Set to be based at four locations in Belfast, Coleraine, Londonderry and Newry, the coaches will be deployed on a range of routes, including return services to Dublin airport. Carrying Translink’s new eye-catching Goldline livery, the vehicles are already in operation with one of their first assignments being servicing the prestigious Open Golf Championship that was held at Royal Portrush this summer.
Each vehicle is tri-axle and built to Translink’s own specification, featuring the B11R chassis with a 430hp engine. At 14.3 metres in length, all coaches have 63 leather seats including three point seatbelts and back fitted USB ports. For passenger convenience and safety, the coaches have a free Wi-Fi network and a 10 camera CCTV system fitted. A sidemounted wheelchair lift and space for one wheelchair is also included as part of the Translink spec.
Will Campbell, Project Manager for Fleet Enhancements for Translink, said: “We needed a premium coach with added comfort for longer journeys that would also provide the high passenger capacity we needed, which was why we went for the 14.3m SC5 with 63 seats. Wheelchair access and capacity was also important for the services we offer.
“Like any bus and coach operator, fuel economy is particularly important to us and the predicted fuel savings that the B11R offers was one of the key reasons why Translink placed this order with Volvo. We have received a very positive reaction to the new coaches from our passengers and drivers alike, which is always pleasing.
“Aftersales service and support is also important for our business to ensure that our vehicles are in the best possible operational order with maximum uptime and we have an excellent working relationship with Dennisons, using their various dealer points across Northern Ireland.”
This latest order follows on the back of the purchase of two integral Volvo B11R 9700s and two B11R JHV2 coaches in late 2018, plus 23 Volvo B5TL buses in 2017 and 45 B5TL vehicles in 2014.
Richard Mann, Volvo Retail Bus & Coach Sales Manager, added: “It has been great to be working with Translink again on this significant order. They are one of our most loyal customers and we are confident the B11R chassis will provide the reliability and fuel efficiency they seek. We hope to be working with them again in the future.”