Friday, 23 April 2021

SNCF orders first hydrogen trains in France

Four French regions have placed the order in a historic effort to reduce carbon emissions

The French public railways company has made the first purchase of hydrogen trains in France. 
SNCF on behalf of four regions has ordered 12 dual-mode electric-hydrogen trains from Alstom, for a total of almost 190 million euros.

The purchase marks a historic step in railway development in France and serves the goals of reducing carbon and noise emissions, as outlined in the national hydrogen plan from 2018. 
Several other regions have already shown interest in investing in this technology for their railway networks, the company explained.

The regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie through the public railway operator SNCF have signed the first order of dual mode electric-hydrogen trains in France. Together they have ordered 12 vehicles (plus two optional trainsets) from the Coradia Polyvalent series for Régiolis.

The trains have a range of up to 600 km on sections of non-electrified railway. Each of them has four cars, 72 metres of length with a total capacity of 218 seats and the same dynamic performance and level of comfort as the dual mode electric-diesel version.

Coradia Polyvalent has made itself a name in France over the last decade. Before the first purchase of hydrogen trains, Alstom has provided over 400 dual mode electric-thermal and full-electric Coradia Polyvalent trains to the French regional train networks.

Apart from sustainability in travel, this cooperation creates employment. According to Alstom, their development and manufacture have ensured 2000 jobs at a total of 6 sites in France.

Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom France commented that they were the first rail company in the world to launch a hydrogen train onto the market and that the latest purchase by French region serves their objectives to become number one in the green and smart mobility market.

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister Delegate for Transport, French Ministry of the Ecological Transition, as quoted in a press release, commented that “France has everything it needs to become a hydrogen champion: the French government is fully committed to turning this ambition into reality. 
We will be covering 47 million euros of development costs for France’s first regional hydrogen-powered train. I am delighted that this support has enabled the four partner regions to confirm their order for the first 14 trains.”

The Alstom Coradia iLint trial has been a success in Germany

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Mellor Receives £2.4m Order for Fleet of Transdev Buses

Rochdale-based bus manufacturer Mellor has received a £2.4 million order from Transdev for an all-new fleet of 23 Strata Ultra buses.

Local bus operator Transdev has chosen Mellor’s Strata Ultra bus for its new East Lancashire routes, as it offers a fully accessible vehicle which can comfortably carry 30 customers in levels of comfort which match a full-size bus – yet can also navigate rural routes and busy town streets with ease.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby (left) and Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti
with one of the operator’s new Mellor Strata Ultra buses

Eighteen of the new buses enter service on Transdev’s new ‘Ribble Country’ branded bus network in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley on Sunday 2 May.

The remaining five new buses will be used from the same date on another new Transdev service between Preston, Higher Walton, Bamber Bridge and Leyland, also to be operated in partnership with Lancashire County Council.

Mellor Bus Division Managing Director Mark Clissett said: “This is a significant fleet delivery for us and an important new service for the people of east Lancashire.

“Our Strata Ultra bus offers the ideal solution for regional transport operations where larger buses are simply not viable. Transdev’s new Mellor fleet will provide essential public transport across dozens of local towns and villages, linking communities and performing a vital daily service for thousands of people, while still delivering consistent productivity for Transdev.”

CEO at Transdev Alex Hornby said: “We’re delighted to have chosen Mellor, a proudly local North West company, with our order for its class-leading Strata Ultra product which offers us the quality, reliability and flexible performance we need.

“These impressive new buses will deliver an ideal blend of capacity with excellent fuel economy and combines Mellor’s rigorously tested coach-built bodywork with the proven Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and drivetrain, which is fully compliant with tough Euro 6 low emission standards.

“It’s an environmentally friendly, customer friendly design which will help us deliver on our mission to create buses people are proud to be seen on – and we can’t wait to welcome our Lancashire customers on board these amazing new buses next month.”

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Wrightbus wins £8m deal to build 45 buses For Hong Kong and Japan

Wrightbus has won deals totalling £8m to build 45 buses for Hong Kong and Japan as hopes also build for new orders in Australia .

