• Advertisement

Australian Buses In Fiji

This section contains posts made before the split into state-based forums for photos etc. New posts should be made to the appropriate state forum or the "General/Miscellaneous/Various" forum.
Forum rules
  • A topic icon must be used with the thread title of all threads.
  • No more than 10 photos per post with a maximum of 50 in any one page in a thread.
  • Maximum photo width 1000 pixels.
  • For full photo rules and how to attach photos see viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28459
  • Thank you :)

Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:25 am

I will attempt in a while to upload two images of what I assume is an Albion Viking at the Suva Bus Station yesterday afternoon. I suspect it has its origins in Australia and would like to get confirmation as I am not familiar with the body style. Its rego is from late 1997 indicates it was imported in around that time. Also to hand is a photo I took in 2005 of a Custom Coaches bodied (also presumably a Viking) vehicle belonging to the same company. We have been on the lookout for as it is certain it is still active but it appears that it and the one in the images do not come into town all that often. I am aware there were dozens of second hand VK55 chassis imported from Australia and Singapore in the mid nineties.
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Australian Buses in Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:41 am

User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Postby Member 573 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:51 pm

I'm not 100% sure, but I recall hearing once that some of the Albion chassis in Suva had their origins in Australia-Possibly Sydney. Did you happen to notice any of the bodies with a LAL badge on the front? These were built locally by a Fijian Indian body builder. Lal in Hindi means "beloved".

If I ever get a scanner to work I will post some of my Suva bus pics I took in December of 1992. Some of the bodies like the blokes driving them were unbelievable. One fellow that stands out was driving the bus I took to the regional centre of Rawaqa. He had pictures of all his family (several generations) plastered all over the cab, plus Hindu religious icons and various paraphernalia spread throughout the bus-so much so that I felt as though I was intruding on a mini Hindu "Narvarti" festival!

Some of the buses were finished in a beautiful teak varnish in the saloon and protection from the many rain storms was afforded by roll-down canvas blinds. The more modern examples of which had little translucent sections sown in so you could actually have a sporting chance of getting off at your stop!

And, for all those wondering, Industrial relations for bus drivers in Fiji, when I was there worked thus: You start at 0600 and you finish when the timetable you are given finishes. Meal breaks: plenty of room on the dash for your tea cup and curry-don't miss any trips!
Member 573
 
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: sitting at the computer
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 2 times
Favourite Vehicle: Things with wheels and wings.

Postby Windy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:13 pm

Quite a large proportion of the Vikings there are EVK41Ls formerly from Singapore. I have heard that the Soon Chow body work they had is still retained as well.
Windy
 

Australian Buses in Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:54 pm

In response to Bus Fahrer

Bodies with wooden components are now very much in a minority however there are still very large number of steel framed Vikings and a smaller proportion of Clydesdales with unglazed side windows and canvas
blinds. My understanding is that over fifty second hand Albion VK55 chassis were imported in the early nineties from Singapore and Australia, but given that there are buses with Leyland/Albion chassis bodied by Fiji builders even into this century I suspect there were more.

As regards body building companies the majority of buses currently in service are bodied by LAL(originally LAL then under ownership of CWI before reverting to LAL). A fair way, volume wise, down the scale there is Shreedhar (who have built PMV designs), and then with very small output, United.

Your pics from 1992 sound interesting and I wouldnt mind touching base with you privately if just for the information that they contain as with regard to regos, companies and body types.

PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Australian buses in Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:57 pm

In response to Windy

Could it be then that the vehicle DE335 is ex Singapore with a Soon Chow body rather than ex Australia. I have a gap in records from the mid nineties on into this century which is gradually being filled and so it is quite possible there were/are other second hand fully built Vikings in addition to two I have photos of. That said I dont think many imported bodies on any marque are in service now apart from Australian and NZ full size coaches out of Nadi. There were hundreds of Vikings chassis imported in the seventies and eighties and a lot of the later ones are still in front line service intermingled with the second hand imports. A can of worms.

The Custom Coaches bodied import can be seen to the left hand side of the image at

Image

PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian buses in Fiji

Postby SMS88AEC » Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:07 pm

ptlivestock wrote:In response to Windy

Could it be then that the vehicle DE335 is ex Singapore with a Soon Chow body rather than ex Australia. I have a gap in from the mid nineties on into this century which is gradually being filled and so it is quite possible there were/are other second hand fully built Vikings in addition to two I have photos of. That said I dont think many imported bodies on any marque are in service now apart from Australian and NZ full size coaches out of Nadi. There were hundreds of Vikings chassis imported in the seventies and eighties and a lot of the later ones are still in front line service intermingled with the second hand imports. A can of worms.

PT
There was also at least 1 ex-London Transport AEC Swift 505 (33 feet long SMS185) exported with bodywork below window level only, above window level cut off.If Bus Fahrer in 1992 or anybody else has this one on film with its Fiji body I would be grateful to see a photo, thankyou in advance :)
User avatar
SMS88AEC
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:57 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 8 times
Favourite Vehicle: AEC Merlin MO 7291

Re: Australian buses in Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:01 pm

SMS88AEC wrote:[ There was also at least 1 ex-London Transport AEC Swift 505 (33 feet long SMS185) exported with bodywork below window level only, above window level cut off.If Bus Fahrer in 1992 or anybody else has this one on film with its Fiji body I would be grateful to see a photo, thankyou in advance :)


I'll be next in the line for a shot of that one indeed. Is it right that 185 was reported as going to P A Lal as he was a relative of the owners of LAL Coachwork. Its a pity there are no other names mentioned to get a trail going. I havent seen a reference to a Swift in Fiji but there were a couple of Rangers.
PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Australian Buses in Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:37 am

