’s reach as it begins the penetration of provincial fleets outside London. The buses for Guildford are to the BYD ADL provincial spec, recently previewed at Euro Bus Expo. With a single door and 36 seats the vehicles deliver outstanding comfort and appeal for passengers.

Importantly, these are the first buses supplied by the partnership to Stagecoach Group which, with 8,000 buses and coaches, is one of the largest public transport operators in the UK

In Guildford the nine electric buses will connect three car parks and a leisure centre with the town centre, operating six days a week, with service frequencies of between 10 and 15 minutes. Guildford is an important and historic large town south of London with a major university and which is popular with commuters to the capital. This is the first fleet of pure electric buses to enter service there.

Arthur Whiteside, ADL’s Managing Director for UK Sales, said: "We are delighted to support Stagecoach South and Surrey County Council in their introduction of clean, zero emission buses. With passenger-centric interiors and excellent onboard amenities, they will further enhance the attractiveness of Guildford as a destination and place of employment in the regional economy."

Speaking at the launch event in Guildford today, BYD’s UK Country Manager, Frank Thorpe, said: "The entry into service of these vehicles means that our joint enterprise has now supplied advanced electric buses to the majority of the major bus operating groups in the UK and, as with all of our customers, we have been able to provide much more than the bus. Our know how has assisted in the provision of the necessary infrastructure, including BYD built chargers."

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

'Breeze' Hydrogen Train Unveiled

Alstom and Eversholt Rail have unveiled the design of new hydrogen train for the UK market. The train, codenamed ‘Breeze’, will be a conversion of existing Class 321 trains, re-engineering some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock, to create a clean train for the modern age. These trains could run across the UK as early as 2022, emitting only water and no harmful emissions at all.

 Class 321 Electrics will be converted to Hydrogen powered 'Breeze' units
The rolling stock conversion will be carried out by Alstom, working in partnership with Eversholt Rail and building upon an established business relationship spanning over 15 years and across multiple rolling stock fleets. This proven and reliable Class 321 is an excellent fit in terms of characteristics, fleet size and availability for conversion to a Hydrogen Multiple Unit (HMU).

Alstom and Eversholt Rail are working closely with industry stakeholders to develop the business cases and evaluate detailed introduction plans for fleets of these innovative trains and the associated fuelling infrastructure. Alstom and Eversholt Rail also confirmed that their initial, comprehensive engineering study is now complete, and the train design concept finalised. The innovative technical solution defined is the first to allow a hydrogen train to fit within the standard UK loading gauge, and it will also create more space for passengers than the trains they are intended to replace.

The Alstom facility in Widnes will manage the conversion of the Breeze trains, creating high quality engineering jobs in this new, emerging sector.

The news follows the introduction in September of Alstom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains in Germany, (see here) where they now operate in regular passenger service on a daily basis. There is growing interest in Alstom’s hydrogen technology worldwide, including in France where the President of the Occitanie region, Carole Delga, recently announced a proposal to introduce the technology on trains there.

Andrew Jones MP, Rail Minister, said:
“Hydrogen train technology is an exciting innovation which has the potential to transform our railway, making journeys cleaner and greener by cutting CO2 emissions even further. We are working with industry to establish how hydrogen trains can play an important part in the future, delivering better services on rural and inter-urban routes.”

Claire Perry MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, commented:
“Transport in the UK has evolved over centuries from the world’s first steam train to the tens of thousands of electric vehicles on our roads today thanks to our nation of innovators. Plans for the design of new hydrogen powered trains, which have the potential to only emit water, is further proof of the UK’s continued creativity to transform the way we travel as we continue to move to a greener, cleaner economy. The UK is on track when it comes to growing a world-leading hydrogen economy, and through our modern Industrial Strategy we are providing £23 million to power our ambition to be the ‘go-to’ place for first-class hydrogen transport.”

Nick Crossfield, Alstom UK & Ireland Managing Director, added:
“The Breeze will be a clean, green new train for the UK with a stylish, modern look. The railways need to decarbonise and the Government has rightly set out a goal to eliminate diesel rolling stock by 2040. Hydrogen trains offer an ideal solution for routes which are unlikely to benefit from electrification, and our innovative engineering solution means they can now fit within the UK loading gauge and can quickly be ready to roll on Britain’s railways. In Germany, Alstom’s hydrogen trains are already transporting passengers in the comfort and quiet that is characteristic of these trains. The Breeze offers British rail users the opportunity to share in the pleasure that is a journey on a hydrogen train.”

Eversholt Rail Client Relations Director Stephen Timothy said:
“Eversholt Rail has an enviable record of innovation across its rolling stock portfolio. Combining the experience gained from the successful Coradia iLint and Class 321 Renatus programmes will deliver a hydrogen-powered multiple unit product that will meet sponsors’ and train operators’ aspirations for the earliest possible fleet introduction.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“This is great news and further strengthens Liverpool City Region’s position at the forefront of the green energy sector. As well as providing high value, highly skilled jobs, this development will also contribute to delivering significant environmental benefits, both through cleaner air and cutting CO2 emissions.”

Following the release of the images, and the announcement of the Breeze name Alstom and Eversholt are offering the new train to the UK market. Passengers can look forward to seeing the new trains running across the UK as early as 2021.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Boeing Ultra-efficient Airliner Concept

Boeing has unveiled a refined design for its Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) ultra-efficient airliner concept. The 737-class aircraft, with a 170-ft.-span low-drag wing, is designed to fly at Mach 0.8, a typical airliner cruise speed and faster than previous versions of the design.

The TTBW concept was originally developed in 2010 under the Boeing and NASA Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) program to study new configurations for ultra-efficient airliners that could enter service in the 2035 time frame.

The model of the revised TTBW configuration was unveiled Jan. 8 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech conference in San Diego. Boeing estimates the TTBW has an 8% fuel-burn advantage over a conventional configuration with cantilevered wing.

The TTBW configuration has a high-aspect-ratio wing to minimize induced drag in the cruise. The long, thin wing is braced by trusses—similar to the Hurel-Dubois designs of the 1950s—that minimize the weight penalty of the longer span.

In the SUGAR study, the aircraft was designed for a reduced cruise speed on Mach 0.75 to minimize fuel consumption. Under NASA contract, Boeing has optimized the truss design and increased wing sweep to enable the aircraft to fly at Mach 0.8, the speed at which today’s airliners typically cruise.

Artist’s concepts of the refined TTBW design released by Boeing show the increased sweep of the high-set wing and the revised design of the truss. The main member has increased chord at the fuselage, forward sweep and tapers toward the junction with the wing.

The junction with the fuselage has been moved back and the main truss now angles up to meet the wing at some distance from the fuselage, presumably to reduce aerodynamic interference. There is a small jury member connecting the truss to the wing close to its junction with the wing.

The long-span wing folds just outboard of the truss junctions to enable the TTBW to use the same airport gates as a 737, which has a wing span of almost 118 ft.

The aircraft pictured appears to be conventionally powered, with turbofans mounted under the wing, but NASA is studying versions of the TTBW concept with hybrid-electric propulsion. These have electric motors integrated into the turbine engines. An electric-powered ducted thruster on the tail ingests the fuselage boundary layer and re-energizes the wake, reducing drag and energy consumption.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

First Two French Rail Tenders To Be Issued

The French government has formally launched the process of opening the French domestic main line passenger railway to competition when it announced the publication of a Prior Information Notice covering two routes.

Issued by the Ministry of Environmental Transformation & Sustainability and to be published this week in the Official Journal of the European Union, the PIN covers the Nantes – Bordeaux and Nantes – Lyon services currently operated by SNCF Mobilités as part of the Trains d’Equilibre du Térritoire network of conventional inter-city trains. 
These two routes are among eight TET services still specified by central government rather than regional authorities, and SNCF’s operating agreement with the state runs until 2020.

