電腦版 重點文章 新巴士出牌 新會員登記 以fb Messenger聯絡本站/報料

[UK] [GB] Solo - 10 Years On 看全部

2008 sees the 10th anniversary of the superlative Optare Solo midibus in passenger service. Launched in 1997 as the replacement of Metrorider, the Solo not only won the "Millennium Product" and "The Queen's Awards for Enterprise 2000", but also becomes Optare's best selling product ever. Over 3,000 has been sold during the course of 10-year production, with customer base from the British "Big 5" - First, Stagecoach, National Express, Go-Ahead and Arriva, but also smaller groups and independent operators alike. It becomes the first midibus to seriously threaten the popular Dennis Dart since the latter went into production in 1989, and the Solo manage to out-compete the equivalent sized Darts in almost across the country, except London.

So it seems a good time to reflect this undoubtedly successful bus. Apart from the early production R-reg examples, of which all found their way with Wilts and Dorset, here are some Solos made into service at various different UK registration period.

S-reg (Sep 1998 - Feb 1999)
Optare managed to secure health orders from various customers early on, but non of which would have been as important as National Express Group, who ordered 10 for their Travel London operations. However, the Solo itself would, and still, never manage to dislodge Dart's popularity in London. Less than 100 Solos have made it to service in London Buses operations, and Travel London's Solos, after an eventful life in London, would be transferred into other NatEx operations. Travel Coventry's 3236, for instance, was formerly Travel London 236:


T-reg (Mar - Aug 1999)
Another early customer is Meteor Parking, who specified what would become one of the oddest looking Solos in service:


V-reg (Sep 1999 - Feb 2000)
Despite its lack of appeal in London, the Solo quick found favour across the country. One important customer was the then council-owned Notthingham City Transport.


W-reg (Mar - Aug 2000)
Originally the Solo was offered at two length - 8.5m and 9.2m. This is the 9.2m version.


X-reg (Sep 2000 - Feb 2001)
...whilst this is the short 8.5m version owned by West Yorkshire County Council, but operated by First West Yorkshire.


Y-reg (Mar - Aug 2001)
Meanwhile, the tickle of Solos into London continued...


51-reg (Sep 2001 - Feb 2002)
As Optare made a major breakthrough by winning an initial order of 24 Solos from Stagecoach. 47001 is the first of the line:


02-reg (Mar - Aug 2002)
First, however, is a much earlier customer, who got their first Solos 2 years before. Eventually they would built up a substantial fleet across Britain.


52-reg (Sep 2002 - Feb 2003)
Solos success, as mentioned, was never realised in London at all. This example, new to Epsom Buses near the end of 2002, is amazing one of the last Solos bought for London Buses services at the moment.


03-reg (Mar - Aug 2003)
Stagecoach's next batch of Solos would be bought for a high profile of service, branded as Corby Star for town service in Corby. Solos become Stagecoach's standard minibus, and they would build up a fleet of over 500 Solos across Britain by 2007.


53-reg (Sep 2003 - Feb 2004)
Built as the Metrorider's successor, the Solo still retain some family resemblance:


04-reg (Mar - Aug 2004)
The Solo is also preferred by many local councils. YN04XYY is owned by Lancashire County Council, and seen operated by Kirby Lonsdale Mini Coaches on the Lune Valley services.


[ 本帖最後由 NV58 於 2008-3-8 00:22 編輯 ]

Advertisement



推薦文章:
2022年交通要聞回顧
九巴向運輸署申請加強96服務及開辦康城來往港島巴士線
城巴向運輸署建議將790及795號線提升為全日服務
大埔富蝶邨至尖東麼地道新線
珀麗灣將引入比亞迪 B12A 電巴
上層設倒頭位同設雙輪椅位嘅 E6X (連內籠相片)
九巴Voith E6M出牌消息
青富苑路線由九巴中標
40部Wright車身V6X最終分配
九巴招標改裝兩輛巴士至開蓬巴士
東鐵平日特車時間表 (2023年1月9日起生效)
[回顧] 26/11/2021 九巴派出雙層巴士 (E6M) 於大帽山試路



Advertisement

  • 來自 13# Gavin
  • 2008-3-9 21:00
I've taken a few bus photos in Britain during trip last year.

