Orion Bus Industries 'Orion III'

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Orion III
Orion III
Years of manufacture 1984 to 1989
Length 60 feet
Width 102 inches
Propulsion Diesel
Orion III

The Orion III was an articulated transit bus available in Canada and built through a joint partnership between Ikarus Coach and Body Works of Budapest, Hungary and Ontario Bus Industries (OBI) of Mississauga, Ontario. Ikarus was responsible for building the body shell of the bus and then shipping the partially complete buses over to North America for final assembly by OBI. This included the installation of windows, seats, doors, and various electrical and mechanical components. This arrangement with Orion followed a similar arrangement years earlier between Ikarus and Crown Coach Corporation to sell the articulated Ikarus design in the US as the Crown Ikarus 286.

The Orion III has a horizontally opposed engine mounted under the floor in the front section of the bus. This made the bus a "puller" articulated bus, rather than a "pusher" articulated bus which would have the engine located in the rear section, like GM's articulated model.

The first Orion III bus (a demonstrator) was produced in 1984, and the first order was placed by OC Transpo for 34 buses in November of that year.[1] The TTC placed a significant order for 90 units in December 1986.

Unfortunately, poor quality workmanship and several defects were found in the design and construction of these buses. The most persistent problem was the heavy corrosion on the frame, bodies and articulated joints, which was pointed to as sub-standard work by Ikarus while building the buses' bodies and frames in their Budapest plant.[2] As a result, many Orion III buses ended up retiring at a premature age before their 18 year expected lifespans, and this was the most likely factor as to why the Orion III was unsuccessful in the North American transit market. Production of this model was discontinued in 1989.



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Demonstrator and engineering units

Below is a list of known demonstrator and engineering buses

Fleet number Thumbnail Year VIN Engine Transmission Notes
1984 2B1379973E5006483 Cummins NHHTC-290 Allison HTB-748

See also


  1. "Ontario Bus Gets Contract: COMPANY NEWS." The Globe and Mail (1936-Current), 1984, pp. B8.
  2. Campion-Smith, Bruce (28 May 1995). How bus deal drove TTC around bend. Toronto Star. Retrieved on 19 November 2022.
Orion Bus Industries / Orion International
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