Tram-style vehicle for city’s new £90m Bus Rapid Transit route was among the exhibits at the biggest ever Busworld Europe show in Belgium last week



The new Belfast Rapid Transit ‘Glider’ vehicle was unveiled at the Busworld Europe exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium, last week.

The new £90m Glider service will begin in September 2018, operating every 7-8 minutes between East Belfast, West Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre.

Built by Van Hool in Belgium, the 18-metre articulated vehicles will use diesel-electric hybrid engine technology delivering a smoother take off from halts, lower noise, reduced vibrations and lower emissions. Each vehicle will carry 105 passengers and will feature real time passenger information, audio next stop and destination announcements, CCTV, free Wi-Fi, USB charging facilities and air conditioning.

Last week’s Busworld Europe show was the biggest yet, welcoming 376 exhibitors from 36 countries, and receiving 37,241 visitors from 118 countries. All around the Kortrijk Xpo venue, demonstration vehicles were parked, ready to embark on test rides. Many new buses and coaches could be seen on the roads around Kortrijk, including Alstom’s tram-inspired Aptis prototype (PT156).

The Busworld Europe show is moving. The next event, in 2019, will take place in Brussels.


This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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