Yearly Archives: 2004

Australia’s first combo articulated bus

The Office of Public Transport, realising the need to maximise seating capacity per vehicle, have ordered 41 CB60 Artic Combos for their Adelaide public transport system.

The “Combo” is a combination of the CB60 low floor DDA compliant front end with a high seating capacity, standard height rear section. This gives the “Combo” vehicle an extra 15% additional passenger seating compared to a standard low-floor bus.

Articulated buses, by definition, are high capacity people movers and it makes good sense to provide the best seating capacity available. Most articulated vehicles are used on longer type routes where passengers prefer to sit. Read more »

A winning approach

It was the customer-focused approach that resulted in the new Custom Coaches CB50 (HCL) Scania being awarded the 2004 Bus of the Show.

Russell and Mathew Neville from Sussex Bus went to Custom Coaches with a lot of requirements – a DDA compliant wheelchair accessible route bus, for a start, plus a high capacity school/charter vehicle with under floor luggage space, to boot.

What they got was all of this and more in one practical package. The Custom Coaches CB50 High Capacity Lowfloor (HCL), built on the proven Scania L94UB chassis, houses 54 McConnell seat-belted Educator seats and two wheelchair positions.

There are internal luggage racks, plus through-bin storage under the floor. To maximise passenger comfort, Denso provides a lightweight LD8 air-conditioning unit, while there are dual flip down plasma screens. The entrance is via a twin glide SMC door with a carbon fibre/balsa composite wheelchair ramp.

The result is a multi-purpose vehicle that meets the specific needs of the operator – a bus built from listening to the customer.

Click here to visit the CB50 page and see the new Sussex vehicle.

Custom Coaches – Onwards and Upwards

One year on from the demise of Kings Bros and Custom Coaches are looking to the future with confidence.

After riding the roller coaster with the rest of the industry, Custom Coaches has not only sold all excess Kings Bros stock, it has laid some strong future foundations with new product developments and consequent sales.

It is well documented that the fall of the Kings Bros bus group had a significant impact on the industry, in particular the supplier market.

The north coast operator of over 350 vehicles put the entire industry into a spin when it went into receivership last April, with debts in excess of $220 million. The impact spread far and wide. Read more »

A new fleet greets the Ghan

It was a day full of excitement and its fair share of wet weather when The Ghan pulled into Katherine on its inaugural trip from Adelaide to Darwin. Greeting the train at the new Katherine Transport Interchange was Travel North and the organisation’s ten new Iveco Euroriders built with Custom Coaches CB50 bodies.

Travel North meets passengers at the Katherine Interchange and takes them on sightseeing journeys to The Gorge and Katherine tourist locations and expect totransport 20,000 passengers annually around these areas. The buses will also be used for school bus operations throughout the district.

Speaking from Katherine, Custom Coaches regional sales manager, Graham Weekley stated “The multi-purpose vehicles will set a new standard for school and charter services in the Northern Territory”.

“The CB50s were originally built for the disgraced King Bros and are built to a high level of specification. It’s nice to see these quality vehicles go to a good home”, Graham added.

The Custom Coaches bodies are complete with McConnell MK1 seats trimmed in wool moquette, Thermo King LRT air conditioning, Mobitec electronic destination signs, extra dark tint bonded saloon windows and the stylish CB50 single front curved windscreen.

With the Iveco Euroriders offering 260hp through a 5-speed manual, along with disc brakes, ABS and ASR, they are well suited to their new operating environment.

“The vehicles were driven from either Adelaide or Sydney to Katherine and they didn’t miss a beat“, said Graham.

Travelling with Rob Lanteri and Cameron Millen from Iveco, each of Graham’s trips took 3 days from Adelaide to Katherine.

“We saw some fantastic Australian scenery whilst delivering the buses and I can understand the appeal of travelling through the area on the Ghan.”

“The buses seem to know their own way now and will be a great asset for Travel North. They raise the standard of the territory’s school and tourist transport to rival the best offered anywhere in the country”, Graham concluded.