The ministry says that the PIN marks the start of the first competitive tendering process under the national railway reform programme which was passed into law in June 2018. This is intended to ensure that France complies with the provisions of the EU’s Fourth Railway Package.

The PIN will give potential bidders the chance to consider the ‘enhancements and value-added propositions’ which they may wish to offer in the tendering process. However, a formal call for tenders will not be made until ‘at least 12 months’ after publication of the PIN.

The ministry is clear that for now the tendering process applies only to the two TET routes specified. This is because the rolling stock on both routes has recently been renewed, and this will be made available for use by the winning bidder. Future tendering of other state-managed TET services would only take place once fleet and infrastructure enhancements have been completed ‘over the coming years’. The government plans to select a single operator to run both services under a public service contract, insisting that there will be no on-rail competition.

The French government says that ‘it has complete confidence in the quality of the bids that will be presented’. The operating contract is expected to come into effect from 2022.

‘We are not trying to get rid of SNCF’, a spokesman for the ministry told local media on January 9. ‘All the bidders have an equal chance of winning. We want to see the tendering process lead to more quality for passengers, more trains being run and more innovation, but also a reduction in costs.  

Saturday, 12 January 2019


In 2013 Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. signed a framework agreement with public transport operator Rīgas Satiksme in Riga, the capitol of Latvia for delivery of 175 Solaris buses and so far, they have delivered 140 diesel engine vehicles to the operator. Under this framework agreement Solaris has now been awarded an order for delivery of the final 30 Solaris buses and also for an extra 53 articulated Urbino 18 buses.

The new contract will cover a total of 88 buses, which means that Rīgas Satiksme has increased its original order from five years ago by 53 vehicles. The first ten buses are to roll out on Riga streets as soon as next year, whereas the remainder of the order will be carried out by the end of 2020. The total value of the order amounts to around EUR 35 million.

All of the commissioned buses will be 18 metres long and will be powered by a 10.8 litre Euro 6 diesel engine with 250kW (337hp) and automatic transmission. The Urbino 18 has a capacity of up to 150 passengers. In addition the delivery entails fitting the buses with an energy recuperation system, air conditioning system and a state-of-the-art surveillance system, consisting of 10 cameras placed outside and inside the bus. USB ports are fitted to recharge mobile devices; the ordered articulated Urbino 18 buses will be equipped with ITC systems that include 4 communication channels (GSM, WiFi, Tetra and GPRS). Tyre pressure monitoring will also be fitted.

So far Solaris has delivered a total of 528 vehicles to Latvia, 455 of which have made their way to Riga. One of the orders currently implemented in  involves the supply of 10 trolleybuses with batteries and an additional fuel cell, for driving beyond the traction line.

Solaris have been successful in other areas of the Baltic states. They are just about to complete the delivery of 150 buses with diesel engines to Vilnius. The supply of another 41 trolleybuses, to the capital of Lithuania, is currently under way. Moreover, the firm recently signed a contract for the delivery of 85 trolleybuses to Kaunas in 2019.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Transport Secretary looking at Colne-Skipton Rail Link Re-opening

THE case for extending the East Lancashire Line across The Pennines by reopening rail link from Colne to Skipton is now on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's desk.

One of his ministers this week confirmed he had received the feasibility study on the project and that a decision is imminent.

Junior Transport Minister Baroness Liz Sugg was replying to a Parliamentary Question from Pendle peer Lord Tony Graves who praised the work on campaign group SELRAP (The Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership).

He told her: "Just before Christmas, you referred to a feasibility study into the reinstatement of the Skipton-Colne rail link as part of a route for passengers and freight.

"This has recently been completed by the Steer group, at a cost of nearly £1 million, and submitted to the Transport Secretary.

"If this major new freight route across the north of England is built, it will provide a route from Liverpool docks, via Skipton-Colne, to Leeds and Yorkshire, and up the east coast main line to the Yorkshire coast and to Drax. Is this not a scheme that, at a fraction of the cost of any new major scheme in the south-east or London, could provide a major freight route across the north of England within three or four years?

