Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Testing Begins on New Transport for Wales Trains

New trains being built as part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network have reached another key milestone as testing gets underway in Europe.

The Fast Light Intercity and Regional Trains (FLIRTs) are being built by leading train manufacturer Stadler and are now being tested in Switzerland, where the company’s headquarters are located.

They will then be transferred to South Wales for further tests on the Wales and Borders network, where they will begin to enter service from the end of next year.

FLIRTs are a key part of TfW’s transformational plans and the additional 35 trains will run within the South Wales Metro network. The Class 756 tri-mode FLIRTs will operate services on the Rhymney, Coryton and Vale of Glamorgan Lines. The Class 231 diesel FLIRTs will operate services between Cardiff and Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and Cheltenham.

The trains will have greater capacity, will be more frequent and will have improved facilities including power sockets, information screens and air conditioning throughout. There will be space for up to six bikes on each train and level-boarding to assist those with limited mobility.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “From day one at TfW our main goal has been to transform transport and improve the customer experience. These brand-new trains with better facilities all round will provide a modern service for the people of Wales.

“We’ve already started testing on some of our new trains within Wales and I’m pleased our Stadler FLIRTs are now being tested in Europe and will then be sent to us for testing on our network.

“Our teams are pushing ahead building the South Wales Metro and we’re moving forward with the new trains that will provide a modern turn-up-and-go service that is greener for the environment.”

Sandro Muster, project manager at Stadler, commented: “The FLIRT is Stadler’s best-selling product for passengers. With more than 1,970 of them sold in 21 countries, it is reliable, innovative and suited to a wide range of climates and geographies, including cities and regions alike.

“Of the 35 FLIRTs for Transport for Wales, 24 units will be tri-mode, capable of running on diesel, overhead electric wires, as well as battery power, underscoring Stadler’s green credentials and commitment to decarbonisation.”

This is the latest in a number of exciting fleet developments announced by TfW this year.

Last month TfW relaunched an improved rail service between Cardiff and Holyhead with greater capacity and fully refurbished intercity carriages and announced the purchase of further high-quality Mark 4 carriages to be used between South Wales in Manchester from next year.

Testing has also begun on the brand-new Class 197 trains being assembled in Newport.

Eight Class 769 trains were also introduced into service earlier in the year and this summer saw the retirement of the Pacer trains from service.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Chiltern Railways Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Launch of Greener and Quieter HybridFLEX Train

Chiltern Railways celebrated their 25th anniversary with partners with launch of the HybridFLEX train, delivering emission-free battery operation, reducing CO2 (¯25%), nitrous oxide (¯70%) and particulates (¯90%)

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP supported the launch event at Marylebone station, before key stakeholders travelled on board HybridFLEX, Britain’s first hybrid battery-diesel train.

Chiltern – the operator of train services between Birmingham, Oxford and London, celebrated 25 years of continuous service for customers

Chiltern Railways marked 25 years as a train operator with a celebration event at London Marylebone Station and the launch of HybridFLEX – Britain’s first battery-diesel train. Chiltern is currently an all-diesel operator with an average fleet age of 25 years. A key priority for the operator is to help deliver decarbonisaiton for the UK by investing in innovation.

Long-serving Chiltern colleagues joined the train to Bicester Village on its maiden journey.

Following a programme of speeches, the guest were able to take a closer look at the HybridFLEX train before it departed from the station at 1030. The train then travelled to Bicester Village where there were further activities to commemorate Chiltern’s silver anniversary.

HybridFLEX train

HybridFLEX is the product of collaboration between rolling stock owner and asset manager Porterbrook and engineering giant Rolls-Royce. As well as offering zero emissions and near silent operation at stations, the Rolls-Royce Hybrid PowerPack will also reduce fuel consumption and so CO2 emissions by up to 25%, Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions by over 70% and particulate emissions by over 90%, compared to the engines it replaces.

Chiltern is delighted to be trialling this new technology to demonstrate that it can contribute to better air quality, decarbonisation and the aim of removing traditional diesel trains from its network. The HybridFLEX aims to enter full passenger service from September this year.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “HybridFLEX trains will make rail travel even greener and the air in our stations cleaner.

