Until the end of 2023, ACT Bus will be revealing the Top 15 buses of all time in the Canberra / ACTION Bus fleet (determined by number in the fleet).

At number 12, is the AEC Regal (Mk 1) / Regal I with 46* vehicles.

First in service: CO17, November 1933
Last withdrawn: C54177, apx mid 1950s
Years in service: apx 20 years

From the commencement of the Canberra Bus Service until the early 1980s, most of the bus chassis purchased were from Associated Equipment Company Ltd, or AEC. And the first model to be purchased in large numbers was the AEC Regal.

The first Regal buses were seven petrol-powered Smith & Waddington bodied buses which were delivered November 1933 to early 1934 (CO17-CO23). This was followed by an evaluation diesel-powered bus (CO24) in 1934, possibly with a Syd Wood body. The test was deemed a success and a further 20 diesel-powered AEC Regals with Syd Wood body would enter service between 1936 and 1940, bringing the total to 28 buses.

World War II had prevented buses being purchased from England, so in 1946 an order was placed for 18* AEC Regals (with Syd Wood body) for delivery as soon as possible. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information recorded about these vehicles – their registration numbers may have been C.54160 – C.54177, and no details are available about when these buses were disposed.

According to reference sources, the “AEC Regal” (Mk 1) was built between 1929 and 1940 with the similarly named “AEC Regal I” available during 1946-47. It is not known whether these are the same chassis or if there are any significant differences between the two models.

* – There are also discrepancies about the number of AEC Regals in the fleet. Some documents refer to only 16 Syd Wood bodied buses post-1946, and there are also references to there being only 38 Mk1 Regals (comprising 84 Regals in total, with 46 Regal III models). This might be due to the 1946 order of 18 buses not being fully completed.


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This page was last updated on 20 January 2024