"Will the government make this a priority?"

Baroness Sugg replied: "You rightly highlights the benefits that the scheme could bring. We have received the feasibility study. We are looking at it carefully and we will make an announcement on it shortly."

Lord Greaves said: “This really is crunch time for re-opening the line from Colne to Skipton. SELRAP have done a wonderful job keeping the dream, alive.

“If we want our railway service back and a fast service from Burnley through to the Aire Valley and Leeds, this is the way to get it. Everyone must work together on this.

"I promise to keep pressing for the government to make a decision to proceed to the next stage – to develop a clear proposal that can be subject to detailed design work."

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss and Transport for the North board member, said: "We are pleased there will be an announcement soon and hope it will be a favourable one. This relatively affordable scheme would benefit not just Pendle and Burnley but Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen."

Jane Wood, SELRAP's media officer, said: "We are hoping for an early decision and the right one. We feel very positive."

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Edinburgh Trams Increase Journeys by 10% During 2018

Edinburgh trams have released figures showing that 7.3 million journeys were recorded in 2018 which is an increase of 10% on 2017 figures. 
Capacity has been increased throughout the year by introducing additional trams as “queue buster” services during morning and evening peaks seeing trams running from every three minutes.

Edinburgh Trams Limited - the Operator of the tramway and an arms-length organisation of the City of Edinburgh Council and part of the Transport for Edinburgh Group - returned a pre-tax operating profit of £1.6 million in 2017.

Following a long-planned review of the Operating Agreement, the Council has agreed to begin the process of transferring responsibility for maintaining tram vehicles and infrastructure to the Operator. This will see Edinburgh Trams assume these responsibilities and costs in the course of 2019.

The new arrangements will enable Edinburgh Trams to improve value for money, by directly managing contracts for vehicles, infrastructure and systems. The Operator will pay the Council an £8.5m annual asset fee for use of the trams, tram infrastructure, track and tram depot.

Lea Harrison, Manager Director at Edinburgh Trams, commented:

“Everyone at Edinburgh Trams continues to work tirelessly to deliver a safe, reliable and customer focused service for our residents and visitors to the city.

"The additional responsibilities given to us as Maintainer are recognition of our efforts and the Council’s belief in our abilities to make cost savings for the city.

George Lowder, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, added:

“Edinburgh Trams has proven itself for a fourth year as an integral part of the Transport for Edinburgh Group and the backbone of the integrated Edinburgh mobility network.

“The decision to transfer maintenance responsibilities to the operator is a clear indicator that Edinburgh trams has come of age.

“Our focus is now on the political decision to take Trams to Newhaven later in the year.”

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council and Chair of Transport for Edinburgh, said:

“We’re nearly five years on from the launch of tram passenger services and the figures speak for themselves – every year, more and more people in the Capital are discovering the benefits of Edinburgh Trams’ award-winning service.

“It's a reflection of how well Edinburgh Trams is performing as a company that we feel they are now ready to take on the responsibility for maintenance costs - as was always the plan when the current arrangements were agreed. Their continued growth in passenger numbers, improved service frequency and excellent customer service point to their readiness for this transfer of responsibility.

“These next few months are vital to our development of Edinburgh’s public transport provision as our city continues to grow. Council officers are refining the Trams to Newhaven Final Business Case ahead of a decision by elected members in March.”

Vice Transport Convener Councillor Karen Doran said:

“These figures are extremely encouraging, particularly as we’re just a matter of weeks away now from making the final decision on taking trams to Newhaven. The continued reliability, positive customer approval and growing passenger numbers achieved by Edinburgh Trams on the existing route will be a key consideration as councillors evaluate the Final Business Case.”

Councillors are expected to make a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the Trams to Newhaven project in March 2019. If approved, it is expected to record over 14 million customer journeys in its first year.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Scottish Green Bus Funding Awards for First & Glasgow Airport

First Glasgow and Glasgow Airport have been awarded more than £1 million in funding as part of the Scottish Green Bus Fund.

