Archive for June, 2012

Only in Japan

June 27, 2012

Japanese have a way of using English. I came across a place called “Kawasaki Good Times World”. First thing that came to my mine was that it was some kind of amusement centre. Wrong. It is a museum showing off the city’s rich maritime history. Does one go to a museum to have a good time? It depends.
Only in Japan they have “Salad Express”. Fast food restaurant for health conscious people?
Here is a “Salad Express” :
Sorry folks, nothing to do with food, healthy or otherwise.

Mercedes OF1413

June 20, 2012

The 12m long Mercedes OF1413 was one of the most popular bus. It was first introduced to Singapore by Tay Koh Yat Bus Company in 1970. At that time this model was the longest bus allowed on Singapore roads. Prior to its introduction, the honour of being the longest bus in Singapore was held by rival Ford’s R226 measuring 11m.
The bus weighs 14500Kg and is powered by a front water cooled vertically mounted Mercedes OM352 six cylinder 5.7 litres engine delivering an output of 130hp. It is a robust all purpose bus or coach chassis with straight ladder frame and the front axle was set back to allow the fitting of an entrance at the front beside the driver.
Manual five speed synchromesh gear box is the standard.
The main body builders of this chassis were Soon Chow, Chua Heng, Supreme Star and Soon Wing.
The later models purchased by SBS had shorter length of 10.7m. A few of these later models were retro fitted with Allison automatic gears by SBS for trial.
Two models of the Mercedes OF1413 bus, the front one built by Soon Chow followed by one built by Supreme Star :

Acknowledgement : Photos from National Archives Singapore

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Asia Coach

June 12, 2012

One of the uncommon and unique type of bus design was this Hino AK174 built by Asia Coach Builders :


The design was copied from the Dutch bus builder Den Oudsten Bussen’s model called the Alliance :


Only five buses were spotted with this body style : two Hino AK174, two Mercedes OF1315 and one Isuzu MT112. They were the only private buses with the single piece windscreen which curve upwards towards the roof, a very popular feature with European buses.
Acknowledgement : Alliance photo from Wikimedia Commons
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Kampong Bahru Fargo

June 7, 2012

Kampong Bahru Bus Company is one of the small ‘chinese’ bus company which operates only two routes. The company colour is blue and white, with the diamond shape logo painted on the sides. This is a Kampong Bahru Bus Company bus on Fargo chassis :
The exterior design of the bus is typical of those built in the ‘50s and ‘60s with curve front roof canopy. The bus centre doorway came with a manual sliding door. The door is kept open all the time, it is a mystery why the bus builder include the door.
The route number and route details are printed on a metal plate and mounted at the back of the destination box located above the windscreen. At night, it is lighted with two small light bulb placed below and in front of the route number, making it very difficult to see from far.
The seats of this bus were all forward facing, much better than many of buses with aisle facing bench type seats operated by Hock Lee Amalgamated Bus Company. The interior wall, floor and the bus body frames are made of wood, only the outer skin is metal. At night, the buses are dimly lit with incandescent light bulbs mounted on the roof. The bell buttons are mounted at intervals above the windows.

Acknowledgement : Bus photo from National Archives Singapore

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