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Old 6th February 2013, 17:02   #2581
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Cochin (Angamaly) - Bangalore, 3rd Feb, 2013 (Sunday)
Suresh Kallada B9R, Fare - Rs. 1200
Last minute booking made on Suresh Kallada B9R. Guess it was the Pathanapuram service. Started from Angamaly just after 9.45pm and immediately stopped for dinner. This break lasted for about 25 minutes and reached Silkboard via BETL at 6.50am. Not sure about fuel or other breaks as it was sleep friendly.

Bangalore - Cochin (Airport Jn) - 5th Feb 2013
Shama B9R, Fare - Rs. 1000 (KA 01 AB 4732)

Booked through Dharma. Departure time mentioned was 9.45. Bus arrived at 9.40 and parked inside Madiwala petrol pump. The person came for ticket checking at 9.45 and bus started moving at 9.50 but stopped in front of Shama office due to some ticket confusion. Later started at 10.05 pm through Madiwala market route and below BETL.

This too was very comfortable drive and dropped at Athani (Airport Jn) at 6.40am today.

Both the buses were in good condition and the running time was little above 8 hours 30 minutes including fuel/check post breaks.

Both the services are recommended for those looking for a sleep than watching F1 skills of some speedsters as the time difference may be some 30 mins max.

Last edited by coolclouds : 6th February 2013 at 17:08.
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Old 6th February 2013, 17:37   #2582
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Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Guys. Any review about the Multi-axle volvo between Hyderabad and Goa which is run by SVR tours and travels??


My brother travelled in Kesineni travels Hyderabad-Goa last week.
Hyderabad starting time 7.30 pm from Gachibowli reached Goa morning 8.45am
in Panjim.
Return jouney from Goa 6.15pm reached Hyderabad 7.45am Medipatnam.
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Old 6th February 2013, 19:02   #2583
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Cochin (Angamaly) - Bangalore, 3rd Feb, 2013 (Sunday)
Suresh Kallada B9R, Fare - Rs. 1200
Last minute booking made on Suresh Kallada B9R. Guess it was the Pathanapuram service. Started from Angamaly just after 9.45pm and immediately stopped for dinner. This break lasted for about 25 minutes and reached Silkboard via BETL at 6.50am. Not sure about fuel or other breaks as it was sleep friendly.
S.Kallada does not have a Pathanapuram bus. At 9.45pm, there are chances of three services - Pathanamthitta-Bangalore, Punalur-Kottarakkara-Bangalore and Kollam-Bangalore. Kollam-Bangalore is a B11R. Where did the bus stop for dinner?

S.Kallada ride is usually sleep friendly - more so since their buses are having a speed lock at 100kmph, and hence drivers do not try F1 tricks on them. They have strict monitoring of mileage as well, now.
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Old 6th February 2013, 22:16   #2584
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Where did the bus stop for dinner?
Restaurant attached to petrol pump
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Old 6th February 2013, 22:34   #2585
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An article from 'The Hindu' , http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...?homepage=true

surprised to learn that Kerala RTC was the first to procure Volvo...

Last edited by mazda4life : 6th February 2013 at 22:35. Reason: typo
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Old 6th February 2013, 23:11   #2586
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Restaurant attached to petrol pump

*****

It must be the one before Koratty which also has a US Pizza outlet in the same compound. The main restauarant is not over priced as far as highway restaurants go. Clean place and this is the place now where all the KaSRTC Volvos stop. Lots of parking space. G4 also stops there now as does that non ac bus which operates regularly from Thodupuzha to Bangalore (forgot the name),

Kallada service is getting better. Lots of positive reviews. My daughter took the day service recently and she had a good experience as well. Good to know that Kallada is getting its act together.
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Old 7th February 2013, 07:23   #2587
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Originally Posted by mazda4life

surprised to learn that Kerala RTC was the first to procure Volvo...
KeSRTC in 2002?
I think it is KaSRTC. Correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by coolclouds : 7th February 2013 at 07:24.
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Old 7th February 2013, 09:16   #2588
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KeSRTC in 2002?
I think it is KaSRTC. Correct me if I am wrong.

******

KeSRTC did have volvos during that period. And it was indeed introduced in 2002. The two routes were Trivandrum to Kozhikode via Ernakulam and Trivandrum Palakkad via Ernakulam. While I never travelled in one of htose, I had seen them at Ernakulam BS quite a few times.

