（文、圖：Ka Ho Ng）
於是喺2000年暑假，我就隻身飛到新加坡去搵呢部車。當時仲係中學生嘅我，本身打算同同學一齊去，但同學臨時要改去第度，所以為了成行，唯有繼續瞞住屋企，最後因為無打電話返屋企報平安而穿煲。揸住本Transit Link Guide和僅有嘅資訊，坐巴士去到盛港，當時仲係沙塵滾滾，到處都係興建中嘅組屋，而總站亦只係街邊嘅臨時車站。膽粗粗走入站長室，好有禮貌咁問吓SBS9888Y有冇出車，原來部車已調往行駛502號路線。好人站長教我搭車去后港中巴士站，仲幫我查埋部車幾點到，令我對新加坡留下非常好嘅印象。
Let me share some stories of myself with SBS9888Y. It’s the first Volvo Super Olympian and first super low floor DD in Singapore. Bodied by Volgren, it entered service in 2000. It looked different from the later production batch. I first knew this bus from a Bus Fans World activity. I saw a picture of this bus on service 87.
I went to Singapore to look for this bus in 2000. I was a high school kid at that time, and I had originally planned to travel with a classmate, but in the end I had to travel alone. So I’d better not tell my parents, but my trick wasn’t successful! With a “Transit Link” guidebook and limited information, I went to Sengkang, where a lot of housing estates were still under construction at that time. I politely asked the station manager about SBS9888Y, and he told me that it’s now on service 502 rather. He kindly showed me the way to Hougang, and told me the arrival time of the bus.
SBS9888Y arrived in Hougang on time. I got on the bus and travelled a long way to Boon Lay on the other side of Singapore. It took 1.5 hour to complete the “express” journey! I was very enthusiastic about Singapore buses at that time, mad enough to run a website called “Singapore Buses”. It can still be found online (web archive), but I realise some information are actually incorrect.
I was fortunate enough to spot SBS9888Y every time I visited Singapore, until it got burnt in depot in 2010.
From left to right: SBS9888Y in the year of 2000, 2001 and 2002. Every time it looked different.
I saw the bus arriving at Hougang temporary bus terminus after waiting for a short while, thanks to the information provided by the station manager at Sengkang.
The Volgren bodywork on SBS9888Y looked quite similar to Alexander Royale body on Volvo Olympian.
The bus was ready to depart from Hougang to Boon Lay. With limited information available at that time, my spotting strategy was to wait and wait and wait! This has made me a more patient person though.
As a demonstrator, the interior design of SBS9888Y was different from the later production batch. It was similar to CTB’s 2800, and KMB’s AMN34/35.
The bus arrived in Boon Lay after 1.5 hour. Today, the bus and the bus terminus are both gone!
The size of the windows on SBS9888Y were different from the production batch too. It’s unique in the fleet.
I took this picture in the middle of the bus park where pedestrian access was prohibited. I feel quite guilty now looking back!
第二次遇見SBS9888Y的經歷，十分戲劇性。在2001年7月，我跟學校交流團到訪新加坡，擔任攝影師。旅程當中，我東顧西盼也不見它的蹤影。來到最後一天的早上，大家到烏節路的免稅店購物，而我則選擇到店外的路旁影巴士。怎料，披著一身TV Mobile（即是新加坡的巴士電視）廣告的SBS9888Y突然出現，我萬分驚喜之際，影巴士最常見的慘劇發生了 – 巴士旁邊突然殺出一部平治私家車，把巴士擋住了。驚喜馬上變成失望。
The second encounter with SBS9888Y was quite dramtic. In 2001, I joined my school tour to Singapore as a photographer. I wasn’t able to spot the bus during the journey. On the last day, my classmates went shopping in a duty-free shop on Orchard Road. I decided to photograph buses outside the shop. Much to my surprise, SBS9888Y came up with ‘TV Mobile’ advert. But all of a sudden something tragic happened – it was blocked by a Mercedes car next to it. I wasn’t able to take a good picture of the bus.
Being extremely disappointed, I asked my teacher if I could leave the tour for the afternoon, and joined them at the airport later. At first it wasn’t approved but later I was allowed to go with another teacher.
After lunch, we traveled to Sengkang bus terminus, which was the new destination of Svc.502. I politely asked the station manager its arrival time, and he told me that it should be there in 30 minutes. I was glad to photograph my target, while my teacher was also happy to enjoy a cup of coffee at the bus terminus. Later, we got on a Scania N113 single decker and joined the group at Changi Airport.
It wasn’t the end of the journey though. That night, we couldn’t land in Hong Kong due to typhoon. Instead we were diverted to Manila, stayed there for an extra night, and returned to Hong Kong on the next day. It was a memorable journey.
SBS9888Y arrived in Sengkang. My second time to meet the bus.
下圖：這次，SBS9888Y披上了TV Mobile的廣告。TV Mobile是千禧年時侯，SBS引入的巴士電視服務，跟香港的巴士電視播放影碟不同，TV Mobile是實時數碼廣播，透過安裝在巴士的天線接收訊號。後來在2010年終止服務。
SBS9888Y in TV Mobile advert this time. TV Mobile broadcasted live programme by digital broadcast technology. Antennas were installed on some buses to receive live signal. TV Mobile was discontinued in 2010.
This time, Svc 502 was extended to Sengkang, which had been upgraded to a fully equipped bus terminus. It was a temporary street station the year before. Nowadays, Sengkang bus terminus has become an indoor bus interchange, and is also served by North East Line run by SBS Transit, the first driver-less subway system in the world (according to Wiki).
In 2001, Volvo buses played a vital role in SBS fleet. 3 types of Volvo buses are spotted in this picture.
The lower-deck saloon of SBS9888Y. Side-facing seats are fitted on the wheels which is different from Hong Kong.
SBS9888Y was ready for departure. See you next time!
2017年11月，在前往新加坡的航班上，終於有時間完成最後一篇關於新加坡樣板超豪 – SBS9888Y的回憶。
在這次旅程中，在魚尾獅像附近，偶遇新出牌的量產型超豪 – SBS9800A，令我喜出望外，於是特意試坐此車。量產型的超豪，同樣配澳州Volgren車身，但無論外表跟內籠，都跟樣板有顯著分別，這更加突顯樣板車的與眾不同。
今次前往新加坡，希望可以把握最後機會，再嘗新捷運的B10M – 一款自己以前熱衷新加坡巴士時，在當地大行其道嘅經典車款。但9888Y的回憶，卻只能在舊照片中回味了。
Finally I’ve got some time to finish this article about SBS9888Y, the Volvo Super Olympian demonstrator, while on my way to Singapore.
In 2002, I went on a bus spotting trip in Singapore, after finishing my AL exam, and obviously one of my targets was SBS9888Y. I took over 20 rolls of film in a week in that trip, crazy me!
I managed to photograph SBS9888Y at Sengkang terminus, without much hassle this time. It was the transition era from SBS to SBS Transit, and 9888Y was one of the first bus to adopt the new SBST livery. However, I still prefer the original livery which was uniquely designed for this demonstrator.
During this trip, I was delighted to sample a brand new Super Olympian, SBS9800A. Despite also having Volgren body like 9888Y, there are observable differences between this production unit (and the subsequent 49 Super Olympians) and the demonstrator.
Since then, I managed to come across SBS9888Y on all my visits to Singapore. The most memorable moment was, 9888Y arrived at Bedok interchange and parked right in front of me, just before I was about to leave Singapore. It was also the last ever time I met this old friend.
Now I’m on my way to Singapore again, hoping to sample some B10Ms before they are completely phased out next month. However, SBS9888Y could only live in our fond memories, as it was destroyed in depot fire in 2010.
下圖：這是三年來，SBS9888Y的第三款色彩。後來，此車 的電子路線牌被傳統膠牌代替，直至2010年被焚毀退役 。
This is already the third livery in 3 years. The electronic destination display was replaced by traditional plastic plate system. This unique bus was finally destroyed in Ang Mo Kio depot fire in 2010.
SBS9888Y again, but this time it’s in SBS Transit livery. It’s still serving route 502 series.
SBS9888Y in 2000, 2001 and 2002 (right to left).
下圖：量產車的Volgren車身，窗柱和內籠都跟樣板車有顯 著分別。它跟九巴的Volgren超豪比較近似，但九巴 上層兩側比較直身，所以上層擋風玻璃跟新捷運的有所不同 。
The Volgren bodywork of the production batch looks different from the demonstrator, in terms of the alignment of window pillars and the cabin design. It’s closer to KMB examples, but KMB units are more rectangular, resulting in different upper windscreen design.
下圖：遇上剛投入服務的SBS9800A，行走82號線前往榜 鵝總站。在2002年時，榜鵝還是一個尚未發展的郊區， 跟今日組屋林立的模樣大相徑庭。82號路線的總站，位於 榜鵝徑的盡頭，巴士須在狹窄的迴旋處倒車掉頭。
I was fortunate to spot SBS9800A, the first of the production batch which just entered service. It was on service 82 which destinate at Punggol Way. In 2002, Punggol was still quite remote and undeveloped, and the bus had to make a U-turn and reverse at the end of the narrow Punggol way. Today it’s become a residential town with metro connection.
The lower-deck cabin of the production batch.
The upper deck cabin of the production batch.