ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Fleet Overhaul

Buses: The next generation

Picture1

The newest member of our bus family

Some cool news for bus fans!

TransLink will soon have 21 New Flyer Xcelsior XDE60 articulated 60-foot buses in our fleet!

Each bus will help TransLink be even greener because they are all diesel-electric hybrids!

Twelve of the new buses will serve routes out of the Surrey Transit Centre (STC) replacing all of the existing articulated buses on the 96 B-Line.

The rest of the buses will call Burnaby Transit Centre (BTC) home and will add to the modernization of the articulated bus fleet in Burnaby.

This includes the 99 B-Line, the 135 and the 44, to name a few!

There are some great new features with these buses, including:

– LED headlights
– A better-optimized seating layout
– Electric doors which provide consistent opening and closing times
– Air conditioning!

Where the rubber meets the road

The artics at STC will start to be in service at the end of January with all of them on the road by March.

At BTC, the new buses will start being integrated onto the routes mid-February with full service in March.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 6 of 6: Electronics and high-floor wheelchair lift repair

This little office is where they fix the destination signs for the vehicles.

This little office is where they fix the destination signs for the vehicles.

This is the final article in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the earlier articles on the body shop; panel fabrication; the paint shop; high-mileage vehicle work; and the warehouse.)

A little room just to the side of the body shop floor is where the electronic signage is repaired.

The electric shop, where they fix vehicle elements with electronic components.

The electric shop, where they fix vehicle elements with electronic components.

Overhaul manager Jeff Dow explained that they not only fix the signs, but also program them to flash custom messages like “Go Lions Go” or “Countdown 2 Gold,” which the buses showed for the Olympics.

There’s also an electric shop nearby, where electronic components of vehicles are repaired. Defrosters, fareboxes, new electronic motors, circuit boards, and more are taken care of here. (It’s a clean room, so we didn’t get to take an actual peek inside.)

Read more »

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 5 of 6: The warehouse and more

This is the fifth in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the earlier articles on the body shop; panel fabrication; the paint shop; and high-mileage vehicle work.)

A glimpse of the warehouse space at Fleet Overhaul. Sorry for the out-of-focus-ness of the photo!

A glimpse of the warehouse space at Fleet Overhaul. Sorry for the out-of-focus-ness of the photo!

Fleet Overhaul also contains a big warehouse of bus parts, which is about 40,000 square feet.

The warehouse has about 60 to 70 per cent of our total inventory—the rest is new items that have to be ordered as needed.

This warehouse supplies Fleet Overhaul and all the outlying transit centres across the Lower Mainland with any bus parts they might need.

During the day, each transit centre e-mails the warehouse staff about what parts they need. The items get picked out in the afternoon, and then at midnight every night, two trucks go out and tour all the transit centres, dropping off products.

It’s a bit easier for Fleet Overhaul staff: since they’re in the same building, they just go over to the warehouse office and order the parts they need.

Also, sitting next door to the warehouse is the Materials Control office. That’s the department in charge of regulating the warehouse inventory, including buying parts and issuing work orders so Fleet Overhaul staff will produce parts. Materials Control basically makes sure that all the items we need are actually on hand.

Read more »

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 4: High-mileage vehicle repairs

After driving 800,000-900,000 kilometres, conventional and articulated buses get an overhaul at our vehicle maintenance centre, Fleet Overhaul.

After driving 800,000-900,000 kilometres, conventional and articulated buses get an overhaul at our vehicle maintenance centre, Fleet Overhaul.

This is the fourth in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the first article on the body shop, the second about panel fabrication, and the third about the paint shop.)

Did you know we completely rebuild engines and transmissions for our conventional vehicles at Fleet Overhaul?

It’s true. Most engines are rebuilt for any conventional or articulated bus that has clocked 800,000 to 900,000 kilometres—it’s the central part of a high-mileage overhaul.

And transmissions are built and replaced in vehicles more frequently, usually when a vehicle hits 350,000 kilometres.

Read more »

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 3 of 6: The paint shop

video-still

Here is the third in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the first article, on the body shop at Fleet Overhaul, and the second article, about panel fabrication.)

Well, once a bus is repaired, it needs to be painted! And that happens here, in the large paint shop at Fleet Overhaul.

The paint shop is right next to the body shop. See the video above for a very quick look at how it’s laid out. The door visible in the far left corner is the long room where articulated buses are painted, and the room visible on the right is where conventional buses are painted. The bus on the far right is being washed in anticipation of a paint job.

Read more »

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 2 of 6: Panel fabrication

A template for a bus body panel that fits over a wheel.

A template for a bus body panel that fits over a wheel.

Here is the second in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the first article, which talks about the body shop at Fleet Overhaul.)

Did you know that Fleet Overhaul makes all of the aluminum body panels for the vehicles in the fleet?

We started making our own body panels a long time ago, so we can easily get panels for repair jobs or bus overhauls.

As body, paint, and trim manager Jack McKenna explains, it’s tough for bus manufacturers to build and send you the panels themselves, since they’re either using all the panels they have to build more buses, or they’re just generally busy.

Read more »

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 1 of 6: The body shop

An articulated bus getting a mid-life overhaul down at Fleet Overhaul, the conventional bus maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre.

An articulated bus getting a mid-life overhaul down at Fleet Overhaul, the conventional bus maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre.

So, this is the first in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre.

Let me be frank: Fleet Overhaul is pretty much mindblowing.

A huge team of incredibly talented mechanics and tradespeople work there to keep the articulated and conventional bus fleet in good working order. The phrase “vehicle maintenance” just barely hints at what they do, which includes the following:

  • mid-life overhauls on vehicles that are eight to 10 years old (that is, they restore the whole vehicle to good as new condition, so they will last another eight to 10 years)
  • repairs to articulated and conventional buses involved in major vehicle accidents
  • totally rebuilding engines and transmissions for vehicles that have done over 800,000-900,000 km
  • programming the destination signs so they display custom messages like “Go Canucks Go”
  • constructing almost all the body parts for conventional buses in the fleet
  • warehouse storage and inventory control for all vehicle parts
  • and even more, if you can believe that

(I should mention that Fleet Overhaul only takes care of articulated and conventional buses—community shuttle repairs are done elsewhere.)

I was really lucky to go on a tour of the facility a few weeks ago, so in this series, I’ll share lots of behind-the-scenes photos and video to let you see just what they do there.

We’ll start with the body shop!

Read more »