Wednesday, 31 July 2019

New Edinburgh Airlink Vehicles

 Lothian have unveiled a new fleet of Airport buses. 

A roadshow was held on 25th July to give passengers a view of the new vehicles which will operate on the Edinburgh city to Edinburgh Airport services.
The new Enviro400XLB three axle buses have been manufactured in Falkirk by Alexander Dennis will enter service during early August.
They have been developed in co-operation with Lothian and chassis manufacturer Volvo and are similar to the 100 seat versions put into service in March of this year. here


click to enlarge


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Mallard to Meet Azuma - UPDATED

LNER has announced that they have been working with the National Railway Museum for a special event this week.

To celebrate the Azuma trains north of York, LNER will be bringing Mallard out of the National Railway Museum to meet the newest train on the block, the Class 800 Azuma.

The rare outing on 30th July is part of LNER’s media launch in York ahead of Azuma services commencing north to Edinburgh on 1 August.

Following the launch in York, the media will then go to Darlington, where they will be greeted by another LNER stalwart, Flying Scotsman.

Director of Communications, Kate McFerran said:

“LNER’s rich heritage of history-making moments provided the inspiration for bringing the two trains together, as the business prepares to introduce new trains into its York and Edinburgh services for the first time in 30 years.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the history of Sir Nigel Gresley, Flying Scotsman, Mallard and speed records to inspire us as we build a new and exciting future for the business,

It’s this history that drives us further forward to do more, innovate more and set higher milestones to transform our business. We are working hard to innovate and create new history-making moments, and Azuma is the first bold step towards delivering on that vision.”

The media launch is for accredited members of the media and invited guests only.

Security will be in place on other platforms to ensure the safety of any customers transiting through the station on 30 July.


Pictures below of the day's events

 Azuma alongside Mallard at York Railway Station

Azuma meets Flying Scotsman at Darlington Station
Tomorrow 1st August is when LNER commences Azuma services between Kings Cross
and Edinburgh.

The inaugural northbound London King’s Cross to York train on 1 August will:
Depart London King’s Cross at 11:06

Arriving into York at 13:29

The train then becomes the 14:02 York to London King’s Cross

Arriving into London King’s Cross at 16:23.

The inaugural Edinburgh to London King’s Cross service will be LNER’s flagship ‘Flying Scotsman’ train will:
Depart Edinburgh at 05:40 

Newcastle at 07:05

Arriving into London King’s Cross at 09:40.

The inaugural northbound London King’s Cross to Edinburgh train will:
Depart London King’s Cross at 17:30

Arriving into Edinburgh at 22:10.

The Azuma trains, built in County Durham, are already serving destinations between Leeds, Bradford, Skipton and Hull with London King’s Cross.


Monday, 29 July 2019

Preview Day at Sandtoft

The trolleybus museum at Sandtoft have their main event in July, known as The Sandtoft Gathering which includes visiting buses of all types. The main event took place yesterday, Sunday the 28th July.

On 27th July, Ken Jones braved the weather to visit 
preview day – a  low key event especially if it is pouring with rain . There were 4 trolleybuses in service during the day all having to plough through surface water. 

Ken’s pictures show some of the vehicles already lined up for the main event, including foreign and British trolleybuses as well as the Hastings single deck trolleybus which was once a home, and which one day will be restored.

Also on show, under cover, was the newly unveiled replica 1911 Keighley single deck trolleybus made in the Czech republic.

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft has commissioned the construction of a full-size working replica of a pioneer 1911 trolleybus. 
It was built in the Czech Republic in just 15 months from inception to testing and delivery.
It arrived at the Sandtoft Museum on Saturday, 4 May 2019.

More information here

The Hastings single deck trolleybus which was once a home 
and which one day will be restored

Part 2 of Ken's pictures will be shown this week, on a future posting, thanks to Ken for sending us his selection.

The Museum offers a fascinating day out for all the family. It is open on specific open days only between April and November (called “Trolleydays”) when visitors can ride on some of the trolleybuses. Full information about the museum and the vehicles  

If you have attended or are attending a forthcoming event please send us your pictures to be included on one of our forthcoming postings. Please send to

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Sheffield Integrated Plan Launched

The Integrated Rail Plan, has been welcomed by the Department for Transport. It was produced by Sheffield City Region and its local authority partners, supported by organisations including Transport for the North (TfN).

It sets out a vision for how the region will be better connected by both high speed and conventional rail networks into the future – regionally, across the North, and nationally.


The plan recognises that, while the benefits of national investment in HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), should be maximised, there needs to be ongoing, complementary investment in the local and regional rail and road networks. By doing this, the plan can best improve capacity, reliability, affordability, and journey times for communities and businesses across the Sheffield City Region.

Key elements of the plan include a proposed new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station, with the preferred location on a site in Goldthorpe; the creation of a new Midland Main Line station in Rotherham; an East Coast Main Line railway station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport; extension of the Tram-Train, the upgrade of the Hope Valley Line; and significant upgrades of the railway stations at both Sheffield and Chesterfield, to accommodate HS2 services.

 The Hope Valley line would be upgraded
Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This is a landmark moment for our region. For the first time, Government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a Plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities.

“A new station in the Dearne Valley, on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, will offer potentially transformational regeneration opportunities for that area. I look forward to working with the Department for Transport to ensure that sits alongside essential investment in the surrounding road network, especially at the pinch point around Hickleton and Marr.

“But although individual pieces of infrastructure are undoubtedly important; the most important feature of this Plan is that it ties together separate projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail into one cohesive whole, enabling people to travel within our region, across the North and nationally in a simple and efficient way.

“When I became Mayor I made transport one of my key priorities. Following on from the launch of my Transport Strategy, the appointment of Dame Sarah Storey as the Sheffield City Region’s first Active Travel Commissioner, the launch of our independent Bus Review and the submission of a £220m Transforming Cities Fund bid, this is another example of how I’m taking action to ensure our transport network is fit for the 21st century.”

Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director at Transport for the North, said: “As part of the multi-billion pound Northern Powerhouse Rail programme, we want to deliver a step change in rail services for existing hubs like Sheffield, as well as opportunities for new stations – for instance Barnsley Dearne Valley.

“The result will be more seats, on new, faster trains, direct to more locations across the North and beyond. Couple that with the opportunities to reduce car trips and stimulate local housing and job creation, and it becomes an extremely compelling story.

“But if we’re to genuinely transform the experience for passengers, we need to ensure that all the proposed rail and road investments work together. We welcome Mayor Dan Jarvis’ work with local partners to set out a coherent plan for their region that incorporates local, regional and national infrastructure priorities.”

The Plan lays out a preference for a the new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, rather than a Parkway station on the HS2 mainline in South Yorkshire. However, that support is dependent on surrounding road infrastructure being upgraded as part of the package for the new station.

This is one of the reasons why work has already begun on building the business case for a bypass on the A635, taking traffic out of the congested villages of Hickleton and Marr.

Robert Hough, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We welcome this plan, which crucially focusses on delivery. That is what really counts to businesses and people. Making progress on new infrastructure which can support current economic needs and accelerate opportunity now, not years away, is very important.

 A rail link with Doncaster Sheffield Airport is proposed

“Integrating a new ECML rail station with Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s site will drive economic growth within and beyond the region. It will help create up to 73,000 jobs, provide balance across the country and more sustainable travel through reducing the significant amount of journeys currently made to airports outside the region.”

Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s CEO said: “We welcome the proposals outlined by Sheffield City Region. Plans for local road and rail investment will ensure that when HS2 arrives, communities and businesses across the region will be well placed to benefit from more and better connected rail services to the North, Midlands and the South, allowing the region to fully realise its economic potential.”

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership said: “The Metro Mayor of Sheffield City Region has taken another important step forward with an ambitious integrated rail plan. 

The Northern Powerhouse needs strong economic regions, and connecting the Dearne Valley at Goldthorpe to the Northern Powerhouse Rail network alongside stations at Sheffield, as well as at Doncaster on the way to Hull, will put the city region at the heart of the North’s new railway.

