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Kinetic helps preserve Tasmanian Redline bus history

For many years, Tasmania’s Redline buses played an essential role in the working lives of its people. Kinetic is helping preserve that history with its latest donation to the Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society

Redline Coaches has a rich history in Tasmania, dating back nearly 100 years. Founded by Percy and Stella Larissey, it grew into one of Tasmania’s biggest operators, providing coach and charter services across Burnie, Devonport, Hobart, Launceston and Smithton.

While Redline’s time as an operator may’ve ended in 2021, its legacy lives on through Australasian bus operator Kinetic. In February, Kinetic cemented that legacy by donating one of Redline’s buses to the Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society.

Built by the Pressed Metal Corporation in Adelaide in 1990, the 41-seater coach is the last remaining of approximately 10 vehicles originally built in a configuration to travel the west coast of Tasmania.

“We’re very proud as Redline has a rich history of more than 90 years in Tasmania,” Kinetic Tasmania general manager Andrew Grzinic told ABC.

“The majority of our Tasmania team also came over from Redline in the acquisition, so a lot of them understand what the vehicle was used for and actually operated it.”

For more than 30 years, the bus was part of the everyday lives of Tasmanians. While providing users passage to Tasmania’s west coast, it also delivered fresh food, mail, medical supplies and urgent mechanical parts to remote and rural communities in the region.

Grzinic says the bus was used for many other passenger services, charter works and school tours along with transporting people from Hobart Airport.

Kinetic first earmarked the potential to refurbish and donate the bus to the society when it entered Tasmania’s bus industry. After four years of meticulous work by Kinetic’s Launceston and Devonport workshop staff, its work came to fruition.

The works undertaken on the bus included the replacement of its timber and vinyl flooring, necessary mechanical works to ensure the vehicle’s roadworthiness, reupholstering seats and completely stripping and respraying the vehicle. Grzinic says his team’s dedication to finding the required materials ensured the bus’ authenticity was maintained.

“Restoring this bus has been a labour of love for our team, and we’re thrilled to see it hit the road again as a lasting legacy for Tasmania,” Grzinic says.

The bus will now become a permanent living exhibit for the Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society. It also made a public appearance at the Exeter Agricultural Show on February 24 and is set to appear at the Longford Truck Run and the South East Suns Truck show in Sorell later this year.

Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society secretary Neil Robins says Redline holds a special place in Tasmanian hearts for the important role it played in the state’s everyday lives.

“It’s essential we preserve Redline’s history and make it accessible to people,” Robins says.

As it continues to grow its name in Tasmania, Grzinic says there could be more restoration works and donations similar to this one in the near future.

“We have current members who are volunteers with the historical society that have a keen interest in the preservation of our fleet and vehicles,” Grzinic says.

“In the future, donations similar to this one to the society could be something we look into.”

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