Here are the S to 07 reg Solos

[ 本帖最後由 Gavin 於 2008-3-9 21:02 編輯 ]
  • E402.JPG
  • E419.JPG
  • E403.JPG
  • E418.JPG
  • E413.JPG
  • E408.JPG
  • E405.JPG
  • E406.JPG
  • E417.JPG
  • 來自 14# Gavin
  • 2008-3-9 21:00
cont'd

[ 本帖最後由 Gavin 於 2008-3-9 21:07 編輯 ]
  • E235.JPG
  • E407.JPG
  • E414.JPG
  • E415.JPG
  • E412.JPG
  • E416.JPG
  • E410.JPG
  • E409.JPG
  • E411.JPG
  • 來自 16# smal
  • 2008-3-11 04:34
Many Happy Returns! ;)

[ 本帖最後由 smal 於 2008-3-11 04:42 編輯 ]
  • DSCN0054.JPG
  • R1030067.JPG
  • R1030578.jpg
  • 100_1301.jpg
  • 102_3007.JPG

Advertisement

Cont'

54-reg (Sep 2004 - Feb 2005)
Another operation what the Solos are commonly found are free shuttlebus service, like this Go North East example, operating the NewcastleMetrocentre shuttle service. This particular example, with a longerrear overhang, is powered by a Cummins engine, an new offer since 2002as an option to the standard Mercedes-Benz engine:


05-reg (Mar - Aug 2005)
Optare expanded the Solo product line further by offering the SoloSlimline, which is essentially a narrow version. This, along with thenew 7.8m and 10.2m length offered, expanded Solo's appeal - althoughthe 7.8m would prove a lot more successful than the awkwardly long 10mversion.


55-reg (Sep 2005 - Feb 2006)
Another improvement, although not possible to see here, is theintroduction of a new interor based on the Tempo full-size singledecker. This feature can be found like newer Solos like these operatedby Preston Bus. Already an established operator of Solos andMetroriders, Preston Bus would buy more in the clash with Stagecoach in2007, in one of Britain's hottest bus war in recent years.


06-reg (Mar - Aug 2006)
Another free-shuttle, although much shorter life, is the Stationlink ofBirmingham, operated by Zak's coaches until last year, when the servicewas withdrawn.


56-reg (Sep 2006 - Feb 2007)
Meanwhile, Optare offered yet another version of Solo, the Solo SE.This version is offered at a lower price, and shorter lengths as well,7.8m and (seen here) 7.1m, making it a proper replacement of smallminibuses.


Small improvement also made it to existing line of products as well, as seen in these two 8.5m Solos owned by Preston Bus:


07-reg
Yet another free-shuttle Solo, this time in Leeds, operated by First West Yorkshire with 9.5m Solo Slimlines.


57-reg
As Stagecoach continue building up their fleet of Solos, it also becameits weapon of choice in the Preston bus war. This Solo Slimline though,47524, is actually destined for Stagecoach Wales, but was loaned toStagecoach Lancashire to provide additional low-floor capacity.


And so the story continues...

N.B. New post due to character limit.
如果 Metrorider 當年o係香港搞得掂o既話香港或者都會見到 Solo
不過依家日本 29 座長陣小巴咁流行,當o係香港見到 Solo 睇怕都係 0
引用: 原帖由 hr8473 於 2008-3-8 01:48 發表
如果 Metrorider 當年o係香港搞得掂o既話香港或者都會見到 Solo
不過依家日本 29 座長陣小巴咁流行,當o係香港見到 Solo 睇怕都係 0


They are for different purposes though. Those Coasters and Rosas are popular as mini-coaches, a role which the Solo will never fit well into - Afterall, the Solo is designed mainly for commuter services.

It's a shame that the Solo is somehow overlooked in HK though. It's a great little bus, well proven in Britain, and to a much lesser extents, the European market as well. It's size and capacity makes it an perfect fit to buses like KMB's AMs and it is a very realistic alternative to its rival, the ADL Enviro200Dart, but since KMB opted for the E200D, so we can almost be certain it will not be considered at all. The shortest Solo SE will provide an opportunity to bring accessible services to HK's minibus services as well, but, of course, the Solo SE costs so much more than comtemporary Japanese products that it rules itself out anyway.

