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Chris.A

Orion bus International: The story of what could have been...

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47 minutes ago, Chris.A said:

Where's the proof for this? Source? I don't want heresy.

Most Ontario Transit Systems Chose Novabus or New Flyer cause of the VIs had problems, Barrie/Brampton Transit, DRT, LTC, GTC, Sudbury Transit, YRT, Burlington Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Stratford Transit and others 

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10 hours ago, Chris.A said:

because remember, the EPA10 Orion VII was said to be one of the most structurally  sound buses to pass the shaker test in history, surpassing the results of both the OG and the NG

Where’s the proof for this? Source?

And to add to what HB_1024 said, why would NF change anything with their lineup when the xcelsior has been and still is being tried and tested since 2008?

What evidence is there to suggest that the VII could have been compatible with 100% electric power like the Xcelsior? Prior to it’s fall, was OBI even looking that far into the future with the VII? 

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28 minutes ago, TTC T6H-5307N 2252 said:

Most Ontario Transit Systems Chose Novabus or New Flyer cause of the VIs had problems, Barrie/Brampton Transit, DRT, LTC, GTC, Sudbury Transit, YRT, Burlington Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Stratford Transit and others 

We're talking about the Orion VIIs, not the VIs. Its pretty well known that the Orion 6 buses had plenty of issues, so numerous that a couple of systems were forced to retire these buses sooner then they'd have liked (MTA NYCB in 2005, WMATA in 2012 and soon LACMTA in 2019).

12 minutes ago, Doppelkupplung said:

Where’s the proof for this? Source? Because I don’t want hearsay.

Go look up a guy called "East New York" on NYCTFourms.

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3 hours ago, Chris.A said:

Go look up a guy called "East New York" on NYCTFourms.

Yeah, because any of those morons have anything resembling credibility, especially him.

 

Might I remind everyone of the Millenium Transit debacle? It's been, what, 6 years now? And how many buses have they built since then?

 

Dan

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10 hours ago, Chris.A said:

Nobody said anything about NABI, this is an Orion tread. 

This guy did:

On 12/15/2018 at 12:50 PM, TTC 9701 said:

Don't be so sure. They could market the Orion VII or NABI of they really wanted to. It would attract some other customers that like the look of say the VII but doesn't like the look of the excelsior. Make the guts the same and the outside the VII shell or NABI shell. Yes it makes sense to market 1 model. Nova has been doing that since 2003. But unlike Nova which offers two sizes, Flyer markets 3 to 4 lengths for their conventional. The rest of the stuff they bought out is a different story.

But then, we've already established in other threads that you're not too keen on reading. 

Besides, it's all the same discussion at this point whether it's Orion or NABI: The lunacy of New Flyer resurrecting old product lines. 

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1 hour ago, smallspy said:

Yeah, because any of those morons have anything resembling credibility, especially him.

 

Might I remind everyone of the Millenium Transit debacle? It's been, what, 6 years now? And how many buses have they built since then?

 

Dan

You don't know what you are talking about.

1 hour ago, M. Parsons said:

This guy did:

But then, we've already established in other threads that you're not too keen on reading. 

Besides, it's all the same discussion at this point whether it's Orion or NABI: The lunacy of New Flyer resurrecting old product lines. 

Just so you know, I didn't mention it.

2 hours ago, smallspy said:

Yeah, because any of those morons have anything resembling credibility, especially him.

 

Might I remind everyone of the Millenium Transit debacle? It's been, what, 6 years now? And how many buses have they built since then?

 

Dan

It's pretty clear at this point that MTS is not coming back. Became quite obvious 5 years ago don't you think.

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7 hours ago, Doppelkupplung said:

What evidence is there to suggest that the VII could have been compatible with 100% electric power like the Xcelsior. Prior to it’s fall, was OBI even looking that far into the future with the VII? 

This is actually something that could lead to discussion.

Whether or not Orion was, I suspect BAE was was looking to a full EV system with the HybriDrive system going back 5-10 years. Given for many years the Orion was the defacto platform for the BAE HybriDrive, I think absolutely a 100% EV Orion VII would have happened, unless a successor to the Orion VII was around by now.

As for the Orion VII being compatible with 100% electric power, as the main difference between a hybrid and a battery electric bus is the power source, I would say again, absolutely. I'm not overly familiar with the Orion VII, and in particular the later developments of the NG and EPA10, so I'm not sure how far they got with including electric driven accessories in the Orion VII, but that too could be a step towards a full electric bus.