The low-emission vehicles will be built at Wrightbus' Malaysia factory, which has around 380 staff.

Its Ballymena headquarters now employ 630 people, around 18 months after it was sold while in administration to Bamford Bus Company.

The company said it was a "significant" milestone for the company and would boost the profile of the brand overseas.

Chief executive Buta Atwal said Wrightbus was now leading the way in bus technology.

"Whether it's our world-first hydrogen bus, our near-zero emission diesel or our single-deck electric, the Wrightbus name stands for excellence in the bus world.

"Although we have endured a complicated year like so many manufacturers across the world, these orders will help us emerge from the pandemic with confidence."

Wrightbus has also launched the world's first zero-emission hydrogen double decker bus.

It recently announced 40 new jobs for Ballymena as it aims to capitalise from a pledge by the Prime Minister to build at least 4,000 new zero-emission buses.

The business is hiring production and office staff, including coachbuilders, spray painters, welders, electrical engineers, technicians, accountants, sales staff and a project manager.

There will also be 19 apprenticeships among the 40 roles, as well as a position for an international project engineer.

Nathan Hodge, head of the Wrightbus international division, said: "While it hasn't got to the tender stage yet, we are having some really good discussions in Australia about hydrogen buses," he said.

A Wrightbus Hydrogen Chassis

"While Australia is seen by many to be among the leaders of hydrogen technology, there is only one hydrogen bus in the country so there's a huge amount of potential.

"Countries like Malaysia, which exports oil, will always find the cost of hydrogen or electric buses prohibitive, yet that's where our near-zero diesel comes in."

Mr Hodge said a free-trade agreement signed last year by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would ensure tariff-free movement of goods from the Wrightbus factory in Malaysia.

He added: "Naturally having a factory in the Far East enables us to be part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which provides tariff-free trade to the Southeast Asian Nations as well as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea."

Last month, the UK government announced funding for green projects to produce electric trucks and hyrodrogen-powered buses.

Wrightbus was allocated £11.2m to develop and manufacture low-cost hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses and create a hydrogen centre of excellence. The acquisition of Wrightbus by Bamford Bus Company in 2019 marked the end of 73 years of ownership by the Wright family, including surviving founder Sir William Wright. Its former premises at Galgorm Industrial Estate are on the market for £6m.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Photos from Severn Valley Railway Event 16th April 2021

Ken Jones has sent us pictures from the very recent SVR steam event.

It was possible to do three round trips pulled by every one of the seven locos in steam, but due to Covid rules each seat or compartment had to be booked for the day. 
Some of the locos had wreaths on in memory of HRH Duke of Edinburgh

On 16th April, Ken made his first trip out since lockdown and travelled to Hampton Load to photograph the scene from there.

More news about SVR here

Monday, 19 April 2021

£25m Contract to Upgrade SWR Class 458 Fleet

Porterbrook awards Alstom £25m fleet upgrade contract

Porterbrook, the rolling stock owner and asset manager, today announced that it had signed a £25m contract with Alstom to upgrade one of its most versatile electric train fleets.

The announcement follows the decision by South Western Railway (SWR) to extend the leases on Porterbrook’s award-winning Class 458 fleet until 2027.

Porterbrook’s contract with Alstom will see the trains uprated to a top speed of 100mph, a complete upgrade of the passenger saloon to meet the needs of long-distance customers, and reconfiguration of the trains to enable the faster acceleration required to meet established journey times on key routes.

Alstom will undertake this work at the company’s Widnes facility in Cheshire, securing jobs and protecting key skills. The enhanced Class 458 fleet will be based at SWR’s Bournemouth depot.

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook said: “I am delighted that our customer South Western Railway has decided to retain our Class 458 fleet. Partnership is at the heart of our business. To demonstrate this, we will be taking responsibility for the performance of these trains and supporting SWR as they transform South Coast and long-distance services.

“I am also pleased that our partner Alstom will continue to play an active role in their future. Not only is this good news for SWR passengers, it is also great news for Widnes and Bournemouth, where the railway family at both locations help keep Britain moving every day.”

