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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  3:40:10 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
2006bbvision, I have seen many of York County's newer ICs and from what I could tell, their CEs did not have air brakes. I didn't hear the air parking brake when they parked, nor did I hear the characteristic sounds when the driver lets off the brake.
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2006bbvision
Senior Member

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  8:38:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HMMMM? maybe they have gone back to HYDRO not to for sure, I really don't follow York County's bused , but I can give them this, they really spec there travel buses nice. They have like a 2006-2007 IC re that has the extended skirting and the IC logo on that back bumper. They retire there buses early to...if you go by there main lot off of dare road behind york high school you will see all the Thomas int, and early 90's safti-liners in the field. I guess with smaller operations like them, they are able to afford new buses every year. I think there fleet size is around 140-150 .











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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  11:38:59 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Arlington County has a small fleet as well, and still keeps buses for the duration of their projected life cycle. They are still running early 90s Thomas ERs in Arlington, and I still even see the random early 90s random Blue Bird Chevy they use for training purposes. I think that the smaller districts in Virginia are simply more exposed to the newer fleet. The average age bus I see around here in Arlington is about 6 years old. In places like Fairfax and Virginia Beach, it is not uncommon to see buses built in the 90s, or even the 80s. York County has been known to spec some simple buses in the past, but they do keep their trip buses nice! They can't afford to be spending the kind of money that Fairfax County does on long distance trips (using motorcoaches and Loudoun style activity buse), so they keep a few nicely spected highway school buses around. Ultimately, that saves the district plenty of money for their couple high schools. As for their route buses, I'm old, and remember seeing their newly purchased 99 Thomas Internationals with stick shifts and hydro brakes. Just another day in country Virginia!

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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  1:27:57 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
i saw some Spots County buses with stick shift one International and one Freightliner both had hydro brakes to very nice looking bus. They were bus 18 and 267. The garage has finally sent three of the four last remaining stick buses to the graveyard I guess they are not far from being replaced.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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2006bbvision
Senior Member

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  6:54:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bsaund : do you have any pics of the new buses Virgina Beach has?
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  7:19:14 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
yes i have a couple pics of my bus. some of the new buses (C2s) have not arrived yet.the last of fords are waiting to be moved to the auction site across town it is hard to believe the fords are that close to THE END.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  3:14:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This morning I saw an interesting bus. It was a Blue Bird Freightliner conventional. It was Bus #51 for a private company. I believe the company name printed on the side of the bus was "Eschels" or something very similar. The bus was at a construction site in the Sully area of Fairfax County. Anyone know of a company by that name or a similar name?

P.S. I wish I could have gotten pics!
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  3:54:28 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I've never heard of that bus company, but there are SO many around here (especially with MD contracting so much), that we get to see plenty of unique buses. There are actually a few districts in Virginia sporting the Blue Bird Freightliner. I believe that Colonial Heights City has a few, as well as some other smaller districts. It's such a shame that combination didn't last but so long. It wouldn't suprise me to see some districts in Virginia with manual transmission BB Freights.

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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  6:32:15 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
There is a web site from knoxville TN with school bus sales just had a truck load of BB Freights for sale it might be one of them. I like my Vision finally had the first servicing done today. They had to put in in a stall in stead of on the regular grease rack because the chassis is so different from the normal regular buses. The only thing i am noticing is that it doesnt make it last shift until you are between 40- 45 mph which i think is a bit odd.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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disneynuts
Advanced Member

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2007 :  01:49:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit disneynuts's Homepage  Reply with Quote
1629

that bus belongs to a construction company. there are others around that use them to bus employees to the sites. some are off 123 just inside the beltway on the left as you head north.

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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2007 :  06:15:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks disneynuts! I saw the bus again today. The lettering on the side says "Eschelman's" not "Eschels" as previously reported. The bus appears to be in great shape, and should still be in school service if you ask me.
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  2:55:46 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
2006bbvision, could the buses you were thinking about from York County that had air brakes be their Rear Engine buses? I was talking about the type C IC CE buses they have that are equipped with hydro brakes. What other buses would they have with air brakes that you know of?
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  5:53:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was looking at used buses on Sonny Merryman's website. What does "M5" mean? Look at the second listing in the chart (1994 AmTran International), it says "M5" in the column "Transmission". What does that mean? Is that an automatic tranny or manual?

http://www.sonnymerryman.com/html/used_buses.htm

Edited by - IC RE 1629 on 09/29/2007 5:54:06 PM
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IC
Top Member

USA
3413 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  5:56:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

I was looking at used buses on Sonny Merryman's website. What does "M5" mean? Look at the second listing in the chart (1994 AmTran International), it says "M5" in the column "Transmission". What does that mean? Is that an automatic tranny or manual?

http://www.sonnymerryman.com/html/used_buses.htm




I would think it means 5 speed manual.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  11:23:04 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I saw a TON of Prince William County's newest C2 buses on the road today heading up 395 into the city, and they are pretty sharp! They too have started specing AC on all of their buses starting this year. Also, unlike their first batch of C2s, these do not have the extended skirting package. The shorter skirting makes those large C2s look SUPER long, and it doesnt help that they left the area around the last window yellow. It's cool to see Prince William County stick with Thomas over all these years. I believe that their fleet is 100% Thomas at this point.

