Berkhof Ambassador

The Berkhof Ambassador is a low-floor city bus produced by the Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Berkhof between 2001 and 2011 when it was replaced by the VDL Citea. The section between the front and rear door are at the same height. The seats at the very rear are a bit higher, and can be reached by using stairs.

Berkhof Ambassador
VJ 95780 (DK).JPG
Berkhof Ambassador from Østtrafik
Overview
ManufacturerVDL Berkhof
Production2001–2011
AssemblyHeerenveen and Valkenswaard
Body and chassis
Doors1-2-0 or 2-2-0
Floor typeLow floor
Low entry
Powertrain
EngineDiesel engine by Cummins or DAF
Capacity80 passengers (up to 34 seated)
Power output205 bhp
TransmissionAutomatic Voith transmission
Dimensions
Length10.6–11.95 m
Width2.5 m
Height2.92 m
Curb weight8,359–8,728 kg
Chronology

This type of bus is most commonly used in the Netherlands and Denmark. In the Netherlands, owners and operators include:Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Hermes, Syntus and Veolia Transport. In Denmark, owners and operators include: Arriva, City-Trafik, De Hvide Busser, DitoBus, Kruse, Nettbuss and Nobina. In Italy, owners and operators include CA.NOVA.

HistoryEdit

The Ambassador has been in production since 2001, and its exterior is largely unchanged; the interior, however, has undergone several changes, and the vehicle is assembled at low cost. The older series (built from 2001–2005) has an inferior suspension, which causes the bus to rattle. The Ambassador was originally equipped with a Voith automatic gearbox, which was noisy. Later versions are sturdier, and more-recent Voith gearboxes are quieter in use. The combination of better isolation and a more environmentally-conscious Cummins engine makes the bus quieter. The suspension has also been improved, allowing for a smoother ride.

The first series (Connexxion/Hermes) of Ambassadors was delivered with green LCD route signals (line number and destination). These occasionally malfunctioned, and later series were delivered with orange LED route signals. This type of bus has been involved in several incidents: in December 2003 a driver was killed after becoming stuck between the front door and the bus (this type of door has since been replaced), and during a storm on 18 January 2007 an Ambassador was blown off a dike due to its light weight.

OrdersEdit

Connexxion has ordered the most Ambassador buses by far; in 2005 it placed an order of 300 buses for €50 million. Since the capacity of VDL's factory in Heerenveen was inadequate for an order of this size, the factory in Valkenswaard was equipped to build Ambassador buses as well. Following its success in the Netherlands, the Ambassador was also exported; orders were placed by operators in Denmark, Germany and Israel. In July 2008, Connexxion placed a 355-bus order for the Ambassador, to be delivered throughout the year.[1] The total cost of the order was €75 million.

TypesEdit

Ambassador 120Edit

 
Connexxion ALE106 bus

Using knowledge and experience gained from the ALE120, VDL designed a 10-meter midibus which is designated Ambassador Low Entry 106 (ALE 106) (bus length 106 dm, or 10.6 m). These buses are primarily used in several cities in the Netherlands. The bus is built on a DAF/VDL SB120 chassis, which was also used for the Wright Cadet. In 2008, the DAF/VDL SB120 chassis was exchanged for a VDL SB180.

Ambassador 200Edit

 
City-Trafik 2485 ALE120

The Ambassador 200 is a 12-meter-long lightweight bus made for local and long-distance transportation. Hundreds of buses from this type have been produced. It is designated as Ambassador Low Entry 120 (ALE 120) (the bus length is 120 dm, or 12 m). Its coachwork rests on a DAF/VDL SB200 chassis, which is also used for the Wright Commander from Wrightbus. The weight of the older buses differs from later models because of different materials and a different engine. Its interior varies by company. The passenger seats are made inexpensively; they are plastic cups with a layer of foam on the seat and fabric on top. Several buses have been equipped with more-luxurious seats.