“Chiltern Railways have connected people for a quarter of a century and now are helping to prepare for the future as we build back greener. This is a great example of how innovation and enterprise can help us reach our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Richard Allan, Managing Director at Chiltern Railways said: “Chiltern has a fantastic track record of innovating and investing in new routes, stations, depots and trains to attract and retain customers. We are proud and privileged to mark our 25th anniversary by introducing colleagues and stakeholders to the HybridFLEX train. We need to modernise Chiltern again and this exciting use of new technology in an older train is a potentially very significant opportunity to help us decarbonise and improve our customer experience."

Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook said: “We are delighted to be able to support Chiltern Railways’ ambitious plans for the future. Our HybridFLEX, built in partnership with Rolls-Royce, will offer improved air quality and reduced noise at stations and other sensitive locations on the Chiltern network.

“HybridFLEX is part of Porterbrook’s growing portfolio of alternative traction systems designed to help Britain’s railway accelerate the race to Net Zero.”

Warren East, Chief Executive Officer at Rolls-Royce said: “This collaboration demonstrates the pivotal role technology is already playing in the transition towards a net zero future. With 1.7bn passenger rail journeys taking place every year in the UK, the 25% reduction in CO2 emissions offered by HybridFLEX represents a meaningful step forward in the country’s journey towards its 2050 net zero target. We’re delighted to be part of this ground-breaking team with our hybrid solution alongside Chiltern Railways and Porterbrook.”

The HybridFLEX train arrived on time, silently into Bicester Village station where guests were met with a warm welcome by colleagues from the Village.

A Bicester Village spokesperson said: “We congratulate Chiltern Railways on their 25th Anniversary. We are proud to join them in celebrating our long running successful partnership and welcome the exciting opportunities which they seek to introduce, in particular towards a sustainable transport future for Bicester”.

Chiltern Railways is the only surviving, continuous train operator brand since privatisation. Customer feedback around the Chiltern Railways brand is very strong.

Over two decades, Chiltern has seen customer numbers grow from 8 million (1999) to 29 million (2019).

The company has invested over £600 million into the network over the past 25 years, including £250 million to speed up journeys between London and Birmingham.

Chiltern made a £320 million investment in partnership with Network Rail to open a new rail link between Oxford and London, the first new route connecting a city with the capital for 100 years - delivering faster and more frequent journeys.

New stations have been built at Oxford Parkway, Warwick Parkway, Aylesbury Vale Parkway and Bicester Village; restored a once-derelict Birmingham Moor Street station; and reconstructed Haddenham & Thame Parkway station.

New platforms have been constructed at Moor Street, Marylebone, Princes Risborough, Islip and Oxford.
The number of weekday services run by Chiltern increased from 240 to over 430 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Chiltern depots have been built at Wembley and Banbury to ensure reliable rail services.
Chiltern invested in a fleet of new Class 168 trains in 1996, the first order for new trains placed by any privatised train company.

Chiltern was the first operator to offer onboard Wi-Fi and first to have a presence on Twitter.

Monday, 26 July 2021


Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”), has announced that it has delivered four low-emission Enviro200 single deck buses to the London Borough of Havering, where they join an extensive fleet of buses and coaches available for contract hire.

The four 10.8m Enviro200 each have 39 comfortable ADL SmartSeats and are fully fitted with seatbelts and an audio system to suit their use on school contracts, sports trips and rail replacement work.

Like all of London Borough of Havering’s vehicles, the new buses run on gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel which is virtually free of impurities such as sulphur, metals, nitrogen and aromatics, making it less harmful to the environment and allowing the engine to run more smoothly and quietly.

Simon Blake from the London Borough of Havering said: “We’re very pleased to take delivery of these vehicles which have been made specifically to complement our existing fleet and offer the kind of transport options we know our customers want. 
Alongside the three PSVAR Plaxton Leopard coaches supplied in January, our move to Euro 6 compliance gathers pace.”

