omnibus society inc., po box 9801, wellington, nz


*TERAWHITI ARMS, KARORI, SOCIAL NIGHT AND DISCUSSION, Wednesday, 12 May, 7.30 pm We hope to have present the proponent of the most recent airing of the idea of converting the Johnsonville railway into a busway and his chief opponent on the Wellington Transit list – should be interesting! Supper nibbles have been ordered for 9.00 and you would have to buy only your own liquid refreshment.

*TROLLEYBUS FESTIVAL – Celebrating Wellington’s 100 Years of Electric Public Transport – This is to be held over the weekend of 12 and 13 June and into the following week, depending on interest. WCT trolleys 39, 88, 119 and possibly 90 will be running over the system and arrangements are being made that may allow ATB 50 from MOTAT, CTB 210 from Ferrymead and a Dunedin bus from Foxton to participate. The newest trolley, 301, should also be available over the weekend.

The date has been chosen to coincide with a post-COTMA tour and to recognize the May, 1964, closure, 40 years ago, of Wellington’s electric tramway system and the commencement of that system 100 years ago in June, 1904.

Social activities will include a visit to the Cable Car Museum followed by a dinner at the Skyline Restaurant, which is right next door, on the evening of 12 June, and a visit to the Tramway Museum, for those interested, on 13 June.

Out-of-town visitors can, of course, enjoy Stagecoach service trolley rides on weekdays.

Enquiries to Henry Brittain, (04) 476 7278, or email

*STAGECOACH KILBIRNIE WORKSHOPS. This has been deferred to later in the year when light for photos should be better. This will be a visit inside the workshops to see the Wellington fleet’s home. There will possibly also be rides on a 1300 or other new bus.

*VISIT TO GRANT TAYLOR, HAWKES BAY. In connection with returning the ex-Nimon Morris Commercial to them for their centenary in 2005, a visit will be made to Grant Taylor of Nimons early next year – think Leylands and Crawley Ridley bodywork!

*VISIT TO PAHIATUA. Members have expressed interest in a trip to see the Railcar Museum and other places of interest in the Wairarapa. If you are interested, contact Mike Berry [ (04) 479 3111 ]. Given sufficient interest, he will organize such a trip. Remember, non-members are welcome if members wish to bring friends, family etc. Come and support a Society outing. There is interest already in this trip and spring is being considered as the time to go over the hill.


VISIT TO RUNCIMAN MOTORS, Saturday, 17 April, 2004 - this was well-supported and an enthusiastic group of us spent a beautifully fine morning photographing, noting, talking and looking at buses. Paul Runciman was a helpful, welcoming and informative host and the Society thanks him very much for allowing us to visit. The last of the Stagecoach/WCT Leopards were well in evidence there, and Paul kindly posed class-leader 401 for photographs. As well, other interesting vehicles were seen and one group’s conversation centred very enthusiastically around the notion of preserving an ex-EBC Hess-bodied Ford such as No.15 in which the group was seated at the time. Any starters?


Subscription unpaid? Morris Moller would appreciate hearing from you. Sub forms were sent out in November, 2003, but if you need one ask either Morris (475 9467) or Henry (476 7278) to send you another one. Subs are $25-00 p.a. or $12-50 for non-earners.

DRIVERS NEEDED – The Society often needs drivers for charters. If you can help, or if you wish to gain the right licence so you can, please contact Peter Rendall, 970 1405, or Henry Brittain, 476 7278.

OUR FLEET… Thanks to Peter Rendall.

119 – the lights are now working on this bus.

374 – Mike Flinn continues to work on the paintwork of the Mk 2 AEC Reliance. One side of the lantern windscreen has been re-glazed and new rear body panels have been installed. Since this note, Peter advises me that the windscreen is completely installed.

462 – the Leopard’s radiator has been water-blasted to improve its efficiency.

AEC spares have come from a Reliance owner who has "Hino-ised" his AEC.

Kaiwarra trolley bus – it’s interesting to note that this vehicle is 80 years old this year. Some publicity of this fact is being considered.

NB Our fleet needs constant care. Tuesday work nights at Karori Depot could use more people. If you don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, and, irrespective of whether you have any particular expertise, the small dedicated team of regulars would welcome your presence and support.

OBSERVATIONS… Thanks to Peter Thompson, Graeme Inwood, Ian Robertson, Henry Brittain, Gerard Cooper, Mike Boyton, Bryce Pender

AUCKLAND – Peter T. comments that there is not much new up there at present except for some coaches, including three in Oceania livery. He promises an update for the next issue. Your Editor, on a recent quick trip to Auckland, was struck by the impressive length of the 1400s in the urban scene. Indeed, recurring nightmares of being stuck in one at certain points in Wellington’s transport geography are disturbing his sleep!