One benefit of the Xcelsior over of the LFR platform is an advertised 8% weight reduction. Less weights allows more batteries to be carried (not withstanding any body strengthening to support batteries I guess). 
I've tried to dig up some specifications, but, I am under the impression that the Orion VII was a bit heavier than comparable New Flyer and Nova Bus products. That could be the one detriment with the Orion VII platform vs the Xcelsior in a full electric bus. But, that's only if you compared the two. I think an Orion VII could have done just fine as a an electric bus, although perhaps with a bit more limited range unless en route charging is employed (which both New Flyer and Nova Bus started with first).
In the case of New Flyer they developed their own entire electric bus concept, whereas BAE would have probably done a lot of the EV work with Orion's support.
Looking into the HyrbiDrive this evening, I see it's come even further than the last time I looked into it. I am curious if one day we'll see a HybriDrive full EV system as an option in buses from other vendors like Nova Bus or New Flyer, instead of their in house developed options.

http://www.hybridrive.com/pdf/bus/advancing_electric_solutions_brochure_18.pdf

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Just to end this discussion, (to all the foamers out there) legally, yes it's possible for NFI to continue any of the Orion or NABI vehicles. Logistically (and frankly, REALISTICALLY) no. It would cost to much, and the payout wouldn't be good enough. Enough speculation about things that will never happen. Only if like, maybe 3-6 Transit agencies (I mean big ones, like the TTC, not like small ones) wanted them, and were willing to pay BIG BUCKS to get them, it would be a different story. But for now, no.

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4 minutes ago, Orion VI said:

Just to end this discussion, (to all the foamers out there) legally, yes it's possible for NFI to continue any of the Orion or NABI vehicles. Logistically (and frankly, REALISTICALLY) no. It would cost to much, and the payout wouldn't be good enough. Enough speculation about things that will never happen. Only if like, maybe 3-6 Transit agencies (I mean big ones, like the TTC, not like small ones) wanted them, and were willing to pay BIG BUCKS to get them, it would be a different story. But for now, no.

That was my question in the first place if it was technically possible for NFI to produce these models themselves.

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21 hours ago, Orion VI said:

Just to end this discussion, (to all the foamers out there) legally, yes it's possible for NFI to continue any of the Orion or NABI vehicles.

For NABI - yes, you are correct.

 

However, my understanding of the terms of the sale of Orion's assets to NFI did not include the designs, jigs or any of the other property, intellectual or otherwise, for the bus models. Thus, no, NFI would not be able to build Orion buses.

 

Dan

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On 12/17/2018 at 12:40 AM, M. Parsons said:

This is actually something that could lead to discussion.

Whether or not Orion was, I suspect BAE was was looking to a full EV system with the HybriDrive system going back 5-10 years. Given for many years the Orion was the defacto platform for the BAE HybriDrive, I think absolutely a 100% EV Orion VII would have happened, unless a successor to the Orion VII was around by now.

As for the Orion VII being compatible with 100% electric power, as the main difference between a hybrid and a battery electric bus is the power source, I would say again, absolutely. I'm not overly familiar with the Orion VII, and in particular the later developments of the NG and EPA10, so I'm not sure how far they got with including electric driven accessories in the Orion VII, but that too could be a step towards a full electric bus.

One benefit of the Xcelsior over of the LFR platform is an advertised 8% weight reduction. Less weights allows more batteries to be carried (not withstanding any body strengthening to support batteries I guess). 
I've tried to dig up some specifications, but, I am under the impression that the Orion VII was a bit heavier than comparable New Flyer and Nova Bus products. That could be the one detriment with the Orion VII platform vs the Xcelsior in a full electric bus. But, that's only if you compared the two. I think an Orion VII could have done just fine as a an electric bus, although perhaps with a bit more limited range unless en route charging is employed (which both New Flyer and Nova Bus started with first).
In the case of New Flyer they developed their own entire electric bus concept, whereas BAE would have probably done a lot of the EV work with Orion's support.
Looking into the HyrbiDrive this evening, I see it's come even further than the last time I looked into it. I am curious if one day we'll see a HybriDrive full EV system as an option in buses from other vendors like Nova Bus or New Flyer, instead of their in house developed options.

http://www.hybridrive.com/pdf/bus/advancing_electric_solutions_brochure_18.pdf

In response to your curiosity about seeing a HybriDrive full EV system, I remembered these buses--unveiled in late 2016, in Walnut Creek, California.

https://countyconnection.com/about/electric-buses/

The link shows that Gillig already produced four fully electric buses powered by BAE. These were the first electric buses to come off the line at Gillig. However, in 2017, Gillig announced that future Gillig electric buses would be powered by Cummins. It appears to me that they've decided NOT to use the BAE full EV system going forward.

https://www.gillig.com/press-release-cummins

 

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4 hours ago, smallspy said:

For NABI - yes, you are correct.