ADL Sales Account Manager Mark Taylor added: “The London Borough of Havering has an extensive range of vehicle options and we’re delighted to have added to that with the delivery of these four high-quality, multi-use vehicles which we know will be well received by their customers and drivers. The selection by a local authority for its contract hire fleet underlines the versatility of our British-built Enviro200.”

Three PSVAR Plaxton Leopard coaches were supplied in January

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Avanti West Coast Begins the UK’s Biggest Ever Train Fleet Upgrade

Avanti West Coast has kicked-off the UK’s biggest ever train fleet upgrade, as the first Pendolino was taken out of service for work to begin on the £117m project.

The programme will transform all 56 of Avanti West Coast’s iconic Pendolinos. The trains are
widely regarded as the UK’s hardest working train fleet, clocking up more than 270 million miles since they were launched – enough to go to the moon and back more than 500 times.

The Pendolinos have served routes between London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh for close to 20 years and the upgrade will return the whole Pendolino fleet to an ‘as new’ condition.

Customer improvements include:

 Replacing 25,000 Standard Class seats;

 Conversion of one First Class carriage on each of the 35 eleven-carriage Pendolinos

to provide more than 2,000 extra Standard class seats;

 The introduction of a new Café Bar for customers to meet and enjoy refreshments;

 Improved lighting and new interior carpets;

 Greater use of technology with customer-friendly passenger information screens;

 Additional luggage space;

 Power points at every seat;

 Refurbished toilets.

Watch 390 125 arriving onto the depot: here

“The Pendolino is a real workhorse which has helped to transform services on the West Coast Main Line,” explained Phil Whittingham, Managing Director for Avanti West Coast.

“This investment will take them to the next level and they’ll feel like new trains with state of the art technology and brand new seats. I can’t wait to see the reaction from our customers and people.”

Rail manufacturer Alstom will oversee the refurbishment at their new depot in Widnes in the North West securing 100 skilled jobs.

The first train, set number 390125, is due to re-enter service in late 2021. The upgrade programme will run until February 2024 when the last of the 56 strong fleet is expected to leave Widnes.

“We were delighted when our friends at Avanti West Coast entrusted our team at Widnes with the upgrade of the Alstom-built Pendolino, one of Britain’s most reliable, popular and sustainable trains” said Peter Broadley, Managing Director, Services, Alstom UK; Ireland.

“Alstom is the nation’s leading train services provider and train refurbishment is a major part of our offering, so we can’t wait to get cracking on this landmark project.”’

UK suppliers will benefit from 80% of the £117m investment, which is financed by Angel Trains, one of the UK’s leading train Asset Management companies.

“Investing in the refurbishment of rolling stock is crucial for advancing the UK rail industry and supporting the wider supply chain,” said David Jordan, Chief Operating Officer of Angel Trains. “This project is a huge milestone, and we are proud to work with our customers

 The refurbished Pendolinos are just part of the changes taking place on the West Coast. The ground-breaking Standard Premium has already been introduced, as has at-seat ordering and a brand-new fleet to replace the diesel Voyagers is coming in 2023.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Nottingham Area Bus Society Annual Summer Gathering and Running Day Ruddington July 2021

The Nottingham Area Bus Society welcomed visitors to their 2021 Annual Summer Gathering on the 18th July.

The group are based at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), at Ruddington on the outskirts of the city and obviously have a close working relationship with the locomotive side of the centre.
The aim of NABS is to restore and preserve public service vehicles to create a ‘living history’ for  visitors who visit, as well as securing the exhibits for future generations

Ken Jones visited this event and has sent the following photographs. Details of the exhibits can be found below.

Railway exhibits on view included 43159 and a class 144, further details of which can be
 found on the Great Central (Nottingham) website below.

More details about the resident vehicles can be seen here

Great Central (Nottingham) website here

Read about the efforts to join the two sections of the ex Great Central Railway here 

Thanks again to Ken Jones for keeping us supplied with photographs from the events now taking place after the end of lockdown.
If you are attending transport events this year please feel free to email photos to 

We would appreciate your contributions.


