WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

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WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Mr OC Benz »

LINK to Day 2 shots
LINK to Day 3 shots
LINK to Day 4 shots

The 14th of this month marked a special occasion when two Mercedes-Benz O405 buses (1987 model) from a batch of 14 (678 to 691) were acquired for preservation. In partnership, ex-UQB686 has been acquired by board members Mr OC Benz, Bus child and High Floor Bus. Later on in the planning phase of securing and returning these buses back to Perth, ex-UQB679 had since been acquired by board member High Floor Bus.

And so we had a convoy! Yes that's right, it's not like the standard procedure where you would take yourself to Midland to pick up your bus from Smith Broughton and Sons, as UQB679 and UQB686 (along with UQB684) were based in Broome with Pearl Town Bus Service until recently, we had the task of travelling 2 500 kilometres to Broome to pick up both buses. A crew of four enthusiasts were required to collect and drive these buses back to Perth. A couple of days before acquisition, board members High Floor Bus and Herbert set sail for the 25 hour trip to Broome in the world famous Rapid Response Unit #6. Arriving safely, board members Mr OC Benz and Bus child made the 2.5 hour trip to Broome in a Boeing 717 on the day of acquisition. Arriving to the excitement of seeing these buses in the flesh, both were started up and prepared for the long and slow journey to Perth.

But before the shots, a brief history on both newly acquired buses, 679 and 686.

Both buses were delivered to Transperth in December 1987 prior to entering service in January 1988. They remained in service ever since changing hands to PATH Transit during privatisation in September 1996 where both buses continued to click the kilometres over until July 2010 where they were both withdrawn and prepared for regional transfer to TransBroome in August to Pearl Town Bus Service in Broome. They spent their last 15 000 kilometres and 27 months in service as school buses in Broome before being advertised for sale by Smith Broughton and Sons and subsequently replaced by three Mercedes-Benz OC500LE buses (2201-2203) from Perth.

While 679 and 686 look identical, there are some slight cosmetic differences as well as the different mechanical components. 679 was delivered with the Mercedes Benz W3E110/2.2R 3sp automatic transmission which was standard in 13 of the 14 buses in this batch. 686 however was equipped with the ZF 5HP500 5sp automatic transmission which was better suited to its running having believed being based out of Yanchep during its early days. The long distance and high speed running proved very appropriate to the transmission. This was further supported by its efficiency on the long journey home from Broome. Both buses were delivered with electronic destination equipment from new, however in their last few years, they had been replaced with new Mobitec MobiDOT destination equipment.

So on a final note before the shots, I am under the impression that UQB686 is the first Mercedes-Benz O405 bus to be acquired for preservation in Australia. Further to that, UQB679 is at the moment, the oldest Mercedes-Benz O405 in preservation (although perhaps in the near future, an STA PMC bodied O405 may take this achievement). Also these buses would surely be the first with Mobitec destination equipment to be preserved??? I am very happy that these buses were able to be saved and secured straight after they had been withdrawn from service, as oppose to awaiting 20 years later for one to rock up on a farm and have the difficult task of rebuilding it!!!

To conclude, 679 and 686 this year join an increasing amount of privately owned buses being acquired for preservation by various people (no doubt this will relieve pressure on the BPSWA having to acquire any of these bus types anytime soon given the tight and ever increasing fleet of vehicles from previous era's!!!);

ex MTT/Transperth Fleet No. 488 - 1980 Mercedes-Benz O305G; February 2012
ex Transperth Fleet No. 661 - 1986 Mercedes-Benz O305G; October 2012
ex Transperth Fleet No. 668 - 1986 Mercedes-Benz O305G; October 2012
ex Transperth Fleet No. 686 - 1987 Mercedes-Benz O405; December 2012
ex Transperth Fleet No. 679 - 1987 Mercedes-Benz O405; December 2012


Now to the shots, these will be posted in sections due to the amount of shots in various locations that were taken over the trip and I hope that the others who came along to recover these buses also post their shots in the relevant threads. The below shots are from Day 1 departing Broome (14/12/2012) destined for Sandfire Roadhouse.
686 at the depot in Broome after a clean and getting ready for departure
686 at the depot in Broome after a clean and getting ready for departure
P1090567.JPG (147.84 KiB) Viewed 2342 times
679 and 686 awaiting departure outside the depot
679 and 686 awaiting departure outside the depot
P1090585.JPG (154.14 KiB) Viewed 2338 times
679, 686 and RRU#6 convoy crew awaiting departure
679, 686 and RRU#6 convoy crew awaiting departure
P1090589.JPG (144.96 KiB) Viewed 2342 times
686 and 679 on the side of the highway as rain appears to be approaching
686 and 679 on the side of the highway as rain appears to be approaching
P1090609.JPG (122.17 KiB) Viewed 2338 times
679 and 686 both bumped into Santa as he was doing his test run in the Outback
679 and 686 both bumped into Santa as he was doing his test run in the Outback
P1090625.JPG (109.17 KiB) Viewed 2342 times
679 and 686 are put to bed at Sandfire Roadhouse
679 and 686 are put to bed at Sandfire Roadhouse
P1090635.JPG (99.77 KiB) Viewed 2342 times
As the first day of travelling was only a few hours, not many photos will be in this thread and it would be nice for any other members who have photos of these two buses are able to post some up also, especially some old classics if possible!
Last edited by Mr OC Benz on Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by gen man »