Neil Drury, Engineering Director at SWR, said: “This fully refurbished fleet of 458s will provide an even better experience for our customers, while delivering efficient and flexible capacity on our medium range services.”

Peter Broadley MD Services, UK & Ireland, Alstom said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this important contract, a reflection of our excellent relationships with Porterbrook and SWR, as well as the skills and professionalism of our team at Widnes. Passengers can now look forward to the upgrade of the very reliable Alstom-built Class 458.”

Porterbrook’s Class 458 fleet of electric trains achieved a record breaking run of Modern Railway’s ‘Golden Spanner awards’, based on independent industry performance data, in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The awards celebrate the efforts of train maintenance teams, depots and rolling stock leasing companies for train reliability.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Land Rover Defender TD5 130 Used for Funeral of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh

Windsor Castle was the scene of a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry yesterday, as the Queen laid her husband to rest after 73 years of 'unwavering loyalty'.

Inside the castle bailey, the Duke of Edinburgh's casket was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers as pallbearers lowered him on to his extraordinary self-designed Land Rover hearse.

The Duke, who died at the age of 99 last week, worked on creating the bespoke hearse for 16 years, starting in 2003.

His modifications included the open top rear section, where his coffin rested, and the military green colour.

Yesterday the Land Rover Defender was used to carry his coffin to St George's Chapel Windsor. 
The driver of Prince Philip's custom-built Land Rover hearse spent a week practising the right speed before the 4x4 took centre stage transporting the duke's coffin to St George's Chapel.
Soldiers from The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) had responsibility for ensuring the vehicle stuck to its precise route and timings, after several days of intense rehearsals.

The Duke's four children - the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex - as well as grandsons the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, walked behind the vehicle in procession.

The Duke of Edinburgh began creating his own hearse in collaboration with Land Rover in 2003, the year he turned 82.

The Duke, who served in the Royal Navy in World War Two, requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers.

He also designed the open top rear section on the chassis cab vehicle, where his coffin was placed, made to his exact specifications, including the rubber grips on silver metal pins known as the "stops" or "stoppers" which prevent the coffin from moving.

The polished sturdy, utilitarian vehicle, with its heavy-duty wheels and angular structure, stands as a showcase for the duke’s practical nature, and his passion for functional design and engineering.

The vehicle also has matching green wheel hubs, a black front grille, a single cab and no registration plates.

The Defender was made at Land Rover's factory in Solihull and the duke oversaw the modifications for several years, making the final adjustments in 2019, the year he turned 98.


Saturday, 17 April 2021

Transdev Buys Yorkshire Tiger From Arriva

TRANSDEV has signed an agreement to buy the Yorkshire Tiger bus services in Halifax and Huddersfield from Arriva, with the deal including two depots, more than 50 buses and over 150 employees.

The announcement does not affect its bus services in West Yorkshire and Arriva employees are expected to move over to Transdev as part of the sale.

Once complete, the sale is set to include Arriva’s two depots at Elland and Huddersfield, as well as 61 buses. The agreement will also see Arriva’s 163 drivers, engineers, cleaning and support staff based at these two depots join Transdev’s family of over 1,200 people at eight operating centres across the region.

The only exceptions are the 231 and 232 Huddersfield to Wakefield routes, which will remain within Arriva as part of its Yorkshire business.

Yorkshire Tiger’s current day and season passes are expected to be integrated into Transdev’s range of unlimited travel tickets, while West Yorkshire Metro’s range of multi-operator tickets will continue to be valid on all its services.

At this stage it is not known whether the Yorkshire Tiger brand with its distinctive orange buses will be lost to the streets of West Yorkshire.

Transdev is to begin one-to-one meetings with the affected employees in order to transfer staff over to its operation.

Transdev Blazefield CEO Alex Hornby said: “We are thrilled to be growing our team and our company, and are really looking forward to serving this part of West Yorkshire for the first time. This demonstrates Transdev’s long-term commitment to develop our business here in the north of England, building on a clear track record of success. At this critical time for the bus, we believe it can play a key role in enabling our economic recovery, both locally and nationally.

