Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Does anyone remember the quality of the Neoplan AN440 series? They were made in both T-drive and V-drive configurations.

The very first Neoplan AN440s to show up in the USA were ordered by Atlanta, GA's MARTA, and these (of the V-drive configuration) used Detroit Diesel 8V71N engines and Allison V730 transmissions. That was in 1981, the year Neoplan USA was established.

In 1982, SEPTA of Philadelphia, PA signed a multi-year contract with Neoplan USA to deliver 1000 buses between 1982-89. They were of the T-drive configuration, and so were equipped with Detroit Diesel 6V92TA engines and Allison HT740 transmissions (from 1982-83; the 1984-85 models used the slightly improved Allison HT747 transmissions, and the 1986-89 models used ZF 4HP590 transmissions).

In 1983, LACMTA (then SCRTD) of Los Angeles, CA, took delivery of 415 AN440A-T buses with the same powertrain as the SEPTA Neoplans (the Detroit Diesel 6V92TA and Allison HT747, for units #3300-3689; #3690-3714, from 1984, used the Allison HT748 ATEC). Four years later, they would order 90 AN440A-V units, #1100-1189, with the same Detroit Diesel 6V92TA DDEC engine, but being a V-drive layout, used the Allison V731 ATEC transmission.

In 1986, MTA of Baltimore, MD, took delivery of just 10 AN440A-T models, ID's #3701-3710. All 10 had Detroit Diesel 6V92TA engines, but the first 5 units, #3701-3705, used Allison HT747 transmissions while the second part of the order, #3706-3710, used Voith D863.2 transmissions (which was usually only available if the engine were a Cummins L10).

In 1991, Jacksonville Transit of Jacksonville, FL, took delivery of 20 AN440A-V models, ID's #9101-9120, with the same powertrain as the Los Angeles 1100 series Neoplans.

It should also be known that Neoplan initially supplied its own axles (both front and rear) before switching to Rockwell (later Meritor) and ZF axles. I wonder what the rear end ratios are as to the Neoplan axles used in the 1980s.

~Ben

Edited by Benjamin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LACMTA ordered CNG powered Neoplans too, the first buses they ordered when they did the switch over from SCRTD

ABQ Ride has some rejected LACMTA Neoplan AN440's as well, IIRC

You can't beat quality like that, the LA drivers loved them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone remember the quality of the Neoplan AN440 series? They were made in both T-drive and V-drive configurations.

The very first Neoplan AN440s to show up in the USA were ordered by Atlanta, GA's MARTA, and these (of the V-drive configuration) used Detroit Diesel 8V71N engines and Allison V730 transmissions. That was in 1981, the year Neoplan USA was established.

I think MARTA had N416 models. Theirs, and the similar Milwaukee order, looked a little different from the rest. I never knew about the 8V71 in the MARTA buses, but the Milwaukee buses had 6V92 to the best of my knowledge. I believe a MARTA N416 survives in L.A., owned by a studio rental company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LACMTA ordered CNG powered Neoplans too, the first buses they ordered when they did the switch over from SCRTD

ABQ Ride has some rejected LACMTA Neoplan AN440's as well, IIRC

You can't beat quality like that, the LA drivers loved them.

Don't forget the the diesel 1987 AN440 suburban and the 1983 AN440 Neoplans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Neoplans with Lynx had an interesting career around here. The first ones came in 1985 and they were 35 footers. They were the first buses Lynx bought under Tri-County Transit (Orange-Seminole-Osceola Transportation Authority became TCT in 1984). In 1990-1991 we bought twenty-six more Neoplans (18 were new 35 footers and 8 were used, although I have reason to believe the 8 bought were new instead of used, but currently I don't have any information to back that up at this time).

The eight buses bought used included both 40 and 60 foot buses (800 and 846 so far is what I got, although I think there was a third Neoplan artic acquired from what I was told by a driver who was a veteran of the Tri-County Transit era). These were among the last Neoplans Lynx acquired under Tri-County Transit before it became Lynx in 1992.

The Neoplans ran on just about every route around here both new and old. The 1980s Neoplans (including the used ones) were retired between 1997-1998 and were auctioned off, however 801-806 remained on the property being used as training buses and may have even entered revenue service here and there.

The rest of the Neoplans (814-831) ran into the late 1990s and early 2000s. They were subsequently retired in 2003 by the Gillig Phantoms (well the amount of buses needed for service in 2003 actually killed them since Lynx did not need anymore and they were considered surplus by then). Some drivers stated they were fast and had good heating (it does get really cold down here, so that I know came in handy).

