Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Study Into Creation of Dynamic Passing Loop on The Lakes Line

Cumbria County Council is progressing with the next stage of a scheme that hopes to double capacity on a busy railway line in the Lakes.

A feasibility study into the creation of a dynamic passing loop and associated signals on the Lakes Line is being carried out, which would expand capacity between Oxenholme and Windermere.

It comes after the Department for Transport did not give its support to the council’s ‘restoring your railway’ application, which would see it contribute £50,000 to the cost of a business case and feasibility study into establishing a passing loop.

The ten mile long Lakes Line,which opened on 20 April 1847 is currently single track, which means just one round trip per hour is possible. Restoring the line’s capacity by adding a dynamic passing loop would enable up to two trains per hour to run along the line with the potential for more services to run south to Manchester and Preston.

A council spokesman said the study is currently being developed, although a start date has not yet been confirmed.

The council spokesman said: “At the end of October we found out the government did not support our application.

Overcrowding takes place on the well used line during the lengthy tourist season.
 Two trains per hour would solve these problems

“This was a disappointment, and it was determined that despite the outcome, the council would seek to progress feasibility on the project so it can be better prepared to attract future Department for Transport funding.”

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron met with Chris Heaton-Harris, minister of state for transport, this week to ask whether the Government will fund the work to create the loop.

According to the MP, Mr Heaton-Harris was ‘very positive about the proposal and its progression’.

“It’s hugely important for us, having two trains an hour would make all the difference,” said Mr Farron.

Trains from Windermere travel Oxenholme Lake District to connect with trains on the
West Coast Main Line. Some continue to Preston & Manchester Airport.

“I’m really grateful that Cumbria County Council have offered to fund and conduct a feasibility study into a passing loop on the Lakes Line.

“I’m glad that my enthusiasm for this scheme is shared by the rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris who I met this week. I will be working with the minister and the county council in the coming weeks and months to try and make this a reality.”

Monday, 6 December 2021

Buses Playing a Bigger Part at Beamish

 Buses are playing a bigger part at the Beamish Museum in Co Durham.

With the opening of the 1950's town at the museum which includes a bus depot, the number of buses in operation is increasing and now an ex Darlington Roe bodied 
Daimler CVG5 304 VHN has been added to the fleet, joining the ex Rotherham CVG6 KET 220 a Weymann bodied vehicle

While the two Daimler buses are very similar, there are subtle differences between the two models. Darlington 304 has a five cylinder engine and has a crash gearbox, whilst the ex Rotherham vehicle has a six cylinder engine and a pre-selector gearbox. Aside from a handful of other detail differences, Darlington 304 also has slightly more seats than 220.

Darlington 304 underwent a period of maintenance work before being put into service. The bus, along with the addition of the bus depot, help to tell the rich and diverse story of transport in the region in the 1950s.

A 1933 Leyland Cub bus has also joined the fleet which has been subject to a seven year restoration. It has been specially adapted with a lift fitted at the rear, so Beamish visitors with access needs can be transported around the museum on a vintage bus.

The bus will share this work with the existing Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), and means this important service can continue when repairs to either vehicle are being carried out.

Paul Jarman, Assistant Director – Design, Transport and Industry, said: “The seven-year restoration of Crosville 716 has not been without its challenges, but the initial work carried out by Historic Vehicle Restoration and the concluding work by Gardiners Coach Repairs, has produced a tremendous result.

It is now, with some relief, the time to hand the bus over to the operating department for our visitors to enjoy and which will make our Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle operation more resilient – as for the first time since the first WAV bus was completed in 2007, we have a spare!" More about the vehicle here

The Bus Depot project has been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Go North East and The Reece Foundation, along with local, regional and national trusts and foundations, the Friends of Beamish and the Business Friends of Beamish.

A bus event is planned for 16th & 17th July 2022 which will welcome visiting buses. Details are being finalised.

Below are photographs showing buses that have visited Beamish this year.

