Lothian Buses and ECB Discussion

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OmniCity999

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any idea how many?
17 new buses for East Coast I'm lead to believe. Although all of this is hearsay, it's from a relatively reputable source. No word on weather their singles or doubles but I presume mostly doubles.

More XLB's for the main fleet and some regular ENVIRO400 B5TL's plus some B5LH's. With major fleet movements imminent. B7'S should be gone by August. The entire single deck fleet is already Euro5 or better (except the Ex-Arriva stuff). But I believe some singles may be due too.

Would be nice to see some short Enviro200'a for 61, 69 and other low demand routes but believe this probably wont come to fruition as we're aiming to be 100% Volvo - the short Enviros are Cummins arent they?
 

Colin M

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17 new buses for East Coast I'm lead to believe. Although all of this is hearsay, it's from a relatively reputable source. No word on weather their singles or doubles but I presume mostly doubles.

More XLB's for the main fleet and some regular ENVIRO400 B5TL's plus some B5LH's. With major fleet movements imminent. B7'S should be gone by August. The entire single deck fleet is already Euro5 or better (except the Ex-Arriva stuff). But I believe some singles may be due too.

Would be nice to see some short Enviro200'a for 61, 69 and other low demand routes but believe this probably wont come to fruition as we're aiming to be 100% Volvo - the short Enviros are Cummins arent they?
All Enviro 200s are fitted with Cummins ISBe engines. Are the Enviro 400s due to leave at some point if Lothian are aiming for a 100% Volvo fleet?
 

GregA

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17 new buses for East Coast I'm lead to believe. Although all of this is hearsay, it's from a relatively reputable source. No word on weather their singles or doubles but I presume mostly doubles.

More XLB's for the main fleet and some regular ENVIRO400 B5TL's plus some B5LH's. With major fleet movements imminent. B7'S should be gone by August. The entire single deck fleet is already Euro5 or better (except the Ex-Arriva stuff). But I believe some singles may be due too.

Would be nice to see some short Enviro200'a for 61, 69 and other low demand routes but believe this probably wont come to fruition as we're aiming to be 100% Volvo - the short Enviros are Cummins arent they?
What routes will the new XLBs be going on?
Also why some hybrid buses and some just diesel?
Thanks.
 

Colin M

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What routes will the new XLBs be going on?
Also why some hybrid buses and some just diesel?
Thanks.
The buses haven't even arrived yet so information as to what routes they will be used on probably won't be released until later on.
 

buslad1988

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The buses haven't even arrived yet so information as to what routes they will be used on probably won't be released until later on.
Nothing confirmed to staff yet either so wait and see... a lot could change! My reputable source says they aren’t receiving any XLB’s this year.

Also major service changes at the end of March.
 

GregA

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The buses haven't even arrived yet so information as to what routes they will be used on probably won't be released until later on.
Nothing confirmed to staff yet either so wait and see... a lot could change! My reputable source says they aren’t receiving any XLB’s this year.

Also major service changes at the end of March.
Ah fair. At a guess, when they arrive they could be going on the routes which have XLBs at the weekend? So that would be 27, 37/47(?), maybe for the 25 or 44 too? Just at a guess though.
 

etetetetet

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Ah fair. At a guess, when they arrive they could be going on the routes which have XLBs at the weekend? So that would be 27, 37/47(?), maybe for the 25 or 44 too? Just at a guess though.
As far as I'm aware XLB's are too large to get around the turning circle at Heriot Watt, so I don't think any can be used on the 25
 

OmniCity999

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Buses can be so confusing .
Their really not...

Lightweight products tend to be an all in one product. That is to say 1 manufacturer builds the chassis and everything pretty much everything else, except the engine, gearbox and some small parts. For example, Enviro200's, Enviro400's, Wright Streedecks and Streetlites and the vast majority of the Optare range.

Whereas with heavy duty products, the Chassis and engine is generally provided by one company and the gearbox by another. The axles are also provided by a third party, as the rear axle generally holds the gearbox. Then the body is added by another company.

Lightweight products are cheaper and generally dont last as long.

Heavy duty products are generally rather expensive, but also a better quality product.

Lothian buy heavy duty products whereas the big bus companies in the UK generally* buy the lightweight products.

*I say generally because sometimes they buy the heavy duty products.
 

Jordan Adam

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Their really not...

Lightweight products tend to be an all in one product. That is to say 1 manufacturer builds the chassis and everything pretty much everything else, except the engine, gearbox and some small parts. For example, Enviro200's, Enviro400's, Wright Streedecks and Streetlites and the vast majority of the Optare range.

Whereas with heavy duty products, the Chassis and engine is generally provided by one company and the gearbox by another. The axles are also provided by a third party, as the rear axle generally holds the gearbox. Then the body is added by another company.

Lightweight products are cheaper and generally dont last as long.

Heavy duty products are generally rather expensive, but also a better quality product.