MOTAT Bus NewsIan has sent the following: ATB diesel 201 is fully operational and is used for special occasions as, for example, a shuttle between the end of the tramline at the Zoo and MOTAT 2 (formerly Keith Park Memorial airfield) – its pre-select gearchange attracts comment. 464 is in the workshop nearing the end of a full interior refurbishing so that, hopefully, it can help 201 on various COTMA duties. Trolleybus 50 is being readied for the Trolleybus Festival in Wellington. Trolley 85 has been leased for three years to the Foxton Trolley Museum – the agreement allows for it to run in the Festival.

Buses New to the Museum – Two interesting buses have been acquired. One is North Shore Transport 72, a 1949 Daimler half-cab, and the other is ATB 301, a 1954 Bedford SB Saro-bodied bus. The Accessions Committee have approved the Daimler but the Bedford has only an interim OK. The Bus Group is now part of the Urban Transport Section of MOTAT and, so, gets full support for its restorations and operations.

CHRISTCHURCH – Gerard reports Redbus receiving new 17.223 type buses (1400 type). They are like the four already owned but have no air-con units on them, being fitted with hopper windows instead. They are:685/BWT725; 686/BWT726; 687/BWT727; 688/BYG534; 689/BYG535; 690/BYS585; 691/BZE341; 692/BZE348.

The new company named Christchurch Bus Services Ltd is due to commence in the week preceding Queens Birthday Weekend. They will use brand new Mercedes SLFs with Designline bodies similar to S/c 1300s – there will be a tag-axle bus as well – and the fleet will total 21 buses. Another tender round is going on here at present so the new company could gain routes and expand without turning a wheel! Clive Peter, former CEO of CTL, owns the company.

MASTERTON – Late news alerted RS to the arrival in Masterton of 1964 AEC Routemaster RM1670 in this Wairarapa town. It is in the care of Wayne and Tanya Little (there’s that name again!) and will be used for town trips, charters and tours. I seem to remember that this bus, then Auckland based, was in the British vehicle rally of some years ago (along with our 322) and amazed Morris and me with its on-the-road urge. Hino re-powering was the secret of this.

WELLINGTON – Mana Coach Services – Mike B advises that F/Ns 73, 74, 75 are all at Newlands and are running but have been out of service recently for varying periods. All are used, imported Volvo B10Ms with new Kiwi bodywork: 73/AYK585, 51 seat; 74/BPN175, 51 seat; 75/BSH155, 47 seat with air-con unit ex Dennis Dart. (Thanks to Bryce for info on these three, also.) Two new 2004 Volvo B7R LE buses went to Newlands in late March. They have Kiwi SLF bodies, 47 seat, and have computer controlled mechanics using six computers, including a visual display panel. They are 124/BWM694 and 125/BYF543.

Ex DCT Leopard 165/NCS65 left Newlands in early April to go for sale (Today, 7 May, it is still looking forlorn in a corner of the Kapiti yard – MS) Ex Invercargill Leopards 144/NCS44 and 145/NCS45 have gone respectively to Kapiti and Porirua, 144 replacing ex Dunedin 22 which has been sold. Ex WCT Ansaldo trolley, now B10 diesel, 110/TU6988, has had smart interior refurbishment at Palmerston North, leaving only 112/TZ1679 with its WCT interior. Splendid old 1980 Leopard coach, 62/JY6483, still sees some service on the Kapiti Commuter service out at Paraparaumu.

Classic Coaches, Wainuiomata – there have always smaller firms operating fleets in many parts of NZ, providing interest and variety to the local scene. In the Wellington area, enthusiast and Omnibus Society member, Richard Potts, is the proprietor of Classic Coaches. He has kindly sent me the following details of his current fleet:

Graeme asked about Titahi Bay Tours and Charters’ Bedford YMT SC6403 in the last RS and Morris came up with the body being Emslie C21FV and ownership being, first, NZRRS, and then White Star 403.

I have some material, also, from Graeme, Stan, Neil and Anthony that time pressure dictates I will have to use in the next issue. Thank you, gentlemen.

Mike Secker, 63 Glen Road, Raumati South, Kapiti 6010. Ph: (04) 902 1173 Fax: (04) 902 1174 Mob: 027 426 7901


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