Two visiting Crossley's. 1947 Sunderland GR 9007 now owned by the North East
Bus Preservation Group and FUN 319 Crossley SD42/Burlingham owned by Wright Bros.
GR 9007 came to the NEBPT from the estate of the late John Jackson.
It was restored by John Jackson and Tony Melia.

On the left, AHN 451B, a visiting vehicle belonging to Aycliffe & District Bus Preservation Society,stands next to the now resident Daimler 304 VHN

1964 Northern General Routemaster now owned by the North East Bus Preservation Group.
The vehicle is maintained by Go North East and recently attended the Imberbus event.

1966 Strachan bodied Leyland Panther - FBR 53D ex Sunderland Corporation

Right to Left Strachan bodied Leyland Panther - FBR 53D, WBR 248 ex Sunderland
Atkinson Alpha Gardner 6HLW with Marshall Bodywork and Crossley GR 9007. 
On the left ex Sunderland tram 16.

Above & below, UPT 517 'Venture' Leyland Leopard / Alexander ‘Y’ alongside AHN 451B

For more details about the July 2022 Beamish Bus Event keep checking the Beamish and NEBPG websites

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Shiel Buses Adds Plaxton Panther Cub To Its Fleet

 Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”), has announced that it has supplied a brand new, high-specification Plaxton Panther Cub coach to Scottish family business Shiel Buses.

The manoeuvrable 10.8m long coach is built on a Volvo B8R chassis and is equipped with a head-up driver’s display, a haptic seat, a Level 2 driver safety system and alloy wheels.

Customers can enjoy seats fitted with automatic de-recline, armrests, fixed footrests, magazine nets, seat-back tables and USB charging points.

In addition, the coach has installed a fitted rear servery with fridge, a roof-mounted TV monitor, a sophisticated audio system with Bluetooth and DVD included, cordless microphones and a 360-degree CCTV system.

Family operator Shiel Buses has been in business for 40 years and provides bus and coach hire services throughout the West Lochaber area in the Scottish Highlands.

Shiel Buses Managing Director David MacGillivary said: “We are very happy with our new coach and all its additional features. This coach will be very useful for our extensive private hire and tour schedule, plus its manoeuvrability in reaching locations throughout the Highlands, while providing the extra comfort.”

ADL Sales Account Manager Charlie Miller said: “There are many high-quality features on this coach and I have no doubt it will be a valuable addition to the Shiel Buses fleet. It’s once again been a pleasure to do business with Shiel Buses and I'm also really excited about a further two Enviro200's joining their fleet in 2022.”

Shiel Fleet here

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Brand New Stadler Class 231 TfW Trains Arrive in Wales

A new era of transformed train travel in Wales is being heralded with the arrival of brand-new trains that will provide more capacity and improved services for Transport for Wales passengers.

TfW is investing £800 million in new trains for the Wales and borders network – with the first two new trains from leading train manufacturer Stadler being delivered to the TfW depot at Canton, in Cardiff, for testing.

The new Class 231 FLIRT trains arrived in Wales from Switzerland and are the first of 35 to be delivered over the next 24 months from Stadler.

The FLIRTs will be a key part of the South Wales Metro, the three quarters of billion-pound transformational project being delivered by TfW, providing more capacity and more frequent services that will be greener for the environment.

Through working with train manufacturers Stadler and CAF, TfW is investing a total of £800 million into brand new trains that will begin to run on the network for customers next year.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said:

“The new vehicles are a transformational improvement on the trains that they will be replacing across South Wales offering greater capacity, more frequent services with improved facilities encouraging people to leave their cars behind and move onto a more sustainable form of transport. 

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said:

“The arrival of these brand-new trains is another major milestone for TfW and signifies another step forward on our transformational programme to deliver a transport network that the people of Wales can be proud of.  

“We’re investing £800 million into new trains that will provide more capacity on our network, they will have more and improved seating, provide air conditioning, power sockets and passenger information screens with up-to-the- minute travel information.  The customer is at the heart of our planning at TfW and these trains will have more space for bikes, people with limited mobility and pushchairs. 

“People will now start to see some of our new trains being tested on our network and we’re looking forward to seeing the first new units enter service for customers next year.” 

