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Old 8th May 2010, 15:13   #301
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Gujarat State Transport has added super luxury Merc Coach between Ahmedabad to Jamnagar via Rajkot. Really fantastic way to go!!!
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Old 8th May 2010, 16:19   #302
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AL has always had a reputation of introducing the most innovative products in the market, although they have been much before their time and did not have the "foreign" tag about them. I can think of the first multi-axle Taurus of 1972-74, the vestibuled buses, the long front overhang Viking buses, the rear-engined buses of the late 80s (similar to the Sitibus), the 222" long city buses, and so on.
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Old 8th May 2010, 19:33   #303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
A semi lowfloor (650mm) bus introduced jointly by Ashok Leyland & Iveco more that 10years ago with many feature that today's leading premium product offer as unique! Sitibus had an 8Ltr Iveco rear mounted engine, automatic transsmission, pneumatically operated doors, air suspension, moulded seats, ramp for physically challenged etc.
Oh boy! This is one unique bus! Any more pics of this bus? Any Idea why this product did not take off in any of the three cities it was tried in? The technical details look very promising. Such a product will succeed now - no doubt about that. I can only think the timing got Leyland on the wrong foot. Being an Indian company, no body was ready to accept the companies - Since these very concepts were introduced now by a 'Phoren' company, people are ready to take it!
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Old 8th May 2010, 22:07   #304
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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
Not many of us would be aware that our own AL had been making bold attempts in the past to offer advanced products in the Indian market. But unfortunately there were not much takers for these new concepts due to various reasons. Here is an article published in "The HINDU" newspaper in 2000. It talks about one such "Sitibus" from AL.

A semi lowfloor (650mm) bus introduced jointly by Ashok Leyland & Iveco more that 10years ago with many feature that today's leading premium product offer as unique! Sitibus had an 8Ltr Iveco rear mounted engine, automatic transsmission, pneumatically operated doors, air suspension, moulded seats, ramp for physically challenged etc.

Siti bus was introduced by AL in 1998 autoexpo along with its counterpart the "Panther". unlike the panther, sitibus was equipped with all modern features that a modern low floor bus offers. still am not sure why it didnt went into the production line. this one was featured with a 280HP engine of IVECO, with allisons automatic transmission and i had personally seen this bus from banglore too. the typical European styled body too makes this bus different.
Also there was a mind blowing product, the first monocoque chassis bus from AL, the cruiser . i think that was also launched at the same time.
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Old 9th May 2010, 12:34   #305
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Default Ashok Leyland Sitibus

Posting a recent photo of Sitibus from my Archieve.
Thanks to Transsenger for digging a 10 years old hidden story.

City Buses of various STUs all over India-siti-bus-3.jpg
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Old 9th May 2010, 12:58   #306
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Default Tata Marcopolo

A bunch of TML Marco's in TMLD.

City Buses of various STUs all over India-tml-3.jpg

City Buses of various STUs all over India-tml-4.jpg

City Buses of various STUs all over India-tml-7.jpg
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Old 9th May 2010, 20:01   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Posting a recent photo of Sitibus from my Archieve.
Thanks to Transsenger for digging a 10 years old hidden story.
Thanks a lot for that pic! Sorry if I sound greedy, but, anymore images? Any idea why this bus did not take off? When Leyland could do this long back, why isn't it being repeated now?

Quote:
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A bunch of TML Marco's in TMLD.
Where are those yellow buses heading to? From the design and layout, they seem to be heading to TNSTC/MTC, true?
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Old 9th May 2010, 22:45   #308
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unique unique unique...thanks a lot Ashley for the pic of Sitibus...is this a recent pic?i believed this bus was not commercially produced. also note the changed wheels (probably Alloys) of the bus.
who is the owner of this one. even though this bus is more than 12 years old it doesnt even look so.
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Old 10th May 2010, 09:52   #309
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Get companies to hire Volvo's for ferrying the employees.

My wife uses BMTC Service provided by Big Blue to travel to Manyata. These are the blue/brown buses. IBM charges them 1.2k per month. But we are ready to pay a little more if AC buses are introduced.

