There are news vans and there is the DC Election Express. The DC Election Express bus is pretty much the fanciest news van that you will find and a news channel, Headlines Today, will be using the Election Express for touring about 8,000 kilometers across the length and breadth of India. The bus will be used to cover elections live.
The news van is being used as a studio on wheels and has a front that looks more sporty than bus-like. The Election Express has hit the road after 72,000 man hours being spent on it with over 70 people working on it day and night at any given point of time during its construction.
DC has been designing customised buses for a while now but bringing this skill to a news van, which in itself is a pretty tough job, takes things to the next level. The state of art machinery keeps the channel connected with all its other reporters and studios at all points of time courtesy a broadband connection.
The underpinnings are of a three-axle Mercedes O500 RSD 2436 chassis that is usually found on inter-state luxury buses. It gets two on-board generators and is propelled by a 12.0 litre 6 cylinder engine that churns out 355 BHP. The interior of the bus is made similar to an aircraft with aircraft type front facing seats and each seat gets its own set of tables and reading lights.
There are a slew of TV screens and monitors in the middle alongside a lounge for interviewing guests. The rear of the bus gets a shower and pantry. The attempt comes across as a daring one from DC and it surely sets the tone for customizations of buses in future in India.
The bus started out from Delhi on 5th of April and will end its journey on the 14th of May in Delhi after the nationwide elections have been conducted.