丹尼士三叉戟 Dennis Trident
踏入二零一九年年中，全數二零零一年出牌的三叉戟已經到達了十八年車齡退役的期限，但因應向Wright訂購的Streetdeck新車未能及時付運(而有關訂單最終亦未能兌現)，合共二十二架三叉戟，計有ATS54 - 57，60，62，63，67 - 70，73，75，79 - 81，83，86 - 88，90，獲得延續一年壽命以解缺短陣雙層巴士不足問題。而到了二零二零年首季，由於接棒的亞歷山大丹尼士Enviro500MMC十一米仍需作出測試及進行調校工作，屬於歐三批次的首十六架三叉戟獲續牌四個月，以應付營運需要。過去一段長時間，十點六米三叉戟活躍於不同九巴路線上，包括5C，8A，14B，28，30，31M，45，46，64K，81K，91M，92，269M，283及299X等路線，隨著九巴安排更大型的巴士行走上述部份路線，十點六米三叉戟期後主要安排於31M，53，64K，81K，269M及276路線行走，直到亞歷山大丹尼士Enviro500MMC十一米於二零二零年六月投入服務後，前述以三叉戟作主力的路線除了81K亦陸續換入新車，至於這些三叉戟本身亦自二零二零年三月份開始陸續退下火線，最後三架三叉戟(ATS148 - 150)亦於二零二零年十月二十八日退役，除了標誌著這款最早出現於香港的短陣三軸低地台巴士，消失於九巴車隊編制中外，亦代表香港路面上再沒有同款巴士行走。
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 Trident, 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. In Feb., 2013, a set of orange coloured LED route display from Gorba was fitted on ATS25 (JK2480) for trial and this is an unique member in the family.
The second batch of Dennis Trident 10.6m were introduced in the summer of 2001 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 and member of the "Green Bus" with Kolibri paint, they were finally repainted with the champagne gold livery in 2010.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 with ZF transmission unit instead of Voith was chosen on the last 10 Dennis Trident chassis. 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.
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.
Those Trident commissioned in 2001 already reached the end of their useful service life in 2019, however, as the delay of the arrival of Wright Streetdeck (the purchasing order was finally cancelled), 22 of the batch (ATS54 -57, 60, 62, 63, 67 - 70, 73, 75, 79 - 81, 83, 86 - 88, 90) was extended their lifespan for one more year to relief the shortage of short wheel-based double decker. Unfortunately, the commissioned date of Alexander Dennis Enviro500MMC 11.3m was delayed and as a result, the registration expiry date of the first 16 Euro 3 batch was extended for further 4 months in the first quarter of 2020. All Dennis Trident 10.6m used to actively serve 5C, 8A, 14B, 28, 30, 31M, 45, 46, 64K, 81K, 91M, 92, 269M, 283 and 299X etc., as more and more full-sized double decker deployed on part of the routes mentioned above, Trident 10.6m then mainly seen on route 31M, 53, 64K, 81K, 269M and 276. Since Mar., 2020, the remaining Trident in the fleet was gradually withdrawn and except route 81K, they were mainly replaced by the brand new Enviro500MMC 11.3m after their commission in Jun., 2020.
Dennis Trident 10.6m was the first short wheel-based 3-axle super low floor double deckers in Hong Kong and followed the last three in KMB (ATS148 -150) retired on 28 Oct., 2020, indicated that no more Dennis Trident 10.6m was serving commuters in Hong Kong.
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