OverviewEdit

The following table shows the Ambassador 200 buses in service in the Netherlands and other countries:

Company Amount Series
Arriva Netherlands 323 Ex. Veolia: 0050-0051, 0053
Ex. Connexxion: 0207-0215
Ex. NoordNed: 6100-6109, 6171-6189, 8064-8069
Arriva: 3154, 3158, 3159, 8001-8069, 8201-8244, 8301-8382, 8401-8451, 8651-8670, 8851-8860
Arriva Danmark 19 1058-1060, 1302-1303, 1761–1762, 3040-3047, 3056-3057, 5640-5641
Veolia Transport Netherlands 393 Ex. BBA: 901-902, 5050-5057,
Veolia: 5001-5049, 5058-5242, 5243-5342, 5343-5363, 5364, 5365-5367, 5368-5391
(5319,5320,5321 and 5367 are sold to "Zwaluw reizen")
Keolis Danmark 49 224-228, 2310-2314, 2431-2437, 2481-2499, 8515-8528

Ex. City-Trafik: 2431-2436, 2481-2498

Ex. Nettbuss: 224-228, 2499, 8515-8528

Ex. De Hvide Busser: 2437 (De Hvide Busser 8725)

Ex. Umove: 2310-2314 (De Hvide Busser/Umove 8720, 8715, 8727, 8729 & 8731)

Connexxion Netherlands 1110 +
12 Ambassador 120
Ex. Hermes: 1734-1747, 1756–1760, 1761–1771, 1773–1776, 1777–1787, 1790–1791, 1811, 1815, 1828, 1836-1840, 1843, 1844, 1850-1860
Ex. Stadsvervoer Nederland: 5101-5131 (tot 01-01-2008 SVN-series 101-131)
Connexxion: 4134-4229, 4230-4253, 4254-4277, 8100-8224, 8233-8254, 8278-8375, 8380-8728, 8792-8828, 8883-8976
Ambassador 120: 8226-8232 (Maassluis, Den Haag), 8225, 8376-8379 (urban transport Zaandam)
Nobina Danmark 11 6001-6011
DitoBus, Denmark 21 4656-4662, 4736-4749

Ex. Østrafik: 4746-4749 (Østrafik 7603-7606)

Hermes, Netherlands 196 1734-1793, 1801-1860, 3330-3404, 3479-3483
De Hvide Busser, Denmark 18 8715-8732

Sold to City-Trafik in 2014: 8725 (City-Trafik number 2437)

Sold to Keolis in 2016: 8720, 8715, 8727, 8729 & 8731 (Keolis number 2310-2314)

Stayed at Umove but got a new number: 8732

De Hvide Busser was sold to Umove in 2013 and the entire fleet followed over, in September 2015 De Hvide Busser changed name to Umove[2] and in December 2015 the Ambassadors got replaced by brand new VDL Citea LLE

Umove, Denmark 1 7561

Ex. De Hvide Busser/Umove 8732

Besa Trans, Denmark 2 Ex. Kruse: 7122-7123
Kruse, Denmark 2 7124-7125
Millennium Transportation International 3 02-25, 02-26, 02-27
later as BBA InterHoMe 903-905, now Connexxion 3156-3157 and Snelle Vliet (Coaches) 204
Qbuzz 131 4401-4531
Syntus, Netherlands 243 2146-2148, 3046-3048, 3049-3060, 3248-3250, 3255-3256, 4001-4052, 4101-4146, 4150-4154, 5001-5024, 5101-5126, 5127-5152, 5301-5305
Taxi Centrale Renesse, Netherlands 14 Ambassador 120 419-432
Transportes Sul do Tejo, Portugal 37
VBN / BVN, Germany 37
CA.NOVA,

Italy

12 CA.NOVA ex. Veolia, owned in 2011: from number 355 to number 366

A large number of buses have been exported to Denmark, Germany, Egged in Israel, Portugal and Sweden.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit