Berkhof Ambassador

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Berkhof Ambassador
VJ 95780 (DK).JPG
Berkhof Ambassador from Østtrafik
Syntus Bus voor Midden Overijssel interieur.JPG
Interior of an Ambassador from Syntus
Manufacturer VDL Berkhof
Production 2001–2011
Assembly Heerenveen and Valkenswaard
Body and chassis
Doors 1-2-0 or 2-2-0
Floor type Low floor
Low entry
Engine Diesel engine by Cummins or DAF
Capacity 80 passengers (up to 34 seated)
Power output 205 bhp
Transmission Automatic Voith transmission
Length 10.6–11.95 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 2.92 m
Curb weight 8,359–8,728 kg

The Berkhof Ambassador was a low-floor midibus produced by the Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Berkhof between 2001 and 2011 where it was replaced by VDL Citea LLE. The section between the front and rear door are at the same height. The seats at the very rear are a bit higher, and can be reached by using stairs.

This type of bus is most commonly used in the Netherlands and Denmark. In the Netherlands, owners and operators include:Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Hermes, Syntus and Veolia Transport. In Denmark, owners and operators include: Arriva, City-Trafik, De Hvide Busser, DitoBus, Kruse, Nettbuss and Nobina.


The Ambassador has been in production since 2001, and its exterior is largely unchanged; the interior, however, has undergone several changes, and the vehicle is assembled at low cost. The older series (built from 2001–2005) has an inferior suspension, which causes the bus to rattle. The Ambassador was originally equipped with a Voith automatic gearbox, which was noisy. Later versions are sturdier, and more-recent Voith gearboxes are quieter in use. The combination of better isolation and a more environmentally-conscious Cummins engine makes the bus quieter. The suspension has also been improved, allowing for a smoother ride.

The first series (Connexxion/Hermes) of Ambassadors was delivered with green LCD route signals (line number and destination). These occasionally malfunctioned, and later series were delivered with orange LED route signals. This type of bus has been involved in several incidents: in December 2003 a driver was killed after becoming stuck between the front door and the bus (this type of door has since been replaced), and during a storm on 18 January 2007 an Ambassador was blown off a dike due to its light weight.


Connexxion has ordered the most Ambassador buses by far; in 2005 it placed an order of 300 buses for €50 million. Since the capacity of VDL's factory in Heerenveen was inadequate for an order of this size, the factory in Valkenswaard was equipped to build Ambassador buses as well. Following its success in the Netherlands, the Ambassador was also exported; orders were placed by operators in Denmark, Germany and Israel. In July 2008, Connexxion placed a 355-bus order for the Ambassador, to be delivered throughout the year.[1] The total cost of the order was €75 million.


Ambassador 120[edit]

Blue-and-white bus, photographed at an angle
Connexxion ALE106 bus

Using knowledge and experience gained from the ALE120, VDL designed a 10-meter midibus which is designated Ambassador Low Entry 106 (ALE 106) (bus length 106 dm, or 10.6 m). These buses are primarily used in several cities in the Netherlands. The bus is built on a DAF/VDL SB120 chassis, which was also used for the Wright Cadet. In 2008, the DAF/VDL SB120 chassis was exchanged for a VDL SB180.

Ambassador 200[edit]

City-Trafik 2485 ALE120

The Ambassador 200 is a 12-meter-long lightweight bus made for local and long-distance transportation. Hundreds of buses from this type have been produced. It is designated as Ambassador Low Entry 120 (ALE 120) (the bus length is 120 dm, or 12 m). Its coachwork rests on a DAF/VDL SB200 chassis, which is also used for the Wright Commander from Wrightbus. The weight of the older buses differs from later models because of different materials and a different engine. Its interior varies by company. The passenger seats are made inexpensively; they are plastic cups with a layer of foam on the seat and fabric on top. Several buses have been equipped with more-luxurious seats.


The following table shows the Ambassador 200 buses in service in the Netherlands and other countries:

Company Amount Series
Arriva Netherlands 323 Ex. Veolia: 0050-0051, 0053
Ex. Connexxion: 0207-0215
Ex. NoordNed: 6100-6109, 6171-6189, 8064-8069
Arriva: 3154, 3158, 3159, 8001-8069, 8201-8244, 8301-8382, 8401-8451, 8651-8670, 8851-8860
Arriva Denmark 19 1058-1060, 1302-1303, 1761–1762, 3040-3047, 3056-3057, 5640-5641
Veolia Transport Netherlands 393 Ex. BBA: 901-902, 5050-5057,
Veolia: 5001-5049, 5058-5242, 5243-5342, 5343-5363, 5364, 5365-5367, 5368-5391
(5319,5320,5321 and 5367 are sold to "Zwaluw reizen")
City-Trafik, Denmark 25 2431-2437, 2481-2497
Connexxion Netherlands 1110 +
12 Ambassador 120
Ex. Hermes: 1734-1747, 1756–1760, 1761–1771, 1773–1776, 1777–1787, 1790–1791, 1811, 1815, 1828, 1836-1840, 1843, 1844, 1850-1860
Ex. Stadsvervoer Nederland: 5101-5131 (tot 01-01-2008 SVN-series 101-131)
Connexxion: 4134-4229, 4230-4253, 4254-4277, 8100-8224, 8233-8254, 8278-8375, 8380-8728, 8792-8828, 8883-8976
Ambassador 120: 8226-8232 (Maassluis, Den Haag), 8225, 8376-8379 (urban transport Zaandam)
Nobina Denmark 11 6001-6011
DitoBus, Denmark 21 4656-4662, 4736-4749
Hermes, Netherlands 196 1734-1793, 1801-1860, 3330-3404, 3479-3483
De Hvide Busser, Denmark 17 8716-8724, 8726-8732
Kruse, Denmark 2 Ambassador 120 7122-7123
Nettbuss 20 224-229, 8515-8528
Millennium Transportation International 3 02-25, 02-26, 02-27
later as BBA InterHoMe 903-905, now Connexxion 3156-3157 and Snelle Vliet (Coaches) 204
Qbuzz 131 4401-4531
Syntus, Netherlands 243 2146-2148, 3046-3048, 3049-3060, 3248-3250, 3255-3256, 4001-4052, 4101-4146, 4150-4154, 5001-5024, 5101-5126, 5127-5152, 5301-5305
Taxi Centrale Renesse, Netherlands 14 Ambassador 120 419-432
Transportes Sul do Tejo, Portugal 37
VBN / BVN, Germany 37

A large number of buses have been exported to Denmark, Germany, Egged in Israel, Portugal and Sweden.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]