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LBDboater
Advanced Member

USA
279 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2007 :  06:02:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here in Bedford County we have been all Thomas since at least 1990. Talk about manufacturing loyalty. We also have Sonny Merryman right here in town. Actually, we've been Thomas since '86.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2007 :  3:49:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well former Fauquier County bus 101 is for sale in Amissville, VA. It's a 1990 Thomas International with a manual tranny and hydraulic brakes. Only 6 seats still remain in the bus. The bus is in pretty good shape, no visible rust or damage. Only damage I saw was a small dent in a rub rail on the driver's side. The bus is selling for $3000 dollars.

I took photos of the bus today. Sorry, no interior pics, the bus was locked.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  09:37:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did any of our Spotsylvania (or their neighbors in other counties) see this?
http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/102007/10042007/322338
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  3:40:00 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Newport News Schools are saling buses on e surplus auctions. I think that is a first time for them they have several TC2000s .

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  6:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Well, I am going to answer my own question about newport news i went through the history auctions and found severval buses from the 80s on there being sold in 02 and up. nice pics to.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  8:32:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Today I was on Campus (GMU) and Williams Bus Lines BRAND new Thomas C2 drove by me. It was bus 17, it was the first C2 that I have actually liked the looks of!!! It was so new that it even had Temporary tags!!!! It also has warning lamp visors on it

bus 1980, a 2008 IC RE 300 for Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia.
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2006bbvision
Senior Member

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  8:40:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow I can remember riding on at least 3 of those buses listed on there, it is so sad to see the RE'S goes I just wish they would keep them in service for 2 more years. they are only 93-94's
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2007 :  06:51:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A nice Loudoun CE:
http://flickr.com/photos/kellyweist/1483681886/

I love the different font used for lettering the bus. It looks really nice. I used to have photos of two of the full size CE's with this lettering, but I lost those photos.
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poor_driver
Senior Member

162 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2007 :  09:57:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chesterfield over the years have had Amtran and then it look like they went to mostly Thomas from about 1994-2006. I went through Midlothian the other day and saw that they are now purchasing IC's CE and Thomas c2's. I thought this was quite strange considering around here we consider Chesterfield county to be the thomas vista capital. It was kinda strange seeing CHESTERFIELD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS on the side of an IC CE instead of a thomas.

After they stop making the vista they started buying the Thomas EF, but now that i'm seeing the C2's and the CE's, i guess the transit style buses are on their way out. I can't help but wonder how Sonny Merryman is feeling knowing that most of the bigger school districts are going to either the IC or the bbvision. They are still quite a few up in nothern va getting them and the smaller counties here and there. I wonder..
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poor_driver
Senior Member

162 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  03:05:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YET Another sighting

As of October 9, 2007 i saw that chesterfieid has quite a few 78 pass visions also..I guess they're trying them all out to see who they will stay with for the next 10 years or so forth.
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pbfreak30
Senior Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  1:17:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well around here sonny is getting all the action, all the counties right near here(bedford,Campbell, and Amherst) are all getting thomas's

ARROW transportation RP..the best out there!
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  1:29:54 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Suffolk has some new C2s this year to they are numbered now in the 300s.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  10:51:22 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Went down to Chesapeake this past weekend (Indian River High School), and saw a TON of area buses! I saw chesapeake's new and old(not as new) visions for the first time, and it amazes me how diverse Virginia fleets are! Chesapeake was represented with a variety of visions, both old(er) and new, which is odd to me, because they have been all Thomas ERs since the early 90s up through two years ago! I only saw one chesapeake ER, which was the newer model.

Newport News had a little bit of everything there, except for what I am used to seeing from them (the TC REs). They had a few Visions, some IC CEs, some Thomas EFs, and a few AmTran Genesis. Something about their fleet I never noticed was a badge on the back of every bus that says "State Law Stop..." I have never seen that on any other Virginia public school buses! When did that start for Newport News?

Virginia Beach was also represented well with a TON of every one of their generations Thomas FS-65s. I also saw one of their 93 Blue Bird Internationals, which I had thought were nearing retirment by now! They are SOLID buses though, and it doesn't surprise me that they are still rolling. Tallwood HS actually pulled in with quite a few buses, including a special ed bus! I have never seen a short or lift bus on a field trip not involving a special ed student, but this was a short AND lift bus (98 Blue Bird International).