Thursday, 22 July 2021

Prince Charles Unveils Exeter's New Bus Station

The new Exeter Bus Station will open to passengers on Sunday, 25 July.

The new station – a striking glass-fronted building in the heart of the city centre - replaces the current bus station which was constructed in the 1960s.

The Prince of Wales visited Exeter Bus Station on 19th July to find out more about the city's plan to be carbon neutral by 2030. Before leaving, His Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque to solidify the visit in Exeter's history.

The current bus station will close at midnight on Saturday, July 24. The first bus out of the new station will depart at 04.25 on Sunday, July 25.

Buses will arrive behind automatic glass doors at each stand, ensuring that people will be protected from the elements in all weathers.

There will also be an abundance of real time information throughout the concourse, with a dedicated digital display at each stand, plus departure screens throughout the station, alerting passengers to upcoming departures.

The provision of such high quality public transport facilities will promote the use of buses as a viable alternative to private car journeys into the city centre – helping reduce the traffic congestion on the arterial routes into the city centre.

Council Leader, Phil Bialyk, was delighted to welcome the Prince to the city and show him plans to tackle climate change.

In 2019, Exeter City Council declared a climate emergency and have since been working to deliver their 'Net Zero 2030' plans.

This new, fit-for-purpose modern facility will promote green public transport in the city and rural communities for decades to come.

The new Bus Station will offer a massive improvement for passengers, with features such as glass-fronted covered waiting and boarding areas and high quality facilities.

Exeter City Council Leader Cllr Phil Bialyk said: “As a former bus driver this new station is obviously very close to my heart, and I am delighted that the City Council has been able to deliver it.

“It is right next door to the new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point, which will open later this year, and I couldn’t be more pleased that we have been able to provide a brand new facility worthy of our great city.

“This station looks fantastic and is a great new gateway to Exeter. The old bus station did a job for many years but is well past its sell by date and to have a brand new facility is fantastic news for Exeter and the whole region.”

The new facility will be operated by Stagecoach South West, who are hosting a family fun day to celebrate the occasion. Featuring live entertainment, giveaways plus special guests Radio Exe between 10am and 2pm

Stagecoach South West Managing Director Mike Watson said: “We’re so excited to open our new Bus Station at the heart of Exeter city centre.

“It’s a great time to be welcoming more people back to bus as restrictions across the UK are lifted. We’re delighted to be able to offer our passengers a brand new modern facility packed with travel information. We’ve made a significant investment in the latest technology to display clear departure information. We hope that our passengers will find traveling with us is even easier than before.”

Doug Lloyd, operations director at Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, said: “We are delighted to have completed the new bus station in Exeter.

“As a vital transport link for the South West, connecting rural and urban communities, we are proud to have delivered these first class facilities that have been specifically designed to support ease of travel. The station is filled with natural light as a result of its glass front, the building is spacious and accessible and it has plenty of seating areas.

“We are proud to have worked with our local supply chain partners to deliver this important project which we hope will bring benefits to the Exeter community for years to come.”

The new bus station is on the same site as the new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point, which will open later this year

The new station, built on the same site as the old station, was funded by Exeter City Council and a £800,000 grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) ‘Getting Building Fund’.*

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the Exeter Bus Station with £800,000 from the Heart of the SW LEP’s Getting Building Fund, which is aimed at ready-to-go projects that can deliver new jobs and contribute to our area’s post-COVID recovery.

“It’s great to see the new bus station complete and ready to welcome passengers in. This new modern facility offers a far better experience for people coming into the city and will hopefully encourage more people to leave their cars at home and travel more sustainably.”

Buses will arrive behind automatic glass doors at each stand, ensuring that people will be protected from the elements in all weathers.

 The provision of such high quality public transport facilities will promote the use of buses as a viable alternative to private car journeys into the city centre – helping reduce the traffic congestion on the arterial routes into the city centre.

Work has taken place with stakeholders to deliver audio announcements of departures at each stand, offering the latest information to passengers with visual impairment.

