The Newsletter of the Omnibus Society Inc.,
Editor: Mike Secker – Contact details at the foot of the last page.
*PLEASE NOTE that the Editor’s email address has changed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
DRIVERS… The Society often needs the volunteer services of any member with a “P” licence who can offer to help drive some of the Society’s charters, which are a source of vital revenue to help fund the maintenance and restoration of our vehicles. If you wish to gain a licence, the Society can help you do this, also. Please phone Henry Brittain, Ph. 476 7278, or Peter Rendall, Ph. 970 1405.
RECENT EVENTS… The Society recently hosted a tour party from The Albion Club, of
Day, 10 April – Watch out for events on this day – things are being
Gus Weir’s World Tour of the U K
Part Four: Getting There!
essential part of a World Tour of the UK from New Zealand is getting there and,
as more mature persons (to quote Mrs Featherstone*), in 2004 we opted to break
our journey in two. The first part took us from
Transperth Path Transit No 1707 Mercedes Benz
CR2215L Volgren The forbidden photo
important facet of
the break in
for space reasons, we’ll have to carry
THE AFTERLIFE OF BUSES…
1971 Mercedes-Benz O302, ex-Mount Cook Lines 31/EO3542, ex-Kapiti Charters, now XR1132 (Photo: Mike Secker)
The above splendid NZMB-bodied coach is in the right hands – it is owned by Kevin Tither, Head Mechanic at the Kapiti Depot of Mana Coach Services. It is a motor home but the conversion has been done with care so that its original handsome lines are retained. As well, the front four seating bays are as they used to be with the original blue seats, carpets and other trim in place. Rearward of them, cooking, washing, relaxing and dining facilities are carefully fitted into the space either side of the centre aisle as far as a central table at the rear. Various removable partitions are carefully fitted so that the attractive original windows and body profile remain, as does the original air conditioning. As for driving it – well, Kev actually entrusted it to your editor for a short drive. The positivity of the gear change, the large amount of torque available, the ride comfort and quietness put many much more modern vehicles to shame.
The Merc had a close ex-MCL O302 relative a few years ago working on the Kapiti Commuter service – it became Mana’s No. 59, also with EO-registration and was painted in the Mana purple coach livery. Still on the Coast, at Te Horo, is another ex-MCL O302 owned by Trevor Fitzgeorge of Kapiti 4 Seasons Tours. Thanks to Kevin for help with this necessarily brief article.
Also enjoying an afterlife in
Kapiti is a 1962/3 AEC Reliance Mk II with NZMB body,
ex-WCT, registered TA7192 (originally in the EV series like the Society’s Mk.
II, 374). It is neatly converted into a motor home and, though most windows have
gone, still has the upright shape of the Mk II body with an AEC badge on the
front. It is blue and white and has, this year, been parked at the southern end
OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to Henry Brittain, Neil Brown, Earle Howe, Graeme Inwood, Morris Moller, Bryce Pender, Nick Stoneman, Andrew Surgenor, Alan Wickens
At North Star and Go West new Scania K270 UB6 (See also Go Wellington notes.) are 2101, 2104/EFZ605 and 2124/EHH664 (this bus at Go West).
WELLINGTON – NZ Bus – As the Volvo trolleys grow
fewer in number, some ex-Auckland 1600-series MAN SL200s have been pressed into
service as follows (thanks to Nick Stoneman and Andrew Surgenor): At Go Wellington: 1627, 1630,
1633, 1641, 1642, 1643, 1650, 1652, 1654, 1655, 1682, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688 [1654
and 1655 are training buses and lettered as such.] At
Valley Flyer: 1603, 1606, 1613, 1643. It seems that,
at present, no trolleybuses are returning to Karori Depot for over-night
parking. A recent casual in-town sampling by your Editor, while having a coffee
in a corner café at
New 3-axle trolleys 331/EEG61 and 332/EEG63 were launched on the
Alan reported on the launch of 331 and 332 in a Yahoo group. Here are some of his observations:
Just before ,
Top: 331(left) and 332(right) –“ two buses that all concerned can be extremely proud of ”. Bottom: 332, poles down, exits Karori Tunnel to reach Karori Wildlife Reserve under battery power. Its destination reads “Catch a Trolley Bus 50 LESS CARS ON THE ROAD”. (Photos: Alan Wickens)
The majority of the invited guests arrived via public transport in the shape of 630, 2482 and 2445, the latter pair being the aptly liveried Sanctuary branded vehicles. Formalities began at and speakers included NZ Bus, Regional Council representatives and the Minister of Transport, Annette King. Also present were MPs Marion Hobbs, Peter Dunn and Sue Kedgley. Naturally there was plenty to be said about the clean, green image of the new buses. Speeches over, the buses were available for inspection. TV3 were present to cover the event. Sadly at the close it was observed that despite all the talk we hear of "saving the planet" and the need to use public transport, three of the four MPs were noted driving off in separate cars, the fourth waiting at the roadside, so possibly also waiting for a pick up.
aside, a pleasant morning with dry conditions and two buses that all concerned
can be extremely proud of. 331 is
vinyled with a bluey/green paua shell design with 332 in a green fern leaf finish, to my eye the nicer and classier
of the two.
