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Test Busses with different fuels


MichaelD
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I'm new to the forum, not much a bus aficionado like most here. I'm more interested in routes and schedules rather than the bus model.

That being said, I have a question. On one of my regular routes (either the 501 or 591) there was for a year a series of busses labelled "Test Bus" that were using different fuels. Natural Gas, Hydrogen, low sulpher Diesel, etc.

What was the test? Who commissioned it?

What were the results of the test? How will the results be used?

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http://www.translink.ca/en/Be-Part-of-the-...f-Tomorrow.aspx

TransLink was testing emissions of different fuel types.

The results wern't published, nor what they'd be using them for.

the results would factor into future bus procurement (says on the page from your link) and judging by CMBC's '07 purchase of LFS' diesels buses with diesel particulate filters testing of the LFS units was a success

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Translink published three sets of detailed results which heavily influenced agencies across Canada up to, and including now. It was referenced in discussions relevent to Edmonton's trolley's, and Toronto's hybrids.

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and judging by CMBC's '07 purchase of LFS' diesels buses with diesel particulate filters testing of the LFS units was a success

Or more likely Nova Bus simply provided either:

a- the lowest price

b- did a better good of meeting tender requirements than New Flyer or Orion

c- all of the above

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The particulate filters were the same units tested and were acquired as a result of Phase 1.

For the hybrids it was a heavily subsidized purchased based on the test result to further green transit technologies.... TL couldn't have afforded the 141 hyrbid Nova's otherwise.

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http://www.translink.ca/en/Be-Part-of-the-...f-Tomorrow.aspx

The results wern't published, nor what they'd be using them for.

http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/..._2_Results.ashx

There might be other reports out there if you know where to look.

Phase 1 results: Phase I Testing the Power of Tomorrow

I'm pretty sure Nova's bid for the 07 buses was higher than NFI's but won due to the DPFs...if only Translink didn't change their site and corrupt their links...again

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I'm pretty sure Nova's bid for the 07 buses was higher than NFI's but won due to the DPFs...if only Translink didn't change their site and corrupt their links...again

Doubt the win had anything to do with DPF's.

EPA 2007 regulations were met by all engine builders by using DPF's.

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Mainly because they were problems with the power steering on the E40LFRs, they got fixed under warrenty though so I don't get what the big deal is, although I've heard TransLink described as being "perpetually pissed off" more than once.

And the C40LFR's being delayed from entering service due to "wheelchair restraint" issues.

Chris Cassidy

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And the C40LFR's being delayed from entering service due to "wheelchair restraint" issues.

Chris Cassidy

Did they introduce a new restraint system simultaneous to the production of those buses? Because it would seem to me that the only difference between a C40LF and D40LF is the fuel system and engine related components.

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I think it was more so the issues with the C40LFRs than with the trolleys, because by the time the power steering problem with the trolleys manifested itself, the order for the Novas was already a done deal. The 2006 bus order was late, but that was Translink's own fault - well, more like Larry Campbell's fault for flip-flopping on the order specs when the order was tendered in 2005. First it was supposed to be 107 diesel buses, then Campbell changed it to CNG thereby reducing the number of buses to 94 (this was a premature decision on his part as the fuel test trial had only just begun). A compromise was reached that would split the order between diesel and CNG, delivering the originally intended total number of 107 buses, 50 CNG and 57 diesel. But New Flyer couldn't promise the order would be on time. The first CNG bus was delivered in August, and the first diesel was delivered in late October of 2006.

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Why?

2006 New Flyer E40LFR: Power Steering issues, whole fleet of trollies grounded for 3 months in 2007, buses had to be borrowed from BC Transit to support the dangerously low spare fleet availability

2006 New Flyer C40LFR: Wheelchair retraint issues

2006 C/D/E40LFR: Headlamps blocked by bike rack, therefore bike racks were not allowed to be used in the dark until bike racks of new stylings were introduced to solve the issue

2007 New Flyer D60LFR: Artic joint issues, the entire fleet rested at Cullen Diesel awaiting for maintenance work for a couple of months in late 2006

2009 New Flyer DE60LFR: I can't remember what the issue was..........the fleet was grounded at OTC for 3 months for some kind of mechanical problems, it could've been the artic joint again.........someone help me out here please, as I was away in Asia pretty much for the whole time when they were solving the problem.

And in case this might be helpful, I set up a specialized section dedicated to the Test of the Power of Tomorrow two days ago...........check it out!

http://www.trans-continental.ca/vancouver/testofpower/

Dave

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Thanks for all the information.

Strangely enough though this doens't quite jibe with my memory, although that is often faulty. What I recall is something in 2008/2009. I also don't think the test busses were in that colour scheme. I don't recall what it was, but I think that all models where the same colour - I recall having to read them to determine the fuel.

I specifically remember that one of the busses listed Hydrogen as the fuel type (not Hydrogen + Natual Gas). Was this perhaps part of a Phase 3 of the project (mentioned in one of the documents)?

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Thanks for all the information.

Strangely enough though this doens't quite jibe with my memory, although that is often faulty. What I recall is something in 2008/2009. I also don't think the test busses were in that colour scheme. I don't recall what it was, but I think that all models where the same colour - I recall having to read them to determine the fuel.

I specifically remember that one of the busses listed Hydrogen as the fuel type (not Hydrogen + Natual Gas). Was this perhaps part of a Phase 3 of the project (mentioned in one of the documents)?

You might've been remembering the ending phase of the Test of the Power of Tomorrrow, in which the following buses are supposedly to have been involved: S7450, S7454, P3330 and P3332. These buses were never wrapped, but they had a little box colored in the black and white surrounding the fleet numbers.

Technical information about HCNG can be found on Wikipedia, not the most reliable source by academic standard, but nevertheless it's a good place to begin with researching.

"HCNG (or H2CNG) is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 percent hydrogen by energy"

Dave

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2009 New Flyer DE60LFR: I can't remember what the issue was..........the fleet was grounded at OTC for 3 months for some kind of mechanical problems, it could've been the artic joint again.........someone help me out here please, as I was away in Asia pretty much for the whole time when they were solving the problem.

Same as the 07 D60LFR, joint issue. It's pretty much widespread for anyone owns an artic with ATG artic joint due to bolt issue.

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2009 New Flyer DE60LFR: I can't remember what the issue was..........the fleet was grounded at OTC for 3 months for some kind of mechanical problems, it could've been the artic joint again.........someone help me out here please, as I was away in Asia pretty much for the whole time when they were solving the problem.

Wasn't there electrical issues with the D and DE60LFR's at first?

Chris Cassidy

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just to note that the Test Bus with Hydrogen + Natural Gas is still running on the 791 route, wrapped in the blue/black stripes.

Yup, all 4 HCNG buses are still active, and these are the only remaining active test buses wrapped in the Test Bus "stripe" colors.

Dave

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Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the test bus wraps on those just covering an outdated livery, I thought ALL of TransLink's CNG buses were running on HCNG now.

Yes and no.

The HCNG wrap is just covering the "clean air bus" scheme, but all of Translink CNG's are running 100% natural gas.

Chris Cassidy

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