“We’re looking forward to meeting all our new colleagues and new customers, as well as strengthening relationships with our local authority partners further. This presents a hugely exciting opportunity to all work together and improve the quality of bus travel further across Halifax and Huddersfield.”

Arriva area managing director Patrick Sibley said: “Although we will be sad to hand over operations of our Tiger business, we are delighted that it will be in the hands of Transdev, a well-known local bus company, who will take good care of the depots, customers and all employees.”

Both companies paid tribute to the hard work of driving and support teams at its Halifax and Huddersfield depots throughout the pandemic as an important factor in securing the company’s future.

Both Transdev and Arriva are committed to working together to ensure a smooth and effective transition for customers and colleagues.

Transdev in Yorkshire has operating centres in Keighley, Bradford, Harrogate, York and Malton. Parent company Transdev is one of the largest public transport operators in Europe.

Friday, 16 April 2021

ADL Delivers New PSVAR-Compliant Plaxton Panther Coach to MP Travel

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), has announced that it has delivered a new PSVAR-compliant Plaxton Panther coach to North West England-based MP Travel.

The operator’s latest investment is a 49-seat Plaxton Panther that has been built to order on
a Volvo B11R chassis. The new addition is fully built to PSV Accessibility Regulations
(PSVAR), making it accessible to wheelchair users and further future proofing MP Travel’s

MP Travel was set up in 2016 and serves Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, Cheshire and
the surrounding area. The company places a key focus on customer service and continues to
invest in its fleet.

The new coach offers a series of customer-centred features including a wheelchair lift, wifi,
USB points, a centre-mounted Shades toilet, LED gangway lighting and wood effect flooring.

The vehicle is also fitted with a Centrad CCTV system as well as a TV monitor and DVD player and a Bosch smart CD/radio system.

Garreth McAllister-Partridge, Managing Director of MP Travel, said: “We’re delighted to be
adding this high-spec and PSVAR-compliant vehicle to our fleet and we look forward to our
customers enjoying the many features of this new coach.”

Charlie Miller, ADL Sales Account Manager for Scotland & North West England, commented:
“It is always a pleasure to work with MP Travel and to see the continued investment that they
make in the quality of service they offer customers. This vehicle is another high quality addition to their fleet.”

Thursday, 15 April 2021

No Plans for Routemasters on London Route 15 to Return to Service

Transport for London has finally halted its service of Routemaster buses on the route number 15 through central London. There are no plans for the remaining fleet of ten Routemasters to return to passenger carrying duties.

At one time, TfL kept a large fleet of these 1960's vehicles on the streets of London, to give tourists and others an opportunity to step back in time and ride on the vehicles which had a driver in a separate cab, a conductor collecting fares and an open rear platform on which passengers could hop on and off when London's streets became jammed.

The buses were the last of the city’s famous open-backed vehicles in operation, after the other heritage route, the 9H, was retired seven years ago.

Since the dramatic fall in passenger numbers and the lack in tourist numbers it has become difficult to justify keeping the Routemasters in service.

In a review of the bus network to ensure it responds to customer demand TfL has decided that the old Routemasters cannot be justified for the current and predicted customer demand.

Also, the buses are not step-free or ULEZ-complaint, meaning that they could no longer fit in with the most recent vehicle requirements.

However, it has been proven that the Routemasters could actually meet the Euro VI engine standards because one of the buses, RM1005 owned by TFL’s former commissioner, Sir Peter Handy was converted by fitting a Cummins fully certified repower option for buses, which can potentially take Euro IV vehicles to Euro VI and extend their operating life in Low Emission Zones.

The option involves replacing the existing engine with a Cummins 4.5-litre or 6.7-litre together with associated DPF, SCR and stop-start technologies.

Sir Peter said the bus was taken out of service in 2005 and he bought it in 2007: “It was a wreck,” he said. “The real reason I bought it was the registration plate, which was on my car for 12 years"
The heritage route 15, which only operated seasonally between 10am-6pm on summer weekends and bank holidays between March and September only, had not operated since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

A sum of £825,243 in contract payments to Stagecoach has now been saved by TfL, because the service will not be returning.

