AN440 SEPTA and WMATA / Memories (104609)

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Posted by Mdlbigcat on Mon Feb 23 20:10:02 2004, in response to Neoplan N416/Atlanta and Milwaukee (was Re: Neoplan AN440),
posted by ctrabs74 on Mon Feb 23 19:28:50 2004.

I remember getting my first ride on the Neoplan AN440 back in Summer 1982. It was one of the AK(?) models in the 8285-8434 group. I rode it on the then B bus [before it was changed to the 14], and on the 5 [when it ran out of Comly]. Later that year, I saw the ones out of Southern, and the Suburban buses out of Red Arrow, and Frontier. The story behind these buses were that SEPTA could have had 5 more buses if they did not have the rear-door wheelchair lift. The lift all but broke on the first days of operating, and since SEPTA could not get parts for the junk lifts, they simply discontinued their use, and deleted lifts from all future orders until the 3252-3371 batch in 1988/89.

In the spring of 1983, WMATA got their 76 Neoplan AN440's/9501-76 [what two letter model designation was used for these buses?], and I rode these buses [despite the fact that I was risking life and limb going into SE DC] to quell my homesickness for Philly. These buses were the first new buses to wear the "second scheme" that was applied to all of the BLITZed fishbowls, and some of the Flxibles at that time.
In the summer of 1984, they got a 77th Neoplan, a demo built to SEPTA specs [9500]. That bus had sealed windows, and was 96 inches wide [compared to the 102 inch width of the WMATA buses.], and had the red and blue seats seen in SEPTA's Neoplans. I wonder what happened to that bus? When I got back to DC 5 years later, I noticed that WMATA's Neoplans weren't in the best of shape. In fact, the ones at SEPTA were WAYYYY too much better looking and running, despite their being made at the same time.

Now that I know that the NABI's, Eldorados, New Flyers, and even the Neoplan Artics replaced most of the Neoplans in Philly, now I ask, what replaced the AN440's in DC? Was it the Metro D's or E's? Or did the Orion V's [4200 series] kill them off?


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