Stagecoach’s information point at the station will feature the latest area guides, plus a host of maps and ticket information.

For more information about services visit the Stagecoach South West website or email

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Hyundai Fuel Cell Electric Bus on Trial in Munich

Hyundai Motor is working with two German bus operators to conduct in-service trials of the Elec City Fuel Cell electric bus in Munich

Hyundai Motor Company is working with bus operators in Germany to run in-service trials of its hydrogen-powered Elec City Fuel Cell bus as the company explores opportunities to introduce the zero-emission bus to European markets.

At OMV Hydrogen Refueling Station in Wendling, Irschenberg, Bavaria, Hyundai handed over the test bus to Busbetrieb Josef Ettenhuber GmbH (Ettenhuber) and Geldhauser Linien- und Reiseverkehr GmbH & Co. KG (Geldhauser).

The two bus operators will take turns running the Elec City Fuel Cell bus on existing routes in Munich, carrying actual passengers. The bus can travel over 500 kilometers when fully charged 
and its maximum output of 180 kW is also suitable for hilly conditions.

Hyundai Motor plans to run demos with four more bus operators this year, collecting passenger and driver feedback along the way. Through the demo runs, the company expects to prove hydrogen-powered buses as a viable, efficient solution for commercial transportation. Elec City Fuel Cell has been commercially available in Korea since 2019 and a total of 108 units have been put into operation.

The hydrogen-powered buses being used in various public bus routes in the country have avoided reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 7,700 tons to date compared to internal combustion buses. On a yearly basis, Elec City Fuel Cell buses that are currently in operation are expected to reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent amount of CO2 sequestered in a year by 1,500 hectares of forest.

“With our leading fuel cell technology, Hyundai Motor is demonstrating how mass-produced Elec City Fuel Cell buses can help reduce CO2 emissions while providing clean mobility,” said Martin Zeilinger, Executive Vice President and Head of CV Development Tech Unit. “Running these in-service trials will help us further develop our vehicles to meet European customer requirements.”

Elec City – a clean mobility solution with proven fuel cell technology

Hyundai’s Elec City bus is equipped with a 180-kW high-capacity hydrogen fuel cell system, which consists of two 90-kW hydrogen fuel cells, equipped with a durable hydrogen diffusion layer and an electrolyte membrane. The maximum output of 180 kW provides plenty of driving force, even in hilly road conditions. There are five hydrogen tanks in the roof, storing a total of 34 kg of hydrogen for over 500 km of range.

Hyundai is constantly reviewing ways to lower the CO2 footprint of mobility in general. By offering eco-friendly, heavy-duty trucks and buses, the company is addressing this matter head on. Hyundai plans to proactively promote hydrogen fuel cell technology as a powerful mobility solution.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021


Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD UK jointly announced today that their electric vehicle partnership, the UK’s leading electric bus producer, has signed a framework agreement with the National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA) for the delivery of up to 200 BYD ADL Enviro200EV zero emission battery-electric buses. 
An initial firm order for 45 buses was agreed at the same time, with delivery commencing in 2022.

 The single supplier framework agreement with the NTA will run for up to five years and covers the delivery of single deck long length battery-electric buses. The BYD ADL partnership, represented by ADL as primary contractor, was selected in a comprehensive and rigorous procurement process in which the company provided the strongest offer. 
It is the BYD ADL partnership’s first contract in Ireland as well as the largest order for zero emission buses in the country to date.

ADL’s body engineers have worked with their colleagues at BYD to tailor the BYD ADL Enviro200EV to the specific needs of the NTA and its operators. This has resulted in a vehicle that will be 12m long and can be specified in several configurations to suit different operational requirements, including a version with two doorways, a wheelchair space and a dedicated area for the accommodation of at least one unfolded pram, pushchair or buggy.

The first 45 buses have been firmly ordered and are expected to commence delivery in 2022 for services in Athlone and the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

All will be built in ADL’s factories in the United Kingdom in the proven combination of BYD electric technology and batteries with stylish bodywork and passenger-centric interior by ADL.

