About Us

The Queensland Omnibus & Coach Society Inc. is a charitable organisation which has been preserving and recording Queensland’s passenger transport heritage since July 1996.

We are a group of dedicated volunteers who actively restore and preserve historic buses, research public transport history, and are currently in the process of establishing Queensland’s first bus museum, known as the Brisbane Transport Museum.

Our society was formed in July 1996 and has grown since that time to possess a fleet of 22 heritage buses and incorporate a membership base of over 100 members Australia wide.

The principal objectives of our organisation are:

  • To establish a bus museum in South East Queensland to maintain, preserve and restore historic buses for display and operation to the public; and
  • To conduct mobile static displays of historic buses and memorabilia which educate and promote the progress and history of the bus industry in Queensland to the public.

As subsidiary and consequential objects, we also:

  • Bring together those with an interest in buses; and
  • Establish links with the bus industry in general.

Community Events

Our society and its voluntary members regularly participate in a number of community events throughout South East Queensland each year. Here at these events we display and operate the club’s fleet of heritage buses, and provide a display of photos and memorabilia on the history of the bus industry in Queensland. These events include:

  • Planes, Trains and Autos at Ipswich during April
  • Teneriffe Festival during May
  • Brisbane Open House in Brisbane City during July
Since 2010, our society has operated heritage bus tours as part of the annual Teneriffe Festival in conjunction with the New Farm & Districts Historical Society.

Heritage Bus Shuttles

At many of these events we provide joy rides using our operational fleet of preserved vintage buses. By operating these buses we provide an opportunity for the public to ‘step back in time’ and experience the way of life their ancestors did.

In July 2019, our society operated four ex-Brisbane City Council buses on car park shuttles for RACQ MotorFest at Eagle Farm Racecourse.

Bus Restorations

Our club is very proud to be an active restorer and preserver of heritage buses which have previously operated in Queensland. We are forever working towards improving our fleet and strive to return vehicles back to their original condition.

Between March 2018 and April 2019, Bus 722 was extensively restored back to original condition in anticipation of the 50th birthday and anniversary of Brisbane’s tramway closure. Thanks to the generousity of our members and supporters, the club spent up to $100,000 on a complete interior and exterior refurbishment to return the vehicle back into service after 10 years off the road.

Transport Research

The club maintains a vast collection of historical information, books and magazines, photos and other memorabilia on the Queensland bus industry. Additionally, we regularly research and publish articles on the history of past and present bus operators, body builders and industry personnel.

Queensland’s first streamlined (non-bonneted) bus was built by the Watt Bros of Woolloongabba during August 1935 for John Joseph O’Connell’s Swann Road Bus Service, west of Brisbane. This service was one of 20 compulsorily acquired by the Brisbane City Council from private operators between 1947 and 1948.
Francis Basil Elphick owned the Ipswich-Amberley Bus Service for over 25 years, having acquired it after returning from service in the First World War. Six new buses were purchased during the Second World War to primarily cater for the new Amberley Air Base, which opened in June 1940. One of these vehicles was this 34-passenger GMC with Watt Bros built in August 1940 for £1000-16-0.

Bus Tours

Our club regularly conducts day tours throughout South East Queensland visiting bus operators and manufacturers each year. We generally conduct 3-4 tours each year which include ‘farewell’ tours to commemorate retiring makes and models of buses.

In February 2016, our club conducted a tour to the Gold Coast where we visited a number of bus operators, including Springbrook Mudgeeraba Bus Service which has a heritage fleet of its own.