“Wellington’s Volvo Trolleybus Finale” by Alan Wickens. ISBN 978-0-908726-11-0. NZD $10.00. Postage within NZ NZD $2.00 if purchased singly, free if purchased with any other book. Overseas postage charged at cost.
A5 format, staple bound. 32 pages.
An all-colour pictorial record of the final days of Wellington’s Volvo trolleybuses and the early days of their Designline-built replacements. The first of sixty-eight Volvo trolleybuses had entered service in Wellington in 1981. They were delivered in two batches: Nos. 201-233 entering service between 1981 and 1983 and Nos. 234·268 between 1984 and 1986. The fleet was originally painted in Wellington City Transport’s red and white livery. In 1992, the city’s buses were purchased by Stagecoach, and the vehicles were repainted in their new owner’s livery. Designline-built prototype replacement No. 301 was delivered in 2003. Its body and chassis were new, but the electrical equipment was sourced from Volvo 206. In 2005, a further two prototypes, 302 and 303, were built by Designline. Unlike the Volvos, and No. 301, the new prototypes had three axles. In 2005, Stagecoach sold the operation to NZ Bus which branded the fleet Go Wellington. A contract for the supply of sixty new trolleybuses, based on Nos. 302 & 303, was signed with Designline. The first of the production vehicles was delivered in late 2007. As the replacements entered service, the Volvos were withdrawn. Dismantling took place at a nondescript Rongotai warehouse. Some parts were reconditioned for reuse in the new fleet. By June 2009 just four Volvos remained on active duty: Nos. 227, 233, 258 & 268. Their final day of service was Monday November 16. Three were saved for preservation; No. 233 by the Omnibus Society, No. 258 by the Tramway Historical Society and No. 268 by the Foxton Trolleybus Museum.
Chassis: Designline City Bus Trolley, Volvo B58.
Bodywork: Coachwork International, Designline, Hawke Coachwork.
Electrical equipment: Brown Boveri, Eletra Industrial.