This bus maintenance facility, servicing more than 300 vehicles, is outfitted with the same equipment used to maximize race car engine output.
Upgraded with equipment to provide advanced diagnostics, Westchester County’s Central Bus Maintenance Facility will allow bus operator Liberty Lines to extend the service life of its fleet of more than 300 vehicles. The 24’ x 72’ facility houses a dynamometer to provide engine performance, road test, drivetrain, and emission tests, along with a brake tester.
To support the modern equipment, the facility required new foundations, structural reinforcement, new finishes, increased ventilation, electrical power upgrades, and additional worker protection measures. Urban served as design engineer of record for the project. We provided structural, civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical and plumbing/ fire protection engineering services.
Careful coordination of trades was required to fit the dynamometer, brake testing equipment, and specialized building systems within the small maintenance facility. The brake dynamometer simulates the vehicle for forward driving deceleration force and provides brake pressure for each brake drum. The result is performance data that allows operators to better diagnose engines, fine tune performance, and troubleshoot issues before they result in engine damage or failure.
Operating buses at highway speeds on the dynamometer and brake tester generates heat and exhaust that must be dissipated. Specialized HVAC and exhaust systems capture the engine exhaust and direct it away from the room and other work spaces. Fire protection and exhaust fans are designed to function during extreme heat — bus exhaust can generate gases hotter than 1,000-degrees Fahrenheit when operated in a certain mode.
Electrical service was upgraded to provide three-phase power needed by the brake tester, which has an internal motor that generates a force to simulate brake resistance. Power is drawn from a switchgear room more than 300 feet away from the dynamometer room.
New foundations and pits in the concrete floor slab accommodate the flush-mounted equipment. Structural reinforcements for the roof and masonry walls frame new openings and support the equipment. Underpinning for masonry walls and interior columns is located around the deep pits.
Prior to the upgrades, vehicle testing was conducted on the road, which was time-consuming and less reliable than testing within a maintenance facility. The current maintenance capabilities should greatly reduce operating costs for one of the largest bus fleets in the United States.