Archive for September, 2012

Lost bus terminus – Tuas

September 26, 2012

The bus terminus located at the most western end of the island is Tuas terminus. Only United Bus Company and later SBS service 175 terminates here. Service 175 was perhaps remembered by many generations of army boys who did their training at SAFTI either as OCS cadets or NCOs. It is the only bus service which plied along the stretch of Upper Jurong Road where SAFTI was located in the early days. Every Saturday afternoon and Sunday night will see all the buses jammed packed with army boys booking out and in of camp.
This is an old map of the area :
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The terminus is next to the seaside. The sea surrounding the area was reclaimed and became part of Jurong Industrial Estate. The shore line move way out and the area was bulldozed to built factories. The location of the original terminus is now unknown as the place has changed so much. Some one say that it was located at Tuas Avenue 3, next to the food center :
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Kassbohrer Setra

September 19, 2012

Setra is a coach builder based in Germany. The name Setra is the short form of “Selbsttragend”, direct translation means “self supporting”. “Self supporting” is commonly referred to as integral coaches. The company was bought over by Daimler Benz in 1995 and became part of the Evobus subsidiary.
This is a fourth generation 300 series Setra S317HDH coach :
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Setra style coaches made its first appearance here in 1995. Most of them were built by Liannex on Isuzu, Fuso, Hino, Mercedes, Scania and Volvo chassis.
The first buses carries the name Kassbohrer Setra at the rear between the tail lights :
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It became so popular that other bus builders such as Weng Lye Coach Builder and ABS Coach Builder also built buses to the same design. At one glance, there is hardly any difference. On closer examination however, there are many small subtle differences on the coaches built by the various coach builders.

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A locally built Setra style coach on Volvo B10M chassis.

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blinkers

September 12, 2012

Saw this double decker with the lights on the right hand side installed upside down. The correct orientation should be the one on the left hand side. The blinking turn indicator light becomes white whilst the reverse light become orange :
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In the days of yore, according to my dad, buses used hand operated turn signal indicator in the form of a metal piece with a red reflector at the tip. When the driver wants to turn right, he pull the handle and the metal indicator flip out. After executing the turn, he will pull the handle and the metal indicator flip back to the position flush with the bus body:
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The system worked as traffic was very light back in those days. There were more ricksaws, trishaws and bicycles than motorised vehicles. I wasn’t born yet so I do not have the opportunity to witness it in action. I do, however, found an old picture of a STC bus with the metal turn indicator :
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These metal indicators were later replaced by orange colour blinking turn indicator lights. All of them were in the shape of an arrow :
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From the 60s onwards, all shape and manner of blinkers were used, the round ones replaced the arrow shaped ones initially.

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Memories of train rides – Amtrak

September 5, 2012

Back in 1992, I attended a training at Boston. After the training, I wanted to visit my company’s New York City office. According to my colleagues at the New York office, Boston is very “near” to New York. I was told that I can just take a train. That was before the internet age. I have no idea how “near” is New York City to Boston. I went to Boston South station and bought an Amtrak ticket for 11am departure bound for New York Penn Station. I realized that the journey took up to 5 hours. That is not “near” by local standards. It was also the time before 911, security was non existent, from the train station, to the platform and up to the train itself, nobody checked my ticket. Anybody can walk onto the platform and to the train itself. There were no gates or barricades to separate the platform from the public area. I found my car number and walk right in, found myself a window seat and sat down. This is the type of locomotive Amtrak used :
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After the train left the station, a conductor appeared and asked the passengers for the ticket. After inspection, he stick the tickets into some gaps in the overhead luggage bins above each passengers. I am not sure if it was intentional that all the overhead luggage bins were built with gaps so that the tickets can be inserted into it. After the conductor checked the entire car, you can see rows of tickets hanging above all the passengers’ heads. Just before the next stop, the conductor came around again, this time he pull away and kept all the tickets of those passengers who will be alighting at the next stop. Upon arrival, those passengers without tickets dangling above their heads are expected to alight.
I wanted to keep the ticket for souvenir, so I pull it down and kept it. After the train move off, the conductor come around again ask for tickets. I had to give him the ticket for inspection and again he stick it to the overheard luggage bin above my head. The process repeats itself a few more times before and after every stop. I gave up and left the ticket dangling above my heard throughout the journey. At the end of the journey, the conductor collects all the tickets including mine, so no souvenir for that train trip!

Acknowledge : Amtrak photo from Wikimedia Commons

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