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The contract signed for the supply of these battery electric buses highlights the NTA’s commitment to a sustainable and accessible transport network. 
Over the next five years we are planning a major increase in the number of low- and zero-emission urban buses in operation on the Transport For Ireland (TFI) network across the country. 
The fleet ordered today represents the best mix of cutting edge electric technology, proven reliability, accessibility and comfort for all passengers who use TFI bus services. I look forward to working with our bus operator partners, as well as ADL, in ensuring that the first of these buses are delivered and ready to operate in 2022.”

Paul Davies, ADL President and Managing Director, said: “This new agreement for up to 200 zero emission buses is further testament to our customer focus which is exemplified in our ability to tailor vehicle specifications to operational requirements. Together with our existing agreement for up to 600 zero emission capable Enviro400ER plug-in hybrid buses, we are honoured to be playing a key role in the roll-out of zero emission mobility in Ireland.”

“This agreement with Ireland’s NTA is one of the most significant commitments to eMobility we have ever seen in Europe,” said BYD UK Managing Director, Frank Thorpe, “and it is the BYD ADL partnership that appears increasingly to be the preferred choice for Local Authorities and public transport operators. This framework agreement is a pledge to bringing about a sustainable future for public transport in Ireland and we are delighted to join the NTA for Ireland on its journey.”

Monday, 19 July 2021

Konin Will be the First Polish City to Operate a Hydrogen Bus

MZK in Konin will be the first public transport operator in Poland to add a hydrogen bus to its fleet. 

The contract secured by Solaris Bus & Coach, stipulates the four-year lease of a Urbino 12 hydrogen bus propelled with energy derived from hydrogen. The vehicle will be delivered to Konin in 2022.

The contract signed on 7 July assumes the lease of the t
he Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen unit  for four years. Solaris will supply the hydrogen-powered vehicle to Konin in 2022.  The first generally accessible hydrogen refilling station in Poland will be set up in Konin, by the end of 2021.

“We are witnessing an extraordinary moment. It is not that long ago that our company launched the first electric buses on the Polish market; and now we are signing the first contract for the supply of hydrogen-fuelled buses to Konin. 
We have declared on many occasions that we are pioneers of the transformation in public transport in Poland, and today’s event is a testament to that declaration. Hydrogen has a strong chance of becoming a backbone of the transformation of public transport transformation in Poland and across Europe,” asserted Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach.

“The modernisation of the bus fleet of operator Miejski Zakład Komunikacji in Konin is one of my policy priorities. What I had mind when I announced the fleet modernisation were mostly hybrid and electric buses. The fact that we are signing a deal for the lease of a hydrogen bus of Solaris is, to me, a great source of pride and joy. Thus Konin will be welcoming the world-wide latest solutions in public transport. I believe that this marks only the beginning of things to come,” remarked Konin Mayor Piotr Korytkowski.

The main advantages of a hydrogen bus include in particular the short refilling time, the wide driving range as well as the zero-emission, noise-free and city resident-friendly operation of the vehicle. 
Hydrogen is an absolutely clean energy source. The sole by-products of the chemical reaction taking place in the hydrogen fuel cell are heat and steam. The hydrogen will be stored in gaseous form, in roof-stacked tanks. The commissioned bus will also feature an additional electric energy storage device – a Solaris High Power battery.

The Solaris 12 hydrogen bus had its première in 2019 complementing the other Solaris emission-free vehicles. Solaris offers Electric buses, including the Urbino 15 LE electric designed for intercity carriage, trolleybuses as well as hydrogen powered buses which, together, caters for individual needs of transport operators across all of Europe.

It may be worth recalling that, at the end of January 2021, several Polish cities hosted a series of official presentations of the hydrogen bus made by Solaris. Back then the vehicle made its way, among others, to Konin, where the representatives of city authorities and public transport operators invited to the event were able to make up their mind about the advantages of this extremely technologically advanced vehicle. 

Interest in the hydrogen bus was also expressed by representatives of city transport operators in Jaworzno, Cracow and Poznań.

