In early 1977, the Department of the Capital Territory followed the example of London Transport in deciding to preserve examples of their older vehicles for posterity.

The Department negotiated the purchase of an AEC Regal III half-cab that was sold from the fleet in the mid 1960s. The Regal was owned by a former driver for the then Canberra Bus Service, who had at the time been driving the vehicle on the Bungendore to Queanbeyan school run.

AEC Reliance Bus 050 had been chosen to represent the under-floor engined buses of the 1950s and 1960s. Fifty-two of these vehicles were mainstays of the fleet at the time.

Thornycroft Trident ZIB-240

Although it was not built for the Department, Thornycroft Trident Bus 240 was selected as an example of the standard ‘utility’ bus built for hundreds of NSW operators by Syd Wood, to a design that went unchanged for three decades.

240 was the last bus body built by Syd Wood, and is believed to be the last Thornycroft bus delivered anywhere in the world. 240 was acquired from Bowdens of Waverley NSW during the 1974 vehicle shortage.

The Department proposed to add an AEC Swift, and other units, to the fleet in the future. Buses were proposed to be kept in serviceable condition, and carry their original liveries. Joining Swift 156 in later years were AEC Reliance 112, Volvo B58-50 207, MAN SL200 410 and MAN SG192 450.

As of 2020, only two buses remain in the Heritage fleet – the AEC Regal III half-cab and AEC Reliance 050.

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Featured article for December 2020.

Revised on 2 January 2021