By far one of the most popular chassis purchases in Melbourne during the 1980s and 1990s was the Volvo B10M, with countless operators having them in their fleets over the past 30 years.
With this in mind, the society decided a Volvo B10M Extravaganza on Sunday 28 June 2015 would be a fitting way to pay tribute to this favourite chassis of both operators and enthusiasts. This was demonstrated by a strong turnout of over 50 attendees on the day.
The format of the day was to visit a number of operators that still had B10Ms in their fleets, to sample a range of different specifications in different fleets.
Sita was the first operator, renowned for still operating their Volvo B10Ms on a regular basis when others had moved onto all low floor operation. After time for photography in the yard, we boarded # for a short ride to the nearby Kingsville terminus of Route 431 for a quick photostop.
Attendees then had the option to travel from Sita to CDC Melbourne’s Altona depot onboard a Volvo B10M coach.
We then transferred onto CDC Melbourne Altona for a ride onto the Werribee depot.
Time was given in the yard to photo a number of B10Ms still in service at Werribee depot, including various hand-me-downs from sister depots.
Attendees were then treated to a surprise ride on the new B9TL double-decker to Tarneit Station, which had only entered service 6 days earlier. #77 was also taken out, a rare example of a B10M fitted out for charter work, a legacy of a Crown Casino contract that operated from the Altona depot for several years.
In our absence lunch had been cooked by Paul Kennelly, and attendees were given around half an hour to eat and get shots of various B10Ms in the Altona fleet that continue on school duties.
After a long trip back across the West Gate Bridge our next stop was Driver Bus Lines in Mt Waverley, where Gary Driver welcomed us before we boarded #, # and # for a photo stop at Oakleigh Station.
The buses then dropped us off at our final host for the day, Nuline & Bayside. After their fleet of second-hand B10Ms was moved around for photos, we boarded for a trip to Clayton South to a site earmarked for a future depot to allow for company expansion.
The now weary attendees were whisked back to Moorabbin East before boarding buses back home, thankful for a fantastic two days paying tribute to two ever-popular chassis, the M.A.N. SL200 Mk2s and Volvo B10Ms.
Many thanks to the countless drivers and operator staff who helped put the day together.