Land speed biomethane bus record attempt launched 17 April 2015

Reading Buses has today (Friday 17 April 2015) launched a project aimed at setting a new land speed record for a service bus using its low emission Scania vehicles that run on CBG (compressed biomethane gas).

Launched at Brooklands Museum, home of British land speed records, the new record attempt will take place on a banked circular track at Millbrook, just outside Bedford, on 19 May 2015.

At the same time as the compressed natural gas bus attempts the speed record, the firm also plans to issue the fastest ever on-board ticket, using its Ticketer system.

"We are looking forward to being the bus company with the fastest bus in the world," states marketing and communications manager Jake Osman.

"We will take a hand-picked driver with the right experience in buses and motorsport, and we will be looking to push the bus to its limits," he continues.

"On the day of the attempt, we are aiming for a speed of at least 80 miles per hour, which is around 50% faster than the normal 55 mph that the bus is limited to."

Alarmingly, Osman also says the driver will issue a ticket while going round the track – "giving our supplier Ticketer the fastest bus ticket ever issued".

The bus, which is normally driven in service, will have no major body or engine modifications "other than slight tweaks and some high speed tyres". Once the day is over, the tweaks will be put back and it will go back into service, says Osman.

"We are aware that if you search the internet for 'fastest bus in the world' you get what is basically a jet engine with a bus shell," concedes Osman. "But that is not a bus. We are talking about having the real fastest bus in the world."

But beyond the razzamatazz, Osman says this record-breaking attempt is all about increasing awareness of CNG buses and biomethane as a viable fuel.

"We have invested heavily in this greener technology and foresee biomethane and CNG becoming the fuel of choice for many more operators," he insists.

"We have two compressors at our depot and are able to fill other gas vehicles, such as taxis, trucks and our own gas-powered engineering van."

Reading Buses' biomethane is sourced through the Gas Vehicle Alliance and is carbon-neutral certified. It is produced from cow manure and waste food.

Sponsors for the land speed record attempt include Ticketer, Nimbus, Millbrook, Scania, ADL, Gas Vehicle Alliance, Michelin Solutions, Mix Telematics, Brooklands, TEK seating & USSC and Numbercraft.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Alexander Dennis Ltd
Michelin Solutions
Millbrook Proving Ground Ltd
MiX Telematics UK Ltd
Scania (Great Britain) Ltd

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