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!

ComfortDelgro Scania K230UB recieves EDS!

The SC Chirvalous bodied Scania K230UBs are have started to recieving Electronic Destination Signage (EDS) units.

It replaces the traditional plastic destination signages displaying the route number/details.

PA9596T on A2 with EDS displaying PGP Terminal.
PA9552U on A2 using plastic destination signage.
The EDS is believed to be Coolair while the formatting is, away from the kerb, with the first line showing the terminating destination, and the second line showing the passing by locations.

Using A4 paper to denote A1/A2, depending on the direction of travel.

The EDS is on the top left of the rear windscreen, displaying A1
These ComfortDelgro SC Chirvalous Scania K230UBs are running internal shuttle routes in National University of Singapore. They are of similar specifications to their SBS Transit's cousins.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SMRT Buses' Zhongtong Bus LCK6121GHEV Hybrid - Preview of SMB137A [Demonstrator]

The Zhongtong LCK6121GHEV Hybrid bus is the second China demonstrator for SMRT Buses, the first being the Yutong ZK6126. It also is the first hybrid bus for SMRT Buses. It was spotted at Woodlands doing test rounds.

* SMB137A is not yet registered as of 27 Nov 2010 and carries a trade plate 4234S when being driven out on the roads.

SMB137A on Training Bus
The seating layout for the Zhongtong similar to that of the Citaro. There is one bay for Passengers in Wheelchair (PIW).

Offside shot of SMB137A
As with any hybrid buses, SMB137A is very quiet. Likely coming from the experience from the Yutong demo, a full length EDS (believed to be Mobitec) and standard Volgelsitze are fitted.

The rear's styling is reminiscence of the Citaro/OC500LE design.
The rear seems to be following the styles of SMRT's Citaro and OC500LE bodywork, but it is actually a Zhongtong design.

A comparison with the Chinese version (Right Hand Drive) of this bus:

Photos copyright of 1986314 @ >
Photos copyright of 1986314 @ >
Looking forward to see it officially as SMB137A in revenue service soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Confirmed : Ex-SBST Mercedes Benz O405 Walter Alexander/Duple Metsec.

Confirmed from the earlier post here

Ex- SBS Transit's Mercedes Benz O405 are confirmed to be in service in Thailand. And it is not just the Walter Alexander bodied buses, the Duple Metsec buses are also there too!

Walter Alexander bodied O405s

They shaved off the tops of the buses....
....all down here.

Still mostly intact

Presenting the Duple Metsecs!

Converted Air Condition variant

SBS Transit's red colour air conditioned ducts are still retained.
View more photos here of the Mercedes Benz O405 @ TRANSPORTATION IN THAILAND
Photos are courtesy and copyright of Phong and CQM275 of TRANSPORTATION IN THAILAND.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spotted : Ex -SBS Transit's Walter Alexander O405?

A fotopic link that was shared on facebook recently showed two very familiar vehicle :

A very familiar feel that hints of ex- SBST's Walter Alexander O405, 538-24.
Another unit, 538-25.
There are this two units so far that is believed to be spotted in Thailand. It is believed that the buses underwent rebodying to suit the local specifications.
Comparing it with the photos of the WA Mercedes O405 before its retirement, the familiar features include:
  • The side Walter Alexander styling
  • The windows and emergency exit door
  • The air con unit
  • The rear view mirrors + yellow stickers on 538-25
SBS237K on 183 before its retirement.
Hope to be able to recieve confirmations that the two (or more) of the buses are indeed ex-SBST vehicles.

Update 1: Mr Clement Tan confirms that the two buses are indeed ex-SBST's O405s. He also states that Bala Engineering and Used Autos located at Sugei Kadut is handling the shippings of these buses to Thailand and Indonesia, some without the WA front.

Update 2:

Interior photos by TouringcarTeam.Marcel 1, Bangkok boy

Very familiar interor ^^

Close up of interior.
 Yep. Defintely a SBS Transit interior, modified and refurbished. The original aircon ducts, the TV mobile speakers are retained together with some of the other interior fixtures such as the seats.

The above Thailand Mercedes Benz bus/interior photographs are courtesy of Buspics from Bangkok , Thailand by Bangkok bus boy; TouringcarTeam.Marcel 1. Credits go to the author of the two photographs and the page author.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ex - SBS Leisure Volvo B10M MK 4 w/ Soon Chow bodywork - PA4682K

Spotted PA4682K parked at Woodlands Industrial Park E9, which is very near SMRT Buses' Woodlands Depot. It is believed to be abandoned for a very long time, though not de-registered (as of 20 Nov 2010)

PA4682K parked at the roadside parking lots.