Destination panels flashed a round of "Catch a Trolley Bus (50 less cars on the road)", "
Morris noted that these first two trolleys appear on their licence labels as “DSL City Bus Trolley”.
Incidentally, noted on the new buses and many others are the chrome wheel covers – quite a few are not standing up to operating conditions as they’ve either disappeared or have suffered damage.
the new trolleybuses have grabbed the headlines, new diesels have been arriving
at NZ Bus, creating a new class, the
2100s. These are Designline 3-axle
SLF buses, B49DA, and are Scania K270 UB6. At Go Wellington the first is 2111/EFZ603,
followed by 2112/EGR121 and 2113/EGR133. I have briefly seen 2114 and 2116/EJC612, with up to 2120
expected, 2117/EJC611 and 2118/EJC615 being imminent.(See also
Here is brand-new Scania 2111, at Kilbirnie. Note the chrome name badge with Scania’s logo on the black apron under the windscreen. There is also a Scania badge on the rear engine cover. (Photo: Bryce Pender)
And now, on a sadder note…..
Things go wrong in the best-run fleets – MAN 2460/CRJ107 being very quickly retrieved from its attempt to go swimming in eastern Lyall Bay in mid-December, 2007. It was commendably quickly repaired and was back on the road very soon, Graeme reports. (Photo: Graeme Inwood)
Runciman Motors begins to look more like a smaller independent company with its adoption of what looks like a version of one of its earlier liveries of white and green. It is, as far as I know, still part of NZ Bus! Morris records that they have received from Stagecoach/NZ Bus 94/ME9078, ex-Howick & Eastern 56, 95/MO1289, ex-H & E 44, and 96/MO1290, ex-H & E 31. All are Hino BX341, B51D, CWI (Hawke) Hunter, 94 being 1985 and the others 1986.
Ex-Wellington Tramways/City Transport Leyland Tiger half-cab 251 (originally 51) has been recovered from Duncan Terrace,
Mana Coach Services – In December last year the big news was Souter Holdings’ purchase of MCS. Brian Souter is Chief Executive of Stagecoach and a major shareholder in the group, but this does not mean that Stagecoach has bought MCS. SH has acquired Bancorp’s 74% share of MCS, with 26% remaining with Infratil who acquired it through their purchase of the former NZ Stagecoach operations. Bancorp paid the Waddell family about 8 million pounds (reports BUSES magazine) for their shareholding after Infratil were refused permission to acquire the whole company and lost its appeal against this in November, 2007. Bancorp was approached by Mr.Souter three or four weeks before concluding the deal in December, 2007.
- Porirua – a 1999 Volvo B12 coach 122/YR6207, automatic, tag-axle, 2-door, 54 seat, has been added to the fleet. It is ex-Ritchies 254.
- Kapiti –
– Neil Brown sent this in January: Wellington Combined Taxis bought the
holdings of G.McCarthy and P.Bell, principal owners of Co-op Shuttles. Combined
will keep the Co-op brand going but it may disappear owing to Combined’s higher
presentation and service standards. Co-op (
MODEL REVIEW… thanks to Bryce Pender for this review and photo, and to David Jones for alerting me to the existence of this interesting model.
Bryce writes: Recently I took delivery of the new Trax model of the Ansair Flxible Clipper. After taking a good look over this model I have been quite impressed with the efforts put in by Trax to produce a model of a bus which has a large fan base but numbered few operating vehicles. This reminds me of the former Corgi Leyland GNU and also Corgi’s AEC Q type buses – thousands of models produced but few full-sized buses delivered.
Overall the model appears to be of
good proportions, other than sitting quite high, leaving what I believe to be
excessive space around the wheel arches. Graphics are of high quality
especially the rendition of the famous Newman’s Flying Horse. Such items as the
number plates and destination signs are well printed and very easy to read,
even if normal NZ plates are reasonably hard to reproduce. This is the 3rd
release of Trax’s Ansair Flxible casting within a short time and is a very
pleasant release and addition to my growing collection of 1/76th and
1/24th scale models. As to it being a close and accurate model I am
not sure but it certainly is great to see
Hopefully in the near future one of those familiar with the buses will find time to complete a report on their history in NZ. [Anyone out there care to do an article for RS? - Ed.]
Editor: Mike Secker,
Mob: 027 426 7901 Email: email@example.com
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