Books and Magazines for Enthusiasts
MTN - Malta's Transport Nostalgia and News
Originally launched as Maltese Transport News, this high-quality quarterly magazine has been published by Buses Worldwide in the UK since June 2005. It continues to feature the latest news on the scheduled and unscheduled fleets, together with articles covering all aspects of the Maltese bus scene, whether it be topical or historical, plus articles on other transport subjects, notably preserved and old commercial vehicles. Subscriptions are very reasonably priced and can be arranged through the subscription form on the Buses Worldwide website or by writing to Stuart Harvey, 18 Windrush Court, Windrush Drive, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 7UL. Back issues can also be purchased from Stuart.
Maltese Buses of Yesteryear
Another publication from Buses Worldwide, this superb 64-page full-colour booklet is bristling with priceless colour images from the 1960s, showing the variety of pre-grouping liveries, as well as detailed maps. Priced at £7.00, this 2006 publication is highly recommended and is available post free from Stuart Harvey, 18 Windrush Court, Windrush Drive, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 7UL or through the subscription form on the Buses Worldwide website.
The Story of the Malta Buses, 1931-2011
Published by BDL Publishing and written by Michael Cassar, this small format book of some 80 pages was published in 2011 shortly after the ATP era came to an end with the contract passing to Arriva. This interesting and well illustrated book was available for €8.95 but may already be out of print.
Malta Bus Handbook 2nd edition
The 2nd edition of the Malta Bus Handbook, showing the fleet as at early 2010. Written by Tom Johnson and published by British Bus Publishing, this handbook provides a valuable record of the buses and operations in Malta prior to the reforms of 2011. In addition to the usual chassis and body details, the fleet listing includes the Maltese owner's name, former registration number, and both the former and original owners. Other information where known includes background details on importation of chassis and changes in bodywork. Unscheduled coaches and minibuses are included, as are the police, airport and educational fleets. There is also a detailed description of each route and an overview of operations as at 2010, along with brief histories of the major coach firms. Cover price is £15.75, and the handbook can be ordered on-line from British Bus Publishing.
Malta Bus Handbook 1st edition
This first edition of the Malta Bus Handbook by Tom Johnson was published by British Book Publishing in 2003 at £14.95. Although the second edition was published in 2010, the first edition remains on sale. As well as an overview of public transport operations, it provides a full fleet list of the buses and coaches of Malta and Gozo as at early 2003 including the name of the owner. There are numerous colour photographs, and detailed descriptions of the main bus routes and places served. Essential reading for all bus enthusiasts interested in Malta. Available from British Bus Publishing.
PSV Circle Fleetlist of Malta and Gozo 2010
The PSV Circle's fleetlist of Malta and Gozo (reference OG501) correct to March 2010. It consists of 66 pages with 31 colour photos, and contains details of all buses, coaches and minibuses, including non-PSVs, operating at that time. The price to non-members is £9 (plus £1 postage and packing) and it can be ordered from www.psv-circle.org.uk or Unit GK, Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP. Previous editions, now out of print, were published in June 1980 (publication O54), July 1987 (OF1), March 1998 (OG99), March 2001 (OG199) and September 2004 (OG299).
The Malta Bus Fleetbook 2009
The second edition of Stuart Harvey's fleetbook was published in August 2009. It provides a comprehensive fleetlist of all route buses and unscheduled coaches in Malta and Gozo, along with open toppers, the education and police fleets, and other non-psv vehicles such as welfare, training and hospitality buses. The red minibuses were added in this edition. The list includes the VIN of each vehicle, along with body numbers where known, and previous UK registrations where appropriate. This is complemented by 52 colour photographs, background information, a list of the main routes, maps of the bus routes in Malta and Gozo, and a map of the open-top routes. This full-colour publication runs to 52 pages plus cover. The price when published was £10 (including UK postage) and copies may still be available from Stuart Harvey, 18 Windrush Court, Windrush Drive, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 7UL.
The Malta Bus Fleetbook 2008
This older edition of Stuart Harvey's 'fleetbook was published in March 2008 under the Q-Nimb banner. It provides a comprehensive fleetlist of all route buses and unscheduled coaches in Malta and Gozo, along with open toppers, the education and police fleets, and other non-psv vehicles such as welfare, training and hospitality buses. The list includes the VIN of each vehicle, along with body numbers where known, and previous UK registrations where appropriate. This is complemented by 48 colour photographs, background information, a list of the main routes, and maps of the bus routes in Malta and Gozo. This full-colour publication runs to 48 pages plus cover. The price when published was £10 (including UK postage) and copies may still be available from Stuart Harvey, 18 Windrush Court, Windrush Drive, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 7UL.
The Malta Buses
Written by Joseph Bonnici and Michael Cassar, and published in Malta in 1989, this interesting book was reprinted in 2006 and was available in Malta for about 17 euros. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print once again. It covers the history of bus operations in Malta, and includes many historical photographs. A large part of the book consists of a photo file with almost every post-war bus up until 1980. Some of the original 1989 copies were produced in a hardback version.
Malta Bus Album
Written by John A Senior and published in 2004 by Venture Publications at £16.95, this book is a pictorial record of buses in Malta and Gozo spanning fifty years. It also contains a potted history of buses in Malta. Available from specialist bookstores, the Malta Bus Album can also be purchased online from Amazon and Transport Diversions amongst others.
Malta The Bus Kingdom
Published by Rakutensya Publishing of Tokyo in 1999, Malta the Bus Kingdom contains excellent photographs and is available in both Japanese and English editions, which differ slightly in content and the selection of photographs. The only place I have seen this book for sale is in the bookshop of St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta. The publisher's website no longer works so they may have gone out of business.
Railway and Tramway
The Malta Railway (Bonnici & Cassar)
Another book by Joseph Bonnici and Michael Cassar, this well produced and comprehensive history of Malta's railway (1883 to 1931) was originally published in 1987, with a revised edition in 1992. Like The Malta Buses above it was reprinted around 2006 and is hopefully still available from good bookshops, such as Aquillina (www.maltabook.com). A rare hard cover version from 1988 can sometimes be obtained from specialist dealers.
The Malta Railway (Oakwood Press)
Published in the UK by Oakwood Press in 2004, this book by B.L. Rigby covers the history of the railway and its rolling stock, and also includes a section on exploring the remains of the railway. Available through the booktrade, and also online from Transport Diversions for £9.95 plus postage. Also available from Amazon UK. An earlier edition appeared in 1970.
The Malta Tramway and the Barracca Lift
Another book by Joseph Bonnici and Michael Cassar published in Malta, this one dates from 1991. Out of print for several years, this book was finally reprinted in 2011, price around 30 euros, but seems once again to be out of print. The trams ran from 1905 to 1929 and linked Valletta with Hamrun, Birkirkara, Cottonera and Zebbug.