 

However, my understanding of the terms of the sale of Orion's assets to NFI did not include the designs, jigs or any of the other property, intellectual or otherwise, for the bus models. Thus, no, NFI would not be able to build Orion buses.

 

Dan

But don't they have the rights to build them? Don't they own the rights to the patents? If they do, couldn't NFI theoretically continue the manufacture parts?

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8 minutes ago, Orion VI said:

But don't they have the rights to build them? Don't they own the rights to the patents? If they do, couldn't NFI theoretically continue the manufacture parts?

Again, I don't believe that NFI did purchase any of that stuff. Just the parts business and distribution network - which by itself is still worth a bunch.

 

Dan

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3 hours ago, smallspy said:

Again, I don't believe that NFI did purchase any of that stuff. Just the parts business and distribution network - which by itself is still worth a bunch.

 

Dan

Absolutely!  After sales parts and support is a total vendor lock-in goldmine!  Even more so after the lawyers get through drafting up these really onerous, exploitative service and support contracts.

You can basically hold your customers hostage with all kinds of terms and conditions like forcing them to agree to only buy all parts through you, with your markup under penalty of being cut off from all support if they buy third party or aftermarket bits.  That's how you get away with charging $10 for a screw and leaving them no choice but to pay it under penalty of being cut off from the stuff they can't get anywhere else instead of going outside your parts chain and buying them for $0.05 at the hardware store, for example.  Next time you guys go for a happy meal after chasing buses all day, ask the guy who owns the McDonald's about the franchise agreement if it isn't a corporate store.

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Wasn’t there an issue with this a few years back when TTC was issuing RFPs and they they wanted a parts list directly from the part manufacturer, not the bus manufacturer? I believe it was to do with NF. 

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On 12/18/2018 at 10:59 PM, Doppelkupplung said:

Wasn’t there an issue with this a few years back when TTC was issuing RFPs and they they wanted a parts list directly from the part manufacturer, not the bus manufacturer? I believe it was to do with NF. 

I vaguely remember hearing something but don't recall any details.  Speaking in broad terms, the manufacturers like Flyer are trying to make money selling parts and service in order to earn a return on investment for their shareholders and customers like the TTC are trying to keep their operations and maintenance costs reasonable in order to deliver a service to the public without excessive subsidies or fare increases.

In most cases, when the dust settles, everything lands somewhere in the middle because the TTC would rather continue with manufacturer support than have to shop around and/or wing it on their own, and the manufacturers don't want to lose customers to competitors or to clients finding it economically sensible to move things in house.

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On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 12:40 AM, M. Parsons said:

This is actually something that could lead to discussion.

Whether or not Orion was, I suspect BAE was was looking to a full EV system with the HybriDrive system going back 5-10 years. Given for many years the Orion was the defacto platform for the BAE HybriDrive, I think absolutely a 100% EV Orion VII would have happened, unless a successor to the Orion VII was around by now.

As for the Orion VII being compatible with 100% electric power, as the main difference between a hybrid and a battery electric bus is the power source, I would say again, absolutely. I'm not overly familiar with the Orion VII, and in particular the later developments of the NG and EPA10, so I'm not sure how far they got with including electric driven accessories in the Orion VII, but that too could be a step towards a full electric bus.