Sandro Muster, Project Manager for Stadler, said:

“The arrival of the first unit in Cardiff is a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the project. Not only Stadler, but our client, Transport for Wales, and above all, the people who will soon be travelling on them. Passengers will notice a massive difference in the ride quality, the comfort and the attention to detail.

“We will now embark on an extensive programme of testing to ensure that they are ready for commercial service. Every aspect of the train, from their on-board features to energy consumption trials, noise levels and signalling, will be scrutinised rigorously.”

Friday, 3 December 2021

All Aboard The ScotRail HST Santa Express

Hundreds of excited youngsters will be taking the train trip of a lifetime on ScotRail’s Santa Express, which departs Edinburgh Waverley on Saturday, (4 December) at 08:58 bound for picturesque Boat of Garten in the Highlands.

It’s the first of five Christmas specials in the lead up to the big day in a festive partnership between ScotRail, the Railway Children charity and Father Christmas.

On 11 and 18 December, another two Santa Express specials using 
Class 43 HST's will leave Waverley each day and travel around the Fife Circle line, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon.

Tickets sold out in hours, raising £33,000 for the Railway Children charity which fights for vulnerable children who live alone and at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation.

The Santa Express trains will be decked out in a festive theme and Father Christmas will be walking up and down the train in person to hand out gifts that have been donated by ScotRail staff and partner organisations to keep costs down.

Lucky children, plus their mums, dads and guardians will receive treats and activities on board to keep them enter-trained, including a magician and a special visit from Santa.

And, on the Saturday special, a small herd of Santa’s reindeer will be waiting to greet everyone on arrival at 12:24 in Boat of Garten. Passengers can get off, stretch their legs and meet Rudolph and his pals while enjoying some seasonal snacks.

Then, it’s back onto the Santa Express for the return 130 mile journey at 13:23, arriving in the capital at 16:46.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“We thought the Santa Express would be popular but never dreamt tickets would sell out so quickly.

“ScotRail customers are known for their generosity, but this has exceeded all of our expectations. And we’d like to thank all the ScotRail staff who have volunteered their time to make these trips happen.

“The Railway Children charity is a great cause, and we are proud to be playing our part in assisting them to help vulnerable children all over the world.”

Terina Keene, Railway Children CEO, said:

“We can’t thank ScotRail enough for partnering with us on this amazing festive event and we are so happy the Santa Express trains sold out so quickly.

“The money raised will really help us to support vulnerable children and families around the world.”

The train services are as follows:

Saturday 4th December - HST Edinburgh to Boat of Garten:

Depart Edinburgh 08:58.

Arrive Boat of Garten 12:24.

Depart Boat of Garten 13:23.

Arrive Edinburgh 16:46.

Saturdays 11th and 18th December – HST Edinburgh and return around the Fife Circle:

First trip departs Edinburgh 10:15 and arrives back at 12:00.

Second trip departs Edinburgh 13:16 and arrives back at 15:04.

For more information click here

Scotrail HST fleet click here

Updates below - From the first day of operation



Thursday, 2 December 2021

The Return of Flybe -- Dash 8-400 Lands at Birmingham Airport

The new Flybe Ltd’s first De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft landed at Birmingham Airport. Assisted by the global leader in regional aircraft leasing, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC). T
The aircraft will be one of twelve on lease from NAC, with these NAC planes being some of the first to join Flybe’s planned fleet of thirty-two Dash 8-400 aircraft. 

Established in April 2021, Flybe Ltd is one of Britain’s newest airlines, and it intends to operate throughout the UK and EU with operations scheduled to begin in early 2022. Flybe’s launch is expected to play a crucial role in creating valuable jobs, connecting communities, and helping restart local economies across the UK and Europe.

Flybe’s first Dash is a Q400 turboprop, currently registered G-JECX and formerly operated by the original Flybe which was based at Exeter Airport. The new Flybe is based at Birmingham Airport.