Advertisement

引用: 原帖由 NV58 於 2008-3-8 19:59 發表


They are for different purposes though. Those Coasters and Rosas are popular as mini-coaches, a role which the Solo will never fit well into - Afterall, the Solo is designed mainly for commuter services.


Yes, Coasters and Rosas are initially designed as mini-coaches, but thanks to HKians, well Chinese I should say, they converted Coasters and Rosas into commuter bus, which as RMB and GMB in HK, as well KMB ATs, and Macau's buses.  So it is not too difficult to understand why some people compared Solos with Coasters and Rosas.
引用: 原帖由 ate7 於 2008-3-8 12:32 發表


Yes, Coasters and Rosas are initially designed as mini-coaches, but thanks to HKians, well Chinese I should say, they converted Coasters and Rosas into commuter bus, which as RMB and GMB in HK, as w ...


To be fair, those vehicles are versatile, and cheap to run as well. Who can blame them? The only thing is, as much of the HK bus services move into low floor operations, the Coaster/Rosa equipped minibuses will be continuously outclassed - I mean only if passengers or the government care about that in the first place.

[ 本帖最後由 NV58 於 2008-3-8 12:46 編輯 ]
S-reg




T-reg


V-reg


Y-reg




51-reg


52-reg


03-reg


54-reg


05-reg

Advertisement

come to that, is it possible to put Solo in Macau? It seems that Macau needs such buses much more than Hong Kong does. Perhaps replacing the Mercedes 814 when they get old?
引用: 原帖由 AV115 於 2008-3-9 10:26 發表
come to that, is it possible to put Solo in Macau? It seems that Macau needs such buses much more than Hong Kong does. Perhaps replacing the Mercedes 814 when they get old?

A post in B4 said that bus companies in Macau are short of drivers.
Importing a Solo or a Kinglong will not make any difference to that.
12下一頁


推薦文章:










Advertisement











Advertisement











Advertisement











Advertisement



分板連結:
(B2)香港巴士討論 [熱門] [精華]
(B0)香港巴士車務及車廂設備
(B3)巴士攝影作品貼圖區 [熱門] [精華]
(B3i)即拍即貼 -手機相&翻拍Mon相
(B4)兩岸三地巴士討論 [精華]
(B5)外地巴士討論 [精華]
(B6)旅遊巴士及過境巴士 [精華]
(B1)香港巴士廣告消息/廣告車行踪
(B7)巴士特別所見
(B11)巴士精華區
(B22)巴士迷吹水區
(B23)巴士影片分享區


(R1)香港鐵路 [精華]
(R2)香港電車 [精華]
(R3)港外鐵路 [精華]
(C2)航空 [精華]
(C3)海上交通及船隻 [精華]
(D1)公共交通有關商品 [精華]
(M1)小型巴士綜合討論
(M2)小型巴士多媒體分享區
(V)私家車,商用車,政府及特種車輛 [精華]
(A10)香港地方討論 [精華]



Advertisement


其他推介:
巴士路線消息
巴士路線計劃
2023/2022/2021/2020年新巴士訂單
2022年交通要聞回顧
2021/2020/2019/2018/2017年交通要聞回顧

(B3) 新出牌巴士相片
80年代巴士相片
90年代巴士相片
2000年代巴士相片
2010年代巴士相片
昔日中巴
保留巴士

英國巴士
新加坡巴士
飛行報告
日本鐵路
台灣鐵路


Advertisement



最新回文:
(B2) 九巴積分換禮品 [最新回文]
(B0) 九巴月票又又又又買3送1 [最新回文]
(B0) 九巴車務調動 [最新回文]
(B2) 屯門54區巴士服務討論 [最新回文]
(B2) 粉嶺皇后山巴士服務討論 [最新回文]
(B2) 交通博物館討論 [最新回文]
(R1) 港鐵將軍澳延線(137區)討論 [最新回文]
(R1) 港島西至洪水橋鐵路 [最新回文]
(R3) 日本鐵路集中討論 [最新回文]
(R3) 日本升學鐵道見聞錄 [最新回文]