TfL's financial struggles saw it granted an emergency bailout funding from the Government worth £3billion since March 2020.
But the extension of the investment was under the condition that it make efficiency savings in order for it to reach financial sustainability as soon as possible.


Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Prentice of Haddington Takes A Third Enviro200

Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”) has announced that it has delivered a third low-carbon Alexander Dennis Enviro200 single deck bus to Prentice of Haddington.

The vehicle – which joins two other identical vehicles delivered in January 2021 – is 10.8m long and fitted with ADL’s award-winning SmartPack efficient diesel technology, developed in-house by the manufacturer.

This saves fuel and reduces emissions by combining engine stop/start and electrically driven cooling fans with the smart management of alternator and air compressor to only charge during vehicle deceleration when they place no additional load on the engine. 

The Enviro200 with SmartPack is certified as a Low Emission Bus by the UK’s Zemo Partnership.

With 41 fully seatbelted ADL SmartSeats, the new bus provides additional room for social distancing as well as offering dedicated wheelchair and buggy bays along with free WiFi and USB charging points at every seat.

This is the third ADL Enviro200 vehicle that family-owned Scottish operator Prentice has taken delivery of this year.

Managing Director Ross Prentice said: “We are really pleased to take delivery of another new Enviro200 bus. It’s important to us that we minimise our impact on the environment while delivering the quality of services that our customers expect and these vehicles offer the ideal solution.

“We have worked with ADL for a long time now and we look forward to working together for many more years to come.”

Charlie Miller, ADL Sales Account Manager for Scotland & North West England, commented: “With this further order, Prentice of Haddington are again showing their commitment to delivering low-carbon, high quality buses for their customers. It’s always a pleasure to work with this family-run operator.”

Prentice of Haddington was founded in 1991 and provides local bus services, school buses and coach hire. Regular investment in new vehicles – always built to the latest environmental standards as part of a programme to minimise the company’s environmental impact which also includes the exclusive use of rainwater to wash vehicles – and a focus on customer care have seen the company win awards as one of the UK’s top independent bus operators.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Historic England Culture Recovery Funding 2021

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced details of over 2,700 organisations that have been offered nearly £400 million in grants and loans to help the culture and heritage sector reopen and recover

A lengthy list of transport related organisations is shown below.

Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust South Gloucestershire South West £97,400

Bluebell Railway PLC Lewes South East £272,400

Bodmin & Wenford Railway PLC Cornwall South West £144,800

Bure Valley Railway (1991) Limited Broadland East of England £188,000

Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited Shropshire West Midlands £12,000

Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway Company Limited South Oxfordshire South East £70,000

Churnet Valley Railway (1992) PLC Staffordshire Moorlands West Midlands £283,300

Colne Valley Railway Preservation Ltd. Braintree East of England £34,000

East Somerset Railway Company Ltd Mendip South West £160,700

Epping Ongar Railway Holdings Limited Epping Forest East of England £61,900

Forest of Dean Railway Limited Forest of Dean South West £115,800

Foxfield Light Railway Society Ltd Staffordshire Moorlands West Midlands £24,700

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc Tewkesbury South West £71,800

Great Central Railway PLC Charnwood East Midlands £515,700

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society Limited Bradford Yorkshire and The Humber £346,600

Lake District estates t/a Ullswater Steamers Limited Eden North West £425,000

Lavender Line Ltd Wealden South East £7,900

Mayflower Locomotive Company Ltd Ealing London £64,300

Mid Hants Railway Ltd & Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society Ltd Winchester South East £496,200

Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust Limited Breckland East of England £401,800

Middleton Railway Trust Ltd Leeds Yorkshire and The Humber £36,300

Modern Electric Tramways Ltd East Devon South West £217,500

Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust North Norfolk East of England £28,400
North Norfolk Railway plc North Norfolk East of England £397,500