Now a Volvo monthly pass costs 1.25k, it makes perfect sense to get these extra Volvo's to be utilized by the various IT and other firms which according to me form the highest vehicle density in Bangalore.
I would totally support such a move! Currently, Infosys charges Rs. 1350/- per month from its employees for the ride from EC to Marathalli. I would be glad if they provide Volvos in place of these buses, thereby reducing the fatigue owing to travelling in traffic.
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:23   #310
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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
A bunch of TML Marco's in TMLD.
Happened to read this news in Business standard JNNURM project comes a cropper
Quote:
According to industry sources, states are yet to clear their previous dues of Rs 2,000 crore for the buses that have already been delivered. Consequently, major commercial vehicle manufacturers like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Swaraj Mazda and Volvo Buses have refused to deliver nearly half the total buses ordered under JNNURM before previous dues are settled. This, in turn, has resulted in an inventory of 2,300 ready-to-be-delivered buses at the premises of these bus manufacturers.
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Close to 60 per cent of the buses ordered have been semi low-floor and technologically-advanced buses, irrespective of whether or not infrastructure to run such buses is available
Buy buses first, build the roads later..
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:29   #311
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Originally Posted by urzdeepu View Post
unique unique unique...thanks a lot Ashley for the pic of Sitibus...is this a recent pic?i believed this bus was not commercially produced. also note the changed wheels (probably Alloys) of the bus.
who is the owner of this one. even though this bus is more than 12 years old it doesnt even look so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Posting a recent photo of Sitibus from my Archieve.
Thanks to Transsenger for digging a 10 years old hidden story.

Attachment 345250

It was a beauty created 10 yrs back..... i remember in 1996 Laxmi Transports from goa had 2 cruisers rear engined AL buses on the Mumbai - goa route. COUple of more travels to kolhapur had the same i dunno if it was kondouskar. I guess AL lacks in marketing the product aggressivley yes they were way ahead of times. They had the gear box out of the emgine way back in 1982 and also the slot gear box in buses in early 80s.
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Old 11th May 2010, 23:33   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urzdeepu View Post
unique unique unique...thanks a lot Ashley for the pic of Sitibus...is this a recent pic?i believed this bus was not commercially produced. also note the changed wheels (probably Alloys) of the bus.
who is the owner of this one. even though this bus is more than 12 years old it doesnt even look so.
Thanks urzdeepu
Yes this was shot some six months back. This is owned by Ashok Leyland to ferry its shift operators. And it does not have alloys they are normal steel wheel with silver colour paint.
[/quote]Thanks a lot for that pic! Sorry if I sound greedy, but, anymore images? Any idea why this bus did not take off? When Leyland could do this long back, why isn't it being repeated now?[/quote]
Thanks Binaiks.
This was lauched when AL had alliance with Iveco. The power train used were from Iveco and they were imported. with a price tag of 4o lks in 2000 was very high for which none of the STU's were even ready to try. And after the sales there were issues wrt service of the parts and so the launched buses were soon to be with drawn. After the huge failure of Cargo range of LCV's Iveco were completely pushed out of AL by Hinduja's and so this bus met its end.
But why not replicating this model in the recent years.. h..m even I don know have answers
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Old 12th May 2010, 10:59   #313
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Living in Chennai, I just took a long ride in both the new buses (Tata Marcopolo & AL Viking) without any real work and just for the sake of posting a review . And my view is given below. This is totally my opinion and there are obviously some differences to mine and other's views (like refinement at idle of Marcopolo & windshield wiper design of Marcopolo). Also, it's just a review from end-user's point of view and not from an experts point of view.

