Three-Axle Enviro400XLB (1 Viewer)


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100 seats for Lothian in new three-axle ADL Enviro400XLB on Volvo chassis | Alexander Dennis

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has unveiled the brand new 100-seat Enviro400XLB three-axle double decker, developed in close collaboration with Lothian and chassis manufacturer Volvo. 42 of these high-capacity buses will enter service in Edinburgh from January onwards. They are manufactured in Falkirk, securing jobs and adding value to the Scottish economy directly and via the extensive local supply chain.

With Lothian’s services in the Scottish capital seeing consistent patronage growth, the operator collaborated with Alexander Dennis to develop the 13.4m Enviro400XLB. Offering 100 seats and able to carry up to 131 passengers in total, it delivers unrivalled capacity for busy routes in the capital, while its front and middle doors will speed-up dwell times at bus stops. It has been built to even higher standards than bus users in Edinburgh are familiar with, with comfortable high-backed seating, wifi, USB charging, mood lighting and audio-visual stop announcements.

Alexander Dennis’s Enviro400XLB is the first bus for the United Kingdom to be mounted on Volvo’s recently launched three-axle B8L chassis, powered by the efficient 350hp Euro 6 D8K engine.

ADL Chief Executive Colin Robertson handed over the first bus to Lothian Managing Director Richard Hall on 8th November in a ceremony at the manufacturer’s Falkirk plant that was attended by Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson, and representatives of Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and CPT Scotland.

Richard Hall, Managing Director of Lothian, said: “Buses are the lifeblood of Edinburgh and the Lothians, transporting over 350,000 customers every day and are integral to the local economy. We are delighted to be able to work with other businesses who share our passion for innovation with a commitment to deliver a high quality, reliable and unique product for our operations in Scotland, which could be utilised in the wider UK market. We look forward to continuing to build on our strong relationships with both Alexander Dennis and Volvo and are excited about the future of public transport in our country.”

Colin Robertson, ADL Chief Executive, said: “Customer collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Alexander Dennis and we are proud to work with Lothian to meet their exacting requirements as they are renowned as a leader in delivering an outstanding customer experience. As a company headquartered in Scotland, building buses again for Edinburgh is a great source of pride for the employees at our Falkirk factory and we look forward to further developing our relationship with Lothian.”

Nick Page, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK, said: “The Volvo B8L is already a well-proven chassis in demanding environments in a number of cities in Asia Pacific. I am delighted and proud that long-standing customer Lothian has once again worked with Volvo Bus to bring further innovation to the streets of Edinburgh in the form of a high specification, high capacity double deck bus. The new vehicles will help to reduce road congestion and with it further improve air quality, both of which are key to driving the quality of life in Scotland’s capital city.”

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I am pleased that Lothian continues to invest in their bus fleet in partnership with Alexander Dennis. These 42 brand new Euro 6 vehicles will help improve air quality in Edinburgh and provide modern amenities, making an attractive offer to customers. The partnership with Alexander Dennis is yet another success story for the business, who already enjoy an outstanding reputation as the world’s largest double deck bus manufacturer. Taking the bus is a more sustainable form of travel than taking the car, and I welcome today’s announcement, which supports the Scottish Government’s ambitions to encourage sustainable and lower carbon transportation across Scotland.”




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I'll be one to say that it looks absolutely incredible. Commendations to Lothian, who appear to be the pioneers of the modern British bus scene (in my opinion). I wonder if this would spark a more widespread use of tri-axle vehicles in the UK, especially with Go-Ahead's TA1's recent debut. The red interior lights against the harsh white spotlighting complements each other well enough to create a warm and humble environment, I find. Another lovely attention to detail is the adjustment of the livery to suit the XLB's curvy nature. Needless to say, I am excited for these to be rolled out early next year; though on which route I'm still eager to find out.

Sensing yet another trip upwards to Edinburgh in the new year to hunt down one of these beauties!
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P674 MLE

P674 MLE Your Local West London Step Entrance Dart
Technically, no. The E400XLB shares more in common to the E400 in terms of the structural bodywork, than the E500, hence they are names the way they are.
yeah but they look almost identical and the enviro 500 has always been tri axle whilst the enviro 400 has never


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yeah but they look almost identical and the enviro 500 has always been tri axle whilst the enviro 400 has never

The above pictures might not show it, but it does actually bear a lot more commonality to the E400MMC than the E500, especially at the rear end, where it has a full lower deck rear window. Remember that a tri-axle Olympian is still an Olympian, a tri-axle B9R is still a B9R and a tri-axle B9TL is still a B9TL ;)

When deciding on type designation, the number of axles doesn't matter, what matters is structural commonality to other vehicles of the same type designation. Adding an axle tends to be a relatively simple affair of stretching the frame in the appropriate place and fitting the axle, leaving other structural components alone - if you look at the Olympian chassis the extra axle is literally just stuck on to carry the extra weight of the longer frame. I'd imagine if you look under the frame of this you'd find an arrangement much the same, but with the axles the other way round.

For ADL and any operator which buys it, this is still very much an E400. As a bus body, the only difference between this and any other E400 is that it's got a few more body panels and an extra wheelarch, otherwise it's totally identical. The E500 on the other hand has never borne any relation or component commonality to the UK E400, with the exception perhaps of the headlights on the 1st gen E500MMC. If you'd like to take the point of view of "But it's a tri-axle and they call tri-axles E500s", take a look at the E200 and E300 integral. Both were lightweight integral ADL two-axle single deckers, but since they bore no structural relation to each other they had different designations. Similarly, there's a version of the E200MMC available with three axles (currently only in service in NZ, I believe), but since it's otherwise structurally identical to any other E200MMC, it's still called an E200MMC.

Going back to opinions: Damn pretty. I'm so glad they chose to mate the original MMC front end to the City staircase and rear glass, it's a great combo, and the livery design fits the vehicle perfectly. It manages to carry its length extremely elegantly, too. Hopefully that Nissan-derived 8l 350hp engine will prove up to the task, though I'd be surprised if it wasn't. Now, Volvo, where's that B8LH...? o_O
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Alan Sir HK

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Why don't Lothian purchase a Wright Gemini 3 body B8L just similar to Hong Kong? Therefore they do not need ADL to develope another body.

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