Set up to increase low carbon transport solutions, the fund has already helped with the introduction of more than 360 low carbon emission buses into the Scottish transport fleet.

This has been backed by in excess of £16 million in funding.

At the end of May 2018, Transport Scotland announced the opening of the eighth round of funding to local authorities, bus operators and any regional transport partnerships who were interested in cleaner fleets.

This has resulted in the award of £1.14 million in funding for First Glasgow and Glasgow Airport.

The announcement came at the same time that Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone officially went live, initially affecting local bus services.

It continues the drive seen around Great Britain to reduce pollution – the fourth greatest risk to public health – and make towns and cities more environmentally friendly, and transport fleets much more efficient.

Michael Matheson is the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. He believes the Scottish Green Bus Fund has been hugely successful in improving air quality.

“The Scottish government committed to introducing Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020. Glasgow is the first city to implement a zone, working with the bus industry to respond to the particular air quality challenges within Glasgow city centre.

“To help support this transition, we have provided over £10 million in 2018 to assist with local authority delivery and the costs associated with bus retrofit technology, and this is in addition to eight years of the Scottish Green Bus Fund which has been very successful in evolving and encouraging a greener fleet.”

First Glasgow has already displayed its credentials with the introduction of ultra-low emission vehicles for staff and patients who need to get to and from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. D
etails here

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Significant Order For Van Hool Hydrogen Buses

Van Hool, has landed a significant contract with RVK Köln and WSW Wuppertal (Germany), to supply 40 latest generation hydrogen buses. This order consists of 30 fuel cell buses for Cologne and 10 for Wuppertal, making it the largest order for hydrogen-powered vehicles ever been placed in Europe. These high-tech vehicles will be built in the Van Hool factory in Koningshooikt. The first buses will be delivered in the spring of 2019. 

The 40 hydrogen buses are hybrid vehicles (fuel cell and batteries) of the Van Hool A330 type with dual axles and are12 metres long. They will be equipped with the latest FCvelocity-HD85 Fuel Cell module from Ballard Power Systems of Vancouver, Canada and fitted with a 210kW Siemens PEM electric traction motor. 
The vehicles have 29 seats and 46 (Cologne) and 49 (Wuppertal) standing passengers, with space for two wheelchair users and a pram. 
Thanks to the hybrid power source, the buses, with a tank capacity of 38.2kg of hydrogen on board, will be able to carry out a full day's schedule of 350km.
Together with the lithium batteries and electric motors, the fuel cells form the basis of the all-electric power source. Hydrogen is converted to electricity in the fuel cell, with water vapour as its only emission, while the batteries provide additional power wherever and whenever needed. Thanks to this hybrid power source and the re-use of braking energy, around 8 kg of hydrogen are consumed over a distance of 100 km. 

CEO Filip Van Hool, said: "Hydrogen buses are vehicles with a high added value and they're of major importance to the production facility in Koningshooikt. This unique order, the biggest ever for fuel cell buses in Europe, is a serious boost for hydrogen technology for public transport. All over Europe, public transport companies are working hard to “greenify” their bus fleets. We are happy that the German city of Cologne, where two Van Hool hydrogen buses have already been in service since May 2014, has responded in a particularly positive way to the experience. Sharing in their involvement with, and commitment to that experience will translate into an evolution of the newly commissioned vehicles".

Eugen Puderbach, CEO of Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK), adds: "Buses with hydrogen-powered fuel cells are among the most environmentally friendly vehicles in public transport. They don't emit any harmful substances and are much quieter than conventional city buses. By using 30 additional buses with fuel cells, we are steadily progressing on our chosen path towards sustainable public transport in our area".
Ulrich Jaeger, Business Manager at WSW mobil GmbH, adds: “Since electric buses in oiur public transport network do not offer the necessary range, we are pleased that with fuel cells we can use an environmentally friendly drive system in Wuppertal.  As we also produce hydrogen with an environmentally friendly method, our project is a one-stop-shop.”
Van Hool has been building hydrogen buses for the American market since 2005 and for the European market since 2007. 

