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Old 7th May 2013, 01:53   #31
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

I happened to travel from Mumbai-Vadodara-Mumbai this past weekend. Mumbai-Vadodara was in Shatabdi and Vadodara-Mumbai (due to time contraints) had to be made in the double-decker.

The experience for me was horrid. I am an above-average built guy and 6ft. tall. The legroom was appalling and I was terribly cramped, so much so that I tried exchanging seats with 4 of my family members whom I was travelling with to find a comfortable seat for myself. None seemed to work. Of the 5 seats we had, 2 were in the last row which left no space in the back for recline, making them useful only to sit bolt upright.

Seat cushioning was sad, lumbar and under-thigh support were non existant, the seat width is also quite narrrow (as shown in the pics by Madhav) and not to forget to mention the A/C which had a mind of its own, it didn't work for most part of the journey and a long way after entering Maharashtra it got a bit better. That said the ride was decent though. This train ride left me with numb buttocks, bad back and gave me countless cramps. I will never venture a journey in one of these ever again. The Shatabdi as compared to this was way way better and thats the one I'd opt for.

Anyone above an average body frame and a height above 5ft. 8in. stay away is what I'd say.

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Old 7th May 2013, 10:45   #32
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Ugh, looks like those buses which the Tamilnadu govt plies. Ugly. No Class at all.
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Old 7th May 2013, 18:33   #33
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddyoni10 View Post

However, I was in for a bad ride that left me sore at the end of the 6 hour journey. What I disliked about the train was that they have crammed in 120 seats per coach with scant regard for comfort of travelers. I got seat no. 56 which is a single seat packed in a corner. This seat reminded me of the last row in Quanto. It is barely enough for a person of average build like me. At 5' 8", I was just able to squeeze in and get out of it by banging my knees against the seat in front a couple of times. If I were 6' tall, I guess I would have had to go for knee replacement surgery if I managed to fit myself into that trap!
[/b]
Thanks for the heads up on this train. Was curious to know how it is in reality.

As far as the seats are concerned, I would say you you were lucky to get a single seat in the corner. Had it been a window seat in a row of 3 seats with two other unknown passengers, you would feel more claustrophobic as you cant move your limbs freely. This at least gives you the comfort of keeping your leg outside the seat area.
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Old 7th May 2013, 19:52   #34
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

looks like the indian railways are looking at ways to squeeze money from the passengers without providing any improved facilities to make up for the budget deficit. i think everyone is willing to pay more money if they are given better facilities. I recommend that all trains should be made AC and the govt should take a relook at the fares and facilities.
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Old 8th May 2013, 12:06   #35
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n:CorE
Seat cushioning was sad, lumbar and under-thigh support were non existant, the seat width is also quite narrrow and not to forget to mention the A/C which had a mind of its own, it didn't work for most part of the journey and a long way after entering Maharashtra it got a bit better. That said the ride was decent though. This train ride left me with numb buttocks, bad back and gave me countless cramps. I will never venture a journey in one of these ever again. The Shatabdi as compared to this was way way better and thats the one I'd opt for.
Anyone above an average body frame and a height above 5ft. 8in. stay away is what I'd say.
I am posting this from the Chennai-Blore double-decker. I had read this thread earlier and had made a mental note not to travel in this train, but as luck would have it, I ended up on this train. I am 5' 8" and medium build - so while leg room was not an issue, the seat width was bad. If you have heavy-set folks sitting in the adjacent seat, then it becomes a royal pain. Also the seat cushioning is crap and a pain in the rear (literally). And to top it, the train is damn slow. Avoid the train if you have a choice. If you have kids with you, they might like the novelty of the whole thing.
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Old 8th May 2013, 12:58   #36
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

There are double deckers operated in Germany by Deutsche Bahn. However, the seating there seems to be much better as it has only 2 abreast seating. Those trains were very comfortable. Guess our propensity to squeeze the maximum value from everything has led to the 3 abreast seating in this train which has reduced space and comfort.
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Old 8th May 2013, 13:49   #37
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

From the photos it looks like cost cutting was top priority for the railways when introducing this double decker train. The seats looks cheap and the upkeep of the train looks pathetic. Safety and Comfort seems to have been compromised heavily. Instead of this train they might as well have added more bogies to Shatabdi or introduce a new Shatabdi itself on this ever busy route.
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Old 8th May 2013, 22:09   #38
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Talking about Safety of the coach. I don't think IR has compromised on safety issues. Some of my know hows regarding LHB(Linke Holfmann Bush) coaches are.
  • Basic design provided by Alstom(Germany) and is about 2.5M longer than the conventional ICF coaches.
  • Its an all stainless steel construction mounted on FIAT boggies with disc brakes. These are certified for a max of 160kmph while the conventional ICF ones are made for 110(in scew couplers) and 130(not sure) if the coupler is a CBC one.
  • LHB coaches are non telescopic - means they wont climb on each other in case of a collision or an unfaithful disaster.
  • Riding comfort is said to be way better due to improved suspension set up.
Hence I cant agree with the facts that railways have compromised on safety issues but i do agree that the comfort factor inside could have been seriously improved by reducing one set of seats in each row there by increasing the Leg space.


Adding one of my favorite pics of an LHB raked train, the TVC Rajdhani.
Attached Thumbnails
My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.-img_3256.jpg  

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Old 9th May 2013, 14:08   #39
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urzdeepu View Post
Hence I cant agree with the facts that railways have compromised on safety issues
Squeezing in twice the number of people into a coach that is not designed to accommodate so many passengers is a serious safety concern. Safety is never on the list for Indian Railways. The system is running on a lot of luck.

I find 3A class claustrophobic. Can't imagine a double decker.

As a cost cutting measure, I bet they did not bother to increase the capacity of the air conditioning system.
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Old 9th May 2013, 14:42   #40
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

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... These are certified for a max of 160kmph ...
Sad a train capable of such speeds does 360 kms in 6 hrs -> avg of 60kmph, slower than a motorbike
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Old 13th May 2013, 19:03   #41
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

As many have commented in this forum, the double decker trains were a common sight in and around bombay (as it was called then) in the late eighties and early nineties. The double decker coaches were also tried out on the panchavati express. I remember having the bragging rights in my class then as being the first to travel to bombay in a double decker coach. i think it was 1989 if I am not mistaken. strangely, my memories are all pleasant. maybe nostalgia is best experienced through rose tinted glasses.
recently i made it a point to travel by a double decker while at netherlands and i must say, the coaches were very simple/ spartan but pleasant. i hope our designers (do we have them?) take a cue from them in designing spaces for tall people (the dutch are one of the 'taller' nations in terms of average height).
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Old 22nd May 2013, 20:05   #42
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

The railways are keen on introducing more double decker coaches as suggested by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways. The proposal is to introduce more of these with the bid to double the passenger capacity.
The link is here:

http://www.rediff.com/business/slide...20130522.htm#1
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Old 10th June 2013, 11:26   #43
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Had the opportunity of travelling in double-decker to Bangalore last Sat. It was not our choice but seats were available only on this train. Seats allotted were on the upper deck. We were travelling with our kid and got the seats with a table in the middle with other set of passengers facing you. The leg space was pathetic and we were forced to get up and take a walk every half an hour or so to stretch the legs! To make matters worse, the place near the door was taken up by catering teams and we found it very difficult to go out and use the wash basin and rest rooms.

Return was in Shatabdi and it was 100% more comfortable and the service provided was excellent.
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Old 24th September 2013, 20:57   #44
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Travelled by the Bangalore-Chennai double decker yesterday. The crude paint job makes the train look cheap, but the interiors have a nice light-gray colour scheme, with design elements borrowed from Volvo buses and aircraft cabins. The Interiors would have looked more pleasant, but for the inconsistent quality of materials. The train is only a few feet taller than the regular train. So stability won't be a problem. Just like in modern buses, the vacant space in between the wheels has been utilised to create a lower deck. The lower cabin sits just about 10cms above the track.

Pros:
1. Ride quality is much better than the regular express trains and the more popular Volvos.
2. Sound insulation is much better. Even the cabin doors have nice rubber insulation.
3. Windows are large with good view and have pulltype curtains like in luxury sedans. But the colour of the curtains should have been black instead of the current green.
Cons:
1. Heard from regulars that the AC is not effective in the upper cabin, for day-time travel.
2. Only hand baggage can be kept in the overhead shelf. People with larger bags have no option other than keeping it under their legs.
3. Leg space is ok except in those 4 single seats near the doors, but shoulder space is so less that even a person with medium build will find it extremely tough to sit, unless he pulls out the food tray and rests his arms in it. Even thigh support is non existant.

Overall a good effort from the coach factory at Kapurthala. All they have to do is replace the current seats with bigger ones and a better design that will allow for more luggage space under the seats.

Last edited by Daewood : 24th September 2013 at 21:17.
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Old 25th September 2013, 10:20   #45
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Default Re: My Experience with the Chennai <-> Bangalore Double Decker Train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daewood View Post
Travelled


Cons:
1. Heard from regulars that the AC is not effective in the upper cabin, for day-time travel.
2. Only hand baggage can be kept in the overhead shelf. People with larger bags have no option other than keeping it under their legs.
3. Leg space is ok except in those 4 single seats near the doors, but shoulder space is so less that even a person with medium build will find it extremely tough to sit, unless he pulls out the food tray and rests his arms in it. Even thigh support is non existant.

.


-A couple of pointers from my side . Last time I took this train it took nearly 7 hours 30 minutes from Chennai to Bangalore. Lack of shoulder space made it even more horrible.
-Too many stops in between , it must be a non stop train between the two cities.
-They could have added more charging points.
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