I was told by an individual who knew someone that worked at maintenance when the Neoplans were around. He told me they were tough to work on when it came to maintenance. Despite that I never had any breakdowns on them. My last ride was on 816 on the 32 route back in 2002, which someone reported seeing in 2005, but owned by a private company. I last spotted one in early 2003 prior to their retirement. They were in the June, 2003 auction along with some 1985s.

On 816 in 2002 it was a bit slow on acceleration and the windows were open, but when I rode on it the second time it was faster. Besides Lynx and JTA several other private companies like Grayline Tours and Tourist Tips to name a few. Even Kennedy Space Center had some. Most of the privately owned ones were AN340/5s with one or two axles. Tourist Tips had 35 foot Neoplans that likely had Lynx specs, although they were 102 inches wide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alameda County Transit also as well ordered 1982 Neoplan AN440's.

I was reading up that they were delivered in October and November of 1982 along with the Phantoms during that year. The demo Neoplan was brought to AC Transit in August of 1982. Wish we had a production list for the Neoplans. That would help out a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should mention another agency in California who ordered them, Omnitrans. They ordered only five (units 9701-9705) but they were put to the test by operating on express routes 95% of the time in their 12 years of service between 1997 to 2009.

They were equipped with a powertrain similar to the Orion V's ordered the year before, a Cummins L-10 and a ZF transmission, as well as ZF axles. I have nothing much to say about them, but they were able to take somewhat of a beating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Louis Bi County Transit System also ordered some LNG AN440's, with the L10G/B400R5 powertrain. Also Can't forget, Port AUthority Gold, and the PennDot order, which ordered buses for just about every TA in Pennsylvania. And as well Denver RTD, which ordered Neoplans with the ZF transmission. DART in Dallas ordered a lot of V-Drive AN440's and Nashville MTA had some V-Drive AN440's as well, and a piggyback off of SEPTA's AN460's with the same specs. Roarinf Fork in Aspen also ordered AN435LF.s AN440's and AN460's and has 2 rejected Westchester BeeLine 2005 AN440's with the CAT C9. And let's not forget SF MTA's AN440's with the rare rear window.

I am a big Neoplan Transliner fan. If there are any other TA's I missed, let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Louis Bi County Transit System also ordered some LNG AN440's, with the L10G/B400R5 powertrain. Also Can't forget, Port AUthority Gold, and the PennDot order, which ordered buses for just about every TA in Pennsylvania. And as well Denver RTD, which ordered Neoplans with the ZF transmission. DART in Dallas ordered a lot of V-Drive AN440's and Nashville MTA had some V-Drive AN440's as well, and a piggyback off of SEPTA's AN460's with the same specs. Roarinf Fork in Aspen also ordered AN435LF.s AN440's and AN460's and has 2 rejected Westchester BeeLine 2005 AN440's with the CAT C9. And let's not forget SF MTA's AN440's with the rare rear window.

I am a big Neoplan Transliner fan. If there are any other TA's I missed, let me know.

SCRTD/LACMTA's Neoplan fleet. Speaking of that here is an audio of what a 1980s Neoplan with a T drive sounds like.

This is not mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ABQ RIDE's Neoplans built in 1996 are still going strong as far as I know. ABQ RIDE chose to keep them over the SLFs built in 2001, which are currently being sold off; most of the SLFs were pulled out of service in 2009 when the 900-series New Flyer DE40LFRs arrived, however, ABQ RIDE didn't begin to sell them off until last year (ABQ RIDE was going to sell them to Santa Fe Trails in 2009, however, the test bus provided by ABQ RIDE had starting problems up in Santa Fe, presumably due to Santa Fe's higher elevation).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SCRTD/LACMTA's Neoplan fleet. Speaking of that here is an audio of what a 1980s Neoplan with a T drive sounds like.

This is not mine.

Like a Gillig with a ground exhaust. Community Transit in Everett, WA had 7 AN460's, one a Neoplan Demonstrator with an 8v92, and 6 with 6v92's. They also had 2 AN440's that were former demonstrators, one had roof-mounted AC, the other rear-mounted. CT also had a N112/3 but that never saw revenue service that I'm aware of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like a Gillig with a ground exhaust. Community Transit in Everett, WA had 7 AN460's, one a Neoplan Demonstrator with an 8v92, and 6 with 6v92's. They also had 2 AN440's that were former demonstrators, one had roof-mounted AC, the other rear-mounted. CT also had a N112/3 but that never saw revenue service that I'm aware of.

Our Neoplan artics had roof mounted A/C units as well (something that was very unique to Lynx back then). Ours had roof mounted exhaust. 30 of the Neoplans used an Allison HT transmission while the last six had four speed ZFs all coupled to 6V92s. AC Transit's Neoplans had the same transmissions as their Phantoms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SCRTD/LACMTA's Neoplan fleet. Speaking of that here is an audio of what a 1980s Neoplan with a T drive sounds like.

