Each year the Bus and Coach Society of Victoria operate number of tours, as well as participating in the odd event or three. Although members’ interests determine the programme, guests are more than welcome to come along too. Membership to the society includes discounted tour fares.
Depot visits are a regular feature, where participants enjoy a guided tour behind the scenes with senior management. Select buses are then moved allowing gaps in photo collections to be filled. The visits conclude with joy-rides on interesting members of the fleet, new deliveries or those buses about to withdrawn or sold.
Retirements of popular chassis’ are also a reoccurring theme of tours, with buses close to retirement taken out for the day, retracing routes they commonly appeared on. Numerous photo stops are made along the way. Farewells in recent years have paid tribute to Leyland Tigers, MAN SL200s, Volvo B10Ms and Mercedes Benz O405s.
Heritage buses owned by both operators and privately are also taken out from time-to-time for official outings, usually retracing common routes they once ran on. Other times we’ll use heritage buses to transport attendees between depots.
Public Vehicle Displays
Events in the past have included displaying buses for the public and arranging shuttle bus rides in heritage buses. November each year sees the annual HCVCA display day at Yarra Glen Racecourse, where dozens of trucks and buses are put on show with most owners keen for a chat.
Tours usually include a BBQ lunch however in other cases we have stopped for lunch enroute, often at a shopping centre. Details are provided in advance, along with pick-up information for various points across suburban Melbourne.
We have prepared a list of past tours and events to whet your appetite.
Also read some of the feature items on our tours blog that will be added to regularly.
Our tours committee lead by Ben Knight and Craig Halsall meet regularly to brainstorm tour ideas and plan the finer details for each tour and event. They also discuss with operators upcoming visits and arrange for the use of vehicles.
Member suggestions for tours are welcome, email your ideas to our tours committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be mindful we aim to space visits to an operator’s depot at least five years apart, to cover a wide variety of companies and to allow a natural fleet turnover between visits.
On the day, a number of members volunteer to help the tours committee, namely driving the tour buses, collecting fares or preparing the BBQ lunch. Let us know if you’d like to lend a hand.