In fo­cus | her­itage bus restora­tions HER­ITAGE REFURBS FAST-TRACKED

The en­forced coro­n­avirus pan­demic lock­down has ac­tu­ally al­lowed the fast-track­ing of three key his­toric bus re­fur­bish­ment projects of the Queens­land Om­nibus & Coach So­ci­ety (QOCS), the club re­ports.

ABC (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Queens­land Om­nibus & Coach So­ci­ety has fast-tracked three key his­toric bus re­fur­bish­ment projects. We check them out.

IN WHAT has oth­er­wise been a very chal­leng­ing time for the bus in­dus­try, the Covid-19-re­lated slow­down has en­abled QOCS and Coach­works in Bris­bane to tackle var­i­ous as­pects of the buses’ re­gen­er­a­tion, which will no doubt please avid bus en­thu­si­asts.

“The club is an im­por­tant part of the in­dus­try and we are al­ways happy to sup­port them with their projects,” said Coach­works gen­eral man­ager Scott Isaacs.

“The Covid-19 slow­down has meant that the tim­ing of these projects is mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.

“Our team al­ways en­joy work­ing on club buses and it’s a great talk­ing point for our cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers when they visit our work­shop,” Isaacs said.

QOCS club pres­i­dent Nick Wil­son com­mented: “Once again, we are ex­tremely grate­ful of the sup­port and gen­eros­ity of Coach­works, who have made these projects pos­si­ble in what has been and con­tin­ues to be a very chal­leng­ing time for the bus in­dus­try. We look for­ward to shar­ing the re­sults of these projects with ABC magazine readers very shortly.»

COUN­CIL CHAR­IOT

The first project is the re­fur­bish­ment of the so­ci­ety’s old­est bus: Bus 80 – the 1948 AEC Re­gal III built by Com­mon­wealth En­gi­neer­ing – which served more than 20 years’ ser­vice with the Bris­bane City Coun­cil.

The club says it’s re­plac­ing a num­ber of body pan­els and at­tend­ing to some other mi­nor rust re­pairs, plus un­der­tak­ing a com­plete re­spray of the Coun­cil’s orig­i­nal alu­minium-colour paint scheme. In fact, the ve­hi­cle has been ‘soda blasted’ back to bare metal, which has re­moved an es­ti­mated seven lay­ers of paint ap­plied dur­ing the past 72 years, QOCS con­firms.

This work has been made pos­si­ble by a Queens­land Govern­ment Com­mu­nity Ben­e­fit Fund grant re­ceived in Jan­uary 2020, for $19,000.

Queens­land’s Min­is­ter for Trans­port and Main Roads, Mark Bai­ley MP, has taken a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in this ve­hi­cle and re­cently in­spected the progress for him­self at Coach­works, QOCS states.

Once these re­pairs are com­plete, the ve­hi­cle will dis­played in the Queens­land Trans­port Mu­seum at Gat­ton – a ru­ral lo­cal­ity in the Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gion – for at least the next 12 months, the club re­ports.

“We are very pleased to have se­cured this loan to the mu­seum, which will be the very first time the ve­hi­cle will be stored un­der­cover for an ex­tended pe­riod of time,” stated Wil­son.

“This will al­low the ve­hi­cle to be ap­pre­ci­ated by an even larger sec­tion of the pub­lic,” he added.

PAN­THER TIME

The sec­ond project is the in­te­rior re­fur­bish­ment of the so­ci­ety’s sec­ond old­est Bris­bane City Coun­cil ve­hi­cle: Bus 498 – the 1968 Ley­land Pan­ther built by Athol Hedges.

The bulk of this work in­cludes the re­place­ment of the en­tire floor plus all of the in­te­rior side pan­elling from the top of the win­dows down, ex­plains QOCS. After these items are com­plete, Coach­works is also go­ing to re­spray the roof white, it adds.

As one of the club’s most used ve­hi­cles, this work will put it in good stead for events later this year and into 2021, it says.

COM­MEM­O­RA­TIVE GEM

The third project is the re­spray of Bus 100 – the 1983 MAN SL200 with the one-of-a-kind Den­ning pro­to­type body – back into the gold and white colour scheme the ve­hi­cle wore in 1985 to com­mem­o­rate 100 years since the first tram ser­vices com­menced op­er­a­tion in Bris­bane, on Au­gust 10, 1885. As it turns out, 2020 is the 135th an­niver­sary of this oc­ca­sion and QOCS is look­ing for­ward to mark­ing this oc­ca­sion with its friends at the Bris­bane Tramway Mu­seum, it states.

Work on this ve­hi­cle will com­mence in the com­ing week, QOCS con­firms.

The Covid-19 slow­down has meant the tim­ing of these projects is mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.

ABOUT QOCS

The Queens­land Om­nibus & Coach So­ci­ety Inc. ( QOCS) is a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion pre­serv­ing pas­sen­ger trans­port his­tory since 1996, it states.

Below: The so­ci­ety’s old­est bus, a 1948 AEC Re­gal III, has been ‘soda blasted’ back to the orig­i­nal metal, re­mov­ing sev­eral lay­ers of paint.

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