Dave Pflieger, CEO of Flybe Ltd, said: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with NAC to take delivery of our first De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400. This is an exciting time for our team and our new airline, and we look forward to working with both NAC and De Havilland Canada as we launch and grow our fleet with more of these incredibly fast turboprop planes that are more eco-friendly than regional jets.” 

President of Nordic Aviation Capital, Norman Liu, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Flybe Ltd to help them as they create a strong new company that will build on a very respected and well-known brand. 

We look forward to seeing them grow and connect communities and regions across the UK and EU.” The news comes on the heels of the opening of the new company headquarters and first new crew base at Birmingham Airport. 
Pflieger added: “Flybe’s entire fleet will be comprised of Dash 8-400 aircraft because it is an extremely fast turboprop-powered aircraft that can complete short journeys almost as quickly as a regional jet, but with lower CO2 emissions.” “De Havilland Canada is delighted to welcome the new Flybe Ltd to the Dash 8-400 family of operators, and to see the return of highly efficient regional air service to the communities it will serve,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President Sales and Marketing, De Haviland Aircraft of Canada Limited. “The Dash 8-400 aircraft’s attributes – including its low carbon and noise footprints, excellent passenger amenities and operational versatility - will be invaluable as Flybe Ltd builds its network to connect communities across the UK and the region.”

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Pelican Yutong TCe12 Zero Emission Electric Coach

Pelican Yutong are promoting the TCe12 zero emission electric coach as a solution to school transport and commuter needs..

They say that "With the ever-increasing focus on carbon emissions and air quality, it is important that we invest now to demonstrate our commitment to future health.

At Pelican we believe all students and commuters deserve to travel in a quality environment with best-in-class safety in a zero-emission vehicle"

The TCe12 zero emission electric coach offers the following:

Safety - All batteries are protected by a nitrogen flame suppression system and are placed in collision protection cages. All seats have 3 point seat belts and electronic anti-lock braking is standard.

Features - Passengers have access to on board WIFI and USB charging. The saloon has full air conditioning for optimum travelling conditions.

Accessibility - The vehicle is fully wheelchair accessible allowing all to feel included on their travels.

Zero Emissions - The TCe12 is the only zero emission coach available in the UK. There are no harmful emissions during the journey or whilst the vehicle is stationary.

Costs benefits - Vehicles in service show an 80% reduction in the cost of electricity used to charge compared to diesel fuel. In addition, maintenance costs are reduced by up to 40%.

Range - A range of up to 250 miles is possible on a full charge.

Charging - A full recharge takes only 2 to 4 hours (dependent on the size of charger specified).

Infrastructure - Full management of infrastructure installation available.

A single TCe12 on school service work will save in the region of 30,000kgs of CO2 every year in comparison to an Ultra-Low Emission Bus which emits about 1kg of CO2 for every mile travelled - any older vehicle emits significantly more.

Pelican are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of electric buses and coaches, with over 200 zero-emission vehicles already in service. 
Our 100% UK owned, 102 year old family business pride ourselves on our outstanding service and support. 
Pelican aftermarket care is available nationwide 24/7, 362 days a year and is delivered by a highly experienced team of people, backed by a comprehensive stock of parts.

The vehicle itself is produced by Yutong, the largest bus and coach manufacturer in the world with a 16% share of the global market. There are now over 126.000 zero emission Yutong’s in service worldwide, with 26.2 billion kms of operating experience already completed. 

This is the equivalent of 80,000 hectares of reforestation!

Scottish company Ember are operating a Dundee - Edinburgh service using TCe12 vehicles on the 60 mile journey between the two cities.



Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Lloyds Coaches Takes its First Three Scania Irizar i6 Coaches

Lloyds Coaches has taken delivery of three used Scania coaches, the first to enter service with the Machynlleth, mid-Wales based company. Equipped with Irizar i6 bodies, the purchase follows on from the successful trial of Scania's demonstration vehicle by Lloyds Coaches at the end of 2019 which generated a great deal of positive feedback from the company's customers.

Based on Scania's 360 horsepower K 360 IB4x2 chassis, the vehicles are equipped with 53 seats, wood effect flooring, onboard vacuum cleaners and Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels. The vehicles have been converted to PSVAR specification by Irizar.

