Volgren launches Brisbane bus-building facility

By: Jason Whittaker


Volgren Australia’s new bus-building facility at Eagle Farm has begun operations, with the first vehicle set to roll off the

Volgren Australia’s new bus-building facility at Eagle Farm has begun operations, with the first vehicle set to roll off the production line in February.

The facility is set on a 2.65ha site at TradeCoast Central, Eagle Farm, and will produce 150 buses a year for Brisbane City Council and other bus operators.

Volgren Managing Director Peter Dale says the new facility marks the next stage of a successful partnership between the company and the Brisbane City Council (BCC).

"This week we began the construction of our first bus at the new site," says Dale.

"We have been building buses in partnership with the Council for eight years, and this new facility marks the next stage of a truly successful partnership."

Volgren is gradually transferring staff and equipment from the former Toowong facility.

The new facility will be staffed by Brisbane Bus Build Pty Ltd, part of a joint commercial arrangement between Volgren and Brisbane City Council.

"The third and final phase will be in February 2010, when this facility becomes fully operational and we produce our first completed bus," Dale says.

Volgren has a ten-year agreement with the BCC to produce buses from the TradeCoast site.

"Once fully up and running, this facility will be the most modern bus manufacturing plant in Australia," Dale says.

"Queensland is a key market, and this site finally gives us a national footprint by adding to our bus-building operations in Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne."

BCC bus patronage has grown 40 percent in four years. Brisbane buses carry about 71 million passengers a year, about 10 million more than the southeast Queensland rail network.

The Queensland buses will be built using the CO-BOLT aluminium system, which makes the buses stronger, lighter and more energy efficient than traditional steel buses.

"We use this CO-BOLT technology in alliance with Hess in Europe and Gillig in the USA, which gives us access to world-leading technology," Dale says.

"Volgren also strongly believes in innovative ideas, which is why we have developed a Hybrid vehicle and our ‘Future Bus’ concept, which focuses on creating the most practical driver’s area in the industry.

"These innovations have been warmly welcomed by our customers, who know that Volgren delivers what they ask for, when they need it."

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