So far, Van Hool has produced 53 hydrogen buses for North America (21) and Europe (32).  The eight hydrogen-powered tram-buses Van Hool is manufacturing for Pau (France) should be added to this total. These are to be delivered in the second half of 2019.

The procurement of new vehicles fits into the framework of Germany's national innovation program for hydrogen and fuel cell technology (NIP), and is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), financed by the “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking” (FCH JU), the European public-private partnership is aimed at accelerating the market introduction of fuel cells and hydrogen technology, operating under the EU ‘Horizon 2020’ program.

Van Hool is an independent Belgian bus, coach and industrial vehicles manufacturer. The company, which was founded in 1947, is based in Koningshooikt. The majority of its production is destined for Europe and America. Van Hool has around 4,500 staff worldwide, the majority of whom work at the production facilities in Koningshooikt (Belgium) and Skopje (Macedonia).

Monday, 7 January 2019

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Electric Irizar IE Tram Buses in Operation in Barcelona

Irizar officially unveiled four, 18-metre long, 100% electric, zero-emissions Irizar ie tram buses at an event that took place in Barcelona's Forum Building. 

The buses will operate on the H16 line (Zona Franca-Fòrum/Campus Besòs) and will join the two 12-metre long, 100% electric, Irizar ie buses that have been operating in the city since 2014.

The Irizar ie tram has 4 doors with 36 seats, 1 driver's seat, 1 wheelchair area, electric ramp and 1 pushchair area, and has a total capacity of 147 passengers. The bus requires a 4-5 minute opportunity charge that will take place along the route. It has a pantograph that extends from the roof of the bus and connects to the interoperable charging mast. In addition, it will also require in-depot charging at night.

The Managing Director of Irizar e-mobility, Hector Olabegogeaskoetxea said: “We are very proud to be able to present these vehicles four years after Irizar's first electric buses began operating in Barcelona. In addition, these are the first Irizar ie tram 18 m vehicles in real operation.” With this purchase, the Barcelona-based company is tackling the first phase of transforming the H16 line into a 100% electric, zero-emissions route.

These Irizar ie tram buses have rear view camera's instead of mirrors. Each vehicle will be equipped with USB ports on the handrails for phone charging and WiFi for passengers.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

First Glasgow Launch New Enviro200 MMC's

First Glasgow has launched 12 new ultra-low emission vehicles, to service staff and patients going to and from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The Enviro200 MMC buses, built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, will be joined by a further 75 ultra-low emission vehicles in 2019.

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan hosted an event, where Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow met with Denis Sweeney, NHS Travel Planning and Systems Manager and Councillor Stephen Dornan to unveil the new buses, and discuss the new Commuter Travel Club with NHS staff.

Councillor Stephen Dornan said: “l was delighted to be invited to the launch of the new 34 bus, First Bus are to be congratulated for their foresight in not just delivering for their passengers, but also for the environment.

NHS Greater Glasgow has also now signed up to the first bus Commuter Travel Club, an employee benefits scheme, which offers discounted travel on the passengers’ chosen zone.

Denis Sweeney, NHS Travel Planning and Systems Manager said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is delighted that First has made this commitment to the 34/34a routes, by introducing these new energy efficient vehicles on such a key route for our patients and staff to access the Queen Elizabeth University and New Victoria Hospitals.

“We hope these new buses will encourage more patients and staff to see bus as a viable option for travel to these hospitals.”

Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow, added: “We are committed to working with partners such as NHSGGC to provide transport solutions for their already busy sites and bustling car parks.

“Hopefully with the improvements we are making to the city’s bus services, staff and patients alike will see the bus as a viable alternative to taking the car. The bus is very much part of the solution when it comes to reducing emissions on our already congested roads as one full low emission bus can take up to 75 cars off the road.”