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For no particular reason, two photos of bygone Orions at work for Metrobus.

As the Orion era fades away (at WMATA and elsewhere), these two pics show the evolution of the product.

A specimen of the badly flawed Orion VI. These were WMATA's first low-floor buses and I don't think anyone liked them. Here is 2043, trying desperately to keep up with the rigors of heavy urban service on the 42:

WMA2043D.thumb.jpg.2bbcaae3117a6aa352bdb74e127d240f.jpg

 

I was skeptical of the Orion VII at first -- but it proved to be a decent product. Orion definitely applied lessons learned from the VI. Here is 2508 in Shirlington:

WMA2508A.thumb.jpg.4212a84baeaed5da58ad9192ff88325c.jpg

 

Toward the end, assorted VIIs bounced between the CNG-equipped divisions. Much earlier in their lives, about a dozen 40-foot VIIs departed Four Mile Run for Bladensburg. Here is 2508 again -- wearing a new paint scheme, plying the B2, and wondering if, years earlier, she ever actually ran the 25B or if that was just a weird dream:

WMA2508B.thumb.JPG.f9c81691488d14e48d54eacf458fa146.JPG

 

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5 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

For no particular reason, two photos of bygone Orions at work for Metrobus.

As the Orion era fades away (at WMATA and elsewhere), these two pics show the evolution of the product.

A specimen of the badly flawed Orion VI. These were WMATA's first low-floor buses and I don't think anyone liked them. Here is 2043, trying desperately to keep up with the rigors of heavy urban service on the 42:

WMA2043D.thumb.jpg.2bbcaae3117a6aa352bdb74e127d240f.jpg

 

I was skeptical of the Orion VII at first -- but it proved to be a decent product. Orion definitely applied lessons learned from the VI. Here is 2508 in Shirlington:

WMA2508A.thumb.jpg.4212a84baeaed5da58ad9192ff88325c.jpg

 

Toward the end, assorted VIIs bounced between the CNG-equipped divisions. Much earlier in their lives, about a dozen 40-foot VIIs departed Four Mile Run for Bladensburg. Here is 2508 again -- wearing a new paint scheme, plying the B2, and wondering if, years earlier, she ever actually ran the 25B or if that was just a weird dream:

WMA2508B.thumb.JPG.f9c81691488d14e48d54eacf458fa146.JPG

 

I feel old now looking at these pics

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I remember when the Orion VIs were brand new.   They had a few assigned on the 38B in September 2001 when NextBus was a pilot program.   I remember being able to track them on my flip phone, seemed high tech! 

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3 minutes ago, Rob S said:

I remember when the Orion VIs were brand new.   They had a few assigned on the 38B in September 2001 when NextBus was a pilot program.   I remember being able to track them on my flip phone, seemed high tech! 

they were 2001-2025 right?

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2 hours ago, Rob S said:

I believe so.   I remember them in the low 2000s

as Ik it was 2001-2015. Not sure if 2016-2025 had them as well but I'm not sure. Eventually those buses were at Landover up until their final days. I remember Landover had the early buses, Western had the middle ones, West Ox had like 2026-2032, 2060s and 2070s, and Montgomery had the upper ones. And 5 buses were wrecked from accidents prior to the fires.

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21 hours ago, DCTransitFilms said:

as Ik it was 2001-2015. Not sure if 2016-2025 had them as well but I'm not sure. Eventually those buses were at Landover up until their final days. I remember Landover had the early buses, Western had the middle ones, West Ox had like 2026-2032, 2060s and 2070s, and Montgomery had the upper ones. And 5 buses were wrecked from accidents prior to the fires.

Four Mile Run had around #2000-2032, and #2053-2099 up until around 2005/2006 when the Orion VII CNGs were being delivered. #2033-2052 I think were at Landover depot.

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3 hours ago, Chris.A said:

Four Mile Run had around #2000-2032, and #2053-2099 up until around 2005/2006 when the Orion VII CNGs were being delivered. #2033-2052 I think were at Landover depot.

Sounds about right -- but these puppies didn't stay anywhere very long. It's almost like WMATA spread them around so each division would do its part to weather the pain.

Toward the end, they did have a, um, stable presence at Western. That always felt like a bad fit. I mean, they were fairly inoffensive on the D2 or E6 or M4. But they did not perform well on busy routes like the 31-33 or 42.

I recall seeing them on the C8 and Y8, so they did some time at Montgomery.

And -- may just be dreaming -- but were some VIs wrapped for REX? I remember seeing them at King St [M] in the original blue-and-yellow REX scheme. Not sure which division was running REX at the time -- possibly Four Mile Run.

 

On 2/5/2021 at 4:09 PM, Rob S said:

I remember when the Orion VIs were brand new.   They had a few assigned on the 38B in September 2001 when NextBus was a pilot program.   I remember being able to track them on my flip phone, seemed high tech!

