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As promised, here's a shot from inside Bellevue Base  

Yes, when I saw that on the news this morning, I was stunned.  It's just devastating news.  Zack was truly a bus and train aficionado. I have always enjoyed his contributions here on the forum.  I'v

So I was waiting for the 116 at 3rd and Bell this evening and this went by: King County Metro 3633 on RapidRide E by LB Bryce, on Flickr King County Metro 3633 on RapidRide E by LB Bryce, on

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I have not had the chance to ride the 7200 XDE40 coaches - do they feature the same quieter BAE HybriDrive improvements as the XDE35 coaches?

By comparison, the Orion VIIs equipped with BAE HybriDrive are much louder.

7200's are identical to the 35' Xcelsior 3700's, just 5 feet longer

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Just stepped onto coach 6206, one of the twenty brand new Rapid Ride Xcelsiors. Noticed that the seating configuration is identical to the 4500 trolley coach, and the new 8000 's, and NOT the Rapid Ride style configuration. Most likely due to these coaches being ordered together with the 8000's, but no more passive restraint system for wheelchairs. Just three single flip up seats on each side in the wheelchair tie-down area, and more forward facing seats on the left. I have pictures, will post later .

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7200's are identical to the 35' Xcelsior 3700's, just 5 feet longer

After looking briefly at the HybriDrive website, they had a nice informational page on the improvements of the HybriDrive systems. The Orion VIIs have the older incarnation of HybriDrive, while the Xcelsiors are using the Series E improvements.

There's a nifty video too:

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After looking briefly at the HybriDrive website, they had a nice informational page on the improvements of the HybriDrive systems. The Orion VIIs have the older incarnation of HybriDrive, while the Xcelsiors are using the Series E improvements.

There's a nifty video too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze5RtNat25

I'm getting an error for that YouTube link. Is it this video from this page? ...or a video they've updated recently? Thanks; it is interesting to see details on how much more advanced the Series-E is from the older version.

video from BAE website

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I'm getting an error for that YouTube link. Is it this video from this page? ...or a video they've updated recently? Thanks; it is interesting to see details on how much more advanced the Series-E is from the older version.

video from BAE website

My mistake, I have corrected the link - it was missing the "c" at the end of the video URL.

In this instance, it is amusing that they used imagery of Metro Orions and Bredas in their Series E demonstration video.

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Hm, so on BAE HybriDrive Series-E the air compressor runs off batteries too. This should mean that in Hush mode buses with series E should not use the diesel engine at all (basically be battery-electric). I have not noticed that with ST's XDE60s in the tunnel. Am I missing something?

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I wonder what the range in the included "Depot Drive" is. Our tunnel isn't that long after all, but you are right in general.

Overall I am quite excited about this tech, as a couple years down the line when batteries improve and become cheaper I can imagine buses being upgraded/converted to all-electric. Maybe energy density will go high enough that we don't even need fast chargers.

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One of BAE's selling points for the HybriDrive is that buses are able to be converted to another type of electric bus later.

On these buses the electric motor turns the wheels and power is created by a generator hooked up to a Diesel engine. But the system is agnostic... it just needs a power source.

To turn these buses into a trolleybus, you would remove the diesel generator and add trolley poles... to turn it into a hydrogen bus, remove the diesel generator and add a fuel cell... and to turn it into a battery electric bus, add a bunch of batteries (you can keep the diesel generator).

At least that's how it works in theory. I don't think any agency has actually converted a BAE hybrid.

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One of BAE's selling points for the HybriDrive is that buses are able to be converted to another type of electric bus later.

On these buses the electric motor turns the wheels and power is created by a generator hooked up to a Diesel engine. But the system is agnostic... it just needs a power source.

To turn these buses into a trolleybus, you would remove the diesel generator and add trolley poles... to turn it into a hydrogen bus, remove the diesel generator and add a fuel cell... and to turn it into a battery electric bus, add a bunch of batteries (you can keep the diesel generator).

At least that's how it works in theory. I don't think any agency has actually converted a BAE hybrid.

Orion's reps were pushing that the Orion VII could easily be made into a trolley bus with large degree of commonality to the 7000-series hybrids. Of course, they didn't have an articulated platform which would hinder their ability to win that RFP, though at the time it was rumored that they were looking hard at bringing over a platform from Europe.

And then they closed up shop.

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I wonder what the range in the included "Depot Drive" is. Our tunnel isn't that long after all, but you are right in general.

According to BAE, Depot Drive will have a range of less than 500 yards and the speed is limited to less than 10 mph. The engine is completely off in Depot Drive.

However, as M. Parsons has pointed out, Series-E also has what is called "Quiet Drive" which can operate at speeds up to 20 mph which sounds as if has similar characteristics as Allison's Hush Mode ...i.e. engine is running at a constant low idle, all accessories are enabled, and the range is limitless.

ETA: My apologies, M. Parsons was referring to "Silent Drive" and not "Quiet Drive." The two are different Series-E features. I'm not sure if Metro's Series-E have Silent Drive or not, does anybody know? According to BAE, Silent Mode is beta and not specified as a standard feature.

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By the way, how much does the trolley pole assembly weigh? It seems to me that with Series-E we can achieve lighter dual-mode buses than the Bredas. And there are many routes that are partially under wire and could switch to all-electric in those situations for a number of benefits:

* lower fuel cost (electricity is cheaper per kWh)

* less neighborhood pollution

* less noise

* better hill climbing ability

And if the pole-catcher pans are used again, then this wouldn't really require the operator to get out of the bus either. (PS: A camera at the back of the bus pointed at where the poles meet the wire would be nice.)

In fact I wonder if the extra cost of a dual-mode bus pays for itself by lowering energy costs.

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Just an observation from yesterday. I saw several 4100s and 4200s running around with no advertisements (ad racks in place, just empty)


Something I did not know: There are hooks that hold the poles down on the top of the coach on the 4300s. I watched the hooks retract (into the orange plastic covers) after the poles were reconnected to the wires.

Does that work the opposite way? Operator flips a switch/button to retract poles and the hooks come down to hold poles to the roof of the coach? I think I may have heard something in the past about the driver being able to retract poles from the seat...Can't remember though


I went out to Seattle yesterday for the first time in a while. All the RapidRide XDE60s I saw seemed to be doing testing of some sort, as none were in service on any RapidRide route. Looking at the front of the buses sort of reminds me of the DE60LFA, except for the one-piece windshield. In my opinion, the section behind the windows in the rear, as well as the back, are rather bland without any colors or logos or what not. It looks like it would be a great place to put a RapidRide or Metro decal. I imagine that the rear will eventually be used for advertisements.

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24489521585_a750fed7da.jpg 24463339706_e84b886a56.jpg 24407146721_b82a178172.jpg

Aside from the new RapidRide coaches, I saw 4300 and 4301 in service. Both still have the smaller coach number decals on the front and sides, and the large numbers on the rear.

24463132046_789cf85e09.jpg 24463146086_7e65226636.jpg 23861168244_3c72c2a093.jpg 23861172824_5c3f548750.jpg

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Something I did not know: There are hooks that hold the poles down on the top of the coach on the 4300s. I watched the hooks retract (into the orange plastic covers) after the poles were reconnected to the wires.

Does that work the opposite way? Operator flips a switch/button to retract poles and the hooks come down to hold poles to the roof of the coach? I think I may have heard something in the past about the driver being able to retract poles from the seat...Can't remember though

There's an incomplete video of the process here; start at the 1:30 mark

All the RapidRide XDE60s I saw seemed to be doing testing of some sort, as none were in service on any RapidRide route.

Operator qualifications?

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