18. November 2010

New buses for the Tramway Museum

The Tramway Museum has entered into an agreement with the Danish Bus Preservation Society (BBGDK) to take over the buses in their collection from Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus: a total of eight buses dating from 1970 to 1998.

BBGDK has a total collection of 15 buses, representing, with one exception, the period from 1980 to 2000. Like the Tramway Museum, BBGDK has buses from the three former tramway cities, but also a number of buses from smaller towns and rural routes. They wished to change the composition of their fleet to place the emphasis on provincial buses and buses from rural routes, of which only a few examples have been preserved. In this context, BBGDK contacted us in the autumn of 2010 to see if we might be interested in taking over the buses they had from the former tramway cities. After some further discussion about the offer, the matter was considered by the board of SHS on 27 October, and the offer was accepted on some conditions. Our terms and the entire issue was then discussed at BBGDK’s general assembly on 13 November, and approved.

Next spring, when a new external lease we have set up can be used, the eight buses and some spare parts will be collected from BBGDK 's base in the former army barracks in Sjælsmark.

The eight buses are as follows (in chronological order):

    1. KS/ HT 531 Volvo B59 Aabenraa 1970. This bus is the prototype for the KS Series III buses, of which we already have KS 571. KS 531 is however not just the KS prototype, but also Volvo's first bus with a rear-mounted motor, and therefore - like OB 10 - chassis no. 1. The bus spent many years at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg, but came to Volvo Denmark in 2008. Shortly afterwards it came into the possession of BBGDK, who restored it to running order.

    2. Bus Danmark 1441 Volvo B10M Aabenraa 1982. This bus was delivered to HT (Copenhagen City and Regional Transport) as HT 1441, and renovated in the early 1990s. In 2001 it was sold to Poland, where it ran until 2009. It still quite closely resembles a ReBus, although some alterations were made in Poland. It is the only preserved Rebus, and represents the public sector’s attempt to obtain "new" buses when there was not enough money for real new buses. BBGDK installed a new engine and gearbox in the bus in the winter of 2010-11.

    3. OB 130 Volvo B10M Aabenraa 1982. This is a very typical Odense bus. More than 100 buses with this appearance were acquired for Odense from 1973 to 1982, and the last one ran until 2006. Acquiring this bus means that the city of Odense will be far better represented in our collection. The bus is generally sound and fully operational.

    4. TAK 1585 Scania N112 DAB 1984. This bus was delivered to HT (Copenhagen City and Regional Transport) as HT 1585. The bus was sold to Tallinn in 1996, as one of many Danish buses which in the 1990s and after the turn of the millennium ended up on the roads in Poland and the Baltic countries. The bus was in operation until 2009, and was then brought back to Denmark by BBGDK. The bus is operational and otherwise virtually identical to our own HT 1388. The initial plan is therefore to let it remain as TAK 1585, to show that it was not just trams that were sold abroad.

    5. OB 140 Volvo B10M Aabenraa 1987. The bus has the Aabenraa type M85 chassis, which is characterised by being very angular. It is the only bus in our collection to have this body type, despite the fact that there were quite a few of them in the HT area. The bus is in good condition underneath, but needs re-painting. Together with OB 130, this bus shows that the provincial towns were very conservative in their bus design. Apart from the fact that this model is, of course, new and to-date, the vehicle is virtually identical to OB 10, which is 35 years older.

    6. ÅS 287 DAB Silkeborg Sr. 12-1200B 1991. This bus is identical with our own ÅS 272. We thereby have – as with OB 10/30 – a complete back up. It is a very reliable bus, which also has plenty of room for prams. The initial plan with this bus is to store it as a “safety backup” for ÅS 272.

    7. Bus Danmark 1950 DAB Silkeborg Sr. 15-1200C, mrk. III 1995. This bus is a refinement of Fjordbus 7433, and can be said to be the final version of the DAB low-floor bus. It was delivered to Bus Denmark for use on the newly-created route 350S. It therefore has the S-bus design and (once again) the characteristic stripes on the roof edge which at that time identified the S-buses. The bus is in fine condition and can serve as an illustration of one of the methods used to get more passengers onto public transport - better comfort and more bling.

    8. Combus 5202 DAB Silkeborg Sr. 15-1200C gas bus 1998. This bus represents the last major type of vehicle from Denmark's largest bus manufacturer, DAB in Silkeborg. After the gas buses the story was almost over, and after several changes of ownership DAB closed as a bus manufacturer in 2003. We cannot use this bus in practice, as we do not possess a tank for gas buses, but we could exhibit this major and unsuccessful experiment in an exhibition. It was not a failure because it was a gas bus, but because the wrong type of gas was chosen. In Vienna, Malmö and many other places, most or all of the buses run on gas – and will continue to do so, as the system works and is environmentally friendly.

    All of the buses are operational, although Combus 5202 cannot actually run because we lack a gas facility to fill gas buses. The vehicles are generally in good condition, especially considering their age, so we must conclude that we have acquired eight very good buses for our collection which will help to complement it in useful and interesting ways.

    You can read more about the buses at the website of the Danish Bus Preservation Society (in Danish):