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  1. Lol the LFAs are like diesel pickup trucks modified to "roll coal". They've been smoking for years, and while I don't know the exact cause, here's my two cents... Diesel Particulate soot (Black Carbon) is caused by the incomplete combustion of diesel fuel. All of WMATA's LFA buses were built to the EPA 2007 emission standard. Now I'm no engine expert, but I understand that many engines built to this standard use an EGR system to control NOx. The downside of this, however, is that EGR decreases the efficiency of the combustion cycle. While these buses are equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters, an EGR valve that isn't working properly is enough to produce more soot than the filter can handle (and thus, an outburst of particulates can occur). Older buses don't have such substantial EGR systems (because NOx limits weren't as strict before 2007), while EPA 2010+ buses use more efficient SCR systems to meet stricter NOx limits.
  2. Spotted the following TTC buses at Hillcrest: 1087, 1301, 1338, 1526, 8127, 8385, 8495, 8499, and what's left of 8573.
  3. The C40LFs and many of the older VIIs were retired right before their CNG tanks expired. However, the tanks on the NABI artics still have some time left in them. And as for the XN60 order, while nothing has been confirmed, I wouldn't be surprised if Metro converted the it to diesel. The cost savings of CNG are apparently not as significant as Metro had originally thought.
  4. There are still a small number of 2000 Orion Vs around. The new XD40s aren't supposed to enter service until late summer or early fall (these will probably spell the end of the Vs). There are still some 2006 Orion VII CNGs around, just not too many. The 2005 DE40LF and 2006 DE40LFRs shouldn't be replaced till next year at the earliest.
  5. Charm City Circulator will be receiving six Novabuses later this year (most likely 40' Diesel). The new operator of the service (RMA) has had issues with bus shortages, and these new buses are intended to provide additional capacity. As a temporary measure, the service started using a few secondhand Gillig Advantages and New Flyer LFs last year. https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2019/06/12/baltimore-approves-3-year-26m-contract-with.html
  6. Andrew's was intended to replace the Southern Annex facility. I suspect that Montgomery will fill in for many of Northern's routes. We'll have to see if new Metro Extra buses arrive. Perhaps they'll wait until next year. They've been running the new XDE60s on the 11Y for the past couple of weeks because of the Metro shutdown.
  7. No, and AFAIK they never had any intentions of doing so. All of them were removed from the property quite a while ago, and are likely scrapped. Yeah I love those buses. The fleet plans from a couple of years ago stated that the DE40LFs would retire this year, but thankfully that's now very unlikely (they should last until next year at least).
  8. I got all four of my wisdom teeth removed this morning, and while I'm not hurting as badly as I expected, I'm bummed that I can't eat anything substantial for a couple of days.
  9. The 2012 VIIs and the DE35LFAs won't be retired anytime soon, so this isn't the end of baby buses on WMATA. There are some 30 ft assigned routes, like those run by Western (and also TAGS) where these buses make sense. I just think that this apparent plan indicates Metro's desire to move away from shorter buses in the long term. It was unfortunately bound to happen, as the CNG tanks on these things will expire.
  10. Thought I'd share this link. It was only a matter of time until the same cybersecurity and trade complaints being hurtled at CRRC by various US politicians also hit BYD. However, BYD has been spared (at least for the time being) by good old fashion American interest group politics. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy managed to get "bus manufacturers" removed from a bill that would have blocked federal funding for transit vehicles built by Chinese companies. McCarthy's intervention is significant because BYD's bus factory is located in his California district. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/despite-national-security-concerns-gop-leader-mccarthy-blocked-bipartisan-bid-to-limit-chinas-role-in-us-transit/2019/05/21/24bb0f72-7813-11e9-b7ae-390de4259661_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.44fee1c76faf
  11. A few Metrorail updates: WMATA has pulled all 3000 Series trains (274 active cars) from service after a door opened on a moving Orange Line train. https://wamu.org/story/19/05/21/door-malfunction-prompts-metro-to-pull-3000-series-trains-from-service/ There are now about 650 7000s in service, and it looks like the rest will be delivered by the end of the year. The current three contenders for the 8000 Series contract appear to be Alstom, Hyundai Rotem, and CRRC. However, due to cybersecurity concerns, CRRC may be at a disadvantage (I for one hope they don't win). We'll see what happens... https://wamu.org/story/19/04/15/senators-threaten-to-withhold-federal-funding-if-wmata-buys-chinese-railcars/ I doubt the XD40s will end up in Virginia, but who knows... WMATA is apparently planning to replace the 30 ft Orion VII CNGs with 40 ft buses (2020 NFI XN40s). Seems like they are moving away from shorter buses (like other large transit authorities). Then again, there are very few (if any) routes that cannot handle 40 ft buses.
  12. I had heard about the 2 UPs on another forum, but didn't know their numbers. Thanks for the info. It seems a little odd that CP plans to scrap the CSX AC44s (given that they could be put through a rebuild), but in the end of the day these sorts of decisions usually come down to what makes the most sense economically.
  13. I wouldn't say that these modernization programs improve emissions "greatly". Tier 0 to Tier 0+ or Tier 1 isn't that big of a difference in the grand scheme of things (although I suppose its better than nothing). The only ambitious modernization program I have heard of (from the emissions side of things) is the upcoming Metra SD70MACH project, which will upgrade Tier 0 locos to Tier 3. Also, speaking of rebuilds, CP has started shipping more SD90MACs (that were not in the previous batch of 30) south to the US. Its sounds as though they are going to have the rest of these units rebuilt by Progress Rail. CP also purchased 4 AC4400CWs from CSX, all with various types of damage, that will presumably be used as rebuild cores in the future.
  14. The Xcelsiors already have an "artificial noisemaker" at the back of the bus. Its called the rear HVAC. In addition to that, the AC electric motors used in E-buses aren't exactly silent. Besides, most transit bus riders are not enthusiasts like us who constantly pay attention to every aspect of the vehicle they are traveling in.
  15. WATA is getting some New Flyer XD40s (just two I believe), which will apparently be in service by the end of August.
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