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Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

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Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby Centralian » Tue May 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Here's my 'eclectic mix of curiosities' from the Blue Mountains and thereabouts, taken over the last few months.
Hope you enjoy

Katoomba has a long history of tourism and the movement of those tourists. Here's a 'now' and a 'then' image for starters.
Easter Sunday this year saw a massive influx of tourists, many arriving by rail, and stretching the route 686 service.
In the image below just before 10 am 3737 MO departs with a full load, while 3709 MO and 3706 MO load passengers.

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The scene at the main bus stop in Katoomba on Easter Sunday 2019.
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Almost the same location 90 years earlier. Judging by the clothes (allowing for the open air nature of travel then)
I suspect probably Easter as well. My photo above was taken from the verandah of the building behind the bus - now the Carrington Bar.
I haven't yet been able to identify with certainty the bus or operator in this image.

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Tourist crush at Katoomba 90 years earlier.
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A new addition for Near or Far Bus & Coach of Lawson, replacing their former TV 975 Denning Denair.

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TV 975 of Near or Far Bus & Coach. Scania K94IB with Coach Design body of 2002, ex Fallon Wangaratta.
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Baxter's TV 5101 Scania K310IB with Higer 'A30, body of 2016 build arriving at Scenic World.
With 3x2 seating it can carry 83 children.
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Found this c1969 Dennis firetruck at Hazelbrook, obviously last seeing service with Canowindra SES.
Not sure if it's a restoration project or a rust collector.
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Another high capacity visitor to Echo Point was Port Stephens Coaches TV 8163, a Denning Mfg. decker
of 2015 build.
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I thought I'd seen just about everything a bus could be converted into after its operational life.
Until I found this 'Shower Bus' conversion parked in Werrington on National Heavy Vehicle plates.

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I assume this is a former STA / Sydney Buses Mercedes Benz. Someone might be able to identify ?
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Under cover on a wet April morning at Blue Mtns Transit Katoomba depot are TV 988 Volvo / Volgren
and 6618 MO Mercedes / CDC Tours. I suspect the Volgren ex Charterplus was on loan for the Jenolan Caves
tours while the CDC Tours coach was off the road for repairs. Haven't seen the Volgren around for some weeks now.

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At Katoomba depot 6618 MO and TV 988.
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Found this former Brisbane Transport Volvo B10M Mk3 derelict on a property in St.Marys.
From the VIN identified as former fleet 338 which was withdrawn in December 2014.
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Visiting Katoomba over a couple of days in early April was Port Bus 4194 MO.
Scania K113TR with Custom Coaches '420' body, new in 1997 to Entrance Red.
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Last edited by Centralian on Wed May 15, 2019 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby LB608 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:36 pm

You are still doing it GREAT PHOTOS
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby LB608 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:45 pm

The Mobile Shower Bus is x STA 3315 x CH32SE
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby burrumbus » Tue May 14, 2019 11:55 pm

Great stuff as allways Centralian.
I allways enjoy your" postcard" series very much.
I really enjoyed your old and new shots of the main street in Katoomba.
That 686 route certaintly carries fantastic loadings on tourist weekends.
Near and Far Bus and Coach have certaintly established a nice little niche coach business with well presented second hand coaches.
Do you think they have won work that was previously done by Blue Mountains Transit and for decades before by Pearce ??
I do not see the Blue Mountains charter fleet out and about near as often as I used to see Pearce coaches .
Thanks again Centralian.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby Centralian » Wed May 15, 2019 6:29 pm

Thanks burrumbus.
The charter business in the Mountains seems to be shared between CDC (through Charterplus), Fantastic Aussie Tours and Near or Far Bus & Coach.
Other than the CDC Tours Mercedes at Katoomba, I haven't seen any other tour or charter vehicles based at the BM Transit depots here (other than the Volgren briefly).
If booked I suspect they are supplied by Charterplus from their St Marys base. Probably some school sports work in between the am and pm school runs by the local fleet.
FAT and Near or Far I suspect target slightly different markets from each other, although overlap as well. Compass Tours (with links to Winmalee) may come
into the mix in the lower Mtns as well.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby burrumbus » Thu May 16, 2019 12:21 am

Thanks Centralian.
I know Compass Tours-Chalker lives in the lower Blue Mountains and does pick up charter work in that area.Jeff and Sharon Chalker have done very well building a relatively modern ,well presented, medium sized charter fleet,with some new coaches purchased.
CDC operating their charter fleet from a St.Marys base would certaintly have to increase their charter rates for Blue Mountains based jobs due to the dead running involved.The local fleets would only be able to do local sports transfers between school run hours.Interesting business decision there not basing coaches in the Blue Mountains.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby boronia » Thu May 16, 2019 12:41 pm

There is more than "dead running" factored into the cost of charters.

Years ago when I was booking subbies for a large Sydney operator, I could often get better prices from Newcastle and Wollongong operators to work in Sydney than I could from local companies. Even then, their prices were often less than what we were charging our clients.
The Sydney Classic and Antique Truck (and Bus) Show
On again June 2019
@ The Museum of Fire.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby Centralian » Thu May 16, 2019 5:11 pm

An example of what you mention boronia is at this weekends Ultra Trail Australia event at Katoomba. It's spred over 4 days from today with I believe a few thousand participants
in the 50km and 100km races through the National Park, and shorter events. Shuttle buses are running every 15 minutes from and to various locations in Katoomba and I assumed a
local operator would have the job. Instead I spotted today all white coaches from an operator in Belmore eg TV 9151. I assume accommodation is included for the drivers over
the 4 days, and still the locals appear to have missed out.
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Re: Blue Mountains postcard - Autumn 2019 Part 1

Postby Swift » Sat May 18, 2019 9:03 pm

A shame one of the Willoughby MANs wasn't turned into a shower bus. It looks good.
Leyland Morris Marina: what other car can you both mock and admire?
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