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Author Topic: Mystery Coach!!!  (Read 5972 times)
SmoothJazz
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 09:39:32 AM »

I operated one of the H5-60's as a seated coach. It averaged between 4-5 mpg at best. This was not so bad as a seated coach since in many cases I was able to transport groups on one bus instead of two. My biggest problem was that I could not keep the engine from overheating on a hot day. I could only drive between 50-55 mph during the day, but at night, I could drive 75-80. The engine is mounted in the middle with limited air flow and the A/C condensor was next to the radiator. Since the A/C was charged with R-22, it created a lot of extra heat. I also had a problem with the rear wheel studs shearing off. You also had to be very careful in construction zones with the Jersey barriers because the rear section would fish tail. This also caused passengers to vomit from motion sickness. The coach was designed to put more pressure on the pivot point the faster you went; however, that would wear after time and I think the replacement parts are not available since they only made 50 of these coaches.They have a great turning radius, shorter than a 40 foot coach, but you had to be careful not to get into a sharp turn where you then had to back up. The coach would jackknife and automatically shut down, then you had to call a tow truck to straighten you out. Fortunately, I never had to do this, but for this reason, all my drivers refused to drive the coach. Other than that, the coach sure got peoples attention. Anyway, that was just my experience with the H5-60.
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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 11:00:11 AM »

I believe there may be two seperate issues for California.  One is the special license for motorhomes over 40 feet.  The other is restrictions on which roads 45 foot motorcoaches and motorhomes may travel on.  (Not sure if the road restriction is over 40 foot or just 45 foot.)  The road restriction would probably be why some motorhome manufacturers have special less than 45 foot coaches for CA buyers.

I assume if I drive a over 40 foot motorhome into California and the motorhome and my license are not from CA that I won't be hassled?  It would be pretty hard to get a license that doesn't exist in my home state.  California is so far from home that I will probably never worry about this.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2008, 12:17:09 PM »

I maintain that you lop off the trailer from this, transplant the rear cap, add an engine door and you'll have a really cool 37 foot (I think) twin steer bus!

Pretty soon these things will be chicken scratch to buy as nobody wants to feed them!


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coachconverter
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2008, 12:46:14 PM »

Also,

I had a customer interested in converting one of these.  I spoke to my local Prevost rep about the parts and he said forget about it.  The pivot tables are the reason they only made 50, it was a special contract as some sort of experiment, partially funded by the US and Canadian governments.  But when those funds ran out, the parts were too expensive to blend into the cost of the buses.  He said that there were only 5 spare tables made and they were sold long ago, for big bucks.

Otherwise, many of the parts transfer over from H3-40 buses, but not the 41 and 45 model, or so I'm told.  Still, I love the idea of quad steer and quad drive... until either breaks!
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Jeremy
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2008, 01:44:32 PM »

Regarding the pivot table / turntable - the comments here regarding the Jumbocruiser turntable may be of some interest:

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


I don't know how many Jumbocruisers were built, but there is a fair bit of info about them on the web, including a Yahoo group

Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2008, 09:39:55 PM »

The new double decker highway coaches run by Megabus seat 81 people...

No need for the cost and complexity of twin steer and the turntable joint.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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billy6941
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2008, 10:10:02 PM »

Holland America, in Anchorage, Alaska, has 17 of these. I drove them for 2 years, late 90's, before moving on to Premier Alaska Tours. They are easy to drive and will go into places where a 45 footer might have trouble. They are extremely underpowered, but run well at highway speeds. They seat 68 passengers.....Bill
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niles500
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2008, 10:27:42 PM »

*** Holland America, in Anchorage, Alaska, has 17 of these. I drove them for 2 years, late 90's ***

Billy, I think I ran into you, well almost ran into you, coming around a blind curve on Top O' the world - I was the one with the BIG eyes  Shocked
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2008, 06:09:50 AM »

The Megabus coaches must have very limited headroom, especially with luggage bays, since they are still limited to 13'6".  Granted, you're aren't walking around much.

An articulated snigle deck would have more headroom.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
billy6941
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2008, 10:17:08 PM »

Hi Niles. It would really be easy to "run into somebody" on that road. I drive it about 15 times a season. REALLY BIG EYES!!!!    Bill
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Sojourner
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2008, 11:08:56 PM »

I operated one of the H5-60's as a seated coach. It averaged between 4-5 mpg at best. This was not so bad as a seated coach since in many cases I was able to transport groups on one bus instead of two. My biggest problem was that I could not keep the engine from overheating on a hot day. I could only drive between 50-55 mph during the day, but at night, I could drive 75-80. The engine is mounted in the middle with limited air flow and the A/C condensor was next to the radiator. Since the A/C was charged with R-22, it created a lot of extra heat. I also had a problem with the rear wheel studs shearing off. You also had to be very careful in construction zones with the Jersey barriers because the rear section would fish tail. This also caused passengers to vomit from motion sickness. The coach was designed to put more pressure on the pivot point the faster you went; however, that would wear after time and I think the replacement parts are not available since they only made 50 of these coaches.They have a great turning radius, shorter than a 40 foot coach, but you had to be careful not to get into a sharp turn where you then had to back up. The coach would jackknife and automatically shut down, then you had to call a tow truck to straighten you out. Fortunately, I never had to do this, but for this reason, all my drivers refused to drive the coach. Other than that, the coach sure got peoples attention. Anyway, that was just my experience with the H5-60.

