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Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Darwin/NT & Tasmania Transport Discussion

Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Tas Bus Nut » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:58 am

Well, it's been pretty quiet here on this front for quite a while. Whilst there has been quite a bit happening (particularly with the Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society) it hasn't been getting reported (at least, not on this forum) Since June, the Society has commenced it's restoration of ex Maxwell's AEC Reliance and this is progressing very well, with it about to be moved to Havnadip Bus Repairs to have the frame completely replaced. This is a massive job and the Society must thanks the Tasmanian Community Fund for providing a community grant which has allowed us to progress to this stage.

Metro is continuing receiving their new CB80 K360UA articulated buses ((5) up to 12 Aug) with 740 arriving yesterday. There are (7) in total being delivered, however I cannot understand why Custom are sending them in Adelaide Met livery :roll: :roll: (yellow on rear bumpers) The Euro 6 is a vast improvement on the previous vehicles. It has been reported the first of the new Bustech 12.5m buses will arrive in NOV 2017 for evaluation before full production starts in TAS, with the first TAS unit expected early 2018. The retirement of the aging B10ML fleet has well and truly commenced, with 721 gone, 719 & 720 at auction presently and 716 & 718 the only B10Ms left in service, however, their days are very numbered, and suspect 718 will be retired within two weeks :?:

Other new vehicles arriving on our shores are limited although Merseylink Coaches (Devonport) did purchase a couple second-hand MANs from Willunga Charters a month or so ago. Tasmania's own Redline also grabbed (10x) Higers ex Mining Co in QLD a few months back too. Only (1) of these has thus far been put in service and full livery (#137) likewise Crawn Motors (Ridgley) also purchased (2) second-hand Higers. Wells Waggons on the far NW Coast received a second-hand Scania from VIC.

That wraps up a brief outline on happenings and sightings since the last report, so hopefully updates will be more forthcoming as events unfold here in TAS :shock:
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby The Phonj » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:42 am

I know it's not a bus observation, but Jetstar will be commencing direct flights Adelaide to Hobart and v.v. from 14 November 2017; flying three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Certainly would make it easier for me to attend the annual Tas tour, should I be in a position to do so.
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Tas Bus Nut » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:10 pm

The Phonj wrote:I know it's not a bus observation, but Jetstar will be commencing direct flights Adelaide to Hobart and v.v. from 14 November 2017; flying three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Certainly would make it easier for me to attend the annual Tas tour, should I be in a position to do so.
Certainly will John :mrgreen: Very surprised they've started this service again though, after it failed many years ago :( Back then, I was able to travel direct to Adelaide for $29
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Tas Bus Nut » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:01 pm

Further to comments above, Metro Tasmania has received the last of their 7 K360 articulated Scanias. This completes the order but unfortunately will now see the last of the reliable B10M Volvos retired. As of 25.8.17, still (2) B10Ms were in service (716,718).
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Busnut704 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:25 am

R.I.P B10Ms Artics. I remember travelling to school on them.
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Tas Bus Nut » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:26 am

As mentioned above re:B10Ms, the LAST B10M to operate in service was #718, 1986 model which operated a Rte.502 trunk route service at 1715 12th Sept.2017, marking 30yrs and 9mths service, eclipsing the Society's own #706 which operated for just on 30yrs and 6mths. Prior to #718s trip, #716 operated the same route @ 1655 (albiet 6min late) and thus finally ENDING a 42 year association with Volvo and the MTT/Metro.
This would make #716, the OLDEST BUS still in Government service (@ 12.9.17) 30ys 10mths - Testament to the longevity of the Volvo.

The first Volvo to enter service with the then MTT, was #21, 1975 B58/Smithfield, one of 33 built. In 1978, the CAC Mk.I body was introduced, still on the B58 chassis and then the CAC Mk.II body (sitting further back on the chassis). These were delivered in 1979/1980, with BUS #346 (allocated to Launceston) being the LAST bus built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in VIC. That bus, is still in service with a Tasmanian school bus operator (Coal River Coaches, although is FOR SALE :( )
In 1980, MTT called for tenders for a high capacity articulated bus, to service the northern suburbs after taking over from Ace Bus Service. They trialed the MAN SG192 for 3mths, before settling again on the B58, with the Volgren aluminium Hess body. Delivered in July 1980, these were the first articulated buses to enter FULL service with the MTT, with #747 (the first artic) now in preservation with a member of the Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society.

1984 saw more articulated buses bought, through federal funding with 10 PMC bodies B10MLs, being the updated B58 chassis. These buses were numbered #704 - #713 and had the two-door Mk.I Pressed Metal Corporation (PMC Adelaide) body, differing from the next batch to arrive. They were painted in the now distinctive rolled gold/white with red band, adopted with the first artics in 1980.

In 1986 through Bi-Centennial federal funding, an additional 9 B10ML artics were purchased, however these featured the later Mk.II PMC bodies with three doors and passenger operated rear/middle doors, a feature to appear on the next 200+ rigid buses Metro purchased. BY this stage Metro (as it was rebranded) had adopted a new corporate livery :shock: that of two-tone apple green stripes, a very attractive livery, but unfortunately short lived :( These last Volvos were numbered #714* - #722. (#714 differed form the later units, as it had a Mk.I chassis (like 704-713) but the updated Mk.II body). This made a total of 22 artics for Metro in their heyday although the earlier B58/Volgrens were shortly sold to school bus operators for further use. It was also in 1987 (for reasons unknown by the author) Metro also purchased 4x B10M/PMC rigid buses, which by all accounts were the BEST bus they'd ever bought. Unfortunately, they were sold prematurely to Busabout NSW and saw many years service on the mainland with a variety of operators.

So that gives you a brief history of the Volvo story with the Metropolitan Transport Trust / Metro TAS, something now stored in our memory archives. They were an exceptional bus to drive, were high capacity (unlike some artics of today) and once the two steps to enter the vehicle were done, were completely flat floor to the rear :shock: a far cry for the "low-floor" buses we see today (particularly the Scanias :( )
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Re: Tasmanian Bus Observations - JUL > DEC 2017

Postby Busnut704 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:19 am

Thanks TBN. Interesting history. Thanks for sharing your memories.
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