Network Warrington has been sampling various demonstrator vehicles over the last few months, all of which have been modern single deck midibuses which form the backbone of the current Warrington fleet.
The first of the three demonstrator buses was an Alexander Dennis Enviro200 midibus, which was registered YX17 NNM. The 10.8 metre vehicle was the first demonstrator vehicle to visit the company since 2012, which saw a range of different models trialled, before Network Warrington opted to order twelve Optare Versa midibuses, six of which were fitted with hybrid technology.
Finished in Alexander Dennis’ smart and distinctive two tone blue livery, the Enviro200 was outfitted with a high specification interior, where passengers could take advantage of the USB charging points from the comfort of a dual purpose seat. Under the bonnet, the 10.8 metre midibus was powered by a Euro VI-compliant four cylinder Cummins 4.5 litre diesel engine.
Notably, YX17 NNM was also the first vehicle fitted with a Euro VI emissions compliant engine to be operated by Network Warrington.
The second demonstrator arrived in September, this being an integral Mercedes-Benz Citaro registered BT66 TZE. This bus spent a period of four weeks on loan to Network Warrington, being the second vehicle of the type to be trialled by the company.
Outshopped in dark blue, the third generation of the Citaro is powered by Mercedes-Benz’s own 7.7 litre OM936h six cylinder engine, which is coupled to a Voith DIWA 6.0 four speed automatic transmission. Typically, the current full size Citaro in provincial specification has seats for 40 passengers.
Mid October saw the arrival of the third and final demonstrator bus, this being an integral Wrightbus StreetLite Max with the registration SK17 HHL. With capacity for 45 seated passengers, the Euro VI variant of the StreetLite is now powered by a Daimler engine, as per all of Wrightbus’ integral products.
This particular engine, the 5.1 litre OM934h, has improved fuel efficiency and has the option for either Voith DIWA or Daimler G90 transmission. This particular StreetLite was fitted with Wrightbus’ “Micro Hybrid” technology, which recovers braking energy to be re-used to power the vehicle’s ancillary systems.
At the time of writing, there is no confirmation as to what or how many new buses have been ordered by the company, but it is thought any new vehicles will replace the oldest vehicles in the company’s single deck fleet, which are currently Wrightbus bodied Volvo Merits.