丹尼士三叉戟 Dennis Trident
After the closure of the production line of Dominator, although Dennis still produced the 3-axle version Dominator named as Dragon for KMB while Condor for CMB, Dennis was actively in designing the Trdent, the new low-floor bus chassis, as a replacement of the Dragon and Condor. Dennis Trident was first available in lengths of 10.6m, 11.3m and 12m followed by a 10.3m version as requested by NWFB.
KMB was not only, but also the first bus operator in the world for testing Trident. A 12m demonstrator was arrived in May, 1997 and entered service in Nov., 1997. The trial of the Trident was satisfactory and further purchased of Trident 12m was resulted. To cope with the narrow road conditions in Hong Kong, a 10.6m demonstrator with Duple Metsec bodywork was send to Hong Kong in 1999 and become 2700 of City Bus. To go one step further, NWFB placed an order of 62 Dennis Trident with Alexander ALX500 bodyworks in 1998 for the acquisition of the CMB networks since Sep. of the same year.
KMB followed the same step and 50 Dennis Trident received their Duple Metsec bodyworks in Tuen Mun assembly plant. The first sample was entered service in the end of 1999.The first batch Dennis Trident was first deployed on routes with relatively low demand like 84M, 86A in Sha Tin and 11D, 13D in Eastern Kowloon. More short wheel-based Tridents was then seen on 5C, 46, 108, 234X and 264M. This batch of Dennis Trident Is the last bus fitted with traditional plastic route display in the fleet.
The second batch of Dennis Trident 10.6m were introduced in the summer of 2000 as a result of the withdrawal of those aging Leyland Olympian, MCW Metrobus and Dennis Dominator. Starting from this batch, all Tridents were fitted with modified Alexander ALX500 bodyworks with Hanover electronic route display. Two of the batch, ATS96 and 97 were demonstrator of Euro 3 engine. Both of them painted with Kolibri and named as "GreenBus" to promote the features of using the Euro 3 engine. This batch of Trident were mainly seen on 23M, 64K, 92, 109, 234X, 273A and 299. In 2002, we saw the delivery of the last batch of 50 Trident 10.6m with Euro 3 engine and 20 of them were assembled by Alexander. ZF transmission units were chosen on the last 10 Dennis Tridents instead of Voith. This batch of Trident were mainly serving 17, 29M, 77K, 109, 117, 269M, 273A. One thing had to mention, the goal of fully air-conditioned service of Ho Man Tin District was achieved by the Dennis Trident together with the Baby Dragon in 2002.
All Dennis Trident 10.6m still actively service in 2B, 2F，3M, 5C, 8A, 14B, 28，31M, 45, 46, 64K, 68A，81K, 91M，283, etc. ATS96 and 97 were repainted with the champagne gold livery in 2010 and still serving route 109. A set of orange coloured LED route display from Gorba was fitted on ATS25 (JK2480) for trial in Feb., 2013.
The first Trident 10.6m withdrawn from KMB fleet is ATS36 (JK6249), a victim of the serious fire accident in Tin Shui Wai Depot on 31 Mar, 2008 and the second member retired is ATS20 (JK1534) after involving a traffic accident. The remaining Trident 10.6m with Duple Metsec bodyworks (except ATS25 mentioned above) were forced to retire since Nov., 2017 as KMB speed up the elimination of buses using plastic signage. The last of the batch stationed at Kowloon Bay depot was delicensed in mid. of Dec., 2017 and indicated the whole KMB fleet was fitted with electronic display. ATS25 become the very last Duple Metsec bodied Trident 10.6m in KMB and finally withdrawn just after the Christmas Eve of 2017.
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