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‘Year of the Bus’ underway with silver Wrightbus Routemaster

07 May 2014 #Bus and Coach #CV Sector #News #Top Stories

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson has revealed a New Routemaster bus in a special silver livery. The new bus will be put into service as part of Transport for London’s celebration of the Year of the Bus.

In common with all other New Routemasters, the 11.2m long silver machine is driven by a diesel-electric powerplant, can carry 87 passengers and is  built by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland.

In total, Wrightbus has around 1,800 machines on the streets of the capital. However, the firm is also celebrating a contract win further overseas. Major orders have been signed with Hong Kong-based New World First Bus Services ltd and Citybus ltd for 20 and 31 new double deck buses respectively. The vehicles – which will feature Wrightbus bodywork on Volvo tri-axle chassis – will be operated in Hong Kong and assembled in Malaysia by Wrightbus International’s new partner, Masdef.

The orders are for 50 fully air conditioned tri-axle Wrightbus double deck buses on Volvo B9 Euro-5 chassis specified at 11.3m length with a total passenger capacity of 128 and one prototype vehicle built to a length of 12.8m with total capacity of 150.

“This is a highly significant order for Wrightbus International” said Steve Harper, a Business Development Manager at the firm. “Working closely with long term partner Volvo Bus, we have been able to secure our first order with NWFB and CTB.”

He added, “The new partnership agreement with Masdef is an important part of our strategy to extend our presence and capability in the region and will hopefully provide a springboard for further future developments.”

The first of the tri-axle vehicles will be due for delivery in January 2015. Meanwhile, TfL plans to put the 600th New Routemaster into service by 2016.

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