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Between 1977 and 1990, the bulk of the Public Transport Commission/Urban Transit Authority's (PTC/UTA) new buses were German made Mercedes-Benz and MAN chassis, bodied locally to VOV-standard designs by Pressed Metal Corporation (PMC), Smithfield.


The last buses of this type were known as the 'Mark V'. These differed from the earlier marks by being Mercedes-Benz O405 chassis, ending the O305 domination. The Mark Vs also used a slightly different VOV-designed PMC body. 247 Mark Vs were delivered, between 1987 and 1990.


Aside from 3071, which was the prototype, all were allocated fleet numbers between 3083 and 3252, and between 3305 and 3380. Numbers 3253 to 3302 were used for the MAN SL202 buses (of which the Museum has preserved 3302). 3303 and 3304 were Renault PR100.2s, which used the same PMC body as the Mark Vs.


Buses 3251-3252 were unique, being CNG gas demonstrators with underfloor gas tanks fitted and OM447HG engines.


Mark V buses appeared in many special roles during their time in service. Several were specially painted for the Bicentennial in 1988, in addition to their use on the special 'Sydney Explorer', 'Airport Express' and 'Silver Service' (charter) services. Three were also specially modified and wrapped as 'P class' trams for 'Tram Bus' services between Circular Quay and Darling Harbour in the early 1990s.


3377, was delivered to Kingsgrove Depot in mid-1990. The last five Mark Vs to be delivered, including 3377, were fitted with saloon heaters for use on the early 'Nightride' services covering the East Hills line to Campbelltown.


In late 1994, the delivery of new Gas Scania CNG L113CRBs to Kingsgrove saw a large number of Mark Vs transferred to Newcastle, including 3377. The bus received a refurbishment in March 2007 into 'John Lee' corporate livery, which retained the blue and white colours though removed the red stripe.


3377 continued to operate for Newcastle Buses, including being fitted with Opal ticketing equipment, until September 3, 2015, when it was withdrawn from service. On September 8, the bus was transferred to Sydney for decommissioning, before being donated to the Museum for preservation.


The bus is currently in secure off-site storage.



Engine: Rear underfloor mounted Mercedes-Benz OM447H 6-cylinder 11.9 litre diesel engine developing 157kw at 2200 r.p.m. Bore 128mm, stroke 155mm.


Gearbox: Three-speed Mercedes-Benz W3E112 automatic gearbox with inbuilt hydraulic retarder to a hub-reduction gear assembly.


Brakes: Dual circuit air brakes with ABS, gearbox hydraulic retarder and spring applied parking brake. Additionally retro-fitted with a Broms low-air safety device.

3377 DW.jpg

3377 leaving the depot when in Newcastle. David Wilson.

3377 in service at Newcastle in 2015.

3377 when operating in Newcastle for Newcastle Buses, 2015. 

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