Once the unit is delivered to Konin, Poland will join the elite group of states that take advantage of Solaris hydrogen vehicles. These include: Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, which have commissioned over 80 Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen buses in total so far.

In the photo (from the left): PhD. Eng. Dariusz Michalak (Board Member of Solaris Bus & Coach), Piotr Korytkowski (Mayor of Konin), Magdalena Przybyła (CEO of MZK Konin).

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Transdev Introduce 'Team Pennine' and the Forthcoming Launch of Denby Darts

A new name delivering higher quality and reliability for customers in the Kirklees and Calderdale districts of West Yorkshire – that’s the promise today from Transdev in northern UK.

‘Team Pennine’ is destined to become a familiar brand name to thousands of customers in and around Huddersfield and Halifax when Transdev takes over bus services currently run by Yorkshire Tiger this summer.

Earlier this year, Transdev confirmed it has signed an agreement to buy the Yorkshire Tiger business for an undisclosed sum from current owners Arriva. 163 employees at two depots at Elland, near Halifax, and Waterloo in Huddersfield are to join Transdev’s existing family of 1,200 people based at its eight existing operating centers across Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Transdev has unveiled its new ‘Team Pennine’ brand identity and magenta livery, which will be progressively introduced on a route-by-route basis as part of a company-wide transformation plan over the next 18 months.

Transdev CEO in northern UK, Alex Hornby said: “Our Team Pennine name and livery will soon be a familiar sight on the streets of Halifax and Huddersfield, as we prepare to bring our class-leading customer experience to new areas of West Yorkshire for the very first time.

The new name symbolizes our locally bespoke, people-centric approach. Bus companies are all about the local people and local places they serve, and this brand completely symbolizes how we intend to run this business. Our colleagues and our customers in Kirklees and Calderdale will be at the heart of our decision making and service delivery.

Whilst we have plans for step changes on Day One of the takeover, which we will announce soon, we will be launching a long-term plan to transform the business over the following 18 months. Our ultimate vision is that the new Team Pennine company will achieve what we set out achieve elsewhere – to deliver buses that people will be proud to be seen on.”

Ahead of the transfer, Transdev is beginning a program of one-to-one meetings this week to personally welcome each one of the 163 colleagues transferring into its team. Both Transdev and Arriva are working together to ensure a smooth and effective transition for customers and colleagues this summer, while both firms are highlighting the hard work of driving and support teams at the Halifax and Huddersfield depots throughout the pandemic as an important factor in securing the company’s longer-term future.

From their website...

Introducing Denby Darts

The first route to benefit will be the current 233 route between Huddersfield, Skelmanthope and Denby Dale. Apart from a few timekeeping improvements during the morning, there will be no changes to routes, fares or times. The big change will be a bright, new-look fleet of buses, equipped to the highest modern standards with free wifi, USB power points at each seat and next stop information.

This will be called this Denby Darts D1 instead of the 233. 

1 in 4 buses replaced straight away

We don’t intend to stand still. Between now and October, we intend to replace nearly 1 in 4 buses in the current fleet with newer, high-specification and low-emission buses. This includes the first set of new buses to run in Halifax for over six years.

We will launch a transformation of the business that will help us achieve what we set out to achieve in our other local areas across the north – to bring you buses that people are proud to be seen on.

We will be hard at work improving standards and introducing the new brand quickly, but a number of the orange, former Yorkshire Tiger buses will remain as we get around to renewing and improving the whole fleet.
Soon, the bold and bright Team Pennine buses will be a familiar sight on the streets of Halifax, Huddersfield and further afield across Kirklees and Calderdale. You won’t want to miss us.

It’s not just about buses, it’s about you

And you’ll see a few other changes reflecting our new approach to doing business in a better way for you, too – such as smart Team Pennine uniforms for our driving colleagues, printed timetables and guides for our routes, a relaunched app and website for easy journey planning and mobile tickets, and enhanced information at our bus stations and at key bus stops.

There will be no changes to tickets and you’ll be able to use your existing passes, just as you do now, as well as benefiting from the wider Transdev ticket range too.

