The Newsletter of the Omnibus Society Inc.,
NEXT EVENT… MCS, Porirua Depot, 10.00am, Sunday 9 April
To see the many changes that have happened since our last
visit, the Society will be re-visiting Mana Coach Services’ busy Porirua
COMING EVENTS FOR 2006…
9 April – Visit to Mana Coach Services’ Porirua Depot. (*See above for further details.)
21 May – Karori Open Day for public and Society members.
June – Mid-winter Dinner.
15 – 16 July – Bus & Coach Assoc. Conference in
August – Evening meeting.
September – Garage visit.
October – AGM.
November – Trip to
December – Evening trip.
This year’s BBQ was attended by a select group of individuals who, as usual, had a fine time dining, opining and generally holding forth on matters of the bus world and even matters of the wider world. It is hoped that slightly later notice of the event did not preclude some members’ attendance. Our thanks, once again, to Robyn and Peter Rendall for their hospitality.
OUR FLEET… thanks to Henry Brittain and Peter Rendall
4 - MAN …. We seem, in everyday bus-life, to be surrounded by MANs, so what is a MAN doing in the OUR FLEET section? Well, in early February, 2006, Peter Rendall emailed me with the following:
I had a call today from Paul Williams, MAN Automotive NZ,confirming that the company had purchased IE6216, the first MAN PSV sold in NZ (but noting that it wasn’t the first PSV from any of the firm’s constituents – the pre-war Bussing was mentioned…) This bus will be made available to us on the same basis as the WCC vehicles – it’s (the Omnibus Society’s) as long as we exist, but, if we shut, it goes back to MAN.
The MAN is a
15.192 FOC-R new to
MAN are willing to underwrite the costs of returning it to COF condition and repainting it into Gisborne CC colours (if the Council is agreeable to us doing this). MAN will also consider any costs associated with returning the bus to original condition mechanically. MAN NZ wish the bus to be returned to near-original by July so it can be displayed at the BCA Conference.
MAN is also
interested in preserving in original condition one of the ARA/Stagecoach
95 – This one also from Peter….A little item – the (ex-NZRSS) Thornycroft is getting some attention. The non- standard carburettor fitted to the non- original Leyland E60 motor has been failing, so when someone wanted to use the bus in an ad, we thought we should remedy the problem - but the carburettor man says that the one we have is just about unsalvageable, so I (Peter) have been seeking advice as to what would have been fitted originally and what suitable alternatives there are if we can't find an original. Bunged off a query to the
49 (249)…and this one from Peter….and another little item – I recently had a call that is good news for 49. The woodworking chap we had just about given up on called to say he had now finished off the renovations in his daughter’s house, and was off to the South Island for a trip - and did we mind if he got some suitable timber to start the reframing of our masthead AEC. So, hopefully over the winter, we will see some changes to this bus. The restoration of 49 would be a major advance !
Henry Brittain reports the following details:
20 – The Eastbourne Tiger Cub is having its front window framing renewed thanks to help from Wayne and Tania Little.
Trentham Dispersals –
Trolleys 55, 90, and
Henry also mentions the successful trip in 3583 to Vic Draper and Mainline Steam, as well as 322’s trip to the British car day in February at Barton’s Bush grounds at Trentham.
OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to Anthony Greaney,, Ian Robertson, Nick Stoneman
Constellation bus station: A Northern Express bus 711 from Britomart in Downtown
Auckland connects at Constellation Bus Station with a local Ritchie’s bus
683 (reg. CYP 280) on route 887 to
HAWKES BAY – Anthony reports that, since the beginning of this year, quite a bit of vehicle activity has happened at Nimons. He outlines just what, as follows:
Leylands ex Mana
44 NCS44 1983
66 NCS66 1981
Both retain their existing registrations.(…and, apparently, their NCS fleet numbers. I gather that NCS45, twin of NCS44, is already with Nimons. All the above answers a query of mine in an earlier Running sheeT. Many thanks. – Ed.)
Six Volvo B10M ex Leopard CL, Chch (originally WCCT trolley buses – “Ansaldos”).
84 TZ1641 ex Leopard 33/ 06 orig. WCCT 128
85 TZ1660 ex Leopard 03 orig. WCCT 134
86 TZ1675 ex Leopard 09 orig. WCCT 122
87 TZ1676 ex Leopard 02 orig. WCCT 130
88 TZ1678 ex Leopard 08 orig. WCCT 127
89 TZ1680 ex Leopard 10 orig. WCCT 126
(Are all ex-Ansaldos back in the
One 2nd hand Japanese import
57 CYP381 1989 Hino Blue Ribbon HT273B Hino B45F (import 2005)
VIN = 7A8341R0905040062
43 DEB405 2005 Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter FK220K5 Kiwi B49F
VIN = JLAFK617KDKP00344
If you think the model name is rather long for a bus chassis, you are right. It is a truck chassis.
Meanwhile, down in Waipukurau, Bruns Charters have a bus of note:
28 CHW96 1987 Scania K112TR CWI "Conquest" C46FAt.
It was purchased 11/04 from Scenic Coachlines,
It is notable because it is built to Australian Coach specification, the most obvious detail being the exhaust stack exiting through the roof instead of at street level. Behind all this lies a tale.
Technically this bus is an Aussie import. It was one of a batch of six Scanias CWI built for the Aussie market on behalf of Saab - Scania
Stagecoach/Infratil – This firm, otherwise known as NZBus, has agreed not to proceed with the purchase of Mana Coach Services, pending the outcome of a High Court ruling next month. An article in the Business Day section of the Dompost of 4 April, attractively illustrated with a photo of Eastbourne Connector, MAN 903/CHW259, goes over the issues. In an earlier Dompost business section but tucked away at the bottom of a page, Infratil were quoted as saying words to the effect that they were going ahead with buying MCS anyway, whatever the Commerce Commission said ie they withdrew their voluntary application for clearance. A “hurry-up”ploy, I wonder. An earlier offer to run MCS as a separate company was rejected by the CC. NZBus could forfeit its $3.1m deposit if the whole matter was not determined by 30 June, said their lawyer. One particular point that raises different opinions is whether MCS and NZBus really do compete much at all. Certainly, they seem to serve very different areas and each firm’s charter work has a different focus. Also, I hope that any legally and commercially muddied waters in all this do not dilute the purposeful course of retaining and refurbishing the trolleybus system.
DO THESE TROLLEYS FACE COMMERCIAL AND POWER SUPPLY THREATS?
Nice study here of
the second two-axle prototype trolleybus for
it is designed to do – carrying passengers quietly, non-pollutingly and without depleting fossil fuel reserves overmuch. (Attractive design, I think – Ed.) Just imagine a fleet of 57 more of these with three axles. Photo: Nick Stoneman
Mana Coach Services – Porirua – A write-up of the Omnibus Society’s April visit to this depot will appear in the next Running sheeT .
Kapiti – As Anthony reports, ex-DCT
Leyland Leopard 166 has been at Nimons
for a while, so the last two
Out at this depot at present, for engine repairs, is Hino 3-axle coach 155/NCS55. Volvo/Kiwi 75/BSH155 is awaiting parts at present, so 136 (and, occasionally, Volvo B6FA 14) have been deputising on the Kapiti Commuter alongside regulars, Volvo B10Ms, 70 and 71.
BRIEF OBITUARY… Hitherto missed by Running sheeT is the sad news that well-known and long-time bus enthusiast, Dudley Kirker, died in early December, 2005, his funeral being held in Christchurch on Friday, 9 December, 2005.
(I would be very pleased to publish a more detailed obituary of such an important, respected and liked enthusiast if someone out there could contribute one. – Mike Secker)
ROUTEMASTERS….Here’s an interesting item from the
Routemaster Association in the
Heritage Route 15: Trafalgar Square - Strand - Fleet Street - Ludgate Hill - Cannon Street - Eastcheap - Tower Hill (Operator - Stagecoach)
Heritage Route 9: Royal Albert Hall - Kensington Road - Knightsbridge - Piccadilly - Trafalgar Square - Strand - Aldwych (Operator - First)
As we predicted, the buses are the Transport for London (TfL) owned ones that were refurbished with modern 'clean' engines two or three years ago.
Also as predicted, 10 buses operate the routes (5 on each) with 6 others
held in reserve, giving a total of 16, and will run from 0930 to 1800, seven
days a week with a 15 minute service
interval. They will employ a total crew of 50 and all the usual
So, good news at last and let us hope that these will be successful ventures. Please support them so that RM operation can continue in
ROUTEMASTERS…. The official last Routemaster on
WHAT MONTH IS THIS AGAIN?….In BUSES magazine for April, 2006, under the header “Old banger technology takes the double decker into the 21st Century”, is an article declaring that the biggest problems besetting today’s D/Ds are the location of the engine and the hostile environment of the top deck. The grand-daughter of a German engineer who allegedly perfected a miniature engine based on sausage boilers fitted in all German touring coaches (!), has apparently installed his tiny transverse engines at opposite right hand corners of the chassis of a prototype Enviro 400 (these actually exist, being Alexander Dennis’s striking new double deckers – Ed.), the forward engine being used for normal traction and the rear engine used only for reversing. The driver has been relocated to the top deck where drive-by-wire optic technology obviates the need for overlong brake cables and an 11 foot tall steering column…… [and there is more of the same ilk, including a digitized photo of the prototype.]
Now, here’s an
interesting query from Alan Smith, Omnibus Society member and Editor of the
The Wellington Tramway Museum has received a request from the Northland School Jubilee Committee for information on the Northland trams for their booklet – those opening/closing dates are well-referenced but I can’t put a trace on the trolleybus closing details, to complete the electric traction story – and the trolleybuses ran past the school to Orangi Kaupapa Rd., whereas the trams stopped short, at Woburn Rd. Any help much appreciated, to firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOK REVIEW… Alan Smith has also contributed this book review. I have the book, too, and thoroughly endorse his views.
years of Stagecoach”,
a new book by Doug Jack, published at the end of 2005 in the
[I thank Alan very much for this review and would be very happy to publish any book reviews that anyone cares to contribute. After all, there is much written about buses. – Ed.]
Infratil UPDATE - Public Transport – Speaking of
publications, has anyone come across this one? A friend passed on to me the
copy I have. It is a beautifully produced brochure setting out the group’s
reading of the transport scene in
The Society’s website, masterminded by Mike Butler, is now incorporated in RUNNING SHEET’s title heading. Pay it a visit – it’s well worth it! Also, if you’ve missed or lost issues of this newsletter, back numbers are available on the website.
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