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RSMG106

The 1993-99 Orion V and Orion V CNGs Facts

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The Orion V is the third most iconic bus for the MTA. Many transit agencies ordered these buses from 1989 to 2008. For these facts, I'm listing the facts that I sourced, but I will not include MTA Bus' Ex: Private Bus Lines Orion V and Orion V CNGs. With that all in mind here are some facts about MTA's Orion Vs. 

* The 1993 Units were different powertrain-wise. 101-290, 298, and 301-316 were powered by the Detroit Diesel 6V92TA engine with Allison HT747 transmission. 291-294 were powered by the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine with Allison HT748 transmission. And 295-297, and 299-300 were powered by the Cummins C8.3 engine with Allison HT747 transmission. All of these buses we're repowered with the Detroit Diesel Series 50 EGR engine, with Allison B400R4 transmissions. 

* 101-172 and 611-630 were originally delivered with suburban style seating for express routes, but were displaced into local service later on, refitting with fiberglass seating.

* 101-196 were originally numbered 93001-93096, the first two digits, 93, indicates the model year. However, the computer systems couldn't handle 5 digit fleet numbers, resulting to be renumbered to 101-196. 

* 240, 246 and 247 were given unknown Orange destination signs.

* The 1994-99 Orion V Diesels had the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine, with Allison B400R4 transmission. 1993 and 1994-96 orders were the only orders along with the 1994-96 CNG units to have street exhaust. 

* 416 and 444 were repowered with the Detroit Diesel Series 50 EGR engine in the early 2000s as a test.

*  317, and 581-610 were originally powered by the Cummins L10G engine, with the ZF Ecomat 5HP590 transmissions. Later on, there were repowered with the Detroit Diesel Series 50G EGR engines, and Allison B400R4 transmissions.

* 631-680 were originally orders for the Flxible Metro Es, being numbered 1900-1949, and the powertrain would've been powered with the Series 50 engine, and Allison VR731RH transmission, but due to the closure of the Flxible Company in 1996, the MTA decided to transfer the award to Orion. 

* And lastly, 6000-6002 had Luminator MegaMax destination signs, while 6003-6349 had Luminator Max3000 destination signs. 

If there's any more facts, please let me know.

800px-MTA_Bus_BIA_Orion_V_122.jpg

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Its funny how 317 and 581 - 610 orginally had Cummins L10G.. the LIB units with the same engine were fan favorites when they was running. I was born in 91 so I have no memories of the 94 V CNGs with the L10G but I have quite a few after the re power. Since their their was only 30 of them out of 200 + buses JG had they were kinda rare.

 

 

I rode a couple of them and TBH they weren't that good, I didn't ride every single one but the ones I rode were snails.. 

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Best buses the MTA have ever ordered. They were fast, comfortable, spacious and rarely broke down. The Detroit engines were the best sounding engines, even better than most buses today imo. I will miss the the good ol days when most buses were powered by the DD50.

 

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My second favorite bus, a close second to the RTS. The days when the Bronx, Upper Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island had these things. 

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The orange sign buses were actually 244 (until retirement at Baisley Park), 247, and 522.

That said, why did the MTA want the diesel 402-680 batch out so quickly? Some of that batch barely did 13 years, while the last of the RTS buses delivered right after were (or will be by year's end) retired after 22 years. I know that there were problems near the end with the last batch that meant their retirement ahead of the 1996 Novas.

I really have to wonder if Orion just provided a slightly substandard product, as now hybrids are being retired ahead of the last batch of RTS buses.

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On 10/10/2018 at 9:14 PM, aemoreira81 said:

The orange sign buses were actually 244 (until retirement at Baisley Park), 247, and 522.

That said, why did the MTA want the diesel 402-680 batch out so quickly? Some of that batch barely did 13 years, while the last of the RTS buses delivered right after were (or will be by year's end) retired after 22 years. I know that there were problems near the end with the last batch that meant their retirement ahead of the 1996 Novas.

I really have to wonder if Orion just provided a slightly substandard product, as now hybrids are being retired ahead of the last batch of RTS buses.

I know this is only, but I do fine this tread interesting. IIRC, The 1994-1995 and 1996 Orion V diesels were having rusting issues, so bad that the buses themselves were falling apart and were therefore no longer roadworthy. That was why as soon as the 2009 Orion VII NG hybrids got delivered in the Bronx especially during the spring and summer of that year, the most of the 1993-1996 Orion Vs went bye bye. The 1994-1995 CNG units that were out of Jackie Gleason depot in Brooklyn at the time did alot better considering that JG had decent maintenance and didn't run them as hard as their diesel counterparts in other Boroughs. However, the 2010 doomsday cuts nearly did them in until it was decided to give them to MTA bus company for awhile, but came the end of September, they were sadly retired for good without any replacements as the new C40LFs would not arrive for another year.

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On 7/18/2020 at 1:36 PM, Kris Brain said:

I know this is only, but I do fine this tread interesting. IIRC, The 1994-1995 and 1996 Orion V diesels were having rusting issues, so bad that the buses themselves were falling apart and were therefore no longer roadworthy. That was why as soon as the 2009 Orion VII NG hybrids got delivered in the Bronx especially during the spring and summer of that year, the most of the 1993-1996 Orion Vs went bye bye. The 1994-1995 CNG units that were out of Jackie Gleason depot in Brooklyn at the time did alot better considering that JG had decent maintenance and didn't run them as hard as their diesel counterparts in other Boroughs. However, the 2010 doomsday cuts nearly did them in until it was decided to give them to MTA bus company for awhile, but came the end of September, they were sadly retired for good without any replacements as the new C40LFs would not arrive for another year.

The 1994-95 CNG O5s had expiring tanks and had to be retired. As for replacements, did Gleason get additional O7 CNGs in the interim, while West Farms got diesel buses?

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Personally, I was surprised when the older O5s at KB all got junked in '09-'10; if memory serves me correctly, they had just displaced the remaining RTSes there ('07-'08).  They didn't seem to be in bad shape at the time, but I guess if the rust was under the surface then I'd have no way of knowing, anyway.

People point out the non-stainless frames of the O5s as a flaw, but carbon steel was actually the standard for bus construction much longer than it was for trains.  For what it's worth, it is (or rather was) a common practice for transit agencies in other parts of the world to give their buses a mid-life overhaul; replacing rusted areas of the chassis/undercarriage by welding in new metal was considered normal and relatively cost-effective.  Too expensive to do over here?

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