The Newsletter of the Omnibus Society Inc., PO Box 9801, Wellington, NZ

Editor: Mike Secker – Contact details at the foot of the last page.


With all best wishes for Christmas & the new year & also with profound apologies for late-running & missed stops during 2007 - Mike



            RECENT EVENTS… Thanks to Michael Berry for these reports…     

            Mid-Winter Dinner - The Society held its annual winter social event on Saturday 21 July at the Time Cinema, Lyall Bay. 19 members and guests attended to enjoy a hot meal and a classic film. As usual, some short films were shown between the meal’s first course and the dessert before we settled down to watch the main film. The food was simple but tasty. To set the mood for the main feature, the shorts featured contemporary World War 2 productions offset by some light relief from vintage NZ commercials and decimal currency advice from 40 years ago.

The film that we chose to see was the 1955 production of “The Dam Busters”, pending Peter Jackson’s remake. I have to say that he has a hard act to follow. Although I had seen the film before, it was apparent how well it was made. Barnes Wallis’s determination to succeed against bureaucracy and technical difficulty came through strongly and was well portrayed by Michael Redgrave. Admittedly, special effects were crude by today’s standards but the film had the audience spellbound to the end. We thank Morris Moller for once again organising this event.

            Newlands Depot Visit - About eight members turned out on Sunday morning 26 August to visit Newlands Coach Services Depot. The sun played hide and seek with the clouds and a cold wind blew but we managed to obtain some good photos and update our notes. Since our last visit in May 2003, the fleet has become more uniform. Jamaican Lime is the sole livery but with variations for coaches and strays from Mana. The buses were predominantly the smart-looking Kiwi-bodied Volvos or the NZMB/Hess ex-Ansaldo trolleybuses. Thanks are due to the management of Newlands Coach Services for allowing us to visit their premises.

            Hutt Valley Rover - This was a new type of event using service buses for Society members as a group to explore an area. Six members participated for the bulk of the rover, joining and leaving the tour at various places to suit themselves. At only $5 or $10, depending on the type of ticket purchased, it was great value for money.

Four members started in Wellington and caught orange Flyer-liveried MAN/Designline 2493 on route 91 heading north. An error on my part saw us pass by the intended stop at Petone Railway Station and get off along Jackson Street instead. However, we were in plenty of time to catch Metlink liveried Volvo/Plaxton 67 on route 130 which we caught to Naenae via Moera. We  caught 67 back to Waterloo Interchange, and considered it to be the least desirable bus used, by virtue of its cluttered layout and continuous rattles. My timetable went awry at this point as we missed the 150 to Kelson so that leg was not done. However, we did take the unscheduled opportunity to look around the Waterloo bus depot thanks to a friendly supervisor.

We caught the southbound 150 instead which deposited its Kelson residents at Queensgate before taking us for a scenic ride around Maungaraki to Petone Station. We returned to Queensgate on the same bus, Cityline liveried 51, a Mercedes-Benz M709D/Alexander, also on route 150.  It was very pleasant to see trees and flowers in blossom all over the Hutt Valley. Lunch was had at Queensgate before heading to Wainuiomata on Eastbourne branded MAN 908 on route 165. This took us “round the houses” before dropping us off opposite the Wainuiomata bus depot. With time to spare we had a look at the buses in the depot before returning to the stop to catch the 170. The lady driver was surprised to have people board her bus there for the short run to the terminus of route 170. Sunny Grove lived up to its name on a cloudy day. Return to Queensgate on the 170 used MAN 605 in Cityline livery. The tour continued North on route 120 to Stokes Valley which using Metlink liveried MAN 610. This service and others we used had to stop and wait for the timetable to catch up as we were running early at timing points due to the daily clockface timetable.  The photo stop at the top of Stokes Valley reminded me of the tour that the Society made about 1990 using various NZRRS buses over much of the same ground. 610 returned us to the Stokes Valley Entrance bus stop which is an interchange with other services. Here our day was made when a bus in the new purple livery turned up for us to ride. MAN/Designline 1305 was working route 110 to Upper Hutt Station. Time between services gave us an opportunity to look over the fence at the Upper Hutt Bus Depot.