Northampton Steam Railway Ltd Daventry East Midlands £17,600

Nottingham Heritage Vehicles Charity Ashfield East Midlands £15,300

Peak Rail plc Derbyshire Dales East Midlands £114,000

Pennine Heritage Calderdale Yorkshire and The Humber £29,700

Plym Valley Railway Company Ltd Plymouth South West £13,900

Riley & Son (E) Ltd Rochdale North West £281,900

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway Public Limited Company Folkestone and Hythe South East £210,400

South Devon Railway Trust Teignbridge South West £423,700

South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society Eden North West £33,100

Stainmore Railway Company Limited Eden North West £16,900

Swanage Railway Company Dorset South West £189,200

Tanat Valley Light Railway Company Ltd. Shropshire West Midlands £6,000

Tanfield Railway Company Limited Gateshead North East £65,400

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Darlington North East £11,100

The East Lancashire Light Railway Company Limited Bury North West £100,000

The Kent & East Sussex Railway Co Ltd Ashford South East £250,700

Vintage Trains Charitable Trust Birmingham West Midlands £97,400

Wensleydale Railway Plc Hambleton Yorkshire and The Humber £45,000

West Lancashire Light Railway Trust West Lancashire North West £18,900

West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust Ltd Somerset West and Taunton South West £13,100

WyvernRail plc Derbyshire Dales East Midlands £42,300

Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (Holdings) Limited Craven Yorkshire and The Humber £169,400

Monday, 12 April 2021

Iconic Ribblehead Viaduct Repaired for ‘Staycation Summer’

Work to restore the world-renowned Ribblehead viaduct for rail passengers and tourists in North Yorkshire is now complete.

From Friday April 9 visitors to the Ribble Valley can see the iconic piece of Victorian railway architecture in all its glory after months of specialist repairs by Network Rail.

Since November 2020, 100ft high scaffolding towers have moved across seven of the viaduct’s 24 arches to carry out masonry, drainage and repainting work.

The £2.1m investment as part of the Great North Rail Project will secure the Grade II* listed structure's future as both an historic landmark and vital railway link on the Settle-Carlisle railway line.

The improvements have been completed in time for easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions this spring ready for an expected ‘Staycation Summer’.

Bumper visitor numbers are expected for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with the Ribblehead viaduct being one of its star attractions.

Philippa Britton, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The teams have worked throughout a harsh winter to restore this hugely important and impressive piece of Victorian engineering for the future and I’m hugely proud of the work we’ve carried out as part of the Great North Rail Project.

“We’ve worked incredibly closely with heritage experts and conservationists to make sure the repairs were sympathetic to the historic structure but would also last the test of time. Now these once in a generation repairs are complete we hope you won’t see scaffolding on this scale at Ribblehead again for many years to come.”

The much-loved Ribblehead viaduct is not only one of the country’s most recognisable railway structures, it’s also an important transport corridor for local people, tourists and freight.

It carries the Settle to Carlisle railway 400 metres across the Ribble valley.

The work will make journeys more reliable for Northern passengers and tourism charter services like the 'Staycation Express' which launched in Summer 2020.

Mark Rand, vice-president of the Friends of the Settle to Carlisle line, said: "This has been another chapter in the history of the amazing Ribblehead viaduct. Thirty years ago it was declared to be 'life-expired' and in need of replacement or the entire line would have to close. Happily, neither of those things happened. All credit to Network Rail and their contractors who have done this work through a bitter Ribblehead winter. The viaduct stands proud and strong, a monumental tribute to those who lived, and died, to build it."

Adrian Quine, director of Rail Charter Services which runs the 'Staycation Express’, said: “We are expecting unprecedented demand for our trains this summer. The restoration of daily dining car trains along the line – the first since 1975 – is already causing a lot of excitement. What better way to experience it than enjoying three course silver service with drink in hand as the Staycation Express crosses this iconic structure.”

Click here for details of the Staycation Express

During this project, the latest laser and drone survey technology mapped every inch of the Grade II* listed viaduct for the first time, giving a detailed record of its condition so it can be closely monitored in future.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

25 MAN Lion's City 12E Vehicles for Copenhagen

In the first MAN e-bus deployment in Denmark, 25 MAN Lion’s City 12 E all electric models have been ordered for delivery to Anchersen A/S later in 2021. They will provide an extra-environmentally friendly means of transport for visitors and residents alike as they travel around the Danish capital.  