This is not mine.

Ltiile Rock and Charleston, WV I forgot as well. And those LA AN440's sounded a lot like SEPTA's 1982-1983 AN440's. SEPTA's 1984-1985 models sounded a lot different, like there was no second gear lock-up differential, wish I could find a recording of one. Love that recording.

SEPTA also has the largest all-time fleet of Neoplan Transliners (current and retired) with 1247 total buses, with SCRTD/LACMTA a close second, with 1200, but the largest CNG Neoplan fleet. If Neoplan USA never went out of business, NJT probably would have had the largest fleet of Transliner buses of all time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ltiile Rock and Charleston, WV I forgot as well. And those LA AN440's sounded a lot like SEPTA's 1982-1983 AN440's. SEPTA's 1984-1985 models sounded a lot different, like there was no second gear lock-up differential, wish I could find a recording of one. Love that recording.

SEPTA also has the largest all-time fleet of Neoplan Transliners (current and retired) with 1247 total buses, with SCRTD/LACMTA a close second, with 1200, but the largest CNG Neoplan fleet. If Neoplan USA never went out of business, NJT probably would have had the largest fleet of Transliner buses of all time.

The 1984/5s that SEPTA had used Allison HT-747 just like on the late upper 3600 series and 3700 series Neoplans from SCRTD/LACMTA. You are also right. SEPTA had the largest fleet of Neoplans anywhere. Matter of fact Philadelphia had the largest fleet in the country and they will be forever known as the Pennliners. I am so glad a museum saved one of the Pennliners from PAT and I throw my salute to PAT for recognizing the history of the Pennliners. The one they preserved was 3500, a 1982. 3500 was the first Pennliner ever to be delivered in Philadelphia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1984/5s that SEPTA had used Allison HT-747 just like on the late upper 3600 series and 3700 series Neoplans from SCRTD/LACMTA. You are also right. SEPTA had the largest fleet of Neoplans anywhere. Matter of fact Philadelphia had the largest fleet in the country and they will be forever known as the Pennliners. I am so glad a museum saved one of the Pennliners from PAT and I throw my salute to PAT for recognizing the history of the Pennliners. The one they preserved was 3500, a 1982. 3500 was the first Pennliner ever to be delivered in Philadelphia.

3500 was a Port Authority bus, and SEPTA's 1982 order (also known as the AK's, numbered 8285-8434) was separate from the PennDOT order. The Pennliners came in 1983, and SEPTA's Pennliner buses were numbered 8435-8584 (1983, the BD's) 1301-1325 (35ft 1984 BP's) and 8601-8875 (the 1984 CD's and the 1985 BM's.) SEPTA recieved 600 of these buses. And we all know how spec-happy SEPTA is, specs changed every year. Here is a link to that info. http://www.philadelphiatransitvehicles.info/history/neoplanhistory.php

I am so upset, and a lot of transit fans and friends of mine in Philly are upset that SEPTA did not have the decency to keep one Neoplan preserved, and I felt that was very disrespectful,Neoplan USA's Transliners were the best buses SEPTA has ever had (sorry New Flyer...) in my opinion and if you had the privilege of riding any of these buses, you would know why. 26 years of service. And NOT ONE could be preserved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so upset, and a lot of transit fans and friends of mine in Philly are upset that SEPTA did not have the decency to keep one Neoplan preserved, and I felt that was very disrespectful,Neoplan USA's Transliners were the best buses SEPTA has ever had (sorry New Flyer...) in my opinion and if you had the privilege of riding any of these buses, you would know why. 26 years of service. And NOT ONE could be preserved.

I am sure you are aware of this, but Transit agencies are not always in the position to be preserving buses due to cost and storage among other reasons. I would not consider this disrespectful at all. Transit Agencies are here to operate a transit service to get people to where they need to go and often struggle just to do that.

Calgary Transit is soon to retire the last of our 1977-1982 GM Fishbowls that have been on the road much longer than SEPTA's Neoplan buses and I highly doubt any of our Fishbowls will be preserved or saved as much as I would love to see it happen.

As far as I am concerned, it is up to us enthusiasts to work together in projects to somehow possibly save our favorite buses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so upset, and a lot of transit fans and friends of mine in Philly are upset that SEPTA did not have the decency to keep one Neoplan preserved, and I felt that was very disrespectful,Neoplan USA's Transliners were the best buses SEPTA has ever had (sorry New Flyer...) in my opinion and if you had the privilege of riding any of these buses, you would know why. 26 years of service. And NOT ONE could be preserved.

Be glad that SEPTA has preserved a few vintage buses. Most transit agencies have no historic vehicles at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be glad that SEPTA has preserved a few vintage buses. Most transit agencies have no historic vehicles at all.

