Patrick 79 Posted August 23, 2017 Share #1 Posted August 23, 2017 Last post for today, it's getting late here in central Europe. -- Actually, by the time I've finished this, it's already 24 August here. Vienna's bus network currently consists of 108 day lines, 18 Mo-Fr night lines and 17 weekend and holiday night lines. The day lines have all either an A or a B as postfix. This concept was introduced in the 70's, for one reason to distinguish bus lines from streetcar lines, and to show the passenger, where you can ride with a ticket from the municipal transport authority (A lines) or where you have to buy a ticket, because the line is operated by a private company (B lines). This distinguishion got obsolete, once the private operators accepted the standard tickets. Today, the two letters often show lines that share a long part of their route (Ex: 92A and 92B), or that support the main line during rush hour. (Ex: 11A and 11B) Streetcar replacement services inherit the number of the line they replace, and have an E (for "Ersatz" - Replacement) as prefix. (Ex: 67E) Buses don't do replacement services for subways very often, but when they do, the local transport company gets pretty creative (and ridiculous). For example: Last year, parts of subway line U4 have been refurbished and there wasn't any near enough streetcar route, that could have been used for a streetcar replacement service. So the desicion was made, to operate a subway replacement service with buses - genious decision. Then they tought: "How should we call it?" -- "E4?" -- "Nah, that's to obvious. And it's not a replacement service after all, just an additional service ("Zusatz"), let's call it U4Z!" That's pretty much how that weird number came to be. Night line services are numbered pretty simple: They follow a streetcar line (or where once one has been), so they just get the line number of that line and a N prefixed. (Ex: N25) Enough theory, let's get to the busses in service. I apologize that I can only provide enhanced information for Wiener Linien buses, we just have too many private operators with too many busses. Nonetheless I'll show some of them too. Electric Busses NBA 85 (Rampini Alé EL) Please don't ask me, what this type name means, I really don't know. But back to things, I know: These 12 NBA85 are electric mini busses from Siemens and the Italian bus manufacturer Rampini, which only operate on the old city center lines 2A and 3A. They were designated the numbers 8301 - 8312 and have a pantograph on their roof, so they can charge from a special overhead wires that were constructed at the termini of the two lines. Wiener Linien recently ordered 12 meter electric busses for the other old city center line 1A, but I don't know if they will also be manufactured by Rampini and Siemens. Solo LPG busses Wiener Linien operated LPG busses since the 70's, as LPG was cheap at that time due to it being a by-product of a refinery near Vienna. Also, LPG engines used to be much cleaner than diesel engines. NL273T2 60 NL273T2 (NiederflurLinienbus (Low-floor line bus) with 273 HP and 2 doors (Türen)) were built between 2005 and 2008 are by far the greatest mistake recently made by Wiener Linien. Because they have only two doors (usually three doors in Vienna) AND they are driver operated, they spend much longer time at stops than other busses. Although the idea to have two door busses for low frequency lines isn't that bad, the sheer count of them leads to their operation on not-so-low-frequency lines. Fortunately, they get already withdrawn from service and will be definetily gone by 2019, if not earlier. They were designated the numbers 8401 - 8460. NL273T3 95 NL273T3 (3 doors) were built between 2006 and 2009 and designated the numbers 8601 - 8695. They also already gradually get withdrawn from service. Articulated LPG busses NG273M18 Remark: The depicted bus isn't actually a NG273M18, but a NG243M18, but since they've looked pretty much the same, the bus will do his job depicting the now described bus type. 20 NG273M18 (Gelenkbus (Articulated bus), 18 meters long) were built in 2005 and designated the numbers 8267 - 8286. They were kind of the successor to the NG243M18 (8201 - 8266), but while delivering those, a new (stronger) engine was developed, so the last NG243M18 to be deployed became NG273M18. The remaining seven busses only serve on Mo-Fr on 32A and are likely gone by the end of the year. NG273T4 95 NG273T4 (4 doors) were built between 2009 and 2011 and designated the numbers 8001 - 8095. They, like all other LPG busses, get replaced by new diesel busses by 2019. Diesel busses After it became clear, that new LPG busses were not an option for Wiener Linien, since new standard conform engines would have to be developed at high costs, Wiener Linien testes several busses from many different manufacturers. In the end, the choice fell on Mercedes-Benz' Citaro 2 and Citaro 2 G as well as the above mentioned electric busses. There were also 6 hybrid busses ordered from Volvo, but they were withdrawn from service after just two years, because they emitted more pollutants than the new diesel fleet. NL220MB 75 NL220MB (Mercedes-Benz) are currently in service and 53 more are scheduled to start getting delivered by September. They were and will be designated the numbers 8101 - 8228. The delivery of these busses increased comfort for everybody: They are way more silent than the LPG busses, they are equipped with doors that open to the outside - similar to modern streectars - and therefore provide more space inside. NG265MB 142 NG265MB are currently in service and 84 more are scheduled to start getting delivered by September. They were and will be designated the numbers 8701 - 8926. They have all the new benefits of the solo variant. Extra long MB Picture by Wiener Linien 60 yet unclassified Mercedes-Benz Capacity are scheduled to start getting delivered right now, to start service in September. They will be designated the numbers 8501 - 8560. They were ordered for lines were even the standard 18 meter artic busses can't stand the passengers anymore. The first arrived in the recent weeks and was presented just today by Wiener Linien to the public. A quick overview of busses operated by private companies (not all shown) Postbus (bus branch of Austrian Federal Railways) Dr. Richard Gschwindl Zuklinbus Blaguss Picture by Kurt Rasmussen Special thanks to my friend from Graz, who provided three pictures for this post. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask them! 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