Archive for March, 2011

ABS Fargo

March 28, 2011

Came across this picture from the internet : a Fargo bus belonging to Associated Bus Service (ABS) on route 81.
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Picture taken somewhere along Neil Road in 1971 by an US Navy guy during one of the naval ship visit to Singapore. This Fargo originally belongs to Paya Lebar Bus Company which became part of ABS in the 1971 bus re-organisation. The Paya Lebar fleet comprises mostly of Fargos. The body design on this bus can only be found in Paya Lebar’s fleet.
Route 81 operates between New Bridge Road and Tampines (near Upper Changi) Road terminus. Both 80 and 81 routes ply along the same route most of the way, with 80 terminating at Prince Edward Road. The picture was taken not long after the re-organisation as the initial fleet of 80 and 81 is made up of Fargos. Not long after, the entire route 80 and 81 fleet was replaced by new Albion EVK41Ls with Strachan bodies.

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The End

March 22, 2011

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Fotopic.net website is very popular with transport fans. One of the site I frequently visit is the Marcel Touringcar site containing hundreds of thousands of bus and coach photos from all over the world.
I first came across this website back in 2001 when it was first started. I sign up for a free account and found that the features were quite good compared to other photo hosting sites. I shut down my site last year due one (or some) idiots creating trouble for me. My photos on the site are mainly “rejects” which I normally delete them but since I have an free Fotopic account, I dumped all the rejects into the website. The good ones I keep on my computer and backed up onto DVDs. So no big deal for me when I shut down my Fotopic website last year.
Anyway, the end of this site came suddenly last week without warning, just like someone pull the plug off the power socket. Thousand of transport enthusiasts lost their photos. Many of them have premium accounts which they have already paid for and now cannot get their photos or money back.
If ever any new sites that came out to replace Fotopic.net, word of caution : always backup your photos and do not assume things will go on forever. After all the only constant in this universe is change. Things come and go.

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Scheme B buses

March 15, 2011

To help overcome the peak hour bus shortage problem, the government introduced a supplementary bus transport scheme in 1974. This scheme allow private bus, school bus and lorries to ply along authorised routes during peak hours.
The supplementary bus transport scheme consist of scheme A and B.
Scheme A buses and lorries are chartered by the companies to ferry the workers from various places to the respective companies.
Scheme B buses and lorries operates on fixed routes.
At its peak, Scheme B buses operate a total of 38 routes using a fleet of 1000 odd buses. With the growth of many new housing estates and changing travel patterns, many Scheme B bus routes were slowly withdrawn due to poor ridership. With the introduction of MRT and Transitlink Farecard common ticketing system, the scheme suffered further decline as the common fare ticketing system was not used on these services.
Unlike Scheme B, Scheme A is still widely used by many companies to ferry their employees from various MRT station to the workplace.
This is a Hino RK on route 645, the only bus which operates one trip in the morning between Toa Payoh and Boon Lay interchange. The route is similar to the original SBS route 157.
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City Trans Asia 1995

March 8, 2011

A number of City Trans Asia Exhibition were held at World Trade Centre in the late 1990s. The exhibition is about city planning and traffic related subjects. One of the exhibit at the 1995 exhibition is an old Singapore Traction Company bus :
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It is actually a Nissan 4R94, the first batch of 4R94s acquired by STC and is shipped to Singapore from Japan completely built up (CBU). The second batch was assembled locally by a joint venture company owned by a local bus body builder Lee Kiat Seng, Nissan distributor Tan Chong, Singapore Traction Company and Nissan Singapore. There were slight difference between the imported one and the one assembled locally which I will not go into details.

This is an Isuzu BR351P or BR20P (both model share the same body design) bus :
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Note the top part of the bus, the curved contour. Both the two leaf of the entrance door are rectangular.

This is a Nissan 4R94 bus:
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Note the contour of the top front destination part of the bus, different from an Isuzu. The upper part of the first leaf of the door is triangular shape.
What was shown at the exhibition is that the destination box, headlights and bumper from an Isuzu which was grafted onto a Nissan 4R94. Good job done by the exhibitor, the first impression of most people is that the bus is an Isuzu BR351P (or BR20P). Even a number of bus enthusiasts who saw the bus identify it as an Isuzu.
At the exhibition, there is one staff dressed as a SBS bus conductor handing out tickets to people boarding this “Isuzu-Nissan” bus. Here are the tickets, all bearing the same serial numbers:
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Acknowledgement : Photos from National Archives Singapore (NAS).
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CW2 at Ban San Street

March 2, 2011

Spotted a new Mercedes Benz IBC1636 Causeway Link bus JML 3624 at Ban San Street terminal :
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The other two similar buses on CW2 are JMN1583 and JMN3059.
Don’t know why the obsession with high floors. Is it really necessary to build buses with such high floor? Under good traffic conditions, the trip from Ban San Street terminal to Woodlands checkpoint takes only about 30mins. The high floor and single door makes boarding and alighting tedious. Such buses should be deployed on long distance express routes!

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