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martin607

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  1. martin607

    TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    Yep, that's what I said a few posts above 🙂
  2. martin607

    TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    Unlikely to happen, I know. The main aspiration is to get Translink's low carbon fleet strategy to recognise the value of the asset they already have in the trolleybus system, rather than just going 100% battery bus. At least they will be doing a proper trial of battery buses on route 100, so they will be considering all aspects in real life, not from a sales brochure.
  3. martin607

    TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    Good point -I've been thinking about this too. One point is that if there is a government agenda to increase green transport, then NIBYs in Burnaby should not be allowed to frustrate that. Anyway are the objectors any more than a few cranks? The second point is the legal status of the roads. Just imagine the idea of wiring up at least part of the eastern part of the B95 to electrify it. Isn't East Hastings a provincial highway (7A)? In which case maybe the City of Burnaby does not have the legal right to ban the erection of overhead wires. It's a provincial highway and the Provincial Government should have the last say. Could be an interesting court case between Translink and the Province on the one side and the mayor of Burnaby on the other. There is already a precedent. In the mid 80s the 19 was extended into Burnaby along Provincial highway 1 to Metrotown.
  4. martin607

    TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    I think @captaintrolley was talking about energy efficiency. Fuel cells are far less energy efficient than either trolleybuses or battery buses (BEBs) and trolleybuses have a slight edge over battery buses because of weight issues. As for economic efficiency, battery bus fleets often have to be larger than diesel or trolley. The recent consultants' report for Translink referred to 20% more battery buses being necessary, while in Moscow they are trying to replace some trolleybus routes with BEBs and they need 50% more BEBs to maintain the service. That is a huge extra cost in capital expenditure and in staff wages. Also the service is very erratic because of charging downtimes. Fortunately at least half the service on the trial route is still provided by trolleybuses and they generally run like clockwork. With respect, diversions for parades is a relatively minor issue which would normally only affect individual routes a few days a year. In any event all the latest deliveries of trolleybuses have batteries with say 20km off-wire range and In Motion Charging. They would be well able to deal with diversions for parades etc. What I would like to see in the green fleet strategy is a mix of battery electric and trolley electric. And with the availability of the latest trolleybuses with In Motion Charging and a range of 20km off-wire, the fleet could be expanded to operate additional routes in Vancouver and do more in wire-hating Burnaby and elsewhere. For example the new B91 could be a new battery-trolleybus route and similarly why not electrify the B95?
  5. martin607

    Edmonton Trolleys

    @captaintrolleyBitter memories for you. I made my only visit to Edmonton in 1982, when the BBC trolleys were new and new wiring extensions had been built for additional routes out to Westgate (is that the right name?). The drivers were talking enthusiastically about the new "speedwire" (Swiss K&M) that had just been installed. My impression of the BBC trolleybus was that it was a very smooth runner. I remember joining in at the request of local campaigners to send some emails to local councillors. As you say, all the usual BS was trotted out. Everything was going to be so much better and cheaper (?) once the trolleys went. Of course nothing of the sort happened. This was a forerunner of the recent Wellington disaster. There the "vision" was an all green service over a wider area than just the trolleybus system. People thought the replacements were going to be all electric. In fact it was going to be turbine generators driving electric motors but even that doesn't seem to have happened and there's just an all diesel service. Voters complain and feel cheated though I feel less sympathy with Wellington because there were plenty of articles explaining that the plan was just a confidence trick.
  6. martin607

    Nova Bus LFSe

    Fair enough. I was basing my comment on what I had read about problems in Europe and especially in Moscow. But it appears that the fuel consumption for these diesel heaters is not as high as some European critics state. Nevertheless, my main point still persists. Battery buses that use diesel heaters are NOT "all-electric" or "100% zero emission" and manufacturers, politicians etc should not make such claims. Thanks for the information. See previous post above, I won't repeat exculpations here. Interestingly I've now found some German research which give a diesel consumption figure twice as high: 4 liters per 100 km. This is up to 10% of the consumption of a diesel bus. So it's a very significant saving while not being "100% zero emission". The link is extremely long so I'll read it at my leisure. But I'll be interested to read what the effect of air conditioning is on the battery in summer.
  7. martin607

    Nova Bus LFSe

    It's interesting that these battery electric buses have been performing well even in a climate like Montreal's. There have been a lot of problems elsewhere with restricted range in winter etc. but these seem to have overcome that syndrome. But I do have two criticisms: 1. These are not "all electric" buses. As the article states, they burn diesel fuel for heating (possibly to run the air con). From articles elsewhere almost half the energy used on the bus can be heating and air conditioning. So these "fully electric buses" are only really about 50% green. Don't you have laws against false advertising? 2. In any event, the first electric buses in Montreal were the trolleybuses that operated from 1937 to 1966.
  8. martin607

    Los Angeles MTA

    The problem is everybody thinks "electric buses" means battery electric buses (BEBs). There are two other main types: fuel cell electric and mains electric i.e. trolleybuses. Trolleybuses are enjoying a renewal in Europe as mains electric/battery hybrids using a system of In motion charging. Part of the route is wired and the bus charges as it drives, then it can go further in battery mode. The system means you only need relatively small batteries. Reliability is much higher than for pure BEBs. California has successful trolleybuses in San Francisco and there would be scope for using trolleybuses on heavy duty routes elsewhere, for example on BRT routes. Your point about climate effects is well made. In Germany I have heard complaints about BEB range dropping in winter time to 30% of claimed range. Buses using opportunity charging at terminals don't do any better. Moscow is trying to uses BEBs on existing trolleybus routes but long charging downtime means they need 60% more BEBs than trolleybuses to provide the same level of service. Hopelessly uneconomic.
  9. martin607

    Vancouver general sightings and notes

    One of the three de-icing trucks broke down. They have all year to get the trucks ready for the first icy rain and this happens. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/frozen-trolleybus-lines-commuters-vancouver-1.4931853?cmp=rss
  10. martin607

    Greater Dayton RTA

    Does Gillig do anything more than assemble the bus shells? You would think that Gillig might want to boast about their green credentials building the bodies of these buses but I have not found any material from them about this order.
  11. martin607

    Vancouver general sightings and notes

    Interesting. What weight of batteries would the existing body structure be able to take? I assume that such a conversion would be feasible if they were used on an opportunity charging basis. Batteries for overnight charging and a full days range of 250km would probably be too heavy for a converted bus.
  12. martin607

    MUNI (San Francisco, CA)

    Sad to see them go. How many are left in service? Do they still form the majority of buses on the 40 ft. trolleybus routes like the 1, 3, 24 etc? Interesting facts: The motors are very powerful - 275 kW for a 40ft bus is quite a lot. The motors on the XT40s are slightly less powerful: 250kW. Even more interesting is that the ETI/Skoda motors are DC motors. Back around 2000 when new trolleybuses elsewhere were getting AC induction motors. SF Muni deliberately decided to have traditional DC motors. I believe they felt that DC traction motors have the highest torque when starting (compared to the AC motor), which would be good for very hilly routes like the 1 or 24.
  13. This is the Solaris 24m trolleybus version that is due to go on trial somewhere in Europe about now. http://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-news/64636/solaris-bi-articulated-trolleybus/
  14. martin607

    MUNI (San Francisco, CA)

    @UpDownAcross38 Which routes are the new XT40 trolleybuses mostly on? I've heard about the 6 because of a detour, but otherwise are the new arrivals going to particular routes or are they spread out, with a few XT40s on each route?
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