Sunday, August 29, 2010

Farewell Scania L113CRL ELBO

Since its introduction in 1996 after the 50 WA-bodied L113CRL cousins, the ELBO fleet can be considered a successful failure throughout the 13 years journey it had before its retirement. It had quite a number of firsts for its time at its introduction.
  • Being the first zero low entrance bus. The WA bodied L113CRLs had a step for the entrance due to the underfloor air conditioning.
  • Being the first buses to use Arianne bucket seats instead of the usual Volgelsitze Being the first in the fleet to use Mobitec EDS instead of the usual LAWO EDSes. Bodied by Greek's ELBO bodywork.
  • One of the first in the then-TIBS fleet to have internal parallel lighting.
This fleet of 15 buses however, soon gained notoriety for being one of the most uncomfortable buses ever in SMRT's fleet , having a dirty/dusty interior, uncomfortable seats and vibrations and hot and stuffy aircon after their conversion to converted air-conditioned (CAC) buses.. This led to several complaints to SMRT about this bus type, and led to the eventual refurbishment of TIB848D which was one of the dirtiest. And the lack of spare parts led to the eventual demise of this unique bus type as it got harder to maintain them. Finally the decision came to phase them out and replace them and the outgoing Nissan Diesel buses with new Mercedes-Benz OC500LEs wheelchair accessible buses.

Over the years, this bus type gained various nicknames as well
  • OSIM massager bus (reference to the vibrations of the Scania engines)
  • Sauna ( reference to the stuffy air conditioner)
And humourously it was suggested that the ELBO be converted to a wheelchair accessible bus given the front zero step entrance design.
This bus will be remembered fondly for playing an important part in the accessibility of buses.
Here are some pictures from the recently-organised ELBO farewell tour. The star of the tour, TIB837K which is one of the last surviving ELBOs in the SMRT fleet.

The aircon outlets are small, and the airconditioner was not powerful enough, hence contributing to the stuffiness of most of the ELBOs
The driver's dashboard.

The front of the ELBO. It does bear a striking resemblance to its Hispano O405 cousins.

The unique aircon duct shape.

The unique Arianne bucket seats.

The exit door and ducts.

Demonstrating the low floor zero step entrance, hence the L113CRL - the L in the CRL denotes low entry.

The engine.

One of the vents of the air intake system used when the bus was in its NAC days to draw in fresh air from the outside when the windows are closed due to rain.

The side EDS

Sharing the same components as the other buses in the SMRT fleet, headlights and signal covers

Part of the 3 piece windscreen modification that the ELBO recieved. Selected buses in the SMRT fleet also has the modified windscreen. Fungi is growing at the corners of the windscreen.

The emergency exit located at the middle of the bus. Oddly, the door seems smaller as compared to other emergency exit doors of the other buses in SMRT's fleet.

A newer generation of bell buzzer used in the OCs found its way in the ELBO (top). The ELBO originally uses the old -SBS black and red type of buzzer (bottom)
The yellow strip bell buzzer has been phased out in new buses in favour of the buzzer buttons.

The unique ELBO "glass cockpit" that separates the driver's cabin from the passenger's cabin.


The unique style of grab pole being bolted to the roof of the cabin.

The front of the bus.

The exit door has a step.

The Mobitec controller and the VID plate.

Door switch console.

To access the driver's cabin, one has to climb up two steps.

The worn out interior and 3 piece windscreen modification

Farecard validator.

Probably the predecessor to the OC500LE's flat resting area over the rear wheels, there's no irritating wheel arch that the feets will have to rest on in the ELBO.

Parallel Lighting. A beauty at night.

The windows are like its Hispano O405 CAC, part fixed, part movable. Except in the ELBO, it's the fixed part at the bottom.

Generous amount of legroom in the ELBO.

Interior, front to back

Farewell Scania L113CRLs!

No comments:

Post a Comment