Intrepid Rovers in the Hutt Valley
Happy Birthday 322

The usual suspects? Top: Intrepid Rovers in the Hutt Valley and Above: Happy Birthday, 322 – Society members and friends on the Reliance’s 50th Birthday Tour of Wellington. (Photos: Alan Wickens)


Locally based Cityline liveried 43, another Mercedes-Benz M709D/Alexander, took us for a circuit around Totara Park on route 111 before returning us to the Station. Identical minibus 50 was ready to depart on route 112 to Te Marua so we hopped on board. The 112 winds its way through Timberlea, before rejoining SH2 to the attractive destination of The Plateau, where the last rays of the sun shone. 50 took us back to Upper Hutt Station where Cityline liveried MAN 1303 was working route 110 to Emerald Hill. At this stage only Morris and I remained and we managed a twilight photo of 1303 at the terminus. The friendly driver took us back to Upper Hutt where he finished his shift and another drove us back in the dark to Petone.  The Rover finished there at 7-20pm after 10 hours of travel.We managed to ride on ten different buses of five types and in five styles of livery so were happy with the day’s events. The participants enjoyed the concept and suggested the Society do the same on Mana Coach Services routes. However, next time, I will make it a half-day event rather than the marathon effort that I unwittingly devised this time. I would like to thank the participants and Alan Wickens for the photos.

            322’s 50th Birthday – An extremely enjoyable sightseeing tour in 322 on Saturday, 24 November, celebrated the splendid old girl’s half century of existence as a bus. After the Open Day at Karori and a cake-cutting ceremony on Mt. Victoria, a traditional round the bays tour completed the festivities. Many thanks to Morris for all his efforts and for driving, and to Mike F., Henry, and others for displays at Karori. Last but not least, thanks, Peter, for the cake.



FUTURE EVENTS… 2007 Event Programme

Christmas Dinner

Thursday, 13th December.

Currently, a table is booked at The Fisherman’s Table, Oriental Parade, Wellington commencing at 6-30pm and finishing at 8-30pm.

If more people wish to attend than for which there is room, then another venue will be sought.  The Society may use its new Bedford VAS in conjunction with the meal for a short local trip before or after the meal.   A $5 fare will apply.  The event is open to Society members and their partners or guests.  Please phone Michael Berry on 479 3111 before 10pm on Wednesday 5 December if you wish to attend.


OVERSEAS FEATURE.... Gus Weir’s World Tour of the U.K. London: Part Three


One day on our 2006 visit, while the two ladies accompanying me sampled the delights of London shopping, I spent one whole afternoon pointing my camera and camcorder at the buses working the services operating from Euston Station Interchange.

Several companies, including First Group, Arriva, London Central, Metroline and Stagecoach in London have services operating from Euston. Some of the vehicles evident were First Group EA class and Arriva MAs Mercedes Benz 0305G Citaro articulated buses, running longer distance services than the similar vehicles in Central London.  At Euston I saw many of the impressive Volvo B7TL vehicles with the Wright Eclipse Gemini bodywork, to me a very attractive body. It’s worth noting that I saw many vehicles of this type  through the UK suggesting a high popularity among operators.

London Central WVL 247 Euston 21 7 06

Central WVL 247 Volvo B7 Wright Eclipse Gemini Euston

Amongst the many vehicles evident at Euston Station Interchange operated by the various companies were low floor double deckers including Metroline VPs Volvo B7TL with 10.00 metre Transbus bodies, Metroline VPLs Volvo B7TL with 10.6 metre Plaxton President bodywork, Metroline TP Dennis Tridents also with Plaxton President bodywork, and Arriva DLA DAF DEO2RSs with Transbus bodies, to name a more than a few

Arriva DLA 374 DAF Transbus ALX400 Euston

Arriva DLA 374 DAF Transbus ALX 400 Euston Stn


Obviously I spent a very entertaining afternoon at this location taking many photos. Thank god for the digital camera. The enjoyment was added to on the return of my ladies, they hadn’t spent much money and the visa was still intact.

Continuing in the transport nut mode, on both visits, 2004 and 2006 we checked out Docklands Light Rail. On our first visit the cars were still in their original blue livery with a wide red stripe and we took a ride to Canary Wharf where the camera and camcorder came into action recording the passing cars.  From there we continued on to Greenwich to have a look at the ‘Cutty Sark’ tea clipper and to pay a most interesting visit to the original Greenwich Observatory and the Maritime Museum. On our second tour in 2006 the cars were now in the new all-over red livery so out came the cameras again. This light rail system is rather unique in that it runs mostly on elevated track and has no actual driver.  There is a train captain who checks tickets and controls the opening and closing of the doors. In emergency he can take control of the train and drive it manually.