"We are very happy with the purchase of these three Scania Irizar I6’s," says Lloyds Coaches Director, Dan Lloyd. "They have been finished to a very high standard and are helping us move forward in providing lower emissions and wheelchair accessible coaches in our fleet.

"I would like to say a big thank you to Richard Austin our Scania Bus and Coach Regional Account Manager for such a professional approach and for the smooth sale and handover. The coaches will be used on a mixture of work ranging from home to school, rail replacement and day trips/private hire. We hope these Scania coaches will be the first of many and look forward to working with Richard and Scania in the future."

Monday, 29 November 2021

ZF Connecting Bus Fleets To The Power of Vehicle Data With ZF Bus Connect

ZF Bus Connect is a new product which caters to the needs of bus fleet operators. As an advanced fleet management tool, ZF Bus Connect enables public transport or private bus operators to enhance and improve efficiency and performance of their fleets:

Safety: Geofencing and monitoring of driver’s behaviour to detect dangerous bus driving situations to prevent accidents and to protect against theft.
Efficiency: Live data evaluation on a per-bus basis allows optimization of driving and route plans and improves fuel consumption.
Uptime: Predictive remote detection of damages or wear and tear of consumable items compatible with real-world bus configurations as well as diagnosis and secure "over the air" updates to reduce downtime.

ZF Bus Connect is developed for city buses and coaches with both electric and combustion engines or hybrid systems also in a mixed fleet. The user can check every aspect of the vehicle, including live view of vehicle locations in real-time, observe current energy or fuel consumption, check the status of battery charge or maintain status of the vehicles parts, brake wear and other system messages.

“With ZF Bus Connect we are helping the bus operators with their difficult change to all-electric fleets,“ explained Florian Freund, responsible for the ZF Bus Connect development. “With the power of data-analytics of in-vehicle data we are helping operators to manage their fleet efficiently by reducing the energy or fuel consumption whilst giving a clear overview to the CO2 footprint of the fleet.”

All in one package: one system, three areas

ZF Bus Connect digital solution covers three areas:
The On-Board Unit in the vehicle, the cloud, and the web-based portal for data analytics.

Fleet operators have the possibility to purchase this all-in-one solution from ZF as a package or to connect to the cloud solution with their own compatible On-Board Unit and access the information via the portal as a third-party solution.

ZF UK West Midlands state-of-the-art Engineering Technical Centre.
A new £70m, 220,000 sq ft, state-of-the art operation employing 700 staff

Established technologies for new markets

Based on the know-how of ZF’s current bus connectivity solution supporting over 10,000 buses worldwide, ZF has developed the ZF Bus Connect digital solution. 
To date, five fleets have converted to the new generation of solution. The solution was developed in the ZF Group's Data Venture Accelerator, which is a worldwide hub for digital business within ZF's global research and development. 
It was set up to support and accelerate product developments whose ideas and concepts have successfully proven their added value and technological feasibility – from initial realizations to mature digital products and services.


Sunday, 28 November 2021

Four Year Agreement for Supply of Solaris Vehicles in France

RATP has announced that it has signed framework agreements for the procurement of 12-metre electric buses costing a maximum of €825M over 4 years. Solaris is one of the five selected manufacturers, demonstrating that its zero emission offering meets the needs of French operators.

The RATP Group (French: Groupe RATP), also known as the RATP or Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens, is a state-owned public transport operator with its headquarters in Paris.

This new step in the BUS2025 Programme demonstrates RATP’s wish to become an active in the sustainable development of public transport. Its engagement is recognised and supported by the European Commission, which has just announced a new subsidy to convert the infrastructure and the fleet of RATP in Ile de France to run on electricity and biogas.
In total, the BUS2025 Programme has received €50.7M in 2020 and 2021 from the European Commission.

