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  1. Now that could be a real possibility especially on intercity coach services like Megabus. One reason being that the lower floor - in what is believed to be an industry first - is step-free throughout. It also has a wider "throat" between the front wheels to allow for wheelchairs to pass through due to the use of a different Volvo front axle module. That would make it far more wheelchair and user friendly than the Van Hool TDX25. Although one would have to wonder how Volvo would feel about this but then it would hardly be a direct competitor to any of Prevost's own products. The above also makes sense because a large bulk order for Megabus usage (or similar) of the Panorma could probably make the engineering conversion cost worthwhile. That and ADL are already well established with the Enviro 500 double deck bus in the US so a "coach version" in the form of the Panorama would not be seen as a completely unknown entity...although in reality they share little or nothing in common in terms of chassis, body or engine. I doubt Plaxton will compete against the MCI D or J series and vice versa with MCI in the UK - both markets and products are quite different. The only way I would see that happening is something like the Plaxton Panther being offered as a lower cost product to rival Temsa and the other Chinese-sourced coaches but even then I don't think UK labour rates would allow them to compete at that level on price. I see niche products like the Panorma making it across to the US but not the more standard offerings.
  2. Looks like Prevost will be making a major announcement at the forthcoming UMA show: https://youtu.be/qcmTuo1mXmU The video seems to hint at a change to exterior styling perhaps in reaction to the recent update to the J4500.
  3. Alexander Dennis are taking over the Nappanee facility for production of the Enviro 500 range: http://www.alexander-dennis.com/news/alexander-dennis-inc-doubles-manufacturing-footprint-in-north-america
  4. Thats interesting that they are using Attridge. Why are they doing that when Taipan have their own in-house coach operator and facilities (AZBus)? In the last year or I noticed on the AZBus website that they had about 10 Setra S417s for sale. More recently they had some of their more elderly H3-45s up there for sale too. I remember reading here that the S417s were deeply unpopular and unreliable. I doubt they will be placing an other order with Setra. I was wondering if they are going to place a large order with Prevost to make up for the sold units? Have AZBus/Tai Pan ever used MCI? If not, does anyone know why? Everyone else seems to!
  5. About four years ago I took a Jacco Tours coach trip from East to West Coast Canada. We had a Getaway Tours J4500 in white - I believe this unit has a (quite rare now) CAT engine in it. Not sure of the age of it but it must have been an early J series ZF Astronic equipped unit. I was not that impressed with the gearbox. Very slow, jerky and hesitant gear changes: going up a hill you could hear the engine struggling, then it would jerk, *pause*, engage lower gear, jerk again and the engine revs would pick up. Repeat this two or three times in succession if it was a very steep hill and it didn't make for a comfortable ride. It blew a coolant hose so we were stranded for several hours in the middle of nowhere! Don't know who Jacco use now as Getaway appear to have been taken over by another company.
  6. I agree. There is plenty to read about on the net about Routemasters so I will keep my answers brief. Yes, the very buses built from 1958 to 1968. Only batch every made and some of those were operating all the way up to 2005. A handful are still operating today but on city centre Heritage routes. http://en.wikipedia...._%28Heritage%29 http://en.wikipedia...._%28Heritage%29 Fairly large quantities considering their age. System wide (see below WIki article) The Routemaster wikipedia page is a good initial place to start if you want answers to some of your questions - you can even check out some of the routes they operated on. There are also several good publications available. Check out "Ian Allan Publishing" and search for "Routemaster". http://en.wikipedia....iki/Routemaster As for blanket statements, "European buses very seldom last seven years" takes some beating. LOL. I think you are correct. The magazine did not mention a time frame, but I interpreted the 440 figure in the same way as you did i.e. including the Tridents. Still shocked at the Thomas/Dart sales figures though. I would never have guessed in a million years that they sold so many.
  7. Routemaster production was from 1958 to 1968. Interesting to hear that the price will be about 1/3 cheaper than for a heavy duty bus. It will be really interesting to see how this venture pans out. I was reading a trade magazine and was surprised how many Dart/Thomas SLF were sold in NA. I thought it was in the very low hundreds (if that) but in fact they sold 600+, far more than I would ever have thought. ADL will have 440 double deckers running in NA by the end of this year.
