The Volvo B7TL is a low-floor double-decker bus chassis which was launched in 1999 and replaced the 2-axle version of the Volvo Olympian (its 3-axle version was replaced by the Volvo Super Olympian). It was built as the British bus operators seemed hesitant to purchase the B7L double decker with a long rear overhang (although some have since entered service in Glasgow, Scotland as 12 m long double deckers).

Volvo B7TL
First Wright Eclipse Gemini 01.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerVolvo
Production1999–2007
Body and chassis
Doors1 or 2
Floor typeLow floor
Powertrain
EngineVolvo D7C (7.3 L)
Power output215 hp (160 kW) / 250 hp (186 kW) / 290 hp (216 kW)
TransmissionVoith DIWA/ZF Ecomat
Chronology
PredecessorVolvo Olympian
SuccessorVolvo B9TL (2-Axle)

The B7TL chassis was designed by the Leyland Product Developments consultancy based at the Leyland Technical Centre. It was initially built in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland. In 2000, production was gradually transferred to Sweden. In mid-2004, production of the MkII version of the B7TL was started.

Like the Olympian, the B7TL features a transversely-mounted rear engine and a shorter rear overhang, but the radiator was mounted on the right side of the engine compartment. It was equipped with Volvo D7C engine and ZF or Voith gearbox. The B7TL was initially available with Alexander ALX400 and Plaxton President bodywork, later followed by East Lancs Vyking and Myllennium Vyking bodies, and also the Wright Eclipse Gemini.

OrdersEdit

United KingdomEdit

The Volvo B7TL was highly popular in the United Kingdom, with a large number being purchased by most of the major bus groups such as FirstGroup and Arriva. Travel West Midlands, Travel Coventry and Travel Dundee, part of the National Express Group, purchased over 320 B7TLs from 2000 to 2006, a majority of these being built with Alexander ALX400 bodies, while 112 with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodies and 102 with Plaxton President bodies were also delivered.[1][2] Translink of Northern Ireland also purchased over 150 B7TLs.[citation needed]

The chassis was especially popular in London, with a total of 2,014 Volvo B7TLs being built for London's bus operators, most being bodied with Alexander ALX400, Plaxton President, East Lancs Vyking or Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork. 790 B7TLs were built for Go-Ahead Group companies London General and London Central, while 378 for Arriva London, 308 for Metroline, 278 for First London and 148 for London United were also built. Transport for London noise regulations would put an end to B7TL orders in 2006, and the type was superseded in London by both the Volvo B9TL and the later Volvo B5LH.[3]

Smaller orders from operators outside London include Lothian Buses, who ordered a total of 132 B7TLs, the first seven being delivered with Plaxton President bodywork in 2000, followed by 125 more being delivered with Wright bodies between 2005 and 2006.[4][5][6] Arriva UK Bus also ordered small quantities of B7TLs for its operations outside London, including 20 with Alexander ALX400 bodywork and 20 with Plaxton President bodywork for Arriva Yorkshire delivered between 2000 and 2001,[7][8] 49 ALX400s for Arriva Medway Towns in 2004 as part of Operation Overdrive,[9] and 30 ALX400s for Arriva Merseyside in 2006.[10]

East Yorkshire Motor Services ordered 36 B7TLs with Plaxton President bodywork from 2000 to 2003, six of these being delivered to their Manchester subsidiary Finglands Coachways, before later ordering 18 more B7TLs with Wright bodies from 2005 to 2006.[11][12] Southern Vectis ordered seven Volvo B7TLs with Plaxton President bodywork at the end of 2001.[citation needed]

The last Volvo B7TLs entered service with First Glasgow with the Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork in April 2007.[citation needed]

IrelandEdit

Buses built on the B7TL chassis were also popular with Irish operators Dublin Bus purchasing 648 B7TLs built with Alexander ALX400 bodywork between 2000 and 2007,[citation needed] while Bus Éireann also purchased more than twenty B7TLs with East Lancs Myllennium Vyking bodies for services in Cork between 2001 and 2004.[13][better source needed]

South AfricaEdit

150 B7TLs were delivered to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002, alongside an order for 50 Volvo B7Rs. These were ordered by Metrobus and were fitted with Marcopolo Viale DD bodywork.[14][15][better source needed]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

Competitors

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "TWM orders Wrightbus deckers for Midlands, Dundee" (Press release). Ballymena: WrightGroup. 9 June 2004. Archived from the original on 11 March 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  2. ^ Morris, Stephen (May 2000). "Road Test: Is this the new Olympian?". Buses. Stamford: Key Publishing.
  3. ^ Wharmby, Matthew (11 November 2021). The London Volvo B7TL. Pen and Sword Transport. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-52678-695-1. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  4. ^ "The First President". Buses. Stamford: Key Publishing. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "Lothian switches to Volvo/Wrights". Bus & Coach Professional. 1 April 2005. Archived from the original on 24 March 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Lothian orders Euro 3 and Euro 4". Bus & Coach Professional. 7 February 2006. Archived from the original on 24 March 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Arriva hits the road with bus investment". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 27 May 1999. p. 10. ProQuest 328831312. Arriva is investing a further £8m on 70 buses in the Yorkshire area of its operations, including 20 low-floor double deck ALX 400 buses, destined for the Leeds guided bus way project.
  8. ^ Day, James (12 September 2012). "Arriva's uniform bus and coach fleet". Coach & Bus Week. No. 1053. Peterborough: Emap. p. 58. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  9. ^ Rowlands, P. (3 September 2004). "Medway Medley". Bus & Coach Professional. No. 87. Retrieved 14 July 2022 – via TRID.
  10. ^ Brown, Stewart (24 March 2006). "Investing in Merseyside". Bus & Coach Professional. Archived from the original on 24 March 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  11. ^ Shipp, Peter (23 April 2001). "EYMS Group announces another big order for new buses" (Press release). Hull: EYMS Group. Archived from the original on 7 July 2001. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  12. ^ "East Yorkshire upgrades with Wrightbus" (Press release). Ballymena: WrightGroup. 2 November 2005. Archived from the original on 11 March 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Our Friends over the Irish Sea" (Press release). Blackburn: East Lancashire Coachbuilders. 2004. Archived from the original on 1 April 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Volvo Delivering 200 City Buses To Johannesburg". Volvo Bus (Press release). 21 January 2002. Retrieved 9 December 2021 – via Globe Newswire.
  15. ^ "200 autobusów dla Johannesburga" [200 buses for Johannesburg]. Interia Motoryzacja (in Polish). Krakow. Retrieved 9 December 2021.