DESTINATIONS - TAG-ALONG TOURS & TOUR OPERATORS
This 2022 tour bus is fitted with a road-rail wheel kit that allows it to run on historic railway tracks and on roads and bush tracks in Tasmania’s wild west.
West Coast Wilderness Railway is a Tasmanian tourism company operating a heritage passenger railway service from Queenstown and Strahan. The WCWR railway track is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
However, the company has a tradition of taking tourists well off the rail tracks as well, on tours titled ‘Piners & Miners’. Its initial vehicle was modified Land Rover that could run on the company’s rail tracks and on bush tracks.
“The problem with this vehicle was that it wasn’t particularly comfortable on either rail or road,” said Anthony Brown, WCWR’s general manager.
“We wanted to keep doing these popular exploration trips, but we needed more passenger accommodation, a higher-degree of comfort and better on-rail and off-road performance.”
So began a two-year search for a replacement vehicle, that culminated in a Fuso Canter 4WD truck, fitted with a road-rail kit in Western Australia, with luxury bus seating and bodywork from Bus4x4 in Brisbane.
Incidentally, it’s probably the last bus body fitted to a truck chassis by Bus4x4, because the company is flat to the boards building its highly-respected 4WD conversions on various 2WD motorhomes, vans and buses, for private owners, fleets and mining companies.
The finished WCWR vehicle can seat a crew of two and 12 passengers. Bus4x4 kitted it out with a bull bar, spare wheel carrier, front beacon, LED and fog lights including individual lights at all entry/exit points.
Its black ‘raptor’ coating will be enhanced by graphic sign-writing when it arrives in Tasmania in January 2022. The bus is expected to be in service in the first quarter of 2022.
WCWR has a busy schedule planned for its latest acquisition: boat, bus (road and rail) one-day tours and two different half-day tours.
Southward bound from Brisbane to Tassie in its new black-wrap coating.