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It has been a busy week for coach operators in Victoria this week in addition to the Australian Open companies have been flat out working rail replacement services whilst work progressed in replacing levele crossings and the Metrotunnel. On top of that there were two cruise ships in town on Tuesday stretching Nuline. the company usually taking cruise liner passengers on inland tours to the limit. Already heavily committed to rail replacemnt work, several coaches were hired on. Not only coaches - a former Brisbane Volvo B10L of Rockleigh Tours was seen returning passengers to the dock. Most enjoyed travel on Nuline's fleet of Marcopolo bodied Volvos, but one coach hired in was this former Australia Wide Coaches Coach Design bodied Scania K124IB, 9828AO. Formerly 118 (TV7071) in Sydney the seventeen year old coach is now with North East Coachlines of Wangaratta and appears to be their only vehicle. Their base is 250km from Melbourne. It is a measure of the scale of the vehicle requirements at the moment. Dysons has brought in buses from Shepparton 200km away for rail work, probably housing drivers locally and garaging the buses at their Melbourne depot, but Alpine Spirit of Myrtleford, nearly 300km away has sevral vehicles playing trains, mostly twenty year old ex Transpoerth Mercedes. Rail replacement operations are set to scale back on Monday with the Frankston line reopening between the city and Cauflield where Metrotunnel work at South Yarra has been a major disruption. Just as well as school summer holidays are over on Tuesday and vehicle demand will be back to normal, however train crews are threatening industrial action as they claim to have had insufficient training on the new track into South Yarra, and there was me thinking they just obeyed the signals and stuck to the track! So Tuesday might be interesting - especailly as Yarra Trams drivers are planning stoppages for Tuesday and Thursday! Happy Australia Day!
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See January 19th's picture of the week here.