Translink Sunsundegui SB5

State-owned Northern Ireland operator Translink has added a batch of 30 accessible Sunsundegui SC5-bodied Volvo B11R tri-axle coaches to its Goldline scheduled operation.

The 14.3m model has been developed specifically for Translink. Previously the Sunsundegui SC5 has only been built in right-hand drive form at 10.3m on the Volvo B8R chassis. Those for Northern Ireland have 63 seats. They will be used from Belfast, Coleraine, Londonderry and Newry depots.

A side-mounted lift is fitted, and one wheelchair user can be carried. Translink has also specified a 10-camera CCTV system and wi-fi connectivity.

Delivery of the B11R SB5s takes to 102 the number of Volvo coaches and buses supplied to Translink since 2014. Most recently it took two B11R-based 9700s and two of the same chassis with Jonckheere JHV2 bodywork.

Says Project Manager for Fleet Enhancement Will Campbell: “We needed a premium coach with added comfort for longer journeys that would also provide high capacity. That is why we have gone for the 14.3m B11R SC5.

“Aftersales service and support is also important for our business. To ensure that our vehicles are in the best operational order with maximum uptime we have an excellent relationship with Dennisons. We use its various dealer points across Northern Ireland.”

The new coaches are powered by the D11K engine rated at 430bhp coupled to the I-Shift gearbox. In a departure from the norm, gear selection is via push buttons rather than the usual lever.

Volvo has confirmed that Sunsundegui offer an accessible option on the B8R SC5. It involves a wheelchair lift being placed in the luggage locker.