Friday, December 31, 2010

The last day of 2010

The year 2010 is coming to an end today.

Another exciting chapter in our world of transport from tommorow! =)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011 to everyone! =D

Monday, December 27, 2010

SMRT Buses : MAN NL320F (A22)/ MCV Evolution (SMB138Y)

SMB138Y is SMRT Buses' first MAN bus, a NL320F in the fleet. It has an Evolution bodywork from Egyptian bodywork manufacturer MCV ,which is also used on Hong Kong's KMB's B7RLEs (photo from Wikipedia). The MAN is a 100% low floor environmentally friendly bus.

On first sight, the MAN's bodywork has a refreshing look, with the MCV's smart looking exterior, clean lines, gorgeous Hanover EDS and MAN/MCV branding all around the bodywork. Though the SMRT livery on the front and rear bumpers could be improved on ^^.

The MAN Evolution bodywork is similar to the ones on KMB's B7RLE.
The Hanover EDS system layout is reminiscence the SBS Transit's K230UB (Euro V batch).The side EDS displaying route number details and the rear EDS is on the left (kerbside) of the bus.
On the right, the MAN looks rather plain in comparison to the left side.
The rear has additional left/right signal lights on the top of the bus which is now the standard for signal/brake lights, with third brake light for additional safety. Also of note is the additional left blinker after the left rear wheel.
The rear EDS is placed on the right. Also of note: the rear black area is not a window.
The full length of the bus can be appreciated with the bodywork. It is slightly longer than most 12m buses.
The entrance is very inviting, with the branding giving a positive impact on both taste and style.
Welcome onboard SMRT Buses' MAN!
Stepping on board the MAN, one is greeted with a very familiar colour scheme of grey, blue/purple and red seats with sliver grab poles. The OC500LEs and the refurbished SMRT buses uses this interior scheme too.

Refreshing and attractive with the purple/blue and red breaking new grounds away from the past montonous colour schemes.

The MAN's interior.
The aircon vents are those used on the OC500LEs.
At least there's still an option to close off the aircon flow when needed *cough Citaro cough*
The seats above the wheel arches are an interesting design, with two very distinct cushions for the backrest and seats. Depending on how one seats, it can either be a comfortable or uncomfortable place. Unlike other seats above the wheelarches, it will not leave your feet dangling like the OC500LEs wheel arch seat.
The seats above the wheelarches are of a slightly odd design.
Seating on the front wheel arch seats, one will be able to spot the front having an attractive curvy design with the sliver and grey trim.
A very attractive curvy design with the MCV logo.

A very cosy and modern bus captain's cabin. The driver's seat has armrests for additional ergonomics/comfort.
A very comfortable office for the Bus Captain
Bus stopping light have its own housing.
Bus stopping housing.
The air conditioner system is Denso, which is also the one used on SBS Transit's Scania K230UB Euro IV batch.
Deja vu aircon, part 2.
The seat layout is similar to the Citaro with seats filling up most of the front portion. The PIW slot has a foldable seat that adds an extra 2 seats when the PIW slot is not in use. 
The PIW slot. The Vogelsitze folding seats with its logo is shown here.
The seat deployed. The cushion is rather thick for this seat, and does have more space than the Citaro's PIW seat
The exit doors is an outward sliding plug doors, a first in any public buses in Singapore. It's becoming more like a SMRT "train" bus with the use of such sliding doors, in addition to the doors closing being coupled with SMRT's "Doors Are Closing" announcement.

An advantage of using such doors is the limit of out-swing the doors will have as not to accidentally hit kerbside items or people.
The sliding doors.
It looks like any other exit doors....

...but when it is opening, it slides instead of swinging out!

The rear section's seats are on a step platform, with the layout exactly the same as the Citaro. Of particular note is a slightly curved aisle.
It's not a design flaw, it's a unique feature ^^
Even the seats above the wheel arch is similar to the Citaro.The front-facing seats lower and having the grab handles removed and resting against the back-facing seats.
Part of the engine components is housed here
it was a very pleasant and enjoyable ride along the city (thumbs up for SMRT's comfortable seats too!), with a powerful engine and snappy acceleration. It is able to speed at times, and it have very little vibrations. Worth the ride ^^!
Overall, the MAN NL320F is a very nice bus, complimenting even the city background in this photo.
Misc. stuffs

SMRT Buses have a new feature installed on board this demonstrator which is in the form of a LG TV and a Wi-Fi router. The LG TV is used for playing SMRT Media advertisements on board, similar in concept to that of Hong Kong's KMB Roadshow.

The Wi-Fi on board the bus works sometimes, don't expect blazing download speeds though. It is also a good way for passing time, checking Facebook or reading the news while commuting.
An LG TV provides the commuters with advertising and scrolling information at the bottom. The Wi-Fi router is on the right.
All of the bus stopping bells are the older type design, not the ones found on the OC500LE.
The PIW bell is now facing downwards to minimise accident pressings.

Closeup of the door mechanism
Hanover EDS system info sticker
The driver's equipments

note : According to Terence Au, the MAN's model designation is NL323F (A22) /NL320F (A22) as stated on the LTA enquire transfer fee portal.

Update 1: 200 buses have been brought in by SMRT Buses. Exterior & Interior

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SBS Transit's first Volvo B9TL on service 157

It was a pleasant surprise today as the SBS Transit's first Volvo B9TL ran on revenue service today on service 157.

SBS7486L from Braddell Bus Park on 157, permanent service on 88.
It was odd as even though the part of the 200 CDGE B9TLs were deployed to both Braddell Bus Park and Soon Lee Bus Park, none of them ever ran on service 157 (cameos or permanent bus) till today.

With the Leyland Olympians retiring, the CDGE/incoming Wright B9TLs may become part of the permanent fleet on 157.

Author's wish now : I wish it will be a Wright bodied B9TL next ^^.

Update: According to Charles Teo's info on our facebook page, it is the 2nd B9TL on 157. The first time was one of SLBP's 143 B9TL did 157 route (TPY to Boon Lay) before switching back to service 143. That means that this bus is the first BRBP bus to do 157. ^^

New cross border service AC7 by Advance Coach

Advance Coach has launched its first cross-border service AC7 on 17th Dec 2010, plying between Yishun Interchange in Singapore and Kota Raya II Terminal in Johore Bahru.
A poster and an arrow guiding you to the berth ^^
This is part of a Singapore & Malaysia agreement to increase transit links between both countries in May, with this being the third service introduced out of eight services agreed. The first two are introduced in September 2010 and operated by Transtar, with the routes plying between RWS and Changi Airport to Johore.

The service will stop at all stops on the route it plies.

It charges a flat fare of SGD $2 when boarding in Singapore or paying by ezlink card. For those boarding at Malaysia, RM $2 will be charged instead.

Advance Coach's AC7 - First day on service.
The promotion flyer (front page).
Scanned by (buses[IN]gapore!), copyright Advance Coach.

The route details are printed behind. The bus stops for boarding/alighting are listed here.
(Scanned by (buses[IN]gapore!), copyright Advance Coach.

 10 Yutong ZK6118HGA are purchased for AC7's fleet.

One of AC7's bus departing Yishun Int.
The rear.
The boarding point is at Berth B5 near the Passenger Service Centre, with the frequency roughly around 30 minutes.
Expect more cross border routes to be introduced soon!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

SMRT Buses installs Alux rims on a bendy! (TIB895S)

In May 2010, TIB572Z had its original Mercedes rims replaced to a set of aluminium rims.

Alcoa or Alux?
It was originally thought to be Alcoa rims, but later it was confirmed to be using Alux rims, which is a Korean brand.

Fast forward to December 2010, a fellow enthusiast first spotted TIB895S at Tampines interchange on 67 sporting the new rims.

TIB895S, a new look.
TIB895S is the second bus in SMRT's fleet that recieves the new rims. It is also the first bendy to recieve aluminium rims.

There were comments that the rims make the bus look "American". The black areas are the original black paint on the axles/hub connection to the rims itself. The combination of black and sliver together with the livery gives it an eye-catching appearance.

A closer look
 Though finally, it will end up gathering dust and dirt that it will turn into what we see on TIB572Z a few months later

Due to dust and dirt, the shine was lost.
Off Service back to depot.
Trivia : As of this post, Ang Mo Kio Depot and Kranji Depot, have each installed a set of Alux rims on one of their bus (AM TIB572Z, KJ TIB895S) , leaving only Woodlands Depot that hasn't.

Might be a trial for SMRT Buses to use aluminium rims for new buses?

Update : TIB895S has no more Alux rims

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TIB597C recieves CoolAir EDS (Update with EDS controller & night photo!)

CoolAir Electronic Destination Signage (EDS) in Singapore is a rather common sight for SBS Transit's 500 Euro IV Scania K230UBs, which is also their first batch of buses fitted with CoolAir EDS en-masse. Recently, SMRT Buses fitted a Coolair EDS on TIB597C.
  • Comparison: Front
TIB597C on 61. 

The EDS fitted on TIB597C is signifcantly smaller, hence the black borders on both sides of the display window. The format of the EDS is formatted with the route number displayed on the nearside.
  • Comparison : Side

The side EDS of TIB597C is the rear EDS for the Scania K230UB. The fonts are the same.

TIB597C heading towards Eunos.
Overall, the EDS seems to be easier to view from a distance then the current KUBs and shutter speed for this EDS is 1/50 to 1/60.

Update : A couple of friends asked me wether if the EDS will also be "a blob of orange" for night shots.

CoolAir EDS on TIB597C, a shot at night.
Verdict : Yes it does through the camera lens. Though viewing with the naked eye, it does look quite clear.

And for those who are curious about the EDS controller :

Standard CoolAir EDS controller, displaying 496.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SMRT Buses : Refurbished door release cover.

The front emergency door release cock of some SMRT Buses are being refurbished to have a new emergency door release cover concealing the door cock.

Thr original "button" door cock on a Scania L113CRL Strider.
The new emergency door release cover concealing the door cock on TIB905Y.
This refurbishment could be likely due to passengers accidentally pressing onto the front door cocks, resulting in accidental door closings while boarding. There are quite a handful of SMRT Buses having the new emergency door release cover installed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Citaro Tour!

I was recently invited by a group of bus enthusaists for a tour in the Mercedes Benz O530 Citaro on 28 Nov 2010.

Citaro Tour
CCTV, Gorba EDS and speaker/mic. Yep, the speakers in the bus work!
Wheelchair ramp deployed

100% Low Floor sticker

ZF axles.

The simple driver console.
The Citaro with the ramp deployed and bus tilted to the left..

A well maintained Citaro interior.
SMB136C is still currently on 1 year trial with SMRT, while rival SBS Transit have ordered 300 Citaros that will arrive in 2011.
Do check out a more in depth review of SMB136C here!