Île-de-France Mobilités and RATP have already released a few contracts to purchase electric and bio-CNG buses. Solaris delivered 28 articulated CNG buses over the period 2019-2021 and two electric midibuses in 2021 to RATP.
Olivier Michard, CEO Solaris France said “this new framework agreement demonstrates the trust placed in us by RATP to support them in their sustainable development and that our buses answer their needs, which is our key priority”.

"Solaris France has been supplying Solaris products for decades now. This long experience and the state-of-the-art products are meeting market needs. Solaris’s strong after-sales model provides service during and after the warranty period to ensure our customers’ satisfaction throughout the vehicle life cycle."

Saturday, 27 November 2021

New Livery Revealed For UK’s First Full-Sized Autonomous Bus Service

Stagecoach, in partnership with Fusion Processing, Alexander Dennis and Transport Scotland, has revealed the first glimpse of the new special livery for the autonomous bus project, CAVForth, launching in Scotland in 2022.

It is the next key milestone in the exciting trial which will see the first-full sized autonomous buses running on UK roads for the first time next year. 

The new service will be made up of four single-decker buses running a 14-mile route, including crossing the iconic Forth Road Bridge. It will provide capacity for up to 10,000 passengers a week, connecting Fife’s Ferrytoll Park & Ride with Edinburgh Park’s transport hub and is expected to be popular with commuters, students, day-tripper, tourists and novelty riders; keen to be first to say they have been driven by a computer.

The new service will make it easy for people to switch to public transport by providing a brand new bus route in the heart of East Scotland. It comes on the back of the COP26 climate change summit where Stagecoach said that the fastest way to make progress towards the UK’s net zero ambitions is by people switching from making car journeys and instead travelling by public transport, cycling or walking.

Ferrytoll Park & Ride click here

The four buses, which will feature the special new livery, are currently being fitted out with the ground-breaking sensor and control technology, developed and supplied by project lead, Fusion Processing Ltd, that allows them to become computer-driven. The vehicles are also being put through their paces with an array of virtual and track testing to ensure all systems are functioning as expected before on-road testing begins later this year.

The colours and design were chosen through consultation with local communities and a decision made to ensure the vehicles stand out on the road. The ‘AB’ logo, stands for autonomous bus and is an icon that Stagecoach hopes to see become a standard identifier of autonomous vehicles in the future.

The design of the livery is intended to ensure that it still feels like a regular bus, and is easily identifiable with the well-known Stagecoach brand, whilst also acknowledging the array of project partners who are making this world-leading pilot service a reality: Fusion Processing, Alexander Dennis Limited, Transport Scotland, Napier University, Bristol Robotics Lab, University of the West of England, as well the funding partner; the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

Minister for Transport Graeme Dey said: “This is another welcome step forward for the incredibly exciting Project CAVForth, as we move closer to seeing it go live next year. This type of innovation shows Scotland is very much open for business when it comes to trialling this technology. This ground-breaking and globally significant project will really help the country establish its credentials on the world stage.”

Sam Greer, Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland said: “We are all very excited to be marking the next major milestone in our autonomous bus project, with buses planned to be on the road in early summer next year.

“The new service will provide a bus link between Fife and Edinburgh Park which currently does not exist and we hope will encourage more people to ditch the car, skip traffic jams and enjoy a relaxed journey in a dedicated bus lane and with new innovative state of the art technology.”

Jim Hutchinson, Fusion Processing Ltd CEO, said: “We are delighted to be leading on the world’s most complex and ambitious autonomous vehicle programme. CAVForth is an exciting pilot service and a great demonstration of our automated vehicle technology. The vehicles are fitted with CAVstar, our automated driving system which combines our own hardware and software to create, safe, AV Level 4 full sized buses. The buses will be operating on a 28 mile round trip route that includes motorways, single carriageway A-roads, minor roads, bus lanes, roundabouts and junctions with and without traffic lights. We believe it will be the most comprehensive Autonomous bus demonstration to date. ”

Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “As the UK bus industry’s innovation leader, we are constantly exploring new ways to further increase efficiency and safety. The trial of the UK’s first full-sized autonomous bus service gives us an outstanding opportunity to gain real-world experience. We are also working closely with our colleagues across NFI Group who are developing similar, promising projects.”