“The opportunities to connect people to higher skilled jobs, as well as support local housing growth, are supported by our infrastructure being improved here in the Northern Powerhouse. When connecting on to HS2, wherever they have started their journey in the region, as well as travelling on to Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester will be easier, with global links.

“The whole package, including improvements for the station at Rotherham, will make sure that with the private sector and research investment being secured on the back of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and Dan Jarvis and his team’s wider work on the Advanced Manufacturing Corridor, will benefit from being easily accessible from across the North, the country and the world.”

Many of the schemes outlined in the plan are included in the Sheffield City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund bid.

Others are programmed into work either already planned by Network Rail, or forms part of Transport for the North’s investment programme, which is under development.

The full Integrated Rail Plan can be read on the Sheffield City Region website here.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Contactless Paymants on Lothian

Edinburgh has always been famous for not giving change on their buses. 

Lothian have now rolled out contactless payments across their services from Wednesday, July 24th July

Commuters can now go contactless with a daily cap on fares - similar to the system already in operation in London - in a first for Scotland.

Customers will simply board the bus and tap their cards against the reader to pay for their ticket.

However, after three or more taps, the fare will be capped at the Adult day ticket price, so locals are not paying over the odds for travel.

Nigel Serafini, Lothian’s Commercial Director said: “We are delighted to have launched city-wide contactless payment for our customers. With more and more of our transactions becoming ‘cashless’, it was important to recognise the demand for this capability across our fleet.”

“This has been at the top of customers’ wish lists for some time and we’re pleased to be able to deliver an easy and convenient method of payment, which removes the need to carry cash, or know at the start of the day how many journeys you plan to make.

“The capping system means that our customers will always get the cheapest daily fare possible, no matter how their travel plans might change throughout the day.”

Customers will also be able to pay using mobile devices, including those with Apple or Google Pay enabled.

The system has already been in use on the Skylink service to Edinburgh Airport since the start of the year, while it is in longer-term use on Lothian Country routes.

However, bus users will need to use the same contactless card or device across the whole day to benefit from the cap.

The system, designed by technology partner Flowbird Transport Intelligence in partnership with Visa, will only accept single ticket payments under the current system.

However Lothian bosses say they are developing the system to handle group payments, which will be included in the next phase of the rollout.

Steven Orelowitz, Head of Transit, Europe, Visa, said: “People now expect to pay as swiftly and seamlessly for travel as they do for any other purchase, so the introduction of contactless is a huge step forward for Edinburgh and a boost to the customer experience for both residents and visitors to the city.”

Contactless payments have been accepted on Lothian services from Wednesday, July 24th

Friday, 26 July 2019

Side by Side Maps

Old maps give a fascinating insight into the days of old transport, especially railways, which threaded their way across the UK. 
A mapping system is now available on-line which allows the user to choose a map from a list of dates and types and to compare the selected geo-referenced map to a modern map or satellite layers in a split-screen.

Click here to use.

In this screen shot the small town of Staveley in Derbyshire can be compared. Up until the 1960's what was the Great Central ran north to south through the town. There was the 'Chesterfield Loop' that diverged to the west and other lines around that were linked to the numerous collieries in the area. Staveley also had a busy engine shed.
Looking at the modern map there is no sign of any railway activity. Ireland Close is a new road that briefly follows the course of the Great Central line before joining the A6192.

Here's a view of Didcot from the 1960's showing the long time closed line through Hampstead Norris to Newbury. Various sidings are in view that are no longer evident on the modern map.

This is a clever mapping system that gives a fascinating insight into how our country has changed over the years. Depending on internet speeds and the type of old map you select, you might need to allow time for data to load.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Order for Twidexx Vano for Bombardier

Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract to supply 74 Twindexx Vario double-deck coaches to Israel Railways. The €147m order announced on June 6 is an option on a framework agreement signed in October 2010 and will take ISR’s total fleet of Bombardier double-deck coaches to 586.

The order covers 11 push-pull driving cars for operation with Traxx locomotives and 63 intermediate coaches including 11 accessible for persons with reduced mobility. The control cars feature a driver’s console redesigned to be identical to that in Bombardier’s electric Traxx locomotives.

Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by December 2021. The coaches will be manufactured at Bombardier’s Görlitz and Bautzen sites in Germany, with final assembly taking place locally at the MTR factory in Dimona.

Bombardier Transportation is currently upgrading 293 of ISR’s double-deck coaches at its service depot in Haifa for 160 km/h operation with electric locos.

Further news from Israel
is that National railway ISR has reconfigured three of its Bombardier Transportation double-deck coaches with a revised interior layout designed to provide a 20% increase in capacity per vehicle.
Passenger feedback is being sought.

In order to accommodate more standing passengers, the seats and tables have been removed from the lower deck and replaced with the same number of longitudinal folding seats, along with grab rails and hanging handles. The upper deck remains unchanged.

The three pilot coaches re-entered service on July 21, operating on the suburban route through Tel Aviv between Binyamina and Rehovot where studies have found the average journey time is 30 min. Passenger feedback is being sought, and if the conversion is deemed successful then more cars could be converted.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Stagecoach Hope Valley Explorer Launched

The Peak District National Park Authority has launched a new seasonal bus tour service in the Hope Valley.

The Hope Valley Explorer will operate from Sunday, July 21, to August 31, in a bid to reduce the number of car journeys within the park.

It will connect rail stations at Edale, Hope and Bamford, with links to Chesterfield and the outskirts of Sheffield.

David Marsden, transport policy officer at the authority, said: “We’re excited to be launching this pilot service with our partners at Stagecoach.

“With so much to offer in the Hope Valley and Derwent Valley, we think it will be a popular choice with visitors from our neighbouring urban communities and help promote more sustainable ways of getting to, and enjoying, the park.”

The route includes stops at Castleton and Fairholmes, plus popular destinations such as the Pennine Way, Winnats Pass, Mam Tor and the Great Ridge.

The flexible hop-on, hop-off service will feature audio commentary on the natural and cultural history of the area — from its extensive cave network to the Dambusters in the Derwent Valley.

Adult return tickets will be £6, family tickets (two adults and two children) £12, and a single journey £4. Holders of concessionary passes can pay half fare.

Passengers will also be able to enjoy a growing range of discounts at local businesses.

Operating Details

Two buses (H1 and H2) operate seven days a week from Sunday 21 July to Saturday 31 August, perfect for summer days out.

H1 route: Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley - Bamford - Hope - Castleton - Winnats Pass - Blue John Cavern.

H2 route: as H1, but includes Edale (via Hope)

You can view the timetable here

For more information, go to

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Demand Responsive Bus Service for Ealing

Ealing borough is the next London area to receive an on demand bus service to transport residents across the borough.

Transport for London has announced a year-long trial of an on-demand bus service for the area. Passengers use an app to request a seat, and the roving minibus will come pick them up. In TfL's own words:

This is a trial service that does not have a fixed route or schedule, but ‘responds’ to the request to be picked up by the customer. It can be booked at the desired time of travel [6am-1am], primarily through an app, and provide real time updates to customers of vehicle arrival time and guarantees a seat for confirmed bookings.

The trial is the second in London, following the launch of a similar scheme in Sutton in May. 

As with Sutton, Ealing is an area whose population is particularly reliant on cars. It's hoped that the bookable bus will help cut down the number of car journeys in the area.

The fleet of 10 minibuses will be operated by RATP, with MOIA as the technology provider. 
The service will run with a fleet of new TGE MAN L4H3 ten-seater mini-buses. 

The mini-buses will be Euro VI compliant bringing them in line with the Ultra Low Emission Zone vehicle standards, and will be fully wheelchair accessible.

Map showing area to be served here

Journeys on the service will be charged at a flat fare of £3.50 (via app, not Oyster), though Freedom passes and concessions are accepted.

Before the trial begins, TfL wants comments and suggestions from the public. Local people who have thoughts on the matter can have their say on the consultation page.
We look forward to seeing the first results from the Sutton trial, which TfL tells us are expected in late August. Find full details on the Ealing consultation and trial here, and the Sutton trial here.

Monday, 22 July 2019

French Hydrogen Bus

French officials have attended the inauguration of Houdain’s first hydrogen station and presented its first hydrogen bus.  
The hydrogen station is located in the Houdain storage and maintenance centre. It was designed by GNVert, a subsidiary of Engie.

The bus which was built by Safra Businova will be the first of six hydrogen fuel cell buses and the buses will have their own on site service workshop.
The fuel cell engine for the bus was supplied by Symbio, now a subsidiary of Michelin. The hydrogen bus can be refilled in about 30 minutes and is able to travel 300 km before needing refueling.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Caetano Electric Buses Ordered by Abellio

Abellio has confirmed an order for 34 Caetano zero emission, electric buses to strengthen its fleet in London. The new buses will enter service from March 2020. This will be the first Caetano electric bus for the UK, reinforcing the already strong presence of the brand in this market.

Abellio has ordered the Caetano e.City Gold in 10.7m form that offers a capacity for 60 passengers with complete low floor throughout. It is a 100% electric urban bus that includes zero emission heating and has been developed by CaetanoBus to fully comply with TfL’s latest specification.

In addition, the new buses will include a number of features from the new TfL Bus Safety Standard such as a Camera Monitoring Systems to replace traditional wing mirrors, Intelligent Speed Assist, Acoustic Vehicle Alert System and a revised front design to improve pedestrian/vulnerable road user safety. The bus is part of a wider family of zero emission urban mobility vehicles developed by CaetanoBus, many of which have already been delivered to several Portuguese cities.

The vehicles will operate on two contracts, routes C10 and P5, which Abellio will run on behalf of Transport for London.

The Managing Director of Abellio London said “We are delighted to be working with Caetano on this exciting project to bring their e.City Gold vehicle to the London market. The bus will deliver a step change in safety, driver and passenger comfort, whilst allowing Abellio to introduce zero emission electric vehicles to the fleet as we work with TfL to improve air quality in London”

Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, said: “Red buses are an iconic and vital piece of London, and they’re increasingly going green. We’re delighted that Caetano has taken advantage of our Bus Safety Standard by incorporating advanced safety features to these new zero-emission vehicles before they are required, and we welcome them back to London’s streets.”

Jorge Pinto, CEO of CaetanoBus said “This delivery of our e.City Gold to London is a big step towards our commitment to provide a safer and cleaner transport solution to our Customers. We are very proud to have been selected by Abellio and to extend our zero-emission product portfolio for UK market.”

The United Kingdom is a key strategic market for CaetanoBus, where it has been supplying buses and coaches for more than 50 years. There is currently a significant presence of the Levante model / Coach which has received the GOLD AWARD in the “Making Coaches a Better Choice” category by UK Coach Awards 2018.
Abellio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).
Abellio London bus operates bus services across London on behalf of Transport for London, plus rail replacement and event services across the UK. It operates over eight per cent of London bus network, running 700 vehicles and employing 2,500 staff across 6 depots in Central, South and West London.

Abellio UK has offices in Glasgow and London. It operates the ScotRail, West Midlands Railway and Greater Anglia franchises, and runs the Merseyrail concession in a joint venture with Serco. It was awarded the East Midlands Railway franchise in Summer 2019 when Stagecoach and Arriva pulled out of the contest and who are now challenging the way that those companies tendering must take on massive risks with employee pensions.  

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Vienna Transport - A Pictorial View

The Editor of Focus Transport has been visiting Vienna so it seems appropriate to depart from our normal daily posting routine to show you transport pictures from this busy city. 

Vienna has a well-developed public transport network. Buses, trains, trams and underground lines will take you almost anywhere in the city in no time at all. 

Vienna public transport Wiener Linien operates five underground lines, 29 tram lines and 127 bus lines, of which 24 operate all night

The four main forms of transport are U-Bahn (subway), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram) and Autobus (bus).

A Vienna S bahn train at Schönbrunn Palace Station

Vienna works on an honesty system. There are no ticket barriers at stations and no formal ticket checks on trains, trams and buses. You just hop on and off unchallenged. This doesn’t mean public transport is free, though. You need to buy a ticket.
The undercover ticket inspectors are impossible to spot and they’ve heard all the excuses before. There’s a fine for travelling without a ticket, plus the cost of a ticket.  

 All forms of public transport fall more or less under the same organisation (Wiener Linien), so the tickets you buy are independent of your mode of travel.

 The buses squeeze down narrow side streets, sharing the space with the other forms of transport. Dozens of horse drawn carriages take tourists around the central areas of the city.

If you buy a ticket from A to B, it doesn’t matter if you take the tram, train, subway, or catch the bus. Or use all four to make the journey. There are very few exceptions (essentially private airport transfer services by bus or train, plus sightseeing services like the yellow Ring Tram).

A Tram crossing the Danube Canal

Museum Remise Vienna
Take a journey through 150 years of public transport history together with Wiener Linien. Discover one of the largest collections of historical vehicles in Europe in the beautiful historic halls of the former tramway depot in Erdberg, from the first horse-drawn tramway in 1868, the legendary ‘American’ of the post-war era and the Reichsbrückenbus, which tumbled into the Danube river in 1976, to the public transport of the future.
In addition to showing vehicles from a wide range of different eras, a variety of themed areas also provide visitors with interesting and little-known facts about Vienna’s public transport system – and the interactive exhibits invite visitors to get involved and try things out.

More tram pictures have been  posted on Richard's Tram Blog here .

Friday, 19 July 2019

Extra ScotRail Services for Edinburgh Festival

ScotRail has announced its plans for the forthcoming Edinburgh International Festival, with eight-carriage trains, more services, late-night trains, and more seats than ever before.

With hundreds of thousands expected to flock to the capital during the month-long festival, ScotRail has revealed it will run eight-carriage Class 385 trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High.

The longer trains will begin to run from the end of July, following the successful completion of platform extensions at Glasgow Queen Street by Network Rail Scotland.

The train operator will also run extra late-night trains on routes to and from Edinburgh Waverley, as well as adding extra carriages to hundreds of trains.

This means ScotRail will provide over 3,700 carriages throughout the event, which runs from Friday 2 August until Sunday 25 August – an increase of 20-per-cent compared to 2018.

However, services are still expected be extremely busy and customers are encouraged to plan their travel in advance and leave extra time for their journeys.

The average passenger footfall during the Edinburgh International Festival can increase by up to 50-per-cent during the week. On both Saturday and Sundays, the average footfall to and from the capital city more than doubles.

Extra carriages will be added on all routes out of Edinburgh Waverley, with customers in the Borders benefiting from 19-per-cent more carriages than in 2018.

Following the recent electrification of the routes, customers travelling from Stirling and Dunblane will see 341 extra carriages – an uplift of 165-per-cent compared to 2018. On the Shotts line, 30-per-cent more carriages are being provided than in 2018.

Festival-goers can plan their journey and buy tickets using the ScotRail app or by

ScotRail Chief Operating Officer Angus Thom said:
“We’re delighted to be helping people get to and from the Edinburgh International Festival, one of the great highlights of the Scottish cultural calendar.

“This year, we’re thrilled to be able to provide more seats than ever before. With eight-carriage trains, extra late-night trains, and brand-new trains, every available carriage will be used to get people to and from Edinburgh - it’s all been made possible by the unprecedented investment in Scotland’s Railway over the last few years.

 Transport Scotland Director of Rail Bill Reeve said:

“The Scottish Government wants visitors to Edinburgh’s great Festival to travel sustainably and in comfort. Our rolling programme of railway investment in services and infrastructure, including electrification, new trains and extended station platforms means there has never been a better time to visit the Edinburgh Festival by rail.

“By improving the passenger experience, we are encouraging more people to enjoy the best of Scotland, and to do so by train – the greener choice.”

Thursday, 18 July 2019

New Enviro400's for Nat Ex West Midlands

National Express West Midlands has invested £7 million in 24 top-of-the-range ADL Enviro400 'Platinum' buses for the company’s West Bromwich garage. As well as looking smart, their smart hybrid engines will cut pollution in the Black Country and Birmingham.

