Berkhof Ambassador from BBA
Interior from a Ambassador from Connexxion
|Built at||Heerenveen and Valkenswaard|
|Operator(s)||Various across Europe|
|Length||10 600 mm - 11 950 mm|
|Width||2 500 mm|
|Height||2 920 mm|
|Floor type||Low floor|
|Weight||8.359 kg - 8.728 kg|
|Engine(s)||4 stroke diesel engine by Cummins|
|Power output||205 bhp|
|Transmission||Automatic Voith gearbox|
|Options||Various customer options|
The Berkhof Ambassador is a low-entry bus produced by the Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Berkhof. The section between the front and rear door are at the same height. The seats at the very rear are a bit higher, and can be reached by using stairs.
This type of bus is most commonly used by operators in the Netherlands and Denmark: In the Netherlands, owners and operators includes:Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Hermes, Syntus and Veolia Transport. In Denmark, owners and operators includes: Arriva, City Trafik, De Hvide Busser, Ditobus, Kruse, Nettbuss and Nobina
The Ambassador has been built since 2001. The exterior from the Ambassador hasn't changed much over the years. The interior has undergone several changes. The Ambassador is assembled at low costs. Older series (built between 2001 and 2005) have a poor suspension which causes the bus to rattle. The Ambassador was originally equipped with a Voith automatic gearbox which was very noisy.
The versions built since are a lot sturdier. The latest Voith gearboxes much quieter in use. In combination with better isolation, and a more environment-conscious Cummins engine, makes the bus a whole lot quieter. The suspensions were also improved, allowing for a more smooth ride.
The first series (Connexxion/Hermes) of Ambassadors was delivered with green LCD route signals (linenumber + destination). These proved to be malfunctioning on occasion. Later series were delivered with orange LED route signals.
This type of bus was involved in several incidents. In December 2003 a driver was killed after becoming stuck between the front door and the bus. The doors have been replaced now. During a storm at 18 January 2007 an Ambassador was blown off a dike due to its low weight.
Connexxion has ordered the most Ambassador buses by far; in 2005 it placed a large order of 300 buses for 50 million Euros. Since the capacity of VDL's factory in Heerenveen was not adequate for this amount, the factory in Valkenswaard was equipped to build Ambassador buses as well.
In July 2008 Connexxion placed another large order for the Ambassador, 355 buses to be delivered throughout 2008.. The total cost of this order was 75 million Euros.
The Ambassador 200 is a 12-meter long lightweight bus made for local and long distance transportation. Hundreds of buses from this type are produced. It's also designated Ambassador Low Entry 120 (ALE 120) (length of the bus is 120 dm = 12 m).
The weight from older buses differs from later models, caused by other materials and another engine.
The interior varies by company. The passenger seats are made out of cheap materials. These are plastic cups with a layer of foam on the seat and fabric on top. Several buses have been equipped with more luxurious seats.
Using knowledge and experience from the ALE120, VDL designed a 10-meter midibus. These are designated Ambassador Low Entry 106 (ALE 106) (length of the bus 106 dm = 10.6 m). These buses are mostly used in several cities in the Netherlands. The bus is build upon a DAF/VDL SB120 chassis, which was used for the Wright Cadet too. In 2008 the DAF/VDL SB120 chassis was exchanged in favour for a VDL SB180 chassis.
Overview of Ambassadors
The following table shows the Ambassador 200 buses in service in The Netherlands and other countries.
|Arriva Holland||227||6100-6109, 6171-6189, 8001-8069, 8201-8244, 8301-8385|
|Veolia Transport Holland||393||ex-BBA: 901-902, 5050-5057, |
Veolia: 5001-5049, 5058-5242, 5243-5342, 5343-5363, 5364, 5365-5367, 5368-5391
(5319,5320,5321 and 5367 are sold to "Zwaluw reizen")
|Connexxion Holland||1110 +
12 Ambassador 120
|ex-Hermes: 1734-1747, 1756–1760, 1761–1771, 1773–1776, 1777–1787, 1790–1791, 1836–1839, 1843–1844, 1850–1851, 1854-1860 |
ex-Stadsvervoer Nederland: 5101-5131 (tot 01-01-2008 SVN-series 101-131)
Connexxion: 4134-4229, 4230-4253, 4254-4277, 8100-8224, 8233-8254, 8278-8375, 8380-8728, 8792-8828, 8883-8976
Ambassador 120: 8226-8232 (Maassluis, Den Haag), 8225, 8376-8379 (urban transport Zaandam)
|Concodia Bus Denmark||11||6001-6011|
|Hermes Holland||136||1733, 1748–1755, 1772, 1788–1789, 1792–1793, 1801–1830, 1831–1835, 1841–1842, 1845–1849, 3330-3404, 3479-3483|
|De Hvide Busser A/S Enmark||17||8715-8732|
|Kruse Denmark||3 Ambassador 120||22-24|
|Millennium Transportation International||3||02-25, 02-26, 02-27 |
later as BBA InterHoMe 903-905, now Connexxion 3156-3157 and Snelle Vliet (Coaches) 204
|Syntus Holland||49 +
8 Ambassador 120
Ambassador 120: 1482-1488
|Taxi Centrale Renesse Holland||14 +
1 Ambassador 120
Ambassador 120: 56
A large amount of buses have been exported to Egged in Israel, Germany, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden.
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