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How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 pm

While waiting for a bus home from Campbelltown station I spotted that Shellharbour City Tour Coaches had a Volvo B10ML sitting on standby for rail replacement
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Would a 33 years old bus be classed as too old for rail replacement use by Transport NSW


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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:23 am

Any port in a storm really. Travelled on an ex STA Mark 2 Mercedes of Telford's on a planned (as opposed to emergency) rail replacement service a few years ago and that would have been a similar age at the time.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Free Lance » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:47 am

Old Bus is better than NO BUS, often see the occasional Landseer on coach replacement for interurban rail. Every bus/coach in commercial use has to have regular RMS inspections.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby 1whoknows » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:55 pm

In the UK preserved buses that might be 50 years old, sometimes get used on rail. In Dunedin preserved buses are used on cruise ship shuttles.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby burrumbus » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:59 pm

Good maintainence and good staff driving them are the key to keeping buses (and any vehicle)in service for long periods.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby 2MSJ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:39 pm

Save the heritage fleet for Australia Day thanks
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:58 pm

I'd prefer almost anything to most of the Custom Coaches/Ansair gassies I've ridden in. Bring back the Mercedes Mk V's. A trailer bus might be too old, but I'd like to ride in one anyway one day.

You can't complain too much if your whole journey is free because of RR replacement but you would be livid if Opal bites you in the bum too.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Geoff » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm

The contracts for planned trackwork buses is 25 years of age, with an average age per closedown of 12 years. HOWEVER on emergency rail, there is no limit as this work is unplanned and most times at an inconvenient hour.

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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:47 pm

TV 8649 the bus in question was a normal site around the streets of Blacktown and the streets of Campbelltown maybe between 1985/86 and 1997 as one of the units in the Rowe/Busways B10ML arctictulated bus fleet
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:03 pm

If it's road registered to take passengers, having it as a standby bus seems reasonable. How often do chassis rails wear out? If they do, they can be repaired.
If age was the only rationale in deeming a bus's safety to carry passengers, then we wouldn't have Motorfest.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:08 pm

It would be nice to have a reasonable standard for comfort but by that standard even modern buses on route service wouldn't make the grade. Since it is rail replacement the experience needs to be comparable.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:14 pm

Passenger 57 wrote:It would be nice to have a reasonable standard for comfort but by that standard even modern buses on route service wouldn't make the grade. Since it is rail replacement the experience needs to be comparable.

Ride any State Transit Bustech Scania on Anzac Pde near the (s)light rail zones to learn that truth!
A horse drawn vehicle with solid wooden wheels from the period B.C, would give a more complaint ride!
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:20 pm

Yes you certainly would get more complaints from a horse drawn vehicle with solid wooden wheels from the period B.C. Or do you more complaint "free" ride?
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:36 pm

I want Volvo B7RLEs instead of the K310UBs around the East. They give a more compliant ride. (Dam auto correct- earlier!)
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby tonyp » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:50 pm

I've realised that the three Nowra Coaches ex Adelaide artics currently being replaced (in daily use as school buses) are about 37 years old! I believe that so far one has been sold to Victoria for further use. I suspect most buses now last longer than trams, even though the reverse is traditionally the case, though regulatory limits are supposed to dampen down lifetimes of buses in public service.

Getting rid of the perfectly servicable Sydney Variotrams after a mere 15 years is an absolute scandal. Trolleybuses with their lack of combustion engines and simple, low maintenance drives typically last much longer than a diesel bus. We should start discovering that with the electric buses coming on line. The mandated changeover to low floor accessibility for public transport vehicles has created mass turnovers in the last couple of decades which should settle down.

The viability of updating ageing (out of date) complex electronics and computers is more likely to knock off a vehicle nowadays than physical/mechanical condition. Somebody I know in Nowra is still using their 1968 Austin 1800 as a daily driver (the advent of the Internet has apparently opened up a literal world of spare parts). I doubt that somebody would be able to do that with one of today's cars.

I believe that with rail replacement buses, being at least low-entry is a more important requirement than age.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:41 pm

tonyp wrote:
Somebody I know in Nowra is still using their 1968 Austin 1800 as a daily driver (the advent of the Internet has apparently opened up a literal world of spare parts). I doubt that somebody would be able to do that with one of today's cars.


Automatic or manual? I remember seeing (hearing) alot of automatic ones. Not something you expect in an English car from that era.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby tonyp » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:02 pm

Swift wrote:Automatic or manual? I remember seeing (hearing) alot of automatic ones. Not something you expect in an English car from that era.

Can't quite recall, manual I think. BMC Australia was fitting Borg Warner autos as an option from the 60s as already by then the Australian preference for autos was rapidly emerging.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:06 pm

tonyp wrote:BMC Australia was fitting Borg Warner autos as an option from the 60s as already by then the Australian preference for autos was rapidly emerging.

Yes it was obviously a response to the high take up rate of autos with Holden, Ford and Valiant by then. The 1800 was touted as a larger car to compete with the other three, and rightly so. They were very space efficient and innovative for the time.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:32 pm

One of these B10ML should be donated to Sydney bus museum in it's original Rowe's livery as seen on Rowe's new B10ML m/o 7435 back in 1985 witch is now currently TV 7663 at Shellharbour City Tour Coaches
https://petereid.smugmug.com/Buses/Rowe ... /i-XsP6vfR
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Swift » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:00 pm

I remember back when I was in high school in the 1980s a student described riding in those Rowes bendy buses and said how a turn table would rotate as the bus went around corners. I imagined it spinning like a lazy Susan, but now that I think about it, I think he meant that it simply was a round plate on the floor that turned to allow the two halves to bend.
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Linto63 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:04 am

Campbelltown busboy wrote:One of these B10ML should be donated to Sydney bus museum in it's original Rowe's livery
Having just taken delivery of an ex Busways Merc O405, probably unlikely to happen. https://www.facebook.com/SydneyBusMuseu ... 6636638529
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Re: How old is too old for a rail replacement bus

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:44 pm

All that bus needs now is the bold red BUSWAYS signage and the desto roll from the depot where it went into service new back in 1994
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