Archive for October, 2011

Mercedes Benz mini bus – Part 1

October 25, 2011

The O319 minibus was based on the light truck L319 which was produced from 1955 to 1967. The first generation is powered by a 43hp, 1.8 litres, 4 cylinder car engine. The later models uses a more powerful 65hp, 1.9 litres, 4 cylinder engine. Weight is about 3.7tons. O319 minibuses came be in original CBU or with body built locally. Due to preference given to products manufactured in Britain at that time, not many O319s were imported for local use.

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A small number of O319s can still be found in rural parts of Malaysia, mainly used as school buses.

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Old bus terminus – Prince Edward Road

October 18, 2011

Prince Edward Road bus terminus was one of the most busy bus terminus with 30 services terminating there in 1971. The services are : 10, 20, 30, 31, 31A, 40, 43, 50, 60, 80, 80A, 81, 91,100, 102, 102A, 110, 120, 121, 140, 141, 149, 161, 163, 172, 175, 176, 180, 191, 191A.
The original terminus was a road side terminus along Shenton Way just before the junction with Prince Edward Road. Because of the sheer number of services, the terminus was moved to Prince Edward Road :
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The terminus was sited opposite the former Singapore Polytechnic Shenton Way campus (currently Bestway Building) :
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Next to it was the open car park with many hawker setting up stalls using push carts. This car park is still currently being used:
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With the rationalisation of routes by SBS in the late 1970s to reduce the number of duplicating services inherited from the former regional bus companies, many services were either merged or withdrawn. With the start of MRT operation, more services were withdrawn. This terminus was finally closed and moved further down to the end of Palmer Road :
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Palmer Road terminus was moved again in 2010 to the current location at the junction of Shenton Way and Palmer Road :
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Haunted buses

October 11, 2011

Some things never change.
Then :
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Now :
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Passengers like to squeeze at the front of the bus and refused to move to the back. The problem is compounded by this type of bus where the first half of the bus has zero steps and two steps to reach the rear half of the bus.

In the past bus drivers and conductors will yell at passengers and the rude ones use the Hokkien phrase “后面有鬼!”, often preceded by some unprintable expletives “@*&%#^!”.
(“@*&%#^!” in Hokkien refers to some anatomy parts of females).
What they are trying to say is that there are no ghost at the back of the bus, so don’t be afraid to move in. A tongue in the cheek and very sarcastic way of telling those passengers who refused to move to the back. Of course bus crews nowadays are not allowed to use such colourful language.

Acknowledgement : Old bus photo from National Archives Singapore

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Melbourne trams

October 4, 2011

A total of 700 over W-class trams were built from 1923 to 1956. Some of them were still in service in the city. The picture below was taken at Flinders Street in mid 1990s with the W-class trams on the left and next to it is the newer Z-class tram operated by The Met :

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The tram was the same type as the five which was sold to Seattle, USA. This is a W-class tram painted in maroon colour operating on the free city circle line :

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Because of the trams running on the centre of the roads, the city has some unusual traffic rules called the “hook” turn. Cars are not allowed to turn right from the right hand side of the road instead they have to keep left :

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For first time visitors who are driving, it can be very confusing.

Acknowledgement : Hook traffic sign from Wikipedia

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