  8. I don't mean to come across as rude but that statement is absolutely incorrect. I'm not sure what facts you are using to reach that conclusion? Ever been to London (UK, not Ontario)? There are plenty of buses that are running that are more than 7 years old. I know of Dennis Darts that have just left London service that are 13 and 14 years old and we all know how punishing busy major cities can be on vehicles. Likewise in Europe. Visit Germany and France and there are plenty of vehicles that are still running that more than seven years old. Yes you can. The AEC Routemaster quoted by Cimon8000 was introduced in 1956 and was withdrawn in 2005 - that is a service life of 49 years. These buses were in regular service on busy central London routes all day long being run by commercial bus companies - not historical museums or volunteers. Granted they weren't on original engines or transmissions, but I doubt any vehicle would!
  9. You call a bus junk because you Googled some pictures of the Enviro 200 and the dash didn't look well built? Are you being serious?! Do you not think the body structure, chassis and drivetrain of the vehicle are perhaps more suitable yardsticks to determine quality? Need I remind you the Dart sold over 13000 copies worldwide in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US.The Dart and the Enviro 200 are the best selling single deck and midibus in the UK. If it were so bad it would have died out years ago. These are sales figures that any US bus manufacturer could only dream of. Come to the UK and you will see Darts and Enviro 200s everywhere, not bad for a piece of junk. The Enviro 200 chassis is not a refreshed Dart chassis, it is all new. Newly designed chassis, improved rigidity, all new suspension system etc. Its been sold in Australia, Asia, some to the middle East. ADL quality is now many times better than Plaxton's which admittedly was not at all good, particularly in the nineties. You can't really draw direct comparisons between midibuses (Darts/Enviro 200s) and your heavy duty buses (traditional Orions, Novas, New Flyers etc). Midibuses are significantly cheaper and not as substantially built (that doesn't necessarily mean less reliable). The design life of the Dart was quoted at betwen 12-15 years and the price reflects that. So I think we need to be more careful when trying to compare the two types of buses. I agree with CentralSMT lets wait and see how it goes when some are operated in the US. I for one will be watching with great interest.
  10. Cool, I didn't know that had happened. When did they revert?To make it "Buy America" compliant they must have to import to the UK a whole load of US made components and metal and then ship it back as a complete vehicle.
  11. If they wait a little longer they could buy Orion's plant. Thats if they haven't already signed and sealed the construction deals to build the factory in the US. Hmm, another interesting possbility.
  12. As a Brit, I'm interested in why people have negative impressions of the BC Darts. I am a Dart fan so perhaps a little biased but we have them running all over the UK, in Europe and China quite successfully. Can someone provide some more detail as to why they aren't deemed to be good vehicles?
  13. Prevost has won another order from Greyhound for a further 60 X3-45s: https://www.prevostcar.com/news/prevost-signs-agreement-greyhound-60-x3-45-motorcoaches
  14. Perhaps the plant might be of interest to ADL? Enviro 500s are being manufactured by ElDorado from knock down kits. But having their own facility might also give them the opportunity to produce and market the Enviro 200, 300, 350H and 400 for the US and Canadian markets as well as the already established E500. One sticking point could be the roof on the Orion plant and whether it is high enough to facilitate the building of double deckers. Who knows one day we could end up seeing a Plaxton coach on the shores of the US! The other alternative is Ashok Leyland who know owns Optare (who had a brief stint with their products markted by NABI in the US) and they certainly have the financial means to do so.. I don't think Ashok Leyland has much of a presence, if any in the North American Continent, so this might be an opportunity for them to purchase an establish plant and start selling Optare buses in the US and Canada. Optare already have some experience of this already with the Solo model. Perhaps they could then use that as a stepping stone into the South American market, which from what I've read they are currently looking for in roads into. They could start off by copying ADL and producing kits in the UK for assembly at the Orion plant. They once they got the South American operations up and running they could produce Optare kits there cheaply and send them up to Mississauga. Finally, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Chinese. We know that several Chinese bus/coach manufacturers have been itching to break into the US market. This is a golden opportunity for them to do so. They could export knock down kits and have them assembled in the Orion plant. I'm not familiar with the requirements of the "Buy American" scheme but MCI produce vehicles in Canada which meets this requirement so it must be possible for the Chinese to do the same. Likewise, ADL produce kits in the UK and have them assembled by Eldorado in the US and are compliant. It would certainly add a bit more appeal to their products and it might also improve perception of build quality if they were assembled locally and that US engineers could have input into the design process. With a constant squeeze on transport budgets the low cost of Chinese products might start to appeal to some transport authorities. PS - Just noticed the thread about Van Hool building a bus factory in the US. If they haven't already signed off on the construction work the Orion plant could prove to be a good buy for them.
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