DLR BN Bruges LRV No 38, new livery

DLR BN Bruges LRV No 38, new livery

Just to prove that not all buses or coaches in London are red or even 80% red, I saw this handsome Clarkes of London Setra Coach outside the Euston Thistle Hotel where we were staying and couldn’t resist a picture.

Clarkes of London Y585 TOV 25 7 06

Clarkes of London Kässbohrer Setra Coach

All the above delights coupled with the usual tourist activities, Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds Waxworks a conducted tour of the Tower of London with commentary by a Yeoman Beefeater and not forgetting a ‘flight’ on the London Eye made our two short visits to London, in fine, warm weather, visits to remember.




            MAN ABOUT THE REGION… Harvey Paterson’s work takes him around the wider Wellington area. Thanks, Harvey, for these September/October observations:     

            The Wellington City bus and coach scene has been relatively quiet though the occasional out-of-town bus or coach keeps interest up. Also Transit, with its various brand and livery changes provides some interest. The inclusion of MAN into the group fleet is in contrast to the rumour that the later Stagecoach is moving away from the marque to Volvo and Scania.

Stagecoach vehicles are still being repainted in orange/yellow. Noticeably the "Go Wellington" signage is apparently on hold. Perhaps a re-branding is in the wind. The “Go” bus seems to clash with the Tranzmetro "Go the Train" ad campaign.The number of serviceable Volvo trolley buses in daily service continues to fall. A few kilometres away in the Hutt Valley, things have been more lively in recent months.In Upper Hutt, the NCS brand has re- emerged, firstly as Neil's Coach Service then more latterly as New Zealand Coach Services. At least one vehicle is a Leyland TL11 coach. Runciman Motors are in the process of adopting a new livery.

Interestingly, it is their old green and white one, used years ago. Rumour has it that Runciman's are to standardise their fleet to Hino. As the last remaining RKs are taken from the Cityline fleet, it is believed they will replace ex-Eastbourne vehicles. That will mark the end of one of New Zealand's most well-known bus operations. Speaking of Eastbourne vehicles, Runciman No. 16 must be the most ubiquitous charter vehicle in the Wellington area. On a daily basis it appears to pop up on charter, or parked outside a venue, anywhere from State Highway One, the Inter Island ferry terminal as relief shuttle vehicle, or in Wellington city or the Hutt Valley. Further down the Valley, at the Cityline Waterloo depot, there have been changes, too. There have been up to five Mana Coach  vehicles parked and are apparently on loan during a vehicle shortage for school service. In the main they have been recently withdrawn Hino BXs. A number of Cityline vehicles have been repainted in a purple livery with orange corners. There is no branding, so watch this space for a new name for the previously Cityline brand. (See OBSERVATIONS below for info on this.– Ed.) Cause for a double-take in passing was a destination display showing “Edinburgh”. The double-take revealed an all-white Pointer Dennis Dart. It appears the recent tradition of importing mid-age vehicles, particularly for use in the Hutt Valley, is alive and well. To a casual observer, increased services in the Hutt have not been matched by increased passenger loadings. 


          OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to  Peter King,, Nick Stoneman, Peter Thompson, Alan Wickens


                AUCKLAND – From Reading Transport Fleet Notes in BUSES mag.(UK) Oct.2007- “Older (Optare) Excels 912-915 have been sold to Ritchie, Auckland, NZ, along with Newbury Buses DAF SB220/Optare Delta 514…. to Portsmouth for loading on to the “Hansa Bremen”.

            Peter T. advises that new Link buses are as follows; 1901/EAS122, 1902/EAS123, 1903/EAS124, 1904/EAS144, 1905/EAS145, 1906/EAS146, 1907/EAS149, 1908/EAS156, 1909/EAS157, 1910/EBM446, 1911/EBM448, 1912/EBM459, 1913/EBM461, 1914/EBM463, 1915/EBM472, 1916/EBM474, 1917/ECC961, 1918/ECC972, 1919/ECC974, 1920/ECC988. All 2007 Volvo B7R body by Designline - all in service. Silver Links are now on timetabled work, most still working from City Depot. Tranzit 1004 is now registered ECD104 - in Pacific Tourways livery, based in Auckland. Similar details for 1007 EDN465 - both formerly on Hastings to Tauranga Newmans service.