One benefit of the Xcelsior over of the LFR platform is an advertised 8% weight reduction. Less weights allows more batteries to be carried (not withstanding any body strengthening to support batteries I guess). 
I've tried to dig up some specifications, but, I am under the impression that the Orion VII was a bit heavier than comparable New Flyer and Nova Bus products. That could be the one detriment with the Orion VII platform vs the Xcelsior in a full electric bus. But, that's only if you compared the two. I think an Orion VII could have done just fine as a an electric bus, although perhaps with a bit more limited range unless en route charging is employed (which both New Flyer and Nova Bus started with first).
In the case of New Flyer they developed their own entire electric bus concept, whereas BAE would have probably done a lot of the EV work with Orion's support.
Looking into the HyrbiDrive this evening, I see it's come even further than the last time I looked into it. I am curious if one day we'll see a HybriDrive full EV system as an option in buses from other vendors like Nova Bus or New Flyer, instead of their in house developed options.

http://www.hybridrive.com/pdf/bus/advancing_electric_solutions_brochure_18.pdf

Yes, I 100% agree with you. An Orion VII EV would have most likely be produced (or an Orion VIII EV, who knows maybe both) to compete with the Xcelsior and Proterra buses.

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41 minutes ago, Chris.A said:

Yes, I 100% agree with you. An Orion VII EV would have most likely be produced (or an Orion VIII EV, who knows maybe both) to compete with the Xcelsior and Proterra buses.

Not to mention that Daimler is already marketing a Citaro EV and even a fuel-cell variant... For Europe, that is.

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:00 PM, Wayside Observer said:

Absolutely!  After sales parts and support is a total vendor lock-in goldmine!  Even more so after the lawyers get through drafting up these really onerous, exploitative service and support contracts.

You can basically hold your customers hostage with all kinds of terms and conditions like forcing them to agree to only buy all parts through you, with your markup under penalty of being cut off from all support if they buy third party or aftermarket bits.  That's how you get away with charging $10 for a screw and leaving them no choice but to pay it under penalty of being cut off from the stuff they can't get anywhere else instead of going outside your parts chain and buying them for $0.05 at the hardware store, for example.  Next time you guys go for a happy meal after chasing buses all day, ask the guy who owns the McDonald's about the franchise agreement if it isn't a corporate store.

Isn't this Apple Inc.'s slogan?

On 12/20/2018 at 6:48 PM, Transit geek said:

Not to mention that Daimler is already marketing a Citaro EV and even a fuel-cell variant... For Europe, that is.

judging by the early introduction of greener buses for orion, (early 1980s Orion II CNG) they may have even done a VI EV, even though it would have been ahead of it's time. Wishful thinking.

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On 11/11/2018 at 7:20 AM, Orion VI said:

Orion closed actually because of Daimler's very limited knowledge of the North American bus market. Read below (from Transit Toronto)

 

Orion was at the top of its game. Unfortunately, the company that managed it was not. Daimler, which had divested itself of Chrysler in 2007, suddenly announced in the April 2012 its intention to get out of the North American bus industry entirely. Citing austerity budgets by governments across North America, Daimler stated that it did not see a future for the industry — or, at least, not a future that could justify its continued investment.

THE FALL OF ORION BUS INDUSTRIES

Orion stopped taking orders for new buses on April 25, 2012, and announced that its Mississauga factory would shut down after its current orders were completed. This closure occurred the next year. The Oriskany, New York facility would remain open to serve the aftermarket business of spare parts and maintenance. On March 1, 2013, New Flyer Industries announced it was buying out the remaining assets of Orion, including the aftermarket business, and its remaining bus orders.

For the past decade, Orion Bus Industries had a tremendous influence on agencies across America, especially in Ontario. That influence disappeared overnight due to its parent company losing interest in the manufacturing of buses. The transit agencies that have invested in the Orion VII are now served by New Flyer Industries for spare parts and maintenance. Over the next few years, New Flyer and other bus manufacturers will build the models that serve Toronto passengers.

As for Don Sheardon, he was recognized by the Canadian Urban Transportation Association by being put in their Hall of Fame in 1994. In their write-up, they said, “Don exported buses made in Mississauga to Sweden, Denmark and the United States, and OBI became the largest bus manufacturer in North America, growing from 45 employees in 1979 to 1,200 people in the early 90s. Don was a major contributor to his community and his industry. He supported CUTA extensively, and received the highest honour that any Canadian can receive - naming of the hockey arena in his hometown of Bolton, Ontario.”

The Orion logo will vanish from city streets, but not for a while. It takes some time for that many buses to fade away. Over that time, the Orions will have left a mark on Toronto transportation comparable to the General Motors New Look.

Yep... and its not like Daimler didn't have a reputation of buying companies and ruining/destroying them. They did the same thing to Sterling Trucks around the same time. They also ran Chrysler into the ground and tossed them aside.

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