Yep! Here is a pic from the year 2004, with the bus 2004 singing about the 38B. I rather liked that cheeky slogan -- even if the vehicle left something to be desired. And sorry about those ugly MCIs in the background. As for the 38B, no amount of tech will make it more consistent as long as it gets stuck in Georgetown. For the record, I still use a flip phone and f%$#ing love it!

WMA2004P.thumb.jpg.1c4e91bc3ad41e29672ba95270b36df8.jpg

 

I thought the VIs looked kind of sharp from the rear. Here is 2040, appearing halfway capable some time in 2011. Seeing a DE42LFA in the same place as an Orion VI makes me chuckle sardonically. Representatives from two of WMATA's least loved fleets -- bunched up and running late on absurdly designed Pennsylvania Ave routes. Perfect.

WMA2040N.thumb.jpg.834d3e8303b520c792767310f18d1781.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Border City Transit said:

Sounds about right -- but these puppies didn't stay anywhere very long. It's almost like WMATA spread them around so each division would do its part to weather the pain.

Toward the end, they did have a, um, stable presence at Western. That always felt like a bad fit. I mean, they were fairly inoffensive on the D2 or E6 or M4. But they did not perform well on busy routes like the 31-33 or 42.

I recall seeing them on the C8 and Y8, so they did some time at Montgomery.

And -- may just be dreaming -- but were some VIs wrapped for REX? I remember seeing them at King St [M] in the original blue-and-yellow REX scheme. Not sure which division was running REX at the time -- possibly Four Mile Run.

 

Yep! Here is a pic from the year 2004, with the bus 2004 singing about the 38B. I rather liked that cheeky slogan -- even if the vehicle left something to be desired. And sorry about those ugly MCIs in the background. As for the 38B, no amount of tech will make it more consistent as long as it gets stuck in Georgetown. For the record, I still use a flip phone and f%$#ing love it!

WMA2004P.thumb.jpg.1c4e91bc3ad41e29672ba95270b36df8.jpg

 

I thought the VIs looked kind of sharp from the rear. Here is 2040, appearing halfway capable some time in 2011. Seeing a DE42LFA in the same place as an Orion VI makes me chuckle sardonically. Representatives from two of WMATA's least loved fleets -- bunched up and running late on absurdly designed Pennsylvania Ave routes. Perfect.

WMA2040N.thumb.jpg.834d3e8303b520c792767310f18d1781.jpg

The Orion 6s weren't that bad. I used to love getting these when I first moved from the Big Apple in late summer 2005 to Alexandria because we (MTA) retired all of ours by the end of summer of that year and I never rode the MTA versions . Those 2000 VI's reminded me of NY MTA's former 1998-2000 New Flyer C40LFs #800-989 out of JG depot in Brooklyn. These had the same sounding axles and everything and were fast! I also remember seeing tons of Orion VIs on the 16 lines and they seemed to do well on there until the Orion VII CNGs started showing. BTW, buses #2073-2084 were assigned to the REX out of FMR and they were wrapped with that scheme.

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2 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

Sounds about right -- but these puppies didn't stay anywhere very long. It's almost like WMATA spread them around so each division would do its part to weather the pain.

Toward the end, they did have a, um, stable presence at Western. That always felt like a bad fit. I mean, they were fairly inoffensive on the D2 or E6 or M4. But they did not perform well on busy routes like the 31-33 or 42.

I recall seeing them on the C8 and Y8, so they did some time at Montgomery.

And -- may just be dreaming -- but were some VIs wrapped for REX? I remember seeing them at King St [M] in the original blue-and-yellow REX scheme. Not sure which division was running REX at the time -- possibly Four Mile Run.

 

Yep! Here is a pic from the year 2004, with the bus 2004 singing about the 38B. I rather liked that cheeky slogan -- even if the vehicle left something to be desired. And sorry about those ugly MCIs in the background. As for the 38B, no amount of tech will make it more consistent as long as it gets stuck in Georgetown. For the record, I still use a flip phone and f%$#ing love it!

WMA2004P.thumb.jpg.1c4e91bc3ad41e29672ba95270b36df8.jpg

 

I thought the VIs looked kind of sharp from the rear. Here is 2040, appearing halfway capable some time in 2011. Seeing a DE42LFA in the same place as an Orion VI makes me chuckle sardonically. Representatives from two of WMATA's least loved fleets -- bunched up and running late on absurdly designed Pennsylvania Ave routes. Perfect.

WMA2040N.thumb.jpg.834d3e8303b520c792767310f18d1781.jpg

The Orion VIs were wrapped for the REX route when it was created replacing the old 9A route that went to Lorton.  Speaking of the flip phone, I love my iPhone but one thing I miss about the flip phones is that the battery lasted all week and it never had to be updated!

