Part 1 – The Inauguration


Canberra, Federal Capital of Australia, was in 1923 a city under construction. The population of the area was about 2,000 and included many building workers living in camps and “tent cities”. Four daily workers’ trains commenced running from Queanbeyan NSW to Canberra on 15 January 1923, over a railway opened to goods traffic on 23 May 1914. (more…)

Part 2 – Expansion in the 1930s and the first diesels


The new Associated Daimler buses being worked in service enabled overhauls to be commenced on the five AEC Renowns of 1926, although a minor setback was experienced on 2 October 1928 when one of the Deans capsized after being struck with force by a Buick Car at the corner of Doonkuna and Donaldson Streets Braddon. Carrying only three passengers, the Dean swung at right angles before capsizing, breaking all windows. The Buick smashed its radiator and twisted the chassis. By 7 December 1928, the first completely overhauled AEC returned to service. The seats were re-upholstered in leather instead of plush, it was fitted with new sliding windows, its lighting system was improved and the engine had received “close attention”. The other four AECs then followed through the workshops, then situated at Kingston. (more…)

Part 3 – Post-war reorganisation and the first low-floors

Buses like Matilda were a common sight on Canberra's roads in this era.

Buses like Matilda were a common sight on Canberra’s roads in this era.

An interesting point considered by the Canberra Advisory Council during 1946 concerned the operation of double decker buses in Canberra. One member of the Council had urged the Council’s adoption of a double decker bus experiment, so a report was requested from the Transport department manager. This report, presented to the Council in September 1946 advised against the buying of any double decker buses, for the following reasons: (more…)