Dayton Vossloh-Kiepe-Gillig-Complete Coach Works Dual Mode Trolleybuses
 
1401-1404. These four buses are the demonstrator models for what would be the fifth generation of Dayton's trolley fleet.

The RTA calls these buses "NexGen", and they are a combination of existing designs modified with new technology under evaluation. The bus shell (bus without power plant, also known as a glider) is a 40ft Gillig BRT CNG, which has a strengthened roof to accommodate additional control equipment and trolley poles, which are needed for Dayton. The electrical system and overall project management is by Vossloh-Kiepe, and modification of the buses was performed by Complete Coach Works in Riverside CA.

1401-1402. Powered by a Cummins diesel mated to a 600V DC generator or 600V DC overhead power mated to an inverter to get AC power to run a three-phase AC motor. The diesel fans among you might think, "hey that sounds a lot like a diesel electric locomotive." And you'd be right -- specifically the 60 EMD FL9s built in the 1950s for the New Haven which served into the 21st Century on Metro-North, which were designed for diesel or third-rail operation. The bus is limited to its off-wire distance by the amount of diesel fuel it carries. 1401 arrived in late September 2014, and 1402 in October.

1403-1404. Instead of the Cummins diesel, a large battery pack is installed in the engine cradle, with the electric running gear substantially the same. The challenge and really the emphasis here is on evaluating a newer battery technology called lithium-titanate for its ability to store and release energy for extended off wire operation. The buses as delivered are using lithium-ion technology, and will be updated for lithium-titanate when it becomes available.

In February 2017, the demonstrators were operated in revenue on Route 1 for approximately one week. They demonstrated the ability to operate significant distance (14 miles one direction) off wire all day long. In August 2017, after being shaken out as pure trolleys on routes 4, 7 and 8, the RTA began regular training and operations on Route 1 with the Dual Mode buses. On at least one day, all four demonstrators were in revenue on Route 1, making it a predominantly (more than half) trolley served route for the first time in over 10 years. The wiring pan on the east end is just west of Third and Smithville.

Dual Modes are also expected to operate on Route 2. Wiring pans are on Cosler near Burkhardt, Huffman and Heiss, and Philadelphia at Otterbein.

In September 2016, the RTA Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of an additional 26 Dual Mode trolleys. The vehicle specific design requirements and US FTA testing had to be completed prior to the contract being issued. The Altoona Testing was completed successfully in August 2017. As of this writing (November 2017) the formal letter indicating compliance with US FTA requirements has not been issued. In spite of this, the RTA, the overall contractor Kiepe, and the glider manufacturer, Gillig, are working together.
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