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3 hours ago, Rob S said:

The Orion VIs were wrapped for the REX route when it was created replacing the old 9A route that went to Lorton.  Speaking of the flip phone, I love my iPhone but one thing I miss about the flip phones is that the battery lasted all week and it never had to be updated!

Had no idea Metrobus used to go that far south in the county.  Was the 9A the closed line to Prince William county?

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11 hours ago, Chris.A said:

Had no idea Metrobus used to go that far south in the county.  Was the 9A the closed line to Prince William county?

Yeah I believe the 9A was the closest to PWC. I think right now the nearest is probably one of the 17 or 18 lines.

 

18 hours ago, Border City Transit said:

Sounds about right -- but these puppies didn't stay anywhere very long. It's almost like WMATA spread them around so each division would do its part to weather the pain.

Toward the end, they did have a, um, stable presence at Western. That always felt like a bad fit. I mean, they were fairly inoffensive on the D2 or E6 or M4. But they did not perform well on busy routes like the 31-33 or 42.

I recall seeing them on the C8 and Y8, so they did some time at Montgomery.

And -- may just be dreaming -- but were some VIs wrapped for REX? I remember seeing them at King St [M] in the original blue-and-yellow REX scheme. Not sure which division was running REX at the time -- possibly Four Mile Run.

 

Yep! Here is a pic from the year 2004, with the bus 2004 singing about the 38B. I rather liked that cheeky slogan -- even if the vehicle left something to be desired. And sorry about those ugly MCIs in the background. As for the 38B, no amount of tech will make it more consistent as long as it gets stuck in Georgetown. For the record, I still use a flip phone and f%$#ing love it!

WMA2004P.thumb.jpg.1c4e91bc3ad41e29672ba95270b36df8.jpg

 

I thought the VIs looked kind of sharp from the rear. Here is 2040, appearing halfway capable some time in 2011. Seeing a DE42LFA in the same place as an Orion VI makes me chuckle sardonically. Representatives from two of WMATA's least loved fleets -- bunched up and running late on absurdly designed Pennsylvania Ave routes. Perfect.

WMA2040N.thumb.jpg.834d3e8303b520c792767310f18d1781.jpg

 

18 hours ago, Chris.A said:

The Orion 6s weren't that bad. I used to love getting these when I first moved from the Big Apple in late summer 2005 to Alexandria because we (MTA) retired all of ours by the end of summer of that year and I never rode the MTA versions . Those 2000 VI's reminded me of NY MTA's former 1998-2000 New Flyer C40LFs #800-989 out of JG depot in Brooklyn. These had the same sounding axles and everything and were fast! I also remember seeing tons of Orion VIs on the 16 lines and they seemed to do well on there until the Orion VII CNGs started showing. BTW, buses #2073-2084 were assigned to the REX out of FMR and they were wrapped with that scheme.

I heard some Orion VIs were at Bladensburg as someone recalled one on the R3 on one of my Youtube videos. I heard those Orion VIs were unconfy but got the job done until their fires. Only time I noticed they were gone is when I was in elementary school and I noticed those buses haven't been out when I was finishing 4th grade. Since the F4 would use them mainly during one of its 2:00 trips, I would see they're still out. However  I didn't know those buses were fire prone before. So I was wondering why those buses haven't been out for a bit until I saw online they retired because of fires. Right now I think theres like two on property still idk why tho.

 

15 hours ago, Rob S said:

The Orion VIs were wrapped for the REX route when it was created replacing the old 9A route that went to Lorton.  Speaking of the flip phone, I love my iPhone but one thing I miss about the flip phones is that the battery lasted all week and it never had to be updated!

After the Orion VIIs came, 2073-2084 reverted back to the regular scheme and then where they end up at? I think up until their retirements, Landover had the lower units, West Ox and Western had the middle units, and Montgomery had the higher units.

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12 minutes ago, DCTransitFilms said:

Could they extend the REX to Lorton VRE or even up to Potomac Mills or sum? Or that’d be too long for it?

I can see extending it to Lorton as doable. Beyond that point, not so sure. However, there was talk a while back of creating another Metrobus line to run down to Woodbridge similar to Metroways. This was about a year or 2 ago, not sure if that plan is still in the works or not.

On 2/5/2021 at 9:26 PM, DCTransitFilms said:

as Ik it was 2001-2015. Not sure if 2016-2025 had them as well but I'm not sure. Eventually those buses were at Landover up until their final days. I remember Landover had the early buses, Western had the middle ones, West Ox had like 2026-2032, 2060s and 2070s, and Montgomery had the upper ones. And 5 buses were wrecked from accidents prior to the fires.

The units I strongly remember seeing the most was #2000-2001, #2012, #2015, #2071-2072, #2088, and #2099 (And the REX bus set too). This was when they were at FMR depot until 2006.

