Archive for November, 2012

Austin FF1100

November 29, 2012

The Austin FF1100 buses were first introduced in 1961 using many components based on the Morris FF truck. The 9.6m, 43 seater buses were powered by a Leyland 6/98NV six cylinder 5.65l water cooled engine mounted vertically at the front. The maximium power output is 115hp
Five speed synchromesh gear box is the standard. Gross vehicle weight is 11tons.
Changi Bus Company was the first to use these FF1100 buses. The other company which uses these buses is Easy Bus Company. More of these buses were later acquired by both Associated Bus Service and Amalgamated Bus Company in 1971 and 72. All the buses were eventually passed on to SBS. SBS withdrew and sold off all of them when coampany began to standardise the fleet, some of them less than five years old. A large number of these ex-SBS Austins were bought by Sentosa Development Corporation to supplement and eventually replace its ex-London AEC double deckers on the island.
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Old bus terminus – Talma Road

November 22, 2012

The junction of Talma Road and Geylang Lorong 8 is the terminus for
Katong Bedok service 1 and 2. This is a map of the location :
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Katong Bedok is the first public bus company to introduce Mercedes Benz buses starting with the 321 and 322 models followed by LP1013s and LP1113s in the early 1970s. Some of these Mercedes buses were deployed on route 1 and 2 togather with the other older Fargos and Dennis Teals.
Telma Road still exist and in the good old days, the area around this area are residential houses.
Now the area is surrounded by cheap hotels :
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The cars parked on the right is the place where the Katong Bedok buses used to lay over.

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Memories of bus rides – Formula 1 buses

November 15, 2012

Drivers of Scheme B supplementary services has an unofficial arrangement in that the first bus to arrive at the starting point will be the first to move off. There is also an arrangement among themselves that every other bus will move off at certain times. There were no time keepers to control the frequency.

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Scheme B buses queuing and waiting to move off at one of starting point.

Not all drivers adhere to the unofficial rules. Many a times it resulted in the second bus overtaking the first one which started off earlier. When this occurs, arguments often broke out as in one incident where I was in one of the Scheme B bus. The second bus overtook the bus I was on. At the next bus stop, both the bus stopped to pick up passengers. The driver of my bus got off and ran to the bus in front and there were angry exchange of words before running back to my bus and drove off. Both buses leap frog one another in attempt to pick up as many passengers as possible. Reckless driving and speeding was the order of the day. At one traffic light junction, both buses stopped side by side, again angry words were exchanged. My bus driver accused the other driver of stealing his fares. The other driver retorted that my driver’s driving skill was bad and he is slow, so it was not his fault. When the traffic light turns green, both the drivers floored the accelerator and race each other to the next bus stop, just like Formula 1 cars on a starting grid. It was a dog-eat-dog situation, winner takes all and I reach my destination in record time!

Acknowledgement : Bus photo from National Archives Singapore

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Bedford VAS

November 8, 2012

The Bedford VAS was introduced to the UK market in 1961. It was a design as to be used as bus or coach. Engine is a 5.4cc Bedford 330 six cylinder diesel engine generating 150hp. The vehicle length is about 6.6m, manual 5 speed synchromesh is the standard. Many of these buses were used by local operators as school buses. Majority of them were built by local bus builders in various designs. A small number of them were imported from UK with bodies built by Strachan.
In 1975 Singapore Shuttle Bus purchased 20units of these 25 seaters as part of its fleet to be used on the park & ride scheme :
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By 1981, all these SSB small buses were replaced by standard size Hino BXs.

Acknowledgement : Old bus photo from National Archives Singapore

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Comfort Express

November 1, 2012

In June 2003, JTC and Comfort Bus introduce two express bus service from Boon Lay to Tuas South :
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The service was introduced in response to workers working around the area that the time taken to travel by using regular bus service provided by SBS takes too long. The services will serve about 7000 employees in 100 companies located in Tuas View and Tuas Biomedical Park.
The buses will operates only at peak hours Mondays to Fridays from 6.30am to 9am and 4.15pm to 7pm. On Saturdays, it will operate from 6.30am to 9am and 12pm to 2pm. Frequency is 15 mins and the trip takes about 45 to 60 mins. On the first two days, the service is free, after which a flat fare of $1.50 per trip will be charged.

The two services A and B will travel express starting from Boon Lay Way outside the MRT station via Jalan Boon Lay, Ayer Rajah Express Way and Tuas West Road. Route A will loop around Tuas South Street 5 and Tuas Circuit. Route B will loop around Tuas South Street 1, 3, Tuas South Avenue 6, 4.
The two services stopped operating after six months due to poor passenger loadings, which begs the question why the workers who complained did not make full use of it.
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