Lothian buy heavy duty products whereas the big bus companies in the UK generally* buy the lightweight products.

*I say generally because sometimes they buy the heavy duty products.
Agree with what you say but imo the difference between "light weight" and "heavy weights" isn't that much these days in terms of quality. The only real difference is axle positioning, wheel diameter and sometimes engine size. We need to remember when the B7RLE was launched it was marketed as Volvos "light weight" option. Pretty much all buses now regardless of classification are built to be as light weight as possible. Also while theoretically lightweights don't last as long in reality that isn't really the case anymore, many Darts for example (as rancid as i think they are) have outlived full size buses from the same era.

I wouldn't really regard the B5TL as a heavy duty product either, it's got an undersized engine and the body is identical to the Streetdeck. It's a shame Volvo don't offer a B8TL 4x2.
 

OmniCity999

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Agree with what you say but imo the difference between "light weight" and "heavy weights" isn't that much these days in terms of quality. The only real difference is axle positioning, wheel diameter and sometimes engine size. We need to remember when the B7RLE was launched it was marketed as Volvos "light weight" option. Pretty much all buses now regardless of classification are built to be as light weight as possible. Also while theoretically lightweights don't last as long in reality that isn't really the case anymore, many Darts for example (as rancid as i think they are) have outlived full size buses from the same era.

I wouldn't really regard the B5TL as a heavy duty product either, it's got an undersized engine and the body is identical to the Streetdeck. It's a shame Volvo don't offer a B8TL 4x2.
Agreed, however the difference is the lightweight means generally integral and heavy duty means generally a chassis by another manufacturer, which is likely to last longer than an integral.

Volvo's product comes direct from Volvo with the engine mated to the chassis as they specified. Integrals are designed then the engine is bolted on.

Off topic but yes the B5TL is underpowered, where I personally feel it works is the way the power is delivered through the box. Plenty oomph for what is needed and providing the required reduction in emissions. The B5TL isnt necessarily designed for long, power runs (X44 east or express), like the B7, B8 or B9, but rather the long city stop start work which is largely what Lothian do.

As a whole, especially in Scotland, it's not necessarily that powerful engines have gone out of fashion it's that emissions and city stop start work is taking precedence over long term expresses, where coaches are generally used.

I guess what I'm saying is bus companies based in cities go for smaller engines in city buses, due to emissions and fuel efficiency and those that go further afield, generally coaches or singles with bigger engines have just that, bigger engines.

This can be demonstrated with the use of the East Coast Eclipse 3's on B8RLE's and on the Green Arrow coaches. Not really the same with the XLBs, but this is more to do with weight.

I suppose a better comparison is Stagecoach who do just as I've said above. Smaller engines buses in cities and towns and coaches to connect them.

The bus industry is going through an interesting and very quick change and its genuinely fascinating to watch how companies are dealing with it. I'm of the belief theres no point in slagging companies off, especially just now with all the changes. You now all the big companies have their ups and downs just as much as companies like Lothian and even independents. It's the way of the industry and it's what makes it interesting.
 

Jordan Adam

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Agreed, however the difference is the lightweight means generally integral and heavy duty means generally a chassis by another manufacturer, which is likely to last longer than an integral.

Volvo's product comes direct from Volvo with the engine mated to the chassis as they specified. Integrals are designed then the engine is bolted on.

Off topic but yes the B5TL is underpowered, where I personally feel it works is the way the power is delivered through the box. Plenty oomph for what is needed and providing the required reduction in emissions. The B5TL isnt necessarily designed for long, power runs (X44 east or express), like the B7, B8 or B9, but rather the long city stop start work which is largely what Lothian do.

As a whole, especially in Scotland, it's not necessarily that powerful engines have gone out of fashion it's that emissions and city stop start work is taking precedence over long term expresses, where coaches are generally used.

I guess what I'm saying is bus companies based in cities go for smaller engines in city buses, due to emissions and fuel efficiency and those that go further afield, generally coaches or singles with bigger engines have just that, bigger engines.

This can be demonstrated with the use of the East Coast Eclipse 3's on B8RLE's and on the Green Arrow coaches. Not really the same with the XLBs, but this is more to do with weight.

I suppose a better comparison is Stagecoach who do just as I've said above. Smaller engines buses in cities and towns and coaches to connect them.

The bus industry is going through an interesting and very quick change and its genuinely fascinating to watch how companies are dealing with it. I'm of the belief theres no point in slagging companies off, especially just now with all the changes. You now all the big companies have their ups and downs just as much as companies like Lothian and even independents. It's the way of the industry and it's what makes it interesting.
I'm with you, i'm sure you know already but just for clarification while ADL and Wrights "integral" range still use the body on chassis technique, the only difference is both the body and chassis come from the same manufacturer. The B5TLs are in no way slow, but then being slow isn't always a sign that a bus is "underpowered". I think mechanical endurance is more significant, and that's somewhere where the B5TL on the whole has done poor. It should be noted though that when the B7TL first came on the scene it was also regarded as being under powered, minus the issues with fuel injectors etc that seems to plague them i think Volvo got it right with the B9TL.