The front end design of this bus DE335 is most challenging. The dome is identical to that fitted to many LAL bodied buses in Fiji from the early eighties until recently while the lower portion is similar to stuff that has been built/modified in recent years.
I now find that the dome design is also evident on bodies built by Domino in Australia! LAL body builders in Fiji have also used the complete front end mouldings of another Domino design particularly in the nineteen eighties in quite reasonable numbers, so in this case I am not sure if it is an original Australian built front dome , or one that has been added in Fiji. If it is the former, it suggests the whole body may have been built by Domino in Australia.
Hoping someone can throw me a life line on this.
PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian buses in Fiji

Postby SMS88AEC » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:29 am

ptlivestock wrote:
SMS88AEC wrote:[ There was also at least 1 ex-London Transport AEC Swift 505 (33 feet long SMS185) exported with bodywork below window level only, above window level cut off.If Bus Fahrer in 1992 or anybody else has this one on film with its Fiji body I would be grateful to see a photo, thankyou in advance :)


I'll be next in the line for a shot of that one indeed. Is it right that 185 was reported as going to P A Lal as he was a relative of the owners of LAL Coachwork. Its a pity there are no other names mentioned to get a trail going. I havent seen a reference to a Swift in Fiji but there were a couple of Rangers.
PT

That would explain why the top half of a bus body that had only just reached its 6th birthday was cut off if it was sold to a Fijian body builders company.I heard about this from Alan Mortimer in Perth back in 1988 or 1989 - even if the price was right perhaps the less than robust AH505 motor was the reason no more were purchased, although some of the engineless ones that were inexplicably purchased by Cranes and Commercials in March 1977 (this company sent 12 Merlins to Australia) could have been sent to Fiji by this dealer who specialised in export trade. The quality of Marshall body wasnt bad - from the same batch SMS202 has been in continuous service in Malta from 1981 into 2007 basically with its bodywork still as it left London, although the other surviving Marshall service buses have mostly been substantially rebuilt.
User avatar
SMS88AEC
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:57 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 8 times
Favourite Vehicle: AEC Merlin MO 7291

Postby 1115 » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:22 pm

When I was in Suva in late 2005, if I had closed my eyes I could have imagined Barlimores Bros at Merrylands Station at any time during the 70's. That Albion Viking music was unmistakable.
1115
 
Posts: 576
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: Sutherland Shire
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 70 times
Favourite Vehicle: Volvo B10M

Postby ptlivestock » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:22 am

1115 wrote:When I was in Suva in late 2005, if I had closed my eyes I could have imagined Barlimores Bros at Merrylands Station at any time during the 70's. That Albion Viking music was unmistakable.


Looking a bit like this perhaps
Image

or this
Image

And they are still churning out the odd one with that style of front dome. One was copped the other day with rego only a couple of months has a Merc chassis which I feel sure was not new to Fiji and again thoughts turn to Australia or SE Asia.
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:23 pm

Admin: Photo was well above maximum width as permitted by the rules. On this occasion it was resized but this may not always happen.

Taken on the 18th in Nadi, Fiji, is a fairly recent addition to the Westbus fleet and the question is.... where has it come from. The same company has several small Isuzu twin door jobs and coaches possibly ex Japan but otherwise the fleet ranges from Leyland Albions (one ax Oz chassis) to Hinos, bodies by the main local players, and all in all an increasingly flash group of buses. It is believed the Fiji owners spent some time in Australia in years gone by, hence the name Westbus which replaced the original family company name.

Now Ive scratched my head.... its not a Fiji body.... and it doesnt seem to be a standard Hino production.... so does anyone recognise the style or whether it may be an ex Australian bus.

(with a bit of luck anyway, by this time next week I may be able to catch up with it in the flesh)

Regards
Peter Trevor

Photo by M.Stock
Westbus NADI1 Hino unknown body_18Jan2010.jpg
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ALBION1881 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:52 pm

The ex London AEC Swift SMS 185 Rego:EGN 185J sold to a P.A Lall and exported to Suva on the 10/76 with the Ian allan fleet list saying the upper bodywork was removed in the UK before export to Suva.
User avatar
ALBION1881
 
Posts: 1961
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:32 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:21 am

[quote="ptlivestock"]Admin: Photo was well above maximum width as permitted by the rules. On this occasion it was resized but this may not always happen.


Apologies and thanks T1200, to be honest I dont know now what size you received. I was doing a rotation and crop/resize of the original on the fly, obviously got distracted midway, then done an attachment and sent it. I found the partially modified unsaved image on another screen after I had shut down my browser and was wondering why :oops:

Regards
PT

PS to Albion1881... I will have a print of an SMS in my bag next week in the hope I can find someone who may have some recognition or recollection...
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:40 pm

To avoid a war of words in reply to comments in the NZ section heres a recent shot of ex Murrays Scania with GBW body, now as TTF CP.791, Nadi Fiji.... front on!!!!! 8)

PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Australian Buses In Fiji

Postby ptlivestock » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:02 pm

ptlivestock wrote:Now Ive scratched my head.... its not a Fiji body.... and it doesnt seem to be a standard Hino production.... so does anyone recognise the style or whether it may be an ex Australian bus.


This ones been sorted out and its new from Malaysia, not Australia............

However an Australian bus was located alive and well in Ba, Fiji on the 5th of February beings an Albion Viking with VIN quoted as 15940333662KKL !!!!!!!!!!. It would have entered service in Fiji around 1995.

Pic below and can anyone tell me who the bodywork is by, and if they can get their minds around that VIN..... the previous owner.

Regards
PT
User avatar
ptlivestock
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:07 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 6 times



  • Advertisement

Return to Australian Photos, Videos, Sound Clips etc - ARCHIVE

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests