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GM artics and other industry musings....
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:40 am    Post subject: GM artics and other industry musings.... Reply with quote

Fellows:

Many of us today in 2018 have forgotten when the Candian governmented contracted with the Diesel Division of GM to manage the project of designing and building a new articulated transit bus.

This program was funded by the Province of Ontario, to build and test a limited number of units.

Production began in June, 1980, however, deliveries would not take place until 1982.

The concept of this project was to produce articulated buses that would then be tested in service by four different Ontario operators.

The design of these buses was based on the GM New Look; the leading portion utilized the first 30 feet of a 35 foot coach; the back utilized the rear section of a 40-foot coach.

Howver, the original New Look front ends were replaced with a new end that was flat in appearance, a totally different appearance from that of the original New Looks.

When completed, the artics were delivered to four operators, including Ottawa and Toronto.

Given this, it is interesting to think about what GMC New Look artics MIGHT have looked like, had they incorporated the original front ends, and, more importantly, had continued bus production..

It is also important to remember that articulated buses in North America were virtually unheard of at that time; it would not be until later in the 80's and 90's that such vehicles became commonplace in numerous cities.

Had GM not ceased bus production, perhaps the articulateds of today (including the articulated trolley buses used in several US cities) might have been built by GMC.

There was also a GM-built (prototype) articulated, the "MEGA", which was essentially an RTS articulated.

This prototype bus, however, was the only one built (1981); ironically, GM decided that the marketing potential was inadequate, and no further units were built.

How ironic, when one considers how many North American cities today utilize articulateds!

Of course, it IS quite interesting imagining RTS artics lumbering and twisting through our streets!

This is a subject I have contemplated for quite awhile now;I find it somewhat ironic that,once GM ceased production of buses, the popularity of articulated coaches really began to rise; imagine had GM built the artics that had been produced by such companies as IKARUS, MAN, VOLVO, and NEOPLAN.

Articulated highway coaches, however, seems to be an entirely different matter altogether; CONTINENTAL TRAILWAYS was (and, to date, still is) the only domestic intercity operator that utilized production model articulated highway coaches.

These four articulated EAGLE coaches entered service prior to 1960; these 60-footers had Rolls-Royce engines and were, to say the least, QUITE distinctive.

GREYHOUND, of course, never dabbled with the articulation concept, although I DO like imagining a SCENICRUISER artic!

NEOPLAN, however, did build articulated double-deckers; the "JUMBOLINER" (14 of them) went to the Kennedy Space Center as tour buses.

Articulated NEOPLAN highway coaches had also operated in Canada ("VOYAGEUR")

Today, of course, articulated transit coaches are as commonplace as cracks in the sidewalk; however, not all that long ago, they were virtually unknown, here in the States.......

"NYO"

Sources: ""WELCOME ABOARD THE GM NEW LOOK BUS" (McKane/Squier) and "THE BUS WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BUSES" (Ed Stauss)


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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of interest......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_Transit_Series

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_New_Look_bus
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also.......

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/e/eagle_int/eagle_int.htm


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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bus Rapid Transit, is, by nature, a type of operation well suited to articulated buses (including ETB's)

Here is a subject that I feel is too seldom discussed; of course, articulated units would make a great deal of sense (IMHO) on a BRT system......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides the four Super Golden Eagles Kassbohrer-Setra built for Continental Trailways, they also built two Kassbohrer body on Henschel chassis articulated buses. These were known as "Galenkes"...one was red and cream, the other green and cream. One was named the "Academy Express", and the other the "Fort Carson Express", dedicated to serve their namesake Colorado military installations.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver:

As always, great input; I did know this....must have been sharp-looking coaches!

I have the front section of a vintage tin articulated Eagle in my collection (maybe one day I'll find a rear section!

I saw a complete version on eBay several years ago; the price was the equivalent of several of my pension checks!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked

Oh, well....I can always dream....... Wink

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

I was going through several old issues of "BUS WORLD" earlier, and was engrossed in a few interesting articles.

One in particular, from the Fall 1996 issue, "WHERE HAVE ALL THE BUS BUILDERS GONE?" (Van Wilkins) was especially intensive and well written.

As we all know, by the 60's, only GM and FLXIBLE were still building transit buses; though, at the time, WHITES, MACKS, and ACF-BRILLS were still commonplace on our streets, but those old companies were no longer building buses.

