New Flyer Industries DE60LFR (HSR #0610-0616, #920-937)
The DE60LFR (Diesel-Electric, 60 ft long, Low Floor Restyled) is a hybrid articulated bus, also known to Hamiltonians as a bendy bus. This was the first articulated bus that the HSR had purchased since the second batch of TA60-102Ns were received back in 1987. Unveiled to the public at an official ceremony at Hamilton City Hall on Apr 3, 2007, the DE60LFRs were originally intended for use on the 10 BEELINE, but have appeared all over Hamilton.
The HSR buses that were delivered in 2006 & 2007 have a slightly different numbering system than previous HSR orders. The 34 buses delivered in 2006/2007 were all part of a single order, but the HSR decided to split the numbering of the buses based on the type of propulsion used. the Diesel buses were numbered in the 0700s, and the Hybrid buses were numbered in the 0600s. The Diesel buses were delivered first, and they all arrived by the end of Dec 2006. The Hybrid buses arrived in early spring 2007, resulting in the 2006 buses being numbered in the 0700s, and the 2007 buses numbered in the 0600s!
The HSR held a contest to design a unique paint job for these buses. The winning design by David Kuruc consists of silver with blue and yellow arcs. The yellow arc represents the Niagara Escarpment, while the blue arc represents Lake Ontario, two of the major natural features of the Hamilton area.
There is one major visual difference betwen the two batches of DE60LFRs: The rear roof bulge. It's short on the 0600s, long on the 900s.
The HSR's second batch of DE60LFR's began arriving in February 2009, and officially entered service in September with the opening of the 20 A-LINE. The buses waited so long to be put into service because there is lower demand for buses during the late spring and summer, and the HSR was in the process of replacing the AVL and radio system on the buses in the fleet. The HSR did not finalize the new hardware until the summer of 2009, and did not want to install these systems on the newest buses only to have to replace them a few months later.
The numbering of these buses has been slightly different than the rest of the HSR fleet. An error was made at the factory, and HSR #0920 was delivered as #0910. The rest of the fleet was delivered without the leading '0' (i.e #921 instead of #0921). No explanation has come forward as to why this change had been made (by error or by request). The HSR fixed the number of the first bus to #0920, and later removed the leading '0' before the buses entered service.
HSR #0616 was retired in July 2016 after a fire on May 10, 2016 in the battery compartment on the roof caused enough damage to make repairing the 9 year old bus uneconomical. HSR #0611-0614 Were retired in May 2019, while #610 and #615 were put into storage for future use.
(All photos © Tom Luton, except where noted)
HSR #0614 next to the McMaster University Medical Centre, November 14, 2007
HSR #0615 at James & Jackson, November 13, 2009
HSR #0615 at John & Jackson, March 19, 2015
HSR #0616 at King and John, May 29, 2008
HSR #0616 at King and Hughson, May 29, 2008
HSR #924 at the Hamilton GO Centre, November 13, 2009
HSR #925 at the Hamilton GO Centre, January 11, 2011
HSR #926 at the Hamilton GO Centre, March 19, 2015
HSR #929 at Main & MacNab, January 11, 2011
HSR #937 at King & James, January 11, 2011
Look for YouTube videos on HSR DE60LFRs here (External Link).