The recent purchase of the MB O404/ Volgren "C221SX" in the background of these photos is much more interesting, lol. :wink:
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Herbert »

It's ex-Panorama (53). Photos to follow once I'm organised!
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by I love the old buses »

Pleasing to see these buses have gone into preservation good job guys!

Love the desto on 679 reading "5Eb" or 'SEB' ;)
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by TP1854 »

I'm amazed they left the Mobitec destination equipment in both 679 & 686.
Congratulations to Mr OC Benz, Bus child and High Floor Bus for securing these two.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Bedford-29 »

It would of been a long and slow and quite warm trip back having no A/C fitted did you have all the windows open.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Simes »

Yes they'd be the first buses preserved with mobitecs :P usually they come out over here :wink:
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by adx666 »

Great stuff, well done all on securing these 2 for preservation.

The preservation scene in WA is certainly picking up of late, exciting stuff for sure!
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by PoweredByCNG »

ADX666 wrote:The preservation scene in WA is certainly picking up of late, exciting stuff for sure!
Stand by for 'Project 2013'. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! :D
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by adx666 »

From what a little birdie told me, I sincerely hope so!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by In Transit »

Congratulations guys! Nice to see representatives of this group of buses enter preservation, and great to see more buses from the 80's secured for the long term. Its turning into quite a fleet - it will be great to see them all together in the one place sometime.

I'm sure that you'll all enjoy your new purchases ;)

And now for the Renaults (and a few other odd bods)...
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by adx666 »

For sure, a spin off of the BPSWA by the looks of what looms
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by High Floor Bus »

Thanks for Congratulations guys , but first i must say say thanks to all involved in bringing 679 & 686 back to Perth, without a doubt everyones efforts made this journey run as smooth as possible in some very extreme operating conditions. :D
It would of been a long and slow and quite warm trip back having no A/C fitted did you have all the windows open.
Doors ,roof hatchs & windows were permently open as for the esky was full of bottle water and ice, close to 96 600mm bottles of water were drunk in 4 days on top of other drinks bought at roadhouses. :D

Well here goes my first day shots of "Preserved Buses " 679 & 686 getting ready around Broome and there first leg of the loooong trip back.
After leaving the depot this was the 1st photo location spot somewhere on or near Guy & Wallcot st Broome .
686 &amp; 679 with the RRU6 near Guy &amp; Wallcot st Broome 14-12-2012
686 & 679 with the RRU6 near Guy & Wallcot st Broome 14-12-2012
P1100029-cr.jpg (117.82 KiB) Viewed 2005 times
Now we did not have to look far to find out what was the fate of the other o405 684 , Just three or so factorys/units/yards away behind the Pearl town bus depot.
684 was found in the yard of this motor vehicle trading business "MotorHouse". Well you don't have to be a genuis to guess the fate of 684 now.
684 ,686 &amp; 679 with the RRU6 Broome 14-12-2012
684 ,686 & 679 with the RRU6 Broome 14-12-2012
P1100032-cr.jpg (94.5 KiB) Viewed 2005 times
Having lunch oustside the Broome Visitor center shortly after fitting CBs to the buses and before picking up our spare rim/tyre from the tyre fitters.
TC6664 &amp; 679 outside Broome Visitor centre 14-12-2012
TC6664 & 679 outside Broome Visitor centre 14-12-2012
P1100035-2cr.jpg (95.12 KiB) Viewed 2009 times
Now wa has plenty of termite mounds to be seen ,even with hard hats on them in one location , but mostly redish in color eccept for this one location 70 ks or so south of Broome where 686 has some white ones in the background aswell as some ominous skys ahead.
686 70 kms from Broome 14-12-2012
686 70 kms from Broome 14-12-2012
P1100037 2cr.jpg (98.93 KiB) Viewed 2005 times
One of many roadside "refreshment " stops , this one just before sundown as the RRU6 shots ahead of us to secure the nites accommodation and meals for us all before Sandfires roadhouse closing time of 700pm.
Broome to Sandfire RH  parking bay 14-12-2012
Broome to Sandfire RH parking bay 14-12-2012
P1100048 2cr.jpg (81.51 KiB) Viewed 2009 times
Last edited by High Floor Bus on Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by panther998 »

ADX666 wrote:For sure, a spin off of the BPSWA by the looks of what looms
As a very long term and currently active member of BPSWA, I confess to being utterly baffled by your comment, ADX666. I very well know / appreciate that you are a dedicated bus enthusiast, thus I wonder if you might care to enlighten me, and (possibly) other ATDB members, as to your basis for making such a statement ??

Reason I ask is that Perth / WA already has 2 bus enthusiast groups pursuing basically similar aims via somewhat divergent methods. I am fervently hoping that you are not hinting at / suggesting the imminent formation of a 3rd group of bus preservationists ???
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by STA 1440 »

What a colossal and worthwhile effort to bring those two handsome machines back home!
I am suitably impressed! If I wasn't able to buy an ex-STA Volvo B58/B10M in Adelaide, I too would have had to make a long distance trek to get one from Perth. Thankfully I did find one locally!

I'd be curious to know what sort of speeds they sat on along the open road; and also whether there was any big difference in fuel economy due to the different transmissions?

:)
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Mr OC Benz »

We generally kept to around 75-80km/h on the highway.

679 with its 3sp W3E was capable of about 85-90km/h while 686 with its 5sp ZF was speed limited to 90km/h but is capable of doing a lot faster!!!!! And thus was comfortable for it to sit at low revs at 90km/h at times as it required little effort to keep it going. So yes there was a huge difference in fuel economy between the two.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by King Willie »

Mr OC Benz wrote:686 with its 5sp ZF was speed limited to 90km/h but is capable of going a lot faster!!!!!
Why is it speed limited to only 90 and not 100 like other heavy vehicles?
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Mr OC Benz »

The specification sheet states that it is capable at doing 111km/h but because that speed is too high and illegal for such vehicles, it was governed to a more suitable road speed for a vehicle of that design.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by PoweredByCNG »

The Inventor wrote:
Mr OC Benz wrote:686 with its 5sp ZF was speed limited to 90km/h but is capable of going a lot faster!!!!!
Why is it speed limited to only 90 and not 100 like other heavy vehicles?
If you've ever driven a Mercedes-Benz O 305 or O 405 at over 90 km/h, you would know why!
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by panther998 »

My answer to The Inventor's question is a little different, namely -
Because MTT / Transperth engineers have traditionally (well, since the 1970s anyway) specified / set buses in their care to a maximum road speed in the 85 to 90 km/h range, primarily in the interests of achieving optimum fuel economy. Which happens to embrace / link with the secondary or 'spin-off' benefit of reducing the number of instances where passengers (and perhaps the occasional foolhardy steering wheel attendant?) sustain 'knocked off their feet' and /or whiplash injuries arising from totally pointless / unnecessarily 'brisk' acceleration by / of a given bus.

Naturally, I leave it to individual Board members to decide which reason they accept as being the most plausible.
Inter alia, I accept the probability that some readers will choose to respond here with a variety of reasons why one or the other answer is ridiculous / wrong / etc. So be it. Such is life, and such is the lack of understanding exhibited by so many (intelligent, yet ignorant) folk these days ....

AND - I fully realise that BOTH reasons have a substantial degree of validity, so the 'reality' is most likely based on a blend of the 2. What the 'right' mix happens to be will inevitably depend on individual perceptions and understanding ....
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by adx666 »

panther998 wrote:
ADX666 wrote:For sure, a spin off of the BPSWA by the looks of what looms
As a very long term and currently active member of BPSWA, I confess to being utterly baffled by your comment, ADX666. I very well know / appreciate that you are a dedicated bus enthusiast, thus I wonder if you might care to enlighten me, and (possibly) other ATDB members, as to your basis for making such a statement ??

Reason I ask is that Perth / WA already has 2 bus enthusiast groups pursuing basically similar aims via somewhat divergent methods. I am fervently hoping that you are not hinting at / suggesting the imminent formation of a 3rd group of bus preservationists ???
Sorry Panther998, I missed this question!

Not my intention at all, a group of enthuisiasts like the ones that have recently purchased several ex TP buses could some day rival the BPS in terms of collection size. I didn't intend to state that they will rival the BPS as a collective, more so that they will have a sizable collection if they keep on purchasing ex TP buses.

Yes, it was a pertinent suggestion, given the size of the BPS collection, not to mention I am also a member of the BPS, albeit as a non bus driving, non skill contributing purely financial based member at that! :oops:
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by panther998 »

ADX666 wrote:For sure, a spin off of the BPSWA by the looks of what looms
panther998 wrote:As a very long term and currently active member of BPSWA, I confess to being utterly baffled by your comment, ADX666. I very well know / appreciate that you are a dedicated bus enthusiast, thus I wonder if you might care to enlighten me, and (possibly) other ATDB members, as to your basis for making such a statement ??