I also noticed quite a few Thomas ERs (MVP and HDX) from districts who have always had bare bone conventionals, like York County and Isle of Wight County. I'm guessing that these were bought as "trip buses," because they were spected out fairly well with luggage bays, etc. Something interesting that i only see in Virginia are rear engine transit buses with only ONE roof hatch! Arlington County has a bunch, as do most of the districts in southern Virginia! Nottoway has a beautiful, maroon Thomas HDX activity bus VERY well spected with only one hatch. To me, the second hatch adds to the safety.

NC had a bunch of activity buses represented, including the new Currituck County C2 (pictured on School Bus Central). Also seen for the first time was Elizabeth City's late 90s Thomas ER (not MVP) activity buses! I had never seen a transit activity bus in North Carolina before, as they usually share the same basic specifications as the state bid. These were pretty big buses too, looking to be either 84 or 90 pax.

It's always interesting to go to fall band functions, because you always get to see a huge variety of buses from the state. It's cool to see what everyone else's fleet is up to these days.

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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2007 :  7:27:37 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Good hunting there BusFreak it is a cool thing to see when you havent seen them in a while like that. Do you remember which '93 you saw from va. beach? Tallwood is transporting a special needs student to the band competitions this year.The '93s are probaly our best spares on the line i really dont care much for the 95s and the 94s are still widely assigned onto regular routes as the beach continues to add drivers to the "standby list".Chesapeake still had right many Fords left the new ones they got will most likely send them to the spare line.I didnt see anything odd at Salems event most of the buses were the same as we see every week I guess TOB circuit doesnt allow much variety.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2007 :  9:12:27 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Brian,
I wanna say that the 93 was 193 from Tallwood, but I could be wrong. I really diddn't look at the numbers. It was quite intersting though! Man, I'm starting to miss that area, although I do think that transit ERs would have taken off better in the area had the shop mechanics been more open-minded. The type Ds in this area are starting to live up to their potential!

Salem and TOB have a long history together...but you're right...the circuit doesn't allow much variety anymore!

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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2007 :  6:10:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arlington County specifications require "Two" hatches on all school buses. There are about 7 buses that have this oddity in their fleet.

If you notice, Arlington has two hatches even on it's 42 & 54 passenger special needs buses. I agree, two hatches is always better than one, especially when evacuating special needs students. In an emergency that would require this hatches to be used, time is of the essence.

Maybe in the future, two hatches will become the state requirement on larger buses. But until then the DOT formula on the required number of exits will be the norm. Fairfax's right hand emergency door is a option but they use two hatches in the roof also, if I am correct.

Did you know, that several 1996 model 66-passenger conventionals had side and rear emegency doors along with one hatch to meet the DOT formula ?. Look around you will find them. I have seen several Blue Birds built this way.
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2007 :  11:36:03 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Every 95 64+ pax school bus I've ever seen has a side e-door. Virginia Beach actually has two generations of these buses, Blue Bird Internationals purchased in the spring of 1995, while the second purchased in early fall of 1995 also includes the roof hatch. The first 95s did not have the roof hatch!

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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2007 :  08:13:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm trying to piece together a fleet history for Loudoun County, much like I did for Fairfax County. Could anyone help? Here is what I have so far:

1995 Thomas International
1996 Thomas International
1997 Thomas Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
1997 Thomas Minotour
1998 Thomas International
1998 AmTran RE
1998 Blue Bird TC/2000 RE
2000 AmTran RE
2000 Thomas Minotour
2001 Thomas Minotour
2001 Thomas Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
2001 AmTran RE
2002 IC RE
2002 Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX
2002 Mid Bus Guide
2003 IC RE
2003 Thomas Minotour
2003 Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX
2004 IC RE
2004 Thomas Minotour
2004 Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX
2005 IC RE
2005 Thomas Minotour
2006 Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2
2006 Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX
2008 IC CE
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ICBuses
Active Member

United States
15 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2007 :  06:09:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bit of a correction here, Thomas and Internationals are 2 different types of buses. 3 main manufacturers are Thomas, IC (International) and Blue Bird.
quote:
Originally posted by IC-RE

I have seen several buses when I travel towards west Virginia, I know in Nelson County they have late 90's Thomas Internationals spec'ed to bare minimum, and most likely with mannuel transmissions and mannuel doors. it is a whole different scene here in Fairfax, we spec our buses amazing! Same thing next door in Loundon and In Arlington.


"When you cut me I bleed School Bus Yellow with Black lines in it." GH
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busgeek++
Advanced Member

United States
253 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2007 :  07:38:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
He means a Thomas bus on an International Chassis.

Buses are not a way of life, they are life
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