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2 minutes ago, Chris.A said:

I can see extending it to Lorton as doable. Beyond that point, not so sure. However, there was talk a while back of creating another Metrobus line to run down to Woodbridge similar to Metroways. This was about a year or 2 ago, not sure if that plan is still in the works or not.

Would like it to Potomac Mills/Woodbridge but that’s most likely too far tbh. Plus i don’t think PRTC would like anyone else in their territory. I heard one time WMATA tried to expand to Woodbridge but it didn’t work out. 

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2 minutes ago, DCTransitFilms said:

Would like it to Potomac Mills/Woodbridge but that’s most likely too far tbh. Plus i don’t think PRTC would like anyone else in their territory. I heard one time WMATA tried to expand to Woodbridge but it didn’t work out. 

PW county isn't even on the WMATA board to have a say in service.

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1 hour ago, DCTransitFilms said:

Would like it to Potomac Mills/Woodbridge but that’s most likely too far tbh. Plus i don’t think PRTC would like anyone else in their territory. I heard one time WMATA tried to expand to Woodbridge but it didn’t work out. 

Drove by Four Mile Run today and saw that atleast 15 2006 Orion VII OG CNGs are still sitting at the depot retired. Mostly the blue buses. Otherwise, nothing but XN40s....

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13 hours ago, Chris.A said:

PW county isn't even on the WMATA board to have a say in service.

Yeah plus I believe OmniRide don’t want anybody else in their territory.

 

Also, Ride On has more 30 foot Gilligs on the move.  One unit is 2037D so this looks like it will replace some of the older 2009 Gilligs and are numbered 2020D+. i heard some already retired but I saw some back in December at Montgomery mall but again not sure.
 

The 2020 batch supposedly replaced the 2008 Gilligs but I just saw 5003 on the 29 a few days ago and another one along the 495 like a week ago so I’m not sure. 

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On 2/8/2021 at 9:12 AM, DCTransitFilms said:

Yeah plus I believe OmniRide don’t want anybody else in their territory.

 

Also, Ride On has more 30 foot Gilligs on the move.  One unit is 2037D so this looks like it will replace some of the older 2009 Gilligs and are numbered 2020D+. i heard some already retired but I saw some back in December at Montgomery mall but again not sure.
 

The 2020 batch supposedly replaced the 2008 Gilligs but I just saw 5003 on the 29 a few days ago and another one along the 495 like a week ago so I’m not sure. 

Damn, not even Fairfax Connector?

 

Speaking of Omniride, lately, they have been using MCI D4500CT buses on weekends for the Springfield Metro line. Saw both #3000 and #3001 working on that line last Saturday. 

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30 minutes ago, Chris.A said:

Damn, not even Fairfax Connector?

 

Speaking of Omniride, lately, they have been using MCI D4500CT buses on weekends for the Springfield Metro line. Saw both #3000 and #3001 working on that line last Saturday. 

not sure bout FFC but likely as well

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On 2/7/2021 at 1:26 AM, Rob S said:

The Orion VIs were wrapped for the REX route when it was created replacing the old 9A route that went to Lorton.  Speaking of the flip phone, I love my iPhone but one thing I miss about the flip phones is that the battery lasted all week and it never had to be updated!

 

On 2/7/2021 at 5:06 AM, Chris.A said:

Had no idea Metrobus used to go that far south in the county.  Was the 9A the closed line to Prince William county?

 

On 2/7/2021 at 6:34 PM, Rob S said:

The old 9A went from the Pentagon to the Lorton VRE station. 

Speaking of the 9A, here is the archived schedule of the 9A from 2003 when the 9E was still around as well. Lorton was only served on weekdays and every other 9A trip would terminate at Fort Belvoir during the weekdays and all day weekends. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20030916084437/http://www.wmata.com/timetables/va/9a.pdf

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On 2/3/2021 at 7:51 PM, DCTransitFilms said:

wiki doesn't have them listed

Here’s the photo of 2020 Xcelsior Xd60 is now in revenue uploaded by Wikipedia Editor MJW15. Used with Permission from the original owner. According to MJW15's video on YouTube, the bus is powered by Cummins L9 and Allison B500R6 automatic transmission what shifts like gearbox. The tip in windows for this are missing and the roofing extensions are very short. 

WMATA_Metrobus_New_Flyer_XD60.jpg

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On 2/9/2021 at 7:10 PM, DCTransitFilms said:

 

 

Speaking of the 9A, here is the archived schedule of the 9A from 2003 when the 9E was still around as well. Lorton was only served on weekdays and every other 9A trip would terminate at Fort Belvoir during the weekdays and all day weekends. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20030916084437/http://www.wmata.com/timetables/va/9a.pdf

Damn, do you have any more of those classic Metrobus schedules from VA?

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