Exterior Design:
The Tata Marcopolo is built in a spanking new facility in Karnataka while the Viking series has been built by many coach builders like Prakash, Veera, Irizar-TVS and the like with Ashok Leyland providing them the bare chassis and the design factors. Seeing them on atleast a couple of dozens of instances everyday, Tata Marcopolo stands out with the most modern design of the two. When viewed head-on, the Viking tends to pose some threat to the Marcopolo with it's modern multifocal headlamps lending a touch of class and modernness to an otherwise traditional design. The Marcopolo is also quite a looker with it's Volvo-inspired headlamp design. Where the Tata trounces the Viking is in the safety aspect with it's two huge wiper blades covering the entire windshield compared to the paltry single blade in the Viking, hardly enough to cover the driver's side of the huge windshield. The story from the rear is a sloppy one-sided affair with the Viking coming with a decade-old but trustworthy design. The Marcopolo exudes a level of modernness and follows the same design theme like the front with circular-themed tailights, plastic shrouds for the lights and body-colored plastic bumpers.

Interiors:
The Marcopolo scores in the interior design department as well with well-appointed, spacious seats and good level of standard features, the most notable among them being the "Emergency Stop" button in each of the vertical rods that supports standing passengers. The ergonomics around the driver's seat is also impeccable with everything falling nicely to hand and easy to operate. The only noticeable grudge is the lever for holding the windows open, which is very old-school and could have been easily replaced with something much better. The Viking though comes in a tried and tested, less-modern, interior design that does not disappoint both the drivers and the common public. The only grouse is the uneven height of the seats directly above the rear wheels thus reducing the space available for the passengers in the next seats. There is a lost of weight reduction in the Marcopolo with Tata preferring plastic over sheet-metal in many places. Though it serves as a great advantage in the mileage aspect, the long-term reliability of those parts are still unknown.

The Ride:
From what I experienced, the Viking seems to have a better pick-up both when starting from a standstill and while climbing inclines, though this may also be completely because of the driving skills of the respective drivers involved. But, I have noticed it on more than a couple of occasions. Also, the Viking's engine seems to burn fuel and combust more efficiently than the Marcopolo as it does not spew smoke out of it's exhausts like Marcopolos do. I have seen old Marcopolos emitting a plume of black smoke in Delhi and Bangalore but I was shocked to see barely weeks-old new Marcopolos doing the same in Chennai. It definitely needs to be given a thought by Tata. The Viking also seems to have better riding comfort as it sails over road undulations with minimum fuss unlike the Marcopolo which strains itself in situations like this, with it's modern frame and construction designed for truly modern roads. The Marcopolo, though is extremely refined and vibration-free unlike the Viking. Particularly impressive was it's refinement at idle, to such an extent that it was difficult for passengers at the rear to make out whether the engine was switched on or not.

Verdict:
As such, the Tata Marcopolo seems to have just edged out the Viking in the initial race going by the feedback of the general public, but only time will tell whether the new Tata will hold it's own against the rock-solid reliability that has endeared the Ashok Leyland Vikings to the traveling public. On a last note, the drivers I spoke to seem to prefer the older and traditional Vikings to the Marcopolos. As they say, it takes time to change perceptions.

I have also posted this with photos in my blog ANYTHING ON WHEELS.
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Old 12th May 2010, 18:42   #314
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The Marcopolo, though is extremely refined and vibration-free unlike the Viking. Particularly impressive was it's refinement at idle, to such an extent that it was difficult for passengers at the rear to make out whether the engine was switched on or not.
Review was unbiased except for the above mentioned part.
Actually me did the same thing (earlier, not now). Travelled in a same day in same route - 554 :T-Nagar and Sriperumbuthur, to have a actual feel of the two entrants into MTC.The LPO 1618 in which I travelled has clocked just around 2000kms.As mentioned earlier vibration during idle was really high that I really felt inconvenient sitting in the front left side, just parallel to driver (my most favourite seat).Apart from that other aspects were just matching what you have written.
As rightly told there were too many plastic parts(read as FRP) inside the bus and are tend to give off in long term. Even there were rotational locks made of plastics for glove box above driver seat. Lets plan for a 5000KM report soon...
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Old 13th May 2010, 11:02   #315
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Have all the A/C Marcopolos which used to ply along the ORR in Bangalore been taken off service? I havent seen any plying in a long time!
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