It is thought that the first new buses will be ADL Enviro200's. Focus Transport will bring you photos of the new vehicles when they hit the road.


Saturday, 17 July 2021

Another 19 Solaris Trollinos go to La Spezia in Italy

Solaris has won a tender for 19 trolleybuses which will be delivered to operator ATC Esercizio S.p.A.
Fourteen 12 metreTrollinos and five18 metre versions, will be delivered to the Italian city of La Spezia, located in the southern part of Liguria province on the Italian Riviera, by the end of 2022.

The 12-metre trolleybuses will be powered by a 160 kWh traction motor, whereas the 18-metre vehicles will be equipped with 2 drive units boasting 160 kW each. 

The emission-free Trollino vehicles will be fitted with cutting-edge batteries with a capacity of 45 kWh that will enable them to drive without a connection to overhead wires. The traction batteries will be recharged both en route (via in-motion charging technology) and overnight at the depot.

The 12-metre trolleybuses provide space for 85, while the articulated 18-metre vehicles can accommodate 140 passengers. Apart from standard amenities such as air-conditioning, CCTV cameras and USB ports, out of the producer’s wide range operator ATC Esercizio S.p.A. has also chosen state-of-the-art ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) solutions to support the driver’s work and ensure a safe ride. 

Enhanced visibility for the driver will be ensured by cameras replacing side mirrors, transmitting images on screens inside the vehicle. This innovative design of MirrorEye will allow the width of the vehicle to be reduced, something which is of great importance in the narrow and cramped streets of La Spezia.

The eSConnect will provide for modern fleet management and the monitoring of vehicles operating in La Spezia. The highly-professional eSConnect software is a multifaceted tool that enables the efficient management of a fleet of electric vehicles and the optimal use of the fleet. 
It is also an accurate diagnostics instrument, facilitating and supporting maintenance capabilities. 

The operator has decided to equip the vehicles with a passenger counting system integrated both with destination display and driver support systems. It informs both the driver and the passengers (in the latter’s case the information is shown on the destinations displays) of the current number of free places on board the trolleybus.

These are not the first Trollino vehicles to be delivered to the city of La Spezia. In 2013 the company delivered 8 trolleybuses to the same operator, i. e. ATC Esercizio S.p.A. 
A total of 130 Trollino vehicles currently cruise the streets of various Italian cities, such as Ancona, Bologna, Cagliari, Milan, Moderna, Naples, Parma, Rome and San Remo.

The Trollino line was launched by Solaris 20 years ago, in 2001. Two years later, in 2003, the first trolleybus fitted with batteries that allow them to be driven without a connection to overhead wires was launched. 

So far, a total of 1700 Solaris Trollino vehicles measuring 12, 18 and 24 metres have been supplied to 56 towns and cities. The biggest contracts to have been carried out so far include a delivery to Kaunas (85 x Trollino 12) and to Milan (80 x Trollino 18).

Friday, 16 July 2021

New Livery Shown for Staycation Express

Preparations for the Staycation Express are being finalised in time for the start of the service over the Settle & Carlisle line on Monday 19th July 2021.

The two HST power cars and set of five coaches have appeared in the new green colour scheme at Eastleigh Works before their move to Crewe.

The power cars to receive the new livery are 43058 and 43059, which were in service with East Midlands Trains (East Midlands Railway) before being withdrawn.

Rail Charter Services are running 3 return trips a day, Monday to Saturday, using classic comfortable all first class former 'Inter City' coaches over the stunningly beautiful Settle to Carlisle railway line.
The first class coaches offer leather seats, private tables, power points and wide picture windows.

The 2021 service will operate the 72 mile journey between Skipton and Carlisle, expanded from last year due to the success of the summer only route. 

In order to adhere to social distancing and to ensure all available seats are taken, bookings can only be made for a minimum of 2 persons incrementally. A Two Person ticket can be booked and carriage of bicycles is possible as up to 12 cycles can be booked to travel.

Passengers wishing to book a bike space should call 01768 353200 between 1000 and 1500 Monday to Friday.


 More information here