The all-electric city buses were ordered by Anchersen A/S, which saw the Copenhagen-based local transport company giving MAN Truck & Bus its first electric bus order from Denmark. 
A few months ago, Nobina Sverige AB ordered 22 Lion’s City E buses from MAN for Malmö, Sweden. 
The Malmö and Copenhagen orders now represent the next biggest purchase of MAN electric buses from Scandinavia. 

Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus says. “It’s great to see that our electric bus is gaining such a positive reception, that it’s on the road in more and more cities in Europe, and that the issue of protecting our environment is becoming more and more important in scheduled-service transport.”

The 25 state-of-the-art city buses will serve the 7A bus route through Copenhagen City Centre, which is used by more than 4.3 million passengers each year. In the MAN Lion’s City E, Anchersen has opted for a reliable electric bus with tried-and-tested cell and battery technology. “For us, the role of electric vehicles in bus transport will be a top priority in the future. 
To make urban transport as sustainable as possible, our new city buses are charged exclusively using green electricity. This means that they are completely emission-free in day-to-day service as well as being extremely quiet on the road,” says Poul Anchersen, the CEO and owner of Anchersen A/S. “In addition, MAN city buses offer our customers maximum comfort and safety thanks to the ESP system installed as one of a number of additional features”

The new Copenhagen city buses offer space for up to 76 passengers. Extended seat pitch and comfortable padded seats ensure that passengers have a pleasant experience en route. “Providing sufficient space is currently becoming much more important in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. Riders on our buses have the opportunity to keep a better distance from their fellow passengers,” says Rudi Kuchta. 
In the Lion’s City E, this is primarily due to the optimised seating area in the rear, which was made possible due to the lack of any engine housing in the passenger compartment.

MAN uses a central motor on the rear axle to drive its electric bus. This has several advantages: Driving stability and safety increase, as does the maximum energy recovery during braking. 

The power for the fully electric driveline comes from the batteries on the vehicle’s roof, which have an installed capacity of 480 kWh. MAN relies on sophisticated battery cell technology from the Group’s modular system and as a result, the electric buses offer a reliable range of 200 km and up to 270 km in favourable conditions over the entire service life of the batteries.

The batteries are depot-charged via a combined charging system (CCS) connector. An average charging power of 100 kW, the MAN Lion’s City 12 E is fully charged in less than three hours – and at the maximum charging power of 150 kW, the charging time is shorter still.  
Charged in the depot, the long-lasting batteries guarantee simple integration into existing commercial operations. “That was a crucial factor for us. Since we charge our bus fleet exclusively at the depot, we need reliable buses able to cover a long range,” Anchersen says. “In our last invitation to tender, we fielded offers from multiple electric bus manufacturers. 

Some of the key factors behind our decision in favour of the MAN Lion’s City E were the capacity of the installed battery packs, the local service offered and the outstanding experiences other transport companies have already had with the electric bus. 
Plus, we were impressed by the fast delivery time and the smooth, unbureaucratic ordering process.” To ensure that it has sufficient charging capacity for the electric city buses, Anchersen A/S is planning to build an electric bus port with 25 charging stations at its depot in Jernholmen, just outside Copenhagen.

Taking the newly ordered vehicles into account, the Anchersen A/S fleet consists of around 200 buses, including diesel and electric models. “MAN is the new brand in our fleet. We are already very excited about the electric buses and how they will master their regular routes in Copenhagen,” Poul Anchersen adds. 
According to the CEO, the company places great emphasis on environmentally friendly solutions, innovation and progress when awarding contracts. 
For a number of years now, Anchersen has consistently pursued a strategy of reducing its emissions as much as possible. “Just like Movia (the public transport authority for eastern Denmark) as well as the City of Copenhagen and Denmark nationally, we see electric vehicles as the future of zero-emissions public transport.”