The first hint that this bus cannot be moved are the wooden wheel chocks placed at the wheels of the bus.

A largely intact interior.
The interior gathered quite a lot of dust, and the engine floorboard is taken out of its position, exposing the engine below. The bumper that is missing from the front is at the front entrance of the bus. Otherwise, a mostly intact interior retaining the original SBS Leisure configuration.

The MK IV Dashboard. There are still some items left by the previous driver.

Both the entrance and the exit doors were open, and nothing on the bus was working. Revenue equipments such as the coinbox and the bus stopping bells still remain.

Retained its first registration plate barcode SH0970H.
A very poorly maintained (if any maintenance) bus.

The bodywork have a lot of wear and tear from weathering and visible damages can be found on the bumper and radiator grille.

View from the rear. The suspension is broken.
The bus looks fine at first sight from the rear.
Hope the bus will either be scrapped soon or be brought back to SBS Transit for refurbishing for revenue service with its other MK IV Soon Chow cousins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SMRT Buses : Ex-CSS310U UMW Dennis Lance [TIB1257C]

CSS310U parked at Geylang Lor 1 Depot - photo by rainbowbus
 TIB1257C started life as the sole UMW Dennis Lance (registered as CSS310U) joining the now defunct City Shuttle Service (CSS). The company's fleet consisted mostly of Japanese buses such as Nissan Diesel/Hino and a handful of Hispano DAFs.  

The interior is mostly similar, save for a few minor visual differences - photo by rainbowbus

When CSS's operation terminated, CSS310U was transferred over to the SMRT's fleet together with some Nissan Diesel buses. While some of them were re-registered with TIB prefix, others retained the CSS-plates.

TIB1257C : the very last TIBS registration plate.
CSS310U recieved the final TIB registration plate - TIB1257C and the TIB prefix was discontinued when the new SMB prefixes debuted on the OC500LEs by SMRT Buses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Singapore Polytechnic Escapade - Hippotour charters.

One of the Scania L94UB Hippotour bus, PA5418B chartered for the red team exiting Singapore Polytechnic.
 The author was recently invited by Afiq (a fellow transport enthusiast) to back to Singapore Polytechnic, which is his alma mater.

Singapore Polytechnic chartered a few Hippotour buses for their annual SP Escapade. Escapade is Singapore Polytechnic (SP)'s first dusk till dawn adventure for 'O' level students to celebrate YOU, de-stress and have fun!

The teams were brought ferried in these Hippotour buses between each stop of the adventure route around the Singapore Polytechnic campus. The Hippotour buses did not exactly drive within the campus, but around it for the stops.

The Hippotour buses also carried a new livery "The Original Tour. Singapore Sightseeing." The original livery can be seen @ Bill Wong's fotopic.

 On a side note, Singapore Polytechnic has changed a lot after the author graduated in 2009 =)

Friday, November 12, 2010

London's new Routemaster mock up revealed!

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has unveiled a full-size mock up of the new Routemaster yesterday. This replacement to the mostly retired Routemaster fleet boasts modern style to both its looks and features.

It features hybrid technology, easily accessible interior with wheelchair accessibility, the return of the Routemaster's famous hop on/hop off rear platform, and glazed glasses at the staircases for the passengers to see outside while ascending the staircases. The new Routemasters will be built by Wrightbus.

The new Routemaster unveiled
The right side showing of the first staircase.
The rear of the new Routemaster, showing off the second staircase.
LED headlights.
The driver's cab.
Mockup with rear, with the photographer noting the traditional seat frames.

The prototype will be out sometimes next year in London, with the production new Routemasters expected to be introduced in 2012.

All photos featured here are courtesy of routeOne magazine's Facebook Photos @ New Bus for London - Mock up revealed. route. routeONE magazine is the weekly trade magazine for the UK coach and bus industry.
From 13 November 2010 onwards, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will extend the Mandatory Give Way to Buses Scheme to 36 additional bus bays. .

Article here

Photo by Land Transport Authority.

> This extension of this scheme will help in reducing the delays encountered by bus captains when exiting a bus bay, by giving priority to buses to exit and keep up with schedule.
> Drivers encountering it are required to stop, if not it will be considered a traffic offence.

So do give way for buses exiting the bus bays =).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SMRT Buses - OC500LEs on 858!

SMB129Z on 858 @ Changi Airport PTB 3
7th November 2010 marks a significant milestone for SMRT bus service 858 as it has a few OC500LEs deployed today. 5 units of OC500LEs were deployed, namely SMB120Y, SMB128B, SMB129Z, SMB131R and SMB133K, and more of such deployments might happen again in the future.