Forest Coach Lines

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Forest Coach Lines
Forest Coach Lines logo.svg
Forest Coach Lines (mo 5441) Custom Coaches 'CB80' bodied Volvo B7RLE on Olympic Boulevard at Sydney Olympic Park.jpg
Parent Next Capital
David Royle
Commenced operation 1 March 1930
Headquarters Terrey Hills
Service area Kuring-gai
Northern Beaches
Mid North Coast
Service type Bus services
Depots 4
Fleet 201 (April 2017)
Chief executive David Royle

Forest Coach Lines is an Australian bus and coach operator in the northern suburbs of Sydney and from 2016, on the Mid North Coast in New South Wales.


In March 1930 Eric and Trevor Royle trading as Royle Brothers, purchased routes 56 Chatswood station to Roseville Chase and 201 Roseville station to Roseville Chase from E Jones with three buses. In October 1941 the first service operated across the Roseville Bridge to Terrey Hills.[1][2]

In March 1947 route 52 Chatswood to Artarmon was purchased but quickly sold in November of that year.[3] From the late 1940s the Frenchs Forest area expanded rapidly and by 1960 the Royle Brothers fleet had expanded to 12 buses.[1]

The operation was renamed Forest Coach Lines in February 1964 and relocated to a new depot in Belrose. In May 1965 route 201 ceased. An expansion into coach charter saw Forest Trailways established with a separate depot in Manly Vale. Eric and Trevor Royle retired in the mid-1960s with the Trevor's sons Bernard and Tony taking over.[1]

In 1973 services were extended to Warringah Mall and in February 1982 to Duffys Forest. In August 1979 a new depot was opened in Terrey Hills to replace those at Belrose and Manly Vale.[1]

The Passenger Transport Act 1990 allowed Forest Coach Lines to commence operating services into the Sydney central business district in July 1992.[1][4] In August 1991 the Warringah Bus Lines operation was purchased from Shorelink[5] and in July 1998 part of St Ives Bus Service was purchased.[6][7]

In November 2012 it was announced that Forest had been successful in retaining the contract to operate Sydney Bus Region 14.[8][9]

In December 2014, a majority shareholding in the business was purchased by mid-market private equity firm Next Capital.[10][11]

In September 2016 the business of Manly Coaches was acquired with no vehicles.[12] In November 2016, the Mid North Coast business of Ryan's Bus Service was purchased with depots in Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga.[13] On 1 April 2017, Sawtell Coaches was purchased with a depot in Toormina.[14][15]


Forest Coach Lines built up its fleet with Leyland buses. In 1972 it placed the first Volvo in Sydney in service. Since then most purchases have been on Volvo or Mercedes-Benz chassis. In March 2013 two Bustech CDi double deckers were introduced. As at April 2017, the Sydney fleet consisted of 133 buses and coaches.[16] The north coast fleets comprised 68 vehicles.[17][18]

When the business was renamed Forest Coach Lines in February 1964, a new white and green livery was introduced. These remained the fleet colours until 2013 when as part of its new regional bus contract Forest was required to adopt the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery.[19]

Routes Operated[edit]

  • 194: St Ives Village Shops/St Ives Chase to City via St Ives Chase, Horace Road, East Killara, East Lindfield, East Roseville & Alpha Road
  • 195: Gordon to St. Ives Chase Loop
  • 196: Chatswood to Mona Vale via Chatswood West, West Lindfield, West Pymble, Gordon Station, St Ives Village Shops and Austlink Business Park
  • 197: Macquarie University to Mona Vale via Macquarie Centre, Macquarie Park, West Pymble, Gordon Station, St Ives Village Shops and Austlink Business Park
  • 260: Terrey Hills to North Sydney via Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Northbridge and Cammeray
  • 270: Terrey Hills to City QVB via Austlink, Belrose, Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • L70: Terrey Hills to City QVB via Austlink, Belrose, Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road (limited stops)
  • 271: Belrose to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 273: Killarney Heights to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 274: Killarney Heights to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 277: Chatswood to Castle Cove
  • 278: Chatswood to Killarney Heights
  • 279: Chatswood to Frenchs Forest (The Esplanade)
  • 280: Chatswood to Warringah Mall via East Roseville, Forestville, Frenchs Forest, Skyline & Allambie
  • 281: Chatswood to Davidson via Forestville & Frenchs Forest
  • 282: Chatswood to Belrose via Forestville, Frenchs Forest & Davidson
  • 283: Chatswood to Belrose via Forestville & Frenchs Forest
  • 284: Chatswood to Duffys Forest via Forestville, Frenchs Forest & Belrose, Austlink & Terrey Hills

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e History Forest Coach Lines
  2. ^ New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. 1993. p. 53. 
  3. ^ Manny, Leon B (1985). Terminus Please. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. p. 60. ISBN 0 959601 63 5. 
  4. ^ "Services" Fleetline September 1992 page 173
  5. ^ "Ownership changes" Fleetline February 1992 page 35
  6. ^ "Ownership changes" Fleetline July 1998 page 131
  7. ^ St Ives Bus Services, Australian Bus Fleet Lists, Accessed 24 March 2014
  8. ^ Cut costs or bus contracts will go to private sector, minister tells drivers Sydney Morning Herald 7 November 2012
  9. ^ Mixed Result for Private Bus Operators Bus & Coach Association NSW 7 November 2012
  10. ^ Next Capital finalises Forest Australian Financial Review 8 December 2014
  11. ^ Royle Family Sell Forest Coach Lines Transitgraphics.
  12. ^ Home Manly Coaches
  13. ^ Family owned Coffs Coast bus company calls it a day Coffs Coast Advocate 3 November 2016
  14. ^ "Sawtell Sahdra BusLines". Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  15. ^ Forest Coach Lines expands in Coffs Harbour region Forest Coach Lines 13 April 2017
  16. ^ Forest Coach Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  17. ^ Ryans Bus Service Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  18. ^ Sawtell Coaches & Sahdra Bus Service Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  19. ^ Blue over green Forest Coach Lines buses Manly Daily 11 January 2013