Reason I ask is that Perth / WA already has 2 bus enthusiast groups pursuing basically similar aims via somewhat divergent methods. I am fervently hoping that you are not hinting at / suggesting the imminent formation of a 3rd group of bus preservationists ???
ADX666 wrote:Sorry Panther998, I missed this question!

Not my intention at all, a group of enthuisiasts like the ones that have recently purchased several ex TP buses could some day rival the BPS in terms of collection size. I didn't intend to state that they will rival the BPS as a collective, more so that they will have a sizable collection if they keep on purchasing ex TP buses.

Yes, it was a pertinent suggestion, given the size of the BPS collection, not to mention I am also a member of the BPS, albeit as a non bus driving, non skill contributing purely financial based member at that! :oops:
Many thanks for your reply, ADX666.
First, let me assure you that I see absolutely nothing wrong in anyone being 'a non bus driving, non skill contributing, purely financial based member' of BPSWA. As Dennis96 has often reminded Board readers, there is strength in numbers - and the proverbial 'heaven' knows that the 'practice and pursuit' of bus preservation in this huge and wonderful State can only gain through increased membership of the 2 existing groups in the field - BPSWA and WAOOG.

Personally, I am certain that what might be defined as the 'interest base' in buses in WA is relatively small, especially compared with that in eastern states like NSW, and approaching miniscule compared with the UK and some other European countries (France, Germany, Netherlands). Given my perception of 'limited bus interest' here in the West, for many years I have been concerned (even alarmed) that 2 bus enthusiast groups exist, for reasons which I only partly comprehend (and am reluctant to dwell upon on this forum).
To me, the very LAST thing that the bus preservation movement in WA needs is the formation of yet a 3rd group !!
To me, especially in terms of overall and long term objectives, the ideal would undeniably be to have a SINGLE organisation of like-minded volunteers (complemented by others engaged in the bus industry) who could happily and democratically co-operate on ensuring that Perth's and Western Australia's bus heritage is recorded and preserved now and well into the future. Given past (ongoing?) disagreements between certain individuals in the WA bus preservation movement, I acknowledge that such an ideal is possibly only a 'pipe dream', but one which hopefully will be realised in the not-too-distant future.

With that sort of background info, hopefully you (and other Board and / or BPSWA members) will make due allowance for my concerns. Like a great many other long-term bus enthusiasts, I have expended a good deal of my own effort, money, time, etc over the past 35 years or so towards pursuing my passion - buses, especially those having some affinity with / relevance to Perth and Western Australia. I have seen several 'dummy spits' by fellow enthusiasts during that time, including my own withdrawal from the 'active scene' for several years, which I do (and will eternally) regret. Consequently, I understand many of the frustrations facing the younger generation of bus preservationists, particularly those factors which might influence some of them to turn away from BPSWA or WAOOG and form a breakaway group.

Hence my somewhat intense interest in your comment about a looming 'spin-off', ADX666. Bottom line for me is that I'm seeking a wee bit of reassurance that the younger generation of WA bus fans wants to be / will stay involved with BPSWA, or even entertain the prospect of joining WAOOG, in preference to forming a 3rd bus preserving group ....

:) 8) :idea:
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by adx666 »

Rest assured the future of the BPS is looking brighter than ever with the numbers of youngsters joining in the last year or so.
Thanks for your understanding and support panther998!
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by Dennis96 »

Clubs are what the members make of them. There are active members on ATDB who are active members of BPSWA. There are members of BPSWA who are just as passionate about buses and are regular followers of ATDB but may not contribute to discussions on the forum; and there are quite a few regulars on ATDB who are fairly new members of BPS and are yet to make their mark. And of course, the inernet and forums such as ATDB make it easier for some enthusiasts to enjoy their hobbies without a need to join a club. BPSWA is flexible and keen to meet the needs or aspirations of all bus enthusiasts. Preservation of old buses is just one facet of BPS. However, like most volunteer run organisations, BPS needs more people to help organise functions/outings/get togethers, so members can meet each other at a variety of activities. That is how special interest groups enable members to make life long friendships with others who share their interest. Some of my best friends are people I met in Rail Heritage (ARHS) in the early 1960's and BPS' forerunners in the early 1970's. Having members of many ages and interests is what makes good clubs vibrant.
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Re: WA's first O405's enter preservation! + Day 1 shots

Post by F Road »

A week ago today, I drove our second restoration project, ex STA O305 MkII 2127 back from Campbelltown to Newcastle. My trip looks like a sunday drive compared to this effort - It is a long way to drive a city bus! Well Done! :D
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