I'm not sure Stagecoach is the best comparison to use as they've pretty much always bought the cheapest buses on the market for the last 20 years (MAN/ALX300, Dart/Pointers, Base spec E300s, E200MMCs etc), however that also takes me on to the point that bigger is not always better. K230UBs for example have a 9L engine, yet they're some of the most useless buses on the road imo. I've been on a number up in Inverness that were bought for the longer distance 25/X25X and in many cases even a Streetlite would've preformed better! Compare that to the Enviro300 integrals of roughly the same age that were bought for the Inverness City services which despite being light weights preform much better out of the city than the Scanias do. In terms of reliability two of the K230UBs are long term VOR all the while the E300s prove reliable, but that's more of a specific issue rather than a generalisation.

A good comparison when it comes to cities would probably be FirstGroup as they've pretty much switched from always buying Volvo or Scania to buying E200MMCs (or prior to 2015/16 Streetlites), while the 4cyl E200MMCs are perfectly good buses in the city they're not at all suited to the country work nor are the Streetlites and you see that with FSE's 38. Albeit Streetlites are questionable on many city routes too.

Back on topic.... Yes i would agree that for the GA/ECB routes they did go for the more heavy duty option, likewise with LCB they've generally got the vehicle choices right, particularly transferring B5LHs (which work well on rural work) rather than B5TLs.
 

Lothian_Bus

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I would also suggest the 26 for XLBs as it always seems very busy, but I think some of the corners in Prestonpans would be too tight?
XLB's operate on the N26 every night to Seton Sands so that part of the route should be fine. I understand that the Tranent route is tighter at certain points.
 

GregA

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XLB's operate on the N26 every night to Seton Sands so that part of the route should be fine. I understand that the Tranent route is tighter at certain points.
That's what I suspected. Do the Seton Sands and Tranent services interwork? Even if they don't, having XLBs on the Seton service and B5s on the Tranent service would loose them operational flexability.
 

buslad1988

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That's what I suspected. Do the Seton Sands and Tranent services interwork? Even if they don't, having XLBs on the Seton service and B5s on the Tranent service would loose them operational flexability.
The 26 is one of the routes rumoured to be having major changes next month... Tranent no more! The current 26 fleet is also branded so unlikely to be replaced.

I’ll reiterate supposedly no XLB’s this year anyway so wait and see!
 
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The 26 is one of the routes rumoured to be having major changes next month... Tranent no more! The current 26 fleet is also branded so unlikely to be replaced.

I’ll reiterate supposedly no XLB’s this year anyway so wait and see!
26s have no route branding what so ever... they could easily be displaced considering they’re just zoo adverts
 

etetetetet

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26 might be a good choice but since the route got new buses 3 years ago, all branded, I wonder if Lothian wants to invest in replacing all of them since they'd probably have to repaint them.

I feel like the 44 is the best route for XLB's. As far as I know the route is suitable for them and it would solve the capacity problem on the buses. Can't think of any other major Longstone routes that would need XLB's that can take them. Maybe the 300, but I bet LS will get the current XLB's for the 100 when they get refreshed in a year and a half's time. Honestly might be a good idea to give them to Central for the 27/37/47 and cascade stuff down as neccesary.
 

buslad1988

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26s have no route branding what so ever... they could easily be displaced considering they’re just zoo adverts
The zoo vinyls are effectively route branding; many tourists will avoid getting on 12’s/31’s and wait for 26’s for this reason. The 31’s have XLB’s already and 12 is single deck so there is no where for them to be displaced too.
 

Colin M

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26 might be a good choice but since the route got new buses 3 years ago, all branded, I wonder if Lothian wants to invest in replacing all of them since they'd probably have to repaint them.

I feel like the 44 is the best route for XLB's. As far as I know the route is suitable for them and it would solve the capacity problem on the buses. Can't think of any other major Longstone routes that would need XLB's that can take them. Maybe the 300, but I bet LS will get the current XLB's for the 100 when they get refreshed in a year and a half's time. Honestly might be a good idea to give them to Central for the 27/37/47 and cascade stuff down as neccesary.
Why would they replace the XLBs on the 100 after such a short time? Unless of course, the Airport has implemented an age limit for buses operating on it's premises?
 

Edirim

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Xlbs can't do macbeth moir in Musselburgh and can't do 26 route into Tranent.
N25 has had xlbs on it so clearly they can turn at Heriot watt.
 
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The zoo vinyls are effectively route branding; many tourists will avoid getting on 12’s/31’s and wait for 26’s for this reason. The 31’s have XLB’s already and 12 is single deck so there is no where for them to be displaced too.
its been said before by others aswell that 466-495 can go on other routes as its just a zoo advert, theres no complaints when others with all over adverts go off route
 

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