North & Western Bus Lines

North & Western Bus Lines was an Australian bus company operating route bus services and charter coaches in Sydney.

North & Western Bus Lines
North & Western Bus Lines Bus Stop Sign 3.jpg
Remnant bus stop sign belonging to North & Western Bus Lines at Lane Cove North
ParentKen Butt
Ceased operation13 December 1999
Service areaNorthern & Western Sydney
Service typeBus services
AllianceParramatta-Ryde Bus Service
HubsChatswood station
Parramatta station
Fleet96 (December 1999)


The origins of North & Western Bus Lines can be traced back to the late 1920s when Richard Smith formed Hunters Hill Bus Company (HHBC) purchasing route 234 Gladesville to Woolwich wharf service from Walter Bruce. In 1941, the business was sold to John A Gilbert.[1]

In December 1945, route 99 Crows Nest to Greenwich wharf was purchased from Ernie Holley, followed in 1948 by route 75 Gladesville to North Ryde and 205 Ryde to Northern Suburbs Cemetery from Fred Rohr and route 53 Riverview to Chatswood station from Bill Nott. Also in 1948, HHBC commenced operating route 126 Gladesville to Ryde.[1]

In July 1955, route 95 Chatswood station to Gladesville was purchased from Longueville Motor Bus Company, followed in June 1957 by route 85 Eastwood to Midway.[2] Also in 1957, HHBC commenced operating route 141 Ryde to Macquarie Park, followed in November 1963 by route 228 Ryde to Eastwood and in January 1967 by route 43 Chatswood station to Ryde. In September 1973, route 128 Chatswood to Mowbray Road was purchased.[1]

In April 1978, Ken Butt, who had managed the operation for 13 years, purchased HHBC and renamed the operation North & Western Bus Lines.[3][4] In August 1981, the Eastwood and Epping services of the Cumberland Group were purchased and the operation rebranded as Metro West Bus Lines.[5][6][7] The Metro West operations were later incorporated into North & Western in June 1992.[8]

The routes acquired were:

In June 1986, routes 54 Chatswood station to Macquarie University and 89 Ryde to Epping via Eastwood were purchased from Deanes Coaches.[7][9][10] In August 1989, routes 261 Lane Cove - Wynyard and 264 Northwood - Chatswood station were purchased from Harbour City Coaches.[7][11][12][13]

In January 1995, a new depot was opened next to the State Transit Authority's Ryde depot with the three depots at Gladesville, Meadowbank and Rydalmere consolidated.[14][15]

In November 1999, terms to sell the business were agreed with Connex, having beaten the State Transit Authority and National Express/Westbus.[16] However, after several postponements of the handover date, it was announced that the business had been purchased by the State Transit Authority in December 1999. This was driven by a political desire to introduce State Transit's cheaper fares to several marginal electorates.[7][17][18][19]


The routes at the time the business was sold were:


North & Western Bus Lines operated 94 buses and two coaches at the time of its sale.[20] Hunter Hill Bus Company was painted in a livery of red lower panels with cream upper panels. North & Western Bus Lines adopted a white with red and blue stripes livery.


  1. ^ a b c Ken Butt & Hunters Hill Bus Company Australian Bus issue 62 March 2014 pages 12-19
  2. ^ New Bus Routes, Alterations, Transfers Truck & Bus Transportation September 1955 page 62
  3. ^ Former manager acquires big Sydney bus operation Truck & Bus Transportation May 1978 page 130
  4. ^ Buses Trolley Wire issue 176 June 1978 page 26
  5. ^ Metropolitan Changes Fleetline issue 75 October 1981 page 318
  6. ^ North & Western in major takeover Truck & Bus Transportation October 1981 page 119
  7. ^ a b c d North & Western Bus Lines Australian Bus issue 63 May 2014 pages 10-17
  8. ^ Private operators Fleetline issue 218 September 1993 page 193
  9. ^ Metropolitan Operators Fleetline issue 133 August 1986 page 127
  10. ^ Private buses Electric Traction October 1986 page 158
  11. ^ Harbour City Coaches Australian Bus Panorama issue 5/3 November 1989 page 50
  12. ^ Harbour City Coaches Fleetline December 1989 page 194
  13. ^ North & Western Bus Lines - Its Routes and Timetables Fleetline issue 266 May 2000 page 87
  14. ^ North and Western Fleetline July 1995 page 136
  15. ^ North & Western opens new $1.6 million depot Truck & Bus Transportation February 1996 page 108
  16. ^ Ownership Changes for Private Bus Services and Nightride contracts Australian Bus Panorama issue 15/3 December 1999 page 27
  17. ^ State Transit Reaches Parramatta Fleetline January 2000 page 22
  18. ^ STA Purchases North & Western and Parramatta-Ryde Australian Bus Panorama issue 15/4 February 1990 page 27
  19. ^ Sydney Buses kicked in butt Australasian Bus & Coach February 2000 page 8
  20. ^ North & Western Bus Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists