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Patrick

[Austria] Vienna Bus network

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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. :D

 

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)

 

21081786_1719208058089889_2066995094_o.j

 

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

 

2017-06-26%C2%B0IMG_1444%C2%B08444*8452-

 

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

 

2017-08-23%C2%B0IMG_2666%C2%B08610-27a-j

 

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

 

2012-05-11%C2%B0030%C2%B08250-26a-kagran

 

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

 

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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

 

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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

 

2016-06-29%C2%B0IMG_5505%C2%B08786-13a-h

 

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)

 

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Dr. Richard

 

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Gschwindl

 

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Zuklinbus

 

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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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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. :D

 

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)

 

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!

Nice pictures from Wien...  :D

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A big thanks to you guys. I agree Missabassie, the old ones are boring, rattly and loud - plus, they were still painted in this lame white/red/grey livery. :)

 

I've gone for a walk today to the nearest bus depot and I certainly won't withhold the pictures I've taken today.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2714%C2%B08684-27a-s

 

Let's start with a picture, that's going to be historic very soon, as new Citaros will replace the old LPG MANs on 27A in September.

Depicted above is NL273T3 8684 in a stop (is that how you say it?) next to a extraordinary beautiful new residential building. Its architects clearly knew more than four tones of white/grey.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2727%C2%B08680-28a-e

 

The LPG busses will stay in service for a longer time on 28A, a Monday to Friday line which connects an industrial area with the subway and suburban trains.

Here you can see NL273T3 8680 driving down a street without a proper sidewalk - something like that can only be seen in the outskirts of the city and is even there very rare.

 

Finally, here's probably the most interesting point of this whole post: The Leopoldau bus depot.

It currently is Wiener Linien's newest bus depot, having opened in 2007 on a former gas plant site far away from any residential area, so no one would be disturbed by the loud noise of the LPG engines - and because it needed space. Much space.

 

189 busses are parked and maintained here, with 22 day lines (most of them are in the north of Vienna) and 8 night lines being operated by this depot. Because of its remote location, three special services run each day from different parts of the city to the depot, so not everybody has to come with their car.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2758%C2%B0lpd.jpg

 

Some workers probably wanted to beautify the entry with a individual touch.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2757%C2%B0lpd.jpg

 

The entry and front of the depot, staff parking's to the left, the depot itself extends to the far right.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2763%C2%B0lpd.jpg

 

Adjacent to the depot, there's a municipal photovoltaik plant, which probably partially provides the depot with power.

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2754%C2%B08667+8673-

 

NL273T3 8667 and 8673 were already waiting for their service on the earlier mentioned special services for the staff into the city later this day.

 

As I've arrived at the depot at evening, the first busses already started to arrive "at home".

 

2017-08-25%C2%B0IMG_2769%C2%B08446-s-kat

 

NL273T2 8446 just before the depot entry.

 

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NG273T4 8070 almost at the final destination of its today service.

 

Hope you liked the little trip to Vienna's newest bus depot!

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The new extra long Mercedes-Benz busses (NG265XLMB - how creative ...) are in passenger operation since Monday on 11B. Guess who did a test ride today?

2017-10-07%C2%B0IMG_3852%C2%B08511-11b-j

8511 has just left its first stop on its way to Friedrich-Engels-Square. Yes, you are right. That Friedrich Engels who co-founded Communism. Now, as all of you hopefully know, Austria really isn't or ever was a communist country, but this name derives from the interwar period in Vienna, which is known as "Red Vienna". That's when after the founding of the republic, the social democrats ruled over Vienna and put it (or rather the inhabitants) out of its postwar misery by building many apartments to fight homelessness, improved the education, etc. Notable are the "Höfe" of that area ("courts" - municipal tenement complexes) that increased living standard for the poor and workers (e.g. the famous Karl-Marx-Hof, or George Washington-Hof). But enough history, let's go on with the pictures.

2017-10-07%C2%B0IMG_3857%C2%B08505-11b-j

8505 at Jungstraße stop. Although the municipal transit authority vaunts with 20% increase in capacity, this could easily be disproved as fake news, because the extra 1.5 meters aren't really that revolutionary and room making.

2017-10-07%C2%B0IMG_3874%C2%B08506-11b-l

8506 at Lassallestraße stop. Due to them being long vehicles, they are only allowed to drive on few authorised routes, which is why they have to have the encircled R with a yellow background on the front and back.

2017-10-07%C2%B0IMG_3885%C2%B08508-11b-v

And last but not least: 8508 while turning into Vorgartenstraße (Dooryard/Front Garden Street).

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It's time for some new pictures from Vienna.

As mentioned on August 26th, the new tranche of solo Citaro 2 will replace the MAN Lion's City busses on my local line 27A. Now, I've waited for a long time, since the press release stated, that they would be in operation by fall. Just in time, 10 days before winter starts, Wiener Linien switched line 27A from the LPG busses to the new Mercedes today.

2017-12-11%C2%B0IMG_4912%C2%B08203-27A-p

2017-12-11%C2%B0IMG_4922%C2%B08198-27A-w

2017-12-11%C2%B0IMG_4937%C2%B08204-27A-s

The Citaros are arguably a great leap forward in passenger and resident comfort: On the passengers' side, they offer more space and quicker boarding, while on the residents' side (which includes me), they are so much quieter. In some nights, I've heard the loud LPG-busses starting from 200 meters (~219 yards) away as if they were right next to me.

Two Citaros have done an interesting "guest performance" on my regular line 94A (which brings me more or less directly from the subway to my technical college) in November, as two busses where at the workshops then. This is special, because so called "Leihwagen" (busses that are "lent" from one line to another) aren't really unusual, but they usually just stay for a few days on the line instead for a whole month. I personally am very glad that they're gone again, as their seats are less comfortable than the ones of the Lion's Cities, that operate normally on this line.

The two busses where BD-13941 and BD-13960.

2017-11-13%C2%B0IMG_4509%C2%B013941-94A- 

2017-11-13%C2%B0IMG_4520%C2%B013941-94A-

2017-11-20%C2%B0IMG_4657%C2%B013960-kagr

Wiener Linien have announced today, that Italian bus manufacturer Rampini won the bid for seven 12m (40ft) electric busses. Twelve Rampini busses are already in operation in the city center, but they are in comparison just 7.72m (~25ft) long. I hope, the new 12m busses will somewhat resemble the shorter ones, so there would be a consistent design for diesel and electric busses.

2017-10-10%C2%B0IMG_4009%C2%B08307-2a-fj

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I got my Christmas present in advance today, a wide-aperture lens for my camera. So nothing could stop me from testing it out in the evening!

2017-12-12%C2%B0IMG_5202%C2%B08204-27A-r

While I was going to my local subway station (which can be seen in the background), I took my first shot of a moving object with the new lens – in this case it's NL220 8204 on 27A.

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This may be getting a rare picture: The Lion's City on the right is a so-called "Leihwagen" (again a bus, that's "lent" from one line/depot to another), and it may be gone again tomorrow. Because both busses in the picture share the same color scheme, it's personally my favorite shot. This picture will be even more symmetrical, when Blaguss (another private bus company) will take over operation on 1 January, as they're also going to use Citaro 2s. 

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Oddly enough, ÖBB Postbus (Austrian Federal Railways' "Stagecoach") didn't put any logos on this bus. If you didn't knew, that only Postbus busses have special BD-XXXX license plates and Postbus operates that line, you could "choose" one of many bus companies in Vienna as the owner.

2017-12-12%C2%B0IMG_5299%C2%B08207-27A-r

And one of the new Citaro 2s again. This maybe 8207's first day of operation. I hope they will fix the font size of this destination, because they would just need to abbreviate "Straße" with "Str." and it would be better customer service.

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Some pictures of busses in north-bank Vienna. 

2017-12-16%C2%B0IMG_5732%C2%B01720-34A-f

Dr. Richard MAN NG323 on line 34A in Floridsdorf. This is one of the busiest lines to be operated by a private bus company. There's only one other line that's operated with articulated busses by an private operator. This line was known as 33B prior to the last invitation for bid.

2017-12-18%C2%B0IMG_5878%C2%B08060-26A-k

The north of Vienna is kind of the refuge for all remaining 93 LPG articulated busses. They are in service on 24A, 29A, 30A, 31A, 32A and on 26A obviously, where they're going to be replaced by the new XL-Citaros next year (I think). The entire fleet will be withdrawn from service by 2019. Depicted is NG273T4 8060 just before reaching its terminus in Kagran.

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8049 in the starting stop, next to E1 4779 with c4 1319 on line 25.

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8065 right after leaving Kagran station for Groß-Enzersdorf. 26A is one of very few lines to actually not end in Vienna, but in Lower Austria, the surrounding state. In the top left corner of the picture, a typical Viennese Cubic Clock (Würfeluhr) can be seen. They can be found in many greater squares, although they were on the brink of "extinction" in 2007/2008, when the future of their funding was vague. Since then, the local insurance "Wiener Städtische" ("Vienna Insurance Group") funds them in change for free advertisement on the clock-faces.

2017-12-18%C2%B0IMG_6020%C2%B08825-93A-k

Dr. Richard also operates line 93A, with brand new MAN NL323 Lion's City busses. For the first time, private busses get displayed on the countdown-displays at several stops and in the real-time schedule mobile app. You can try this out here, if you're interested in it.

2017-12-18%C2%B0IMG_6049%C2%B08826-93A-k

 

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I bought myself today a Røde VideoMicro, because I've wanted to start filming (besides taking pictures of) public transport for a long time, but the sound quality of my camera's built in microphone is ... let's say not good.

I put a compilation together of all four (yes, so many!) shots I'd taken today – they are NOT perfect, just a test. However, I actually want to do some little "documentaries" (although I wouldn't call them so) this year. Since I don't want to talk in videos, I'll put everything in the closed captions - which are btw also available on todays compilation! (In English too – needless to say)

Which parts of the public transport network here would you like to see? It can be everything – busses, streetcars, subway, interurbans (of which I'll maybe do a compilation tomorrow), commuter trains or perhaps the infrastructure itself? I'm happy if I can show like-minded people around the world my city.

Have a nice rest of the day!

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