Link 1912 Volvo B7R

A new Volvo B7R, 1912, for Auckland's City Link service. (Photo: Peter Thompson)


            CHRISTCHURCHNick notes that the latest bus to be added to the free shuttle mix is Redbus 300 which, in the Shuttle livery, looks impressive. New Redbuses 408,409,410,411 and 708,709,710,711 are now all in service. Add to this the new Orbiters that Leopard have bought and it seems almost all operators have bought new buses in 2007. CBS are just getting the last of their orders for more Zhong Tongs with 160 in service last week. 161/162 were still coming.

CBS Optare 143 turns into Cathedral Sq

CBS Optare 143 turns into Cathedral Sq., Christchurch, working a 70 City/Hoyts service. (Photo: Nick Stoneman)

                DUNEDINWe are just waiting to hear who got the new Mosgiel shuttle service tender and also the new city circular service. Dunedin Passenger Transport have bought two ex Bayline/ Gobus Dennis Darts from Go Bus in Hamilton. One is now in service and fleet no 196, the other one, is still in Go Bus livery and waiting to be painted. Also Citibus have scrapped an ex-Auckland MAN SL 200, 320, and have taken all working parts off the bus to keep the others going. Citibus 309 and 310 are being used in service. ( Nick’s notes are from late October – not his fault but mine for indulging in a spot of late-running!! – Ed.)

                HAWKES BAYNimons –  From Peter K – A Leopard Epitaph. Still working, every day.  Probably my favourite bus ever, and I have driven all of them. My best two Leopards, 107 (ex- WCT 453) and 117 (ex- WCT 463), on Friday the 2nd of November, 2007. Waiting in the departure bay at Havelock depot, 107 is on the banker service from the  High School to Hastings (New World Only) while 117 is waiting to do the overload service, Fridays only, on the Middle Rd, Pukahu extn run from Havelock High. Clean, tidy, mechanically brilliant, but now too old for Educom contracts. What a waste. But, they’ll survive.The last decent bit of British Engineering (Bus) ever. (Photo held over owing to space reasons. – Ed.)

Peter T. notes new buses 8/EAA652, Hino coach(in gold); 29/ECU24, 30/ECU20, 40/ECU19, 41/ECU22, 49/ECC964, 77/ECU21 all Fusos; 48/EBL692, 75/EAE570, 76/ECU23 all Rosas.

            WELLINGTON – Go Wellington/NZBus – Prototype trolleybus 302 has recently appeared in the golden yellow with black corners livery. As well, new 3-axle trolleys 331 and 332 are in Wellington, though not in service. They are in white and will apparently have a dark blue fern pattern livery applied to this before entering service. When they will enter service is not, at the time of writing, clear and nor is it clear yet whether any ceremony will mark the event. At Cityline in the Hutt Valley, the full version of the new pinky-purple (I heard someone insist it was heliotrope!) and orange livery has appeared.

Valley Flyer 1305 MAN/Designline

Cityline MAN/Designline 1305 shows off the new Valley Flyer livery at Petone Station (Photo: Alan Wickens)

Designline Trolley Bus 302

Trolley 302 in Go Wellington yellow in Mansfield St., Newtown. (Photo: Alan Wickens)

Designline Trolley Buses 331 and 332

3-axle trolleybuses 331/EEG61 and 332 at Kilbirnie Workshops on 27 Nov (Photo: Alan Wickens)

Designline Trolley Buses 331 and 332

Trolley 253 being dismantled at Rongotai the same day, to donate parts to more new buses. 239 was present also. (Photo: Alan Wickens)


Mana Coach Services –

            Kapiti –Tiger 135/NCS35 is still present and for sale and is used occasionally. It has had all vinyls removed. Two 1981 Mercedes O305s with Ansair bodies have been acquired from Ritchies, Timaru, to supply spares for the 2-axle Designline SLFs (Kapiti) and their 3-axle relations at Porirua. One ex-Ritchies bus is at Porirua (details unknown) and Kapiti has 456/UC1020.  


          SUBSCRIPTIONS… Subs for 2008 are held at last year’s level. $25.00 per year or $12.50 for non-earners.




Editor:  Mike Secker, 63 Glen Road, Raumati South, Kapiti  5032.  Ph: (04) 902 1173   Fax: (04) 902 1174 

Mob: 027 426 7901  Email:

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