Lothian orders first Euro 6 double deck buses from Wrightbus after successful trial
Posted: 27 May 2014 | Wrightbus | 1 comment
Wrightbus, working closely with Volvo Bus, has been awarded a significant contract to supply the first Euro 6 double deck buses into the Lothian Buses fleet…
Wrightbus, working closely with Volvo Bus, has been awarded a significant contract to supply the first Euro 6 double deck buses into the Lothian Buses fleet.
Following a two month trial with an evaluation vehicle, a total of 25 new Gemini 3 double deck buses with Volvo B5TL Euro 6 chassis have been ordered by the Edinburgh-based transport operator. The evaluation vehicle was on show at the recent ALBUM Conference and Exhibition at Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish Rugby – which was also being hosted by Lothian Buses.
Optimised for the particular requirements of operation in and around the Scottish capital, each bus will be built to an overall length of 11.4 metres with a passenger capacity of 90. They have been specified to Lothian’s exacting standards including dedicated wheelchair and buggy areas, coloured LED destination information display equipment, Wi-Fi and a CCTV system. Other aesthetic features are special Edinburgh landmark seating fabric and full length glass used on the exterior of the staircase.
Group Managing Director of Wrightbus, Mark Nodder, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be supplying the first Euro 6 double deck buses for the Lothian Buses fleet and to see our partnership with Volvo Bus bearing fruit with this prestigious contract win. After the success of the trial period, we’re confident the new Gemini 3 buses will prove to be highly successful in operation while at the same time be well received by Lothian Buses’ passengers.”
Ian Craig, Chief Executive for Lothian Buses, added: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our operational standards, which is in line with our reputation for having one of the most modern fleets in the UK and are looking forward to taking delivery of these new, state-of-the-art buses later this year. As well as providing all the facilities and comforts our customers have come to expect, they can be confident that they are travelling in a vehicle with extremely low emissions, therefore lessening our impact to the city’s environment.”
The new Gemini 3 is the result of three years’ close development and collaboration between Wrightbus and Volvo Bus, with the design teams carefully considering every aspect of its Euro 5 predecessor to achieve a gross weight saving of around a metric tonne on the previous model.
By switching to a smaller engine at Euro 6, the new vehicle loses nothing in terms of performance. The engine – the Volvo D5K 4 cylinder 5.1 litre, rated at 240hp at 1900rpm – has a maximum torque of 918Nm at 1200-1600rpm and has been matched to a new, specially adapted, variant of the ZF Ecolife transmission.
Compliance with the latest Euro 6 emission standards has been achieved by a combination of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (GR) technology. Volvo’s Exhaust After-treatment System (EATS) includes a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) with automatic regeneration, which does not interfere with the operation of the new bus while in service.
Electro-hydraulic power steering is featured in the B5TL. The power assistance is hydraulic, but the pump is driven by an electric motor. As well as being more efficient, there is now no need for hydraulic pipes to run the length of the vehicle and more importantly, there is no hydraulic pump required on the engine, thus there is no hydraulic oil in the engine compartment.
Access to all key components has also been carefully considered to make ongoing maintenance requirements simpler and straightforward. The main wiring harnesses throughout the vehicle have been upgraded, to ensure the wires stay in place. In addition the Engine ECU has been repositioned, separated from the engine to provide greater protection.
Lothian Buses operates more than 70 services in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of Midlothian and East Lothian with a fleet of 721 vehicles. Wrightbus, in conjunction with Volvo, has previously supplied significant numbers of buses to the organisation in recent years, including Gemini 2 double decks.