Septa doesn't care about that. They tried to scrap some vintage subway cars a while back, but someone called the city and stopped them. It wasn't the first time they tried to scrap something and the few times they did they sadly succeeded. If Septa had their way they would of scrapped the buses and the train.

3500 was a Port Authority bus, and SEPTA's 1982 order (also known as the AK's, numbered 8285-8434) was separate from the PennDOT order. The Pennliners came in 1983, and SEPTA's Pennliner buses were numbered 8435-8584 (1983, the BD's) 1301-1325 (35ft 1984 BP's) and 8601-8875 (the 1984 CD's and the 1985 BM's.) SEPTA recieved 600 of these buses. And we all know how spec-happy SEPTA is, specs changed every year. Here is a link to that info. http://www.philadelp...planhistory.php

I am so upset, and a lot of transit fans and friends of mine in Philly are upset that SEPTA did not have the decency to keep one Neoplan preserved, and I felt that was very disrespectful,Neoplan USA's Transliners were the best buses SEPTA has ever had (sorry New Flyer...) in my opinion and if you had the privilege of riding any of these buses, you would know why. 26 years of service. And NOT ONE could be preserved.

They came in 1982. That is when the order started. Between 1982-1985, 1000 buses were built for Philadelphia. 600 went to SEPTA, 300 to PAT (including 3500), and 100 to other TAs across the state. I rode on Neoplans around here in Florida and they were good. So yes I had the chance to ride Neoplans many many times. One thing is for sure they are likely still operating in Florida, somewhere. It's unfortunate I can't say the same for up North.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Septa doesn't care about that. They tried to scrap some vintage subway cars a while back, but someone called the city and stopped them. It wasn't the first time they tried to scrap something and the few times they did they sadly succeeded. If Septa had their way they would of scrapped the buses and the train.

They came in 1982. That is when the order started. Between 1982-1985, 1000 buses were built for Philadelphia. 600 went to SEPTA, 300 to PAT (including 3500), and 100 to other TAs across the state. I rode on Neoplans around here in Florida and they were good. So yes I had the chance to ride Neoplans many many times. One thing is for sure they are likely still operating in Florida, somewhere. It's unfortunate I can't say the same for up North.

http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/nebuses/rosters/penndot_neoplan.html

the 1982 order (8285-8434 AK's) were never a part of the Pennliner order, was a separate SEPTA bid. I know that for a fact, especially being from Philadelphia, 8435-8875 and 1301-1325 were a part of the Pennliner order. Not trying to start an argument, but that link shows the VIN numbers and that they were the 1983-1985 order, not the 1982-1985 order.

And yeah, sadly, only Port Authority's AN440LF's and MBTA's as well are the closest to the AN440 you can get. Want an AN440, go to San Francisco or LA.

And what TA's still operate them in Florida? I am going this summer, I gotta get some pics and videos.

And yeah, SEPTA doesn't care. If me and my fellow Philly enthusiasts had the $$$, we probably would have restored one or two. My favorite Neoplans out the fleet was 8394, 8546, 8657, 8746, 3037, 3199, 3284, 3361 and 3456.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.angelfire...ot_neoplan.html

the 1982 order (8285-8434 AK's) were never a part of the Pennliner order, was a separate SEPTA bid. I know that for a fact, especially being from Philadelphia, 8435-8875 and 1301-1325 were a part of the Pennliner order. Not trying to start an argument, but that link shows the VIN numbers and that they were the 1983-1985 order, not the 1982-1985 order.

And yeah, sadly, only Port Authority's AN440LF's and MBTA's as well are the closest to the AN440 you can get. Want an AN440, go to San Francisco or LA.

And what TA's still operate them in Florida? I am going this summer, I gotta get some pics and videos.

And yeah, SEPTA doesn't care. If me and my fellow Philly enthusiasts had the $$$, we probably would have restored one or two. My favorite Neoplans out the fleet was 8394, 8546, 8657, 8746, 3037, 3199, 3284, 3361 and 3456.

I see. Port Authority at least cares about their past, which is why they donated 3500 to a museum (along with a 55 foot M.A.N. bus). No TAs are running Neoplans down here, however private companies are. The last Neoplans were retired about 8 years ago in Jacksonville. Grayline Tours had several along with other private companies including one company that had appeared to have specs for their Neoplans that were identical to the 1985s that Lynx had.

The last Neoplans retired with Lynx was 2003. All buses were sold at auction including some of the first ones bought back in 1985 that were used as training buses. This is a picture of them. I didn't take this picture as this is from the website that auctioned them, but this shows them in 2003 at the auction. 21 were being sold.

LynxbusW.jpg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...