Bus 670 Restoration

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670 being test-driven at the Interline yard
670 being test-driven at the Interline yard

On 29 September 2010, three ACT Bus members travelled to the Interline Depot in Macquarie Fields to inspect a Mercedes O.305 that was once Bus 670 in the ACTION Fleet. After giving the old girl a jump start, the battery and front tyres were replaced, and spare parts were packed into the bus.

The bus was initially relocated to the Westbus depot at Bonnyrigg for temporary storage.

October 2010

On 21 October 2010, Bus 670 was returned from Sydney to Canberra. At this stage, she should be ready for a rego inspection in the next 2 weeks or so, and will then be put onto private registration purely for driving pleasure.

A working bee will be held soon to get her ready for the inspection. Apart from a small oil leak she is pretty much is great shape. See how it goes at rego.

Will be looking to paint her into Z stripe livery in early December. May take her for a tour sometime in the new year in the new paint scheme.

In between now and then, once registered she will be going out for a day or two just to make sure everything is OK. Will advise those who want to know when this happens and all are welcome to tag along (for a small donation to the restoration fund).

December 2010

We have now almost completed the painting on 670. I am awaiting delivery of a fine detail airbrush to complete the areas that require touching up, as it seems that masking tape is damaging the newly painted areas if we use it.

There is only black paint to be applied to the window trims, which Interline had painted blue and grey.

With the help of a few volunteers during the week, we achieved a lot. Detailed as follows

  • Applied Orange, Blue and Arctic green to the bus
  • Removed a majority of the over-spray
  • Recoated the bumper and touched up a lot of the black areas
  • Removed and painted the interior door handles
  • Repainted the inside of the doors
  • Repainted the wheel brushes (due to over spray)

I have also completed the mechanical stuff that needed doing, in particular the fuel filters which I managed to cock up by not removing the old gaskets!

March 2011

In the first ACT Bus Tour of 2011, we’ll be taking ex ACTION Mercedes O.305 Bus 670 out for the day on Saturday 26 March.

The tour will run from 1pm to 10pm with a meal break at Dickson. Passengers can be picked up from all major Bus Stations. We encourage anyone with an interest in public transport to come along and have some fun on a lovingly restored bus that once featured prominently in Canberra’s transport landscape.

You’ll be able to meet people who share your interests and see the transport sights of Canberra from a different perspective. Learn something new and make some new friends!

Since its purchase from Interline last year, Bus 670 has been fitted with an ACTION destination roll, the seats have been re-covered and most notably has been repainted into an ACTION livery.

The full tour will cost $15 and half-day tours also available. The bus will be driven only by accredited drivers. Proceeds go towards the continued restoration of the bus as well as fuel costs.

June 2011

The bus is now sporting a shiny Mercedes ‘three pointed star’ badge, with thanks to Ed. It certainly makes the front of the bus look a lot better!

Repainting of the bus into ACTION colours has been completed however we’re not entirely happy with the finish of the orange paint so when time, finance and weather permits it will be repainted.

Jobs still to do include the stripping of passenger poles and repainting them, sanding and smoothing out of repairs to the window frame and repairing an oil leak in the air compressor prior to the next rego inspection.

Apologies for the lack of updates recently however time has been scarce lately and unfortunately not much work has been done.

The bus is still in reasonable condition and should serve the ACT enthusiasts well for years to come – at least until we can get our hands on an Irisbus!

July 2011

Bus 670 is an ex-ACTION Mercedes O.305 bus that is now under private ownership and being restored to its former Canberra standards.

On Sunday 10 July the bus conducted its second tour for the year, taking members of the ACT Bus community on a trip around Canberra.

Bus 670 crossing Tharwa Bridge
Bus 670 crossing Tharwa Bridge

The dual purposes of the day were to raise some much needed funds to aid further restoration and ongoing costs, and to provide transport enthusiasts with an opportunity to meet one another and socialise with others who share their interest.

Despite Canberra putting on one of the coldest days this winter season, the day was enjoyed by all as the bus travelled as far north as Gungahlin and as far south as Tharwa.

As part of the tour, the Retired ACT Transport Employees Club (RATEC) kindly offered to open their clubhouse, allowing tour attendees to inspect their memorabilia collection for the small price of a gold coin donation.

There was plenty on offer at the club, with everything from photograph albums to timetables, bus manuals, signage, uniforms, destination rolls and even the blueprints for the iconic Canberra ‘bunker’ bus shelters on display.

The club got in touch to thank our members for donating over $50.00 to the club through the entry fee and sales of badges and soft drinks. The donations are a great help to the club so thanks again to all who made a donation.

Thank you to all who helped put the tour together and also to those who came along on the day.

October 2011

Due to family circumstances, Bus 670 was sold to a new owner and returned to Sydney, where the restoration work will continue.