Friday, 26 November 2021

Flixbus Announces: Hydrogen Long-Distance Coaches on The European Network by 2024

Flixbus hydrogen-powered coaches with a minimum range of 450 km on a single refilling are set to be in operation in Europe. 

FlixMobility intend replacing diesel vehicles in the FlixBus fleet with fuel cell coaches in the future and plans to test and launch fuel cell powered coaches travelling on long-distance routes during 2024 in Europe to set new standards

Flixbus are stepping up their UK operations

FlixMobility is taking part in the recently started research project HyFleet together with its partners Freudenberg Fuel Cell e-Power Systems and ZF. The project consortium recently received the official “UIA” (a non-binding letter of intent) confirmation by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

André Schwämmlein, founder and CEO of FlixMobility said “We are proud to be part of the HyFleet project to develop the first fuel cell-powered long-distance coach in Europe until 2024 together with Freudenberg and ZF. Fuel cell power technology is part of the green mobility revolution and gives bus producers the chance to shape the future of sustainable mobility.

Thanks to a modern fleet and the high capacity of FlixMobility, long-distance coaches are already now one of the most environmentally friendly means of transportation available.
FlixMobility successfully launched biogas-powered FlixBuses in July 2021, E-buses in France and Germany and a long-distance coach equipped with solar panels. Now, the company wants to take sustainable mobility a step further.
While hydrogen-powered buses are already operating inner-city routes, solutions for hydrogen-coaches for long distances are still lacking due to the extremely demanding nature of long-distance bus operations:

Flix coaches drive around 200.000 km yearly with distances up to more than 1.000 km per day with usually only short stops. Depending on the number of drivers involved during a trip the bus will legally have to take a break after 4,5 hours of driving, which is roughly reached after 450 km.
For this reason, any diesel coach alternative should be able to perform at least 500 kilometers distance before refueling. Hydrogen offers great opportunities because it will be able to reach or exceed the required range. Refueling times will also be shorter than refueling diesel buses.

UK Operations
After successfully re-launching a UK domestic network in April 2021 and an expansion during mid-May, Flixbus have expanded their network to 10 new UK-destinations, including its first two stops in Scotland and other popular domestic holiday destinations.

New stops: 1. Bath 2. Chesterfield 3. Chippenham 4. Coventry 5. Edinburgh 6. Glasgow 7. Leamington Spa 8. Newcastle 9. Reading 10. Sunderland

Thursday, 25 November 2021

ADL Delivers Eight High-Spec, PSVAR-Compliant Plaxton Elite Coaches To Park's Of Hamilton

Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”), has announced that it has delivered eight high-specification, PSVAR-compliant Plaxton Elite coaches to Scottish operator Park’s of Hamilton.

The new fleet of coaches are all 13.2m long, with 53 seats, and will be used on Park’s of Hamilton’s operations across Scotland.

The PSVAR-compliant coaches have a Volvo B8R chassis and are equipped with a range of high-specification features including entrance mounted wheelchair lift, alloy wheels, head up display driver warning system with haptic driver seat, vehicle wash-down and vacuum systems, heated front upper and lower windscreens and 360-degree view CCTV system installed.

They have been painted bright white and have many customer features including seats fitted with leather headrest, piping and sports trim, armrests, extended head-rests and automatic de-recline, seat back tables, magazine nets and fixed footrests, two TV monitors, Smart audio system with Bluetooth, USB sockets to all seats and provision for wi-fi.

Park’s of Hamilton delivers coach hire and city to city express services across Scotland. Director Michael Andrews said: “These are very high-spec vehicles which further underline our commitment to providing luxurious and professional coach services for our customers. We look forward to putting them into operation in time for our customers to enjoy them during the festive season and beyond.”

Simon Wood, General Manager of New and Used Coach Sales with Alexander Dennis, said: “It’s a pleasure to deliver these vehicles to Park’s of Hamilton, a long-standing customer of ours. They are extremely well-appointed and excellent quality coaches and will fit perfectly into their luxury coach fleet.”