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How have GTA bus types fared in the snow?


Ed Drass
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I found the Orion 7 diesels particularly the units in Birchmount and Wilson divisions to be quite exceptional in the snow. Of course nothing compares to the comfort and stability of the traditional fishbowl. My only gripe has been the lack of heating on the 79's and 80's. Even when I rode the HEV's in Malvern there was no heat at all and I have to wonder if the drivers turns on the coach heat. Regardless, I have been quite impressed with the heat on the first generation of 7's from 7400-7881.

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Saw no artic's on 19 or 26 on Sat that were replace with 40's. Assuming route 1's were missing artic's also. They are pushers.

It looked like there were extra trippers for the 2 routes.

Ridership for both routes were down as well at Sq One Mall cause by ppl staying in.

OC pull all their artic's. They are pusher

No idea what VIVA did as I didn't get up there over the weekend as plan.

I was hoping to catch one of the new artic's to see how it handle the snow compare to the existing ones.

After a week of missing getting on one of the new artic's by a few minutes, I finally got to ride 0865 for a short distance that had better pickup, smoother riding and the engine seem quieter sitting at the rear of the bus of all things compare to the existing fleet.

The EZ handle the snow with no problems.

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The 1000 and 1100 series hybrids do fairly well in the snow, but I haven't had one in the past month or so due to my crew selection.

The Orion 7's do handle quite well because of traction control ... even better if you take it easy with the accelerator (some drivers I notice just floor it and let the ATC do the work).

The only time's I've gotten stuck in the snow/slush are in poorly plowed stops (and rocking the bus seems to usually correct that) and Jane Station (because of the uphill slope, the concrete roadway, and the lack of plowing/salting). Had to be backed up significantly along the parking wall once before I could grab enough traction to get going again! The only other issues I've had with the 7's is the retarder kicking in on downhill grades when you let off the accelerator. I've had the bus begin to reverse fishtail (front end goes sideways instead of the back) because the back axle being slowed down. This isn't a problem as long as your going slow, but we all know that not all operators go "slow" in the snow! hehehe

Other than that, I haven't heard many complaints, even with the RTS's (which given there weight, seem to do really well in the snow too).

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Even when I rode the HEV's in Malvern there was no heat at all and I have to wonder if the drivers turns on the coach heat. Regardless, I have been quite impressed with the heat on the first generation of 7's from 7400-7881.

From my experience today I'm the total opposite. All the "OG" VIIs I got today felt like the heaters were not on but on the two NGs I got today they were on for sure since I could feel the warm air on my legs, especially on Malvern's 1359.

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I found the Orion 7 diesels particularly the units in Birchmount and Wilson divisions to be quite exceptional in the snow. Of course nothing compares to the comfort and stability of the traditional fishbowl. My only gripe has been the lack of heating on the 79's and 80's. Even when I rode the HEV's in Malvern there was no heat at all and I have to wonder if the drivers turns on the coach heat. Regardless, I have been quite impressed with the heat on the first generation of 7's from 7400-7881.

If you mean them bouncing around and screws loose and seats shaking when it hits a pothole and windows suddenly having the emergency latch open in the middle of a cold day with a wind chill and windows that don't close properly, as comfort, then I applaud you.

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Now i do have to say the worst performer in the snow has got to be and sad to say it is TTC Orion V 96' out of Malvern. I Even remeber last winter and the winter before that they really had a hard time keeping up anywhere there was a hill with snow or just snow on flat even roads. As i do recall seeing 7000, 7025, 7096 broken down on the seneca hill @ Finch and don mills. i rode enough Orion V in my day to tell that they don't perform well in snow!

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Over here, all buses did well, even the Artics was okay in the snow (although it did have chains on every one @ the last set of wheels).

Some artics had chains removed the next day, and the rear wheels constantly lost traction. No wonder they have traction control... The Orion VII CNG's with the ZF trannies did the best though, since it's more smooth. The ones with the Allisons was less smooth and lost traction after shifting when being floored. The Orion V and V CNG's are nice in the snow too, they powered thier way up hills better than any car did on 174st. And they say driving is always faster... :lol:

RTS's did great too, especially the ones with the 4 speed Allisons, while the 5 speed ones lost traction a bit more. The C40LF CNG performed about the same as the 7.501 CNG with Allisons, but lost traction on shifts less. D60HF's were the only ones with chains at the back, all the others did great without them. I wonder how the hell those D60's made it up the 233st hill (It is very steep and very long).

There was only one time (2 years ago) where the D60HF did a major slip up, and I don't think it had traction control since I didn't hear it go "pffft" once or use rear brakes while accelerating on ice like it's supposed to. The driver went on a 90 degree turn and the back end skidded, narrowly avoiding 5 parked cars. I guess the driver didn't notice it because he kept flooring it, and then he braked late for the next turn. He was driving like he was late and he wasn't... smiley24fk1.gif

EDIT: Woah second slip up in the subforums the past week...

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The Orion V and V CNG's are nice in the snow too, they powered thier way up hills better than any car did on 174st. And they say driving is always faster... :lol:

Really? I though that CNG buses were the worst buses when it came to going up hills, with or without snow?

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Really? I though that CNG buses were the worst buses when it came to going up hills, with or without snow?
Actually, they aren't that bad, though the VII CNG mated with ZF's will easily without a problem own those on the hills. The V and V CNG when together here are about the same when going up the hill on the whitestone bridge, both need to stay in 4th for max performance instead of 5th though on such a long and steep hill, the V CNG won since it didn't downshift and upshift over and over, it stood in 5th gear the whole time.

That is going through a LONG and VERY steep hill @ the start (then the hill looses steepness as you go on).

So what gives you that idea that they suck on hills? :lol:

Forgot about Hybrids, they loose traction alot due to extreme levels of torque and no acceleration lag (though they have traction control). Still does great in snow when it's from 3500-5000RPM thanks to the power curve.

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Interesting. Never heard of chains used either on buses or in cities!

It depends on the city and provinces. Ontario is prohibited from anyone using chains on their tires. Chains will wear out on the road faster.

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Talked to a GO Transit driver on Wednesday regarding their buses and snow. Driver stated that their Prevosts are like 'tanks' when it comes to snow. If the bus can get going, it'll have no problem with snow. It will have problems, of course, stopping on a hill, like other GO Transit buses.

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