Thanks for sharing a very interesting report of the Prevost H-60.

Take Care, Gerald
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2008, 06:24:25 AM »

That wiki entry on the Neoplan was interesting.  It had a digital turntable - what does that mean, will it play music better than an analog turntable? 

Now, if we want to think toward the future, look at the Bus Rapid Transit articulateds that are coming out - there were quite a few at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in San Diego last month.  With BRT so popular, and regular transit articulateds seing a resurgence, diesel/electric hybrids, etc. what does the future hold when this new fleet ends its useful life?  A conversion with it's own Mother-in-Law apartment?

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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jackhartjr
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2008, 06:45:16 AM »

Authur, is that the same on the Washington DC METRO is buying?  If so I have seen dozens going up I-85 toward DC lately, even talked to one of the delivery drivers...he said it is an absolute pleasure to drive!
Jack
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Jeremy
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2008, 07:27:37 AM »

That wiki entry on the Neoplan was interesting.  It had a digital turntable - what does that mean, will it play music better than an analog turntable? 

Now, if we want to think toward the future, look at the Bus Rapid Transit articulateds that are coming out - there were quite a few at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in San Diego last month.  With BRT so popular, and regular transit articulateds seing a resurgence, diesel/electric hybrids, etc. what does the future hold when this new fleet ends its useful life?  A conversion with it's own Mother-in-Law apartment?

Arthur


I think the likelyhood is that the future of transits buses isn't buses - it's trams. Many European cities have always had trams, and several British cities have already or are planning to install new tram systems (often to replace ones which were ripped out 60 years ago). The advantages over diesel-fueled buses are numerous, and about the only disadvantage they have is for the pedestrians who wanter across the tracks in front of them because they can't hear the tram coming. It's happened to me, and is quite easy to do as the trams run through shopping areas etc that don't allow any other vehicles, so you aren't looking out for traffic as you walk about. The trams do have loud horns though.

There is also at least one city here who are using trolley buses again (ie. rubber-tyred bus with a pantograph), which is another re-invention from years ago. Here's an example of an articulated trolley bus from Holland:



Jeremy

PS. Presumably the 'digital turntable' on the Neoplan simply means 'computer controlled' - ie. the computer stops the turntable from doing unexpected things to prevent jacknifes etc

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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 09:48:16 AM »

Jeremy, in the states the real push from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA, source of federal funding), is Bus Rapid Transit or BRT.  They're moving away from new rail, due to the relative costs.  BRT is really only express buses, but the BRT component is private right-of-way, signal prioritization/preemption, sometimes fare prepayment, etc.  Much cheaper than building new rail systems.  Rail has been successful in some cities (here in Dallas, TX for example), but other high cost rail lines haven't met the crystal ball projections.  The relative capital costs are much less for BRT.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, BRT is perceived as sexy, now a must-have - even in cities that don't warrant anything more than express buses - the few minutes saved don't warrant the costs.  On the other hand, it is attracting new ridership, the people that wouldn't ride a "bus", because "those people" ride buses.  It is kind of perceived as rail, which is why a lot of the buses are designed to resemble rail car design. 

The vehicles range from fairly standard articulateds - (Boston's Silver Line is dual mode articulateds, diesel and overhead trolley), to streamlined coaches with wheel pants - think suppository.  Daimler-Chrysler had one at APTA in San Diego, a German design (possibly Mercedes, I don't remember), that they've nicknamed the "slinky."  This group is kind of patterned after the French Irisbus.  The whole concept comes from Curitibo, Brazil. 

I believe WMATA, Washington DC is getting some articulateds, I saw one at APTA San Diego - so that probably is what Jack saw.  The new General Manager is working on branding the different services, like he was involved with in Los Angeles - therefore, new paint schemes, etc.  They all look alike to me, but based on where Jack saw it, it may be a NABI coming up from the Aniston, Alabama plant.

Now, the delivery run I'd like to drive is what I saw last summer.  On the Trans-Canada, in eastern New Brunswick, we saw some westbound double-deckers on the way to Vancouver.  Probably shipped in to Halifax or Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, then driven all the way across Canada - what a ride!

Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

Working in the bus industry provides us a great opportunity - to be of service to others
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