Archive for December, 2013

Hino BX

December 25, 2013

Singapore Shuttle Bus began its fleet renewal and standardization in 1981 by purchasing 50 units of Hino BX341E. These buses were shipped to Singapore in complete built up form. The body builder is Teikoku in Japan :
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These buses were powered by a Hino EH700 6.4 liters engine generating 175hp. The same engine were also used on the RK and AK models.
Prior to this large order of Japanese built Hino buses, all other previous Japanese built Hinos were mainly tour coaches, mostly on RC, RD and RS chassis.
18 units of these BX341s were later transferred to Trans Island Bus Service and were placed on service on route 161 in 1985.
From then on, Japanese buses came to dominate the SSB bus fleet, save for some DAF SB220s transferred from Trans Island. Nissan and Hino were the preferred choice of buses to replace all the Bedfords, Leylands and Mercedes minibuses. The last batch of buses acquired new by SSB were Nissan U31RCN, many of which were passed on to SMRT Bus when SSB ceased operation.

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Down memory lane – Sentosa Monorail

December 18, 2013

Eight years had passed when the Sentosa Monorail stopped operation. The decision to build the monorail was made in June 1979 to improve traffic flow on the island. Back then, a fleet of 13 ex-London AEC RT/RTL double deckers and 5 “toast rack” open sided Commer/Mercedes O309 single deck buses served the visitors to the island. The project was estimated to cost 10.5million. It consist of a 5.8km long, 5 stations rail running round the island. The number of stations was eventually increased to 7. Project will be built by Swiss company Habegger Thun. Other ideas of using electric cars and trailer buses were rejected.
Initially 6 trains built by Von Roll of Switzerland was used. Each train consisted of 15 open sided cabins, 32m long and can carry 90 passengers. It takes 30mins to make a round trip. It will travel at 16km/hr at 3 to 6m above ground level. The trains started operation in February 1982 and more trains were added one year later, in September 1983 to cater to the increase in number of visitors.

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Monorail arriving at Ficus station

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A rear view of the train as it departs Underwater World station.

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Interior of the train

The trains operates in the clockwise direction. The direction was reversed in February 1994 after a brief period of shut down and maintenance.
The seven stations were :
1 – Ferry terminal
2 – Underwater World
3 – Fort Siloso
4 – Cable car
5 – Central beach
6 – Ficus
7 – Gateway

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The maintenance depot.

The monorail stopped operation in March 2005 when the Sentosa Express light rail went into operation.

Old bus terminus – Havelock Road

December 11, 2013

One of the terminus which was not retained in the 1971 bus re-organisation was Havelock Road. The other nearby bus terminus at South Canal Road remained. The Havelock Road terminus is a road side terminus right situated right next to the Ministry of Labour building :

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This a picture of the terminus in 1955 :

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Tay Koh Yat 16 and 17 terminates here. The old colonial building at the background was demolished and replaced by this ugly building which houses the Ministry of Manpower :

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Acknowledgement : Old bus photo from National Archives Singapore