Funeral bus takes mourners and coffin together to final resting place

Summary

A coach fitted out by Flemish bus manufacturer Van Hool allows friends and family to accompany their loved one on their final voyage

Farewell journey

Flemish bus manufacturer Van Hool has developed a special funeral coach that will carry up to 26 mourners alongside the body of their loved one to a church service or burial ground.

The vehicle (pictured) can travel past places that played an important role in the person’s life, and photos and videos can be displayed on the bus’s screen. Blacked-out windows ensure privacy for passengers, while special fittings allow the coffin to be safely loaded, stowed and unloaded.

Van Hool, based in Lier, Antwerp province, made the bus with Koninklijke Beuk, a company in the Netherlands that provides buses for groups of mourners to follow behind the coffin in a traditional funeral procession. They approached Van Hool after getting requests from people who wanted to be able to travel with their loved one on their final journey.

The concept is already relatively popular in the Netherlands and the owners of Van Hool are certain it will catch on in Flanders too, but the local funeral sector is not convinced. “I don’t think it will immediately happen here,” Antwerp funeral director Thomas Heiremans, spokesperson for industry association Uitvaartunie Vlaanderen, told VRT. “Right now such a coach won’t find much of a market, although of course we are open to new ideas.”

Photo: Koninklijke Beuk