Four Generations Strong
For more than 90 years and across four generations Redline and the Larissey family have built the most trusted and experienced coach transportation company in Tasmania.
Established in 1929 by Percy Larissey, Redline has become a household name in Tasmania, a company that nearly all Tasmanians have had some connection with or memory of during their lifetime.
Still a family owned company, today Redline is run by Frank’s son Michael and his two children Rowan and Claire.
The Larissey family commenced trading as P. Larissey under the management of Percy & Stella Larissey from Cressy.
They were later joined by Percy’s son Francis (Frank) to become P. Larissey & Son
Frank purchased Sutton Motor Services who serviced the East Tamar from Launceston to Georgetown and return seven days a week and operated two school services in Georgetown and provided transport for local workers to Comalco and Temco at Bell Bay.
The Redline Coaches initiative was registered and Redline Coaches P/L. was formed.
In the following year Redline moved from Tamar Street (next door to The Royal Oak Hotel) to their newly acquired premises at 35 Bathurst Street.
Redline had now outgrown the current home at 35 Bathurst so adjoining properties were purchased (fronting onto York Street) and the property extended to be Bathurst & York Streets
Frank Larissey had also acquired the North East bus services of Fry’s Motors. Services expanded to connecting the whole North East of the state including Scottsdale, Derby, Ringarooma, Branxholm Lilydale and Nunamara to Launceston. As well as passengers the service carried mail, newspapers, flavoured milk for schools and freight.
The following year Frank purchased Brown’s bus service business that operated in the Fingal Valley.
In the earlier days when capital was harder to find Frank salvaged this Bedford from a paddock in Lilydale. When he found it there was grass growing through the floor and it was in a very rough state. It was restored it to perfect working condition and put to work on school services and charter runs.
An accident-prone Queensland company also called Redline was causing some confusion and damage to the reputation of Redline in Tasmania. Managing Director Frank Larissey purchased Tasmanian Coach Lines creating a true state-wide operation and combined the two names to become Tasmanian Redline Coaches.
Frank Larissey purchased 96 Harrington Street in Hobart (currently Budget car rentals and Tyrepower) as the new depot.
Redline purchased an additional seven companies taking the fleet to 50 coaches.
Redline created the Airporter business after winning the Hobart and Launceston Airport contracts when TAA and Ansett terminated their own city to airport shuttle services.
After buying Tasmanian Coach Lines and changing the name to Tasmanian Redline Coaches in 1980 Redline purchased Coastliner who ran in competition with them from Smithton to Hobart and return and dominated the main highway service ever since.
Frank’s son Michael expanded Redline’s operations by creating TRC Travel which offered day and half day brochure tours. By 1988 expanded further to offer seven-day state-wide tours direct from Singapore. The success of these tours saw seven coaches operating back-to-back tours as the fleet grew to 125.
Redline branched into the day and half-day sightseeing tour market in Launceston with the purchase of Classic Coaches.
The tour division expansion continued with the purchase of Cook’s and Leary’s Coaches, A.A.T. Kings program and the diversity into inbound tour operation.
Larissey family purchased a half share of Hobart’s Midcity Hotel to provide a more comprehensive tour service.
State Transport Department granted Hobart Coaches (owned by Hazel Bros) a licence to run a competing Hobart-Launceston-Burnie service.
Following an unsuccessful legal battle against the new licence, Michael convinced his father to purchase a double decker coach to escalate pressure on the new incumbent. Despite the entry of Hobart Coaches into the market Redline continued to grow passenger numbers.
Frank and Michael ventured into the road construction business establishing Tasforce in competition with Hazel Bros. Tasforce gained construction contracts quickly turning over $23 million in the first three years.
Redline won a seven year contract to provide services between Queenstown and Strahan for the ABT Railway on the west coast.
Frank Larissey passed away unexpectedly. At the same time the company’s Tourism Manager was off sick with cancer so third generation Michael Larissey stepped up to the role of Managing Director and Tourism Manager.
Michael made the decision to further improve the main road coach fleet by investing in six, luxury, seat belted Dennings. This led to Hazel Brothers exiting the coach transport market in 1997 and in a joint agreement Redline exited the road construction business.
Redline’s freight business was expanding rapidly with a fleet of vans, trucks and a line haul truck and trailer. A new Kenworth truck with a taut line trailer ran daily from Burnie through Devonport and Launceston to Hobart, return departing at 5pm and returning by 5am. This truck was sold in 2001 having done 1.4 million kilometres.
Due to rapid growth Redline moved the Launceston depot, administration and accounts departments from the George Street Depot to the C.H. Smith site.
Deregulation of the coach market with the state government allowing mainland coach companies to provide state-wide tours saw Redline sell off the travel agency to focus on the core business of route, charter and freight services.
The state government deregulated the freight industry with the removal of Cart & Carrier licences which had ensured that regional areas were serviced daily.
Redline became the Tasmanian agent of Toll Ipec taking over the business and 25 staff.
Redline acquired four other bus companies and purchased fifteen new coaches further expanding the fleet.
Redline had refined and streamlined the business. They sold the transit centres pushing responsibility to the government and exited from the freight industry with the ending of the Toll Ipec contract.
Redline purchased the Commodore Regent Hotel in Launceston providing accommodation to the tours division.
Redline purchased two new ‘BLK President’ luxury coaches and operated APT tours in Tasmania under contract.
Redline remain a dominant force in the Tasmanian coach industry servicing government contracts, school services and the tourism industry. Managed by Michael, Rowan and Claire Larissey, Redline has serviced the needs of Tasmania as a family owned business for 90 years.
Tasmania’s Own for 90 Years
Over the past 90 years it is estimated that Redline have owned more than 600 coaches.
Why choose Redline
What to ask when selecting a transport partner
- What is the value of experience?
- What is the value of quality service?
- What is the value of reliability and backup support?