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Orion Bus International


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2 hours ago, tomsbuspage said:

I spotted this slide for sale on eBay by googilycub.  I've seen Thomas-branded SLF235 buses and Dennis Dart buses, but I've never seen one of these buses with Orion branding before. 😮 

25 minutes ago, Chris.A said:

Photoshop?

I doubt it.  Orion and Thomas were both part of DCBNA, so it would make sense that they would try to market Thomas/Dennis buses to Orion customers.  Having said that, this slide is the first evidence I've ever seen of any cross-marketing by DCBNA, and I've been following Orion since their first website came out in the mid-1990s.

Besides, if this is a Photoshopped job, I suspect that whoever wins the slide on eBay would be mighty disappointed.

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  • 7 months later...

Found this slide on ebay, thought it was interesting. The original orion i prototype built in 1976, and sold to G&G tours.

According to this wiki page, this was the first bus ever built by orion. 

https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Orion_Bus_Industries_I_Serials

link to the ebay listing:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-G-Tours-Orion-bus-Kodachrome-original-Kodak-slide/293237269900?hash=item44464da58c:g:YrAAAOSwcghdgmft

s-l1600 (5).jpg

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  • 10 months later...

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I figured it would be more acceptable to bump an old topic than to create a new one with a nearly identical purpose.

This past weekend I was up in Burlington, Vermont and I decided to check out the University of Vermont's bus fleet and I've been running the plates to see the VINs and one bus stood out as a little odd...

Bus #107's plate A606 (VT) returned VIN 1VHGH3W2XC6708439 , one  serial number higher than the purported last Orion 7 built, METRA 1223 (1VHHF3V23C6708438).

Does anyone know what's up with this discrepancy?

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1 hour ago, Orion6025 said:

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I figured it would be more acceptable to bump an old topic than to create a new one with a nearly identical purpose.

This past weekend I was up in Burlington, Vermont and I decided to check out the University of Vermont's bus fleet and I've been running the plates to see the VINs and one bus stood out as a little odd...

Bus #107's plate A606 (VT) returned VIN 1VHGH3W2XC6708439 , one  serial number higher than the purported last Orion 7 built, METRA 1223 (1VHHF3V23C6708438).

Does anyone know what's up with this discrepancy?

I would have to look through my photos but Columbus 1223 was apparently the last Orion to roll off the line. They had a nice little celebration with balloons, banner etc on the bus before it rolled out.

It could be that the VINs and build numbers weren't in sequence and Columbus 1223 had a higher build number than Vermont 107. Build numbers are a separate 5 digit number from the VIN and is what production would go by. If Columbus 1223 had a higher build number then it would have been the last regardless of VIN. Of course, some people do prefer to go by the VIN so for some, Vermont 107 would be the last.

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  • 2 months later...
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Looking for some information on the rear panel design on the Orion V, are there any other agencies who ordered their Orion’s with the “flat top” rear design, such as OC Transpo’s 1991 V’s? 

photo from busdrawings.com
 

image.thumb.jpeg.d873a560de13749d1ee5050679832ac1.jpeg
 

this design seems unique to Ottawa vs the traditional elevated rear panels with the destination sign molding such as this unit, again from busdrawings.com 

image.thumb.jpeg.b215c0a6c7b5cf8dbabb41ee748b0618.jpeg

Both designs were capable of having an AC so my only theory on this design is either the Niagara transit one provided better ventilation or OC cheaped  out on a spec 

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/28/2021 at 12:22 PM, ZümmyZüm said:

Looking for some information on the rear panel design on the Orion V, are there any other agencies who ordered their Orion’s with the “flat top” rear design, such as OC Transpo’s 1991 V’s? 

photo from busdrawings.com
 

image.thumb.jpeg.d873a560de13749d1ee5050679832ac1.jpeg
 

this design seems unique to Ottawa vs the traditional elevated rear panels with the destination sign molding such as this unit, again from busdrawings.com 

image.thumb.jpeg.b215c0a6c7b5cf8dbabb41ee748b0618.jpeg

Both designs were capable of having an AC so my only theory on this design is either the Niagara transit one provided better ventilation or OC cheaped  out on a spec 


Wasn't OC notorious for cheaping out on bus specs in the 90s, often to the detriment of a fleet such as their first order of LFS's? I'd tend to go with the latter here.

While taking a ride on one of the last 2003 Orion V's at Duke University earlier today, I wondered how endangered of a species the Orion V is at this point. I think the last ones on the East Coast not running in private operation would be DASH, Bee Line, and the ex-Bee Line buses at BSOOB Transit/Zoom on the Maine coast while I know out west Everett Transit and Coast Mountain still have some in service. Might this be it?

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6 hours ago, Scrabbleship said:

While taking a ride on one of the last 2003 Orion V's at Duke University earlier today, I wondered how endangered of a species the Orion V is at this point. I think the last ones on the East Coast not running in private operation would be DASH, Bee Line, and the ex-Bee Line buses at BSOOB Transit/Zoom on the Maine coast while I know out west Everett Transit and Coast Mountain still have some in service. Might this be it?

I'm not sure of their current status, but CyRide may still have at least their 2005 Vs.

On the private operator side, Beaver in Winnipeg is still running their fleet for assorted school services.

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/28/2021 at 9:22 AM, ZümmyZüm said:

Looking for some information on the rear panel design on the Orion V, are there any other agencies who ordered their Orion’s with the “flat top” rear design, such as OC Transpo’s 1991 V’s? 

photo from busdrawings.com
 

image.thumb.jpeg.d873a560de13749d1ee5050679832ac1.jpeg
 

this design seems unique to Ottawa vs the traditional elevated rear panels with the destination sign molding such as this unit, again from busdrawings.com 

I always noticed that too -- to the point where I started looking closely at all Orion Vs for this very detail. I never found any Vs other than OC's 9100s with the "flat" A/C design (and good -- because the "contoured" design looks way better!)

Just a guess:

Could it be that they were originally spec'ed without A/C... and it was a last-minute addition? Almost looks like an aftermarket vendor installed the A/C system... where the buses left the Orion plant with a rear window!

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On 3/10/2021 at 3:00 PM, Scrabbleship said:


Wasn't OC notorious for cheaping out on bus specs in the 90s, often to the detriment of a fleet such as their first order of LFS's? I'd tend to go with the latter here.

Actually they were just the opposite. They requested customization and "one-offs" on a lot of things when it came to bus orders from Orion in the 90s. You'll notice the rear windows on the 97/98 Orion Vs are a lot taller than other systems, and the Orion VIs were also one of a kind with their narrow rear doors. They were very specific to certain things according to a friend who used to work at Orion.

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On 5/19/2021 at 2:26 PM, ORION said:

Actually they were just the opposite. They requested customization and "one-offs" on a lot of things when it came to bus orders from Orion in the 90s. You'll notice the rear windows on the 97/98 Orion Vs are a lot taller than other systems, and the Orion VIs were also one of a kind with their narrow rear doors. They were very specific to certain things according to a friend who used to work at Orion.

I never actually noticed that until you mentioned it just now!

It looks as if OC ordered the extra-tall rear windows on their 1992 Orion V buses as well.  I don't have any rear photos of those buses of my own, but I did a Google search and I found that the 1992 Orion V rear windows seem to be the same height as those on the 1997 and 1998 buses.  I suppose the reason I didn't notice is that the windows weren't that much taller, maybe just a few inches, and there were no other bus companies operating non-air-conditioned Orion V buses in Ottawa at the same time.  However, it is apparent when comparing photos, and really apparent on 96"-wide buses.  Here are photos of OC Transpo 9828, Oakville Transit 922, and Utica Transit Authority 581:

image.thumb.png.e158349f2fe234255592b24c52e00222.png

image.thumb.png.9c3a06d6f9449b2c5a3408d2357ef5b2.png

image.thumb.png.b64b560ec8a16649e7ff9bc5b8cb70f3.png

Here's the link to my Google search for OC Transpo 1992 Orion V buses:

https://www.google.com/search?q=OC+Transpo+1992+Orion+V&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1536&bih=722&ei=Ha6mYPTLJrG0ggewp6m4Bg&oq=OC+Transpo+1992+Orion+V&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzoFCAAQsQM6AggAOggIABCxAxCDAToGCAAQCBAeOgQIABAYUJEKWJAlYIknaABwAHgAgAFkiAHbDZIBBDIyLjGYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZw&sclient=img&ved=0ahUKEwi0zq6y9djwAhUxmuAKHbBTCmcQ4dUDCAY&uact=5

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found these two photos of Philadelphia Airport shuttle buses, one from ebay and the other from WorthPoint.  Both photos were taken in 1985 and show 35' Orion I buses with extra-wide exit doors positioned in front of the usual position.  I've seen 40' buses with this option but not 35' buses!

s-l1600.jpg

philadelphia-airport-shuttle-bus_1_3f123

image.thumb.png.ea4d6fd5c1821684d80b1d9356c754de.pngimage.thumb.png.ec94cc18951cd67bdac87bc702432ff1.png

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/10/2021 at 3:00 PM, Scrabbleship said:


Wasn't OC notorious for cheaping out on bus specs in the 90s, often to the detriment of a fleet such as their first order of LFS's? I'd tend to go with the latter here.

While taking a ride on one of the last 2003 Orion V's at Duke University earlier today, I wondered how endangered of a species the Orion V is at this point. I think the last ones on the East Coast not running in private operation would be DASH, Bee Line, and the ex-Bee Line buses at BSOOB Transit/Zoom on the Maine coast while I know out west Everett Transit and Coast Mountain still have some in service. Might this be it?

WMATA and NICE bus still have some Orion Vs on their respective properties, but they are all retired. I also believe that Golden Gate Transit still have a few 2003 Vs in storage as a backup fleet last I checked. Not sure who else still have these buses anymore, but Bee Lines seems to be the last "safe heaven" for the Orion Vs, atleast for now. New buses are on the horizon for them though...

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