Then, by the 70's and 80's, and beyond, foreign companies began to enter the US bus market; this was made even more interesting with the Clean Air Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act now at the forefront of things.

Too, recall the TRANSBUS, the early MCI Classics, the MAN, IKARUS, and VOLVO models that soon become more and more commonplace.

Indeed, by the 70's and 80's, the bus industry (especially in the transit sector) was a vastly different ball game, especially compared to what it was in the 1950's.

With the dawning of the ADA era, many early wheelchair lifts proved to be less than reliable; I know the ones on Academy's METRO's and RTS coaches were especially cranky and balky, to the chargrin of many.

Remember, also, when the first low-floor buses on this side of the pond were OBI's ORION II's; these buses, introduced in 1983, came in 21 and 25-foot lengths.

These buses, it should be noted, were originally intended for demand response services; however, some operators later found the type usel on conventional fixed routes.


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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continued:

Other builders had chosen to develop a 100% low-floor, 40-foot bus.

NEOPLAN and OBI (ORION) showed prototypes at New Orleans in 1993; the following year, NovaBus exhibited its version at Boston.

Then, with the Clean Air Act, CNG buses soon were becoming popular, with large orders being delivered; Seattle, however, was one of the cities that opted instead for buses utilizing "clean" diesel engines.

Though it was stated that CNG was/is indeed clean, it is also more expensive; these buses often cost 20% more than a regular diesel coach.

This, in itself, was not surprising, considering the costly refueling equipment and facilities that CNG buses required.

When this Fall, 1996 issue of "BUS WORLD" hit the stands, fuel cells were then waiting in the wings.

Just think of how much has advanced....and changed......in the transit bus industry, in 20-odd years.....

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of the CNG's.......

http://viainfo.net/cng/
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting page on fuel cell buses......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell_bus
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of what fuel powers it, any and all buses are, of course, prone to everyday "glitches".......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3358

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From "BUS WORLD" (Fall, 1996, Van Wilkins, 'WHERE HAVE ALL THE BUS BUILDERS GONE?")

"...........as the eighties progressed, it was clear that GM wanted out of the bus business; in 1987, it sold its Canadian operations to Greyhound of Canada. Subsidiary Motor Coach Industries became responsible for the production, by then located in St. Eustache, Quebec, and Classics continued to roll out of the plant......"

"...........MCI would build 14 additional articulateds, this time using Classic components. Plant ownership later passed on to NovaBus, which continued to build the Classic......"

"......Brazilian and Argentine buses were also appearing, imported by Stewart & Stevenson Services from several builders, between 1990 and 1993. Huston was the largest buyer, purchasing 164 buses in 24, 28, and 37-foot models........."

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

Just came across this "in-depth" page on the history of GM bus building, the models and variations that were produced over the decades, etc......

"NYO"

http://www.utahrails.net/buses/GM_Coach_Diesel_Division_ttmg.htm
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
All:

Just came across this "in-depth" page on the history of GM bus building, the models and variations that were produced over the decades, etc......

"NYO"

http://www.utahrails.net/buses/GM_Coach_Diesel_Division_ttmg.htm


That article I would call more of a 'capsule history', rather than an "in-depth" history.
It did not even touch the main reason for GM exiting the industry...its long battle with the US government over anti-trust laws, stemming from its almost monopoly over the industry for a long period...
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
All:

Just came across this "in-depth" page on the history of GM bus building, the models and variations that were produced over the decades, etc......

"NYO"

http://www.utahrails.net/buses/GM_Coach_Diesel_Division_ttmg.htm


That article I would call more of a 'capsule history', rather than an "in-depth" history.
It did not even touch the main reason for GM exiting the industry...its long battle with the US government over anti-trust laws, stemming from its almost monopoly over the industry for a long period...


traildriver:

Yes, you are indeed correct; however, in my "terminology", that page seemed to go into more detail than others (some pages are truly "slim pickins', very sketchy at best!)

On GM bus history, I have long hoped that some expert in the field would write a truly detailed, concise, and in-depth book on the subject.

Surely, the records, documents, and photos are there.....it just takes someone with both the desire AND (more importantly) the KNOWLEDGE to attempt a grand work of such vast scope.

Of course, at least a few years of TIME would be required to put such a work together.

I, for one, would indeed purchase a copy, if one ever hit the bookstore shelves........Wink

"NYO"
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