The bus company will be deploying these elegant grey top-spec double deckers - with free wifi, USB chargers and extra legroom - on routes 82 and 87, giving customers in Smethwick and Bearwood the chance to catch them on the high street for the first time.

Nick Vane, National Express West Midlands’ Commercial Director, said: “Since 2016, National Express West Midlands has invested over £90 million on 342 of these beautiful buses. They are part of our pledge as a member of the West Midlands Bus Alliance – to increase the amount of people taking the bus, to keep our customers happy and to keep the air clean across the West Midlands.

“We know our customers love Platinums. When we ask them what they think, overall satisfaction across all the Platinum routes is 94%. And where we’ve upgraded bus routes to Platinum, we’ve attracted new customers.”

All 24 of the new West Bromwich Platinums are Enviro400 smart hybrids - the cleanest greenest combustion engines on the market, which emit extremely low levels of nitrogen oxide.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, has welcomed the investment.

He said:

“These buses are among the best of any region in the whole country, so it is great to see another 24 of them rolled out onto our roads and into Bearwood and Smethwick high streets for the first time.

“Not only do the Platinum buses offer a better experience for passengers, with free wifi and extra legroom, but they are also crucial in the fight against climate change as they produce low emissions and help to get people out of their cars and onto public transport.

“Tackling climate change is one of my priorities as Mayor, which is why I have asked National Express to have a clean bus fleet by 2021. These state-of-the-art buses with their smart hybrid engines are achieving just that.”

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sales of Electric ADL/BYD Vehicles Reach 100

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD Europe have jointly announced that the companies’ electric vehicle partnership, which delivers the leading UK electric bus, has already topped 100 double deck bus sales. 

ADL is a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers and BYD is a global leader in batteries and electric buses.

The news comes as BYD ADL receives another significant fleet order for its 100% emissions-free electric double deck Enviro400EV with National Express confirming 19 vehicles for its West Midlands bus operation in Birmingham.

These impressive figures for BYD ADL’s double deck include significant fleet deals with some of the UK’s major bus operators including Metroline, Stagecoach, National Express and RATP Dev London. 

The BYD ADL partnership has seen the move to electric mobility within the passenger transport sector gathering pace over the past 12 months as more and more operators realise the operational benefits of combining ADL’s stylish and comfortable bus design with 100% emissions-free, pure-electric operation. 

Importantly, BYD designs and installs charging infrastructure systems, to provide its customers with a complete one-stop-shop solution to fleet electrification.

37 vehicles on programmed delivery to Metroline for service on TfL’s Route 43 (Friern Barnet to London Bridge)

32 for Stagecoach Manchester scheduled for Q4 2019 (routes including Manchester City Centre, Piccadilly Gardens and Manchester Airport)

29 for RATP Dev London in Q1 2020 for use on TfL’s Route 94 (Acton Green to Piccadilly Circus)

19 for National Express West Midlands for operation in Birmingham, delivery planned for Q1 2020

“This is a notable achievement by the BYD ADL team in the UK, underlining the strength and depth of the partnership,” said Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director, UK Sales at ADL, “We have achieved significant market penetration in just three years, while the uptake for the Enviro400EV has been extremely encouraging since we started production in February. 

The move to electrification is well underway and we’re pleased to be leading the charge. Operators appreciate the significant benefits the Enviro400EV offers – which combines 100% emission-free operations with the comfort, style and safety that make the Enviro400 the UK’s favourite double deck bus.”

“We see the demand for full electric mobility only increasing," added Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD (UK), “and for two good reasons – public demand and fleet productivity. An increasingly well-educated public is calling for a sustainable future and zero-emissions public transport can play a key role in helping people switch to an energy-saving mindset. 

Pure electric operation is having a truly dramatic impact on air quality in our towns and cities, and that’s good news for everyone.

“For operators,” he went on, “electric mobility offers long-term productivity gains for scheduled-service bus fleets, regardless of their size, as proven by public transport operators right across Europe. We look forward to engaging further with UK operators in our mission to bring 100% emissions-free mobility to our streets.”