Here is a link from the internet as well

http://www.old.kerala.gov.in/govinstitutions/ksrtc.htm
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Old 7th February 2013, 09:37   #2589
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
KeSRTC in 2002?
I think it is KaSRTC. Correct me if I am wrong.

******

KeSRTC did have volvos during that period. And it was indeed introduced in 2002. The two routes were Trivandrum to Kozhikode via Ernakulam and Trivandrum Palakkad via Ernakulam. While I never travelled in one of htose, I had seen them at Ernakulam BS quite a few times.

Here is a link from the internet as well

http://www.old.kerala.gov.in/govinstitutions/ksrtc.htm
I traveled from TVM to Palakkad in a volvo bus in May 2003, If I remember correct. It started at 6 Am from TVM and reached palakkad at around 2 PM. They gave a bottle of water, newspaper etc in the bus. Was driven pretty quick but not rash. I remember that vividly.
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Old 7th February 2013, 09:47   #2590
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post

KeSRTC did have volvos during that period. And it was indeed introduced in 2002. The two routes were Trivandrum to Kozhikode via Ernakulam and Trivandrum Palakkad via Ernakulam. While I never travelled in one of htose, I had seen them at Ernakulam BS quite a few times.

Here is a link from the internet as well

http://www.old.kerala.gov.in/govinstitutions/ksrtc.htm
Thanks for this info TKMCE & Vineeth. I was under an impression that KeSRTC had only three B7Rs and some LF buses.

I traveled in white lightening express bus from Ernakulam to Trivandrum few times and they were installed with speed governor but never seen any Volvo those days.

Can you please share more information on the type of buses they had on these routes?

Last edited by coolclouds : 7th February 2013 at 09:48.
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Old 7th February 2013, 10:39   #2591
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by mazda4life View Post
An article from 'The Hindu' , http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...?homepage=true

surprised to learn that Kerala RTC was the first to procure Volvo...
That's right! It was widely advertised in almost all the depots where the Garuda used to go into. IIRC, they'd used these phrases such as "less than 70 dB noise inside cabin", "Full air suspension for comfortable travel", "Free mobile call", etc.

There were two B7R buses - TVM-PLKD and TVM-KKD. The former would leave TVM at 6 or 6:25am, and reach PLKD depot at 2:10 or 2:20pm. Breakfast was at a KTDC hotel in Alappuzha. No lunch break. Since mobile phones had just becoming popular, being able to stay in touch was an added advantage - the conductor used to carry a Nokia 3310, which was kept in a very conspicuous phone-holder on the bus' dashboard, while on the move. Drinking water was provided. One of the M-newspapers used to give free copies to all passengers, forgot which one it was. The buses didn't have any speed lock, and they would easily cruise at 100+ speeds.

The services were a big hit. There were regulars who used these services to commute between Ekm & Kkd, Ekm & Plkd, Tsr & Plkd, Tvm & Kollam, Alp & Ekm etc.

There was a separate counter to reserve tickets for the Garuda service, and the patrons were given special preference, unlike the typical Govt office style attitude shown by many of the counter personnel. However, the attitude of the conductors was not so good, though they were better than many others.
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Old 7th February 2013, 13:31   #2592
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

KeSRTC was also provided buses by Volvo for trials along with KaSRTC. I think KeSRTC brought 2 of them originally.

The hotel where they stopped was KTDC Motel Aaramam on the NH 47 just after Alleppy towards EKM. And because of the mobile they used to phone ahead to the enroute depots if they had spare seats who will then announce the arrival of the service and the availability of spare seats. Heard this one at Kollam BS on a Trivandrum bound service.

The Palghat service enabled a day return product for people who wanted to go from TVM to EKM and return the same day . The timings of the Kozhikode service meant that it reached Kozhikode around 3 AM but that bus used to reach Ernakulam around 11 PM.
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Old 7th February 2013, 19:28   #2593
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Thanks for this info TKMCE & Vineeth. I was under an impression that KeSRTC had only three B7Rs and some LF buses.

I traveled in white lightening express bus from Ernakulam to Trivandrum few times and they were installed with speed governor but never seen any Volvo those days.

Can you please share more information on the type of buses they had on these routes?
Here goes my reminiscences about KeSRTC.

Unlike Kochi and Kozhikode where the private buses ruled as far as city service buses wee concerned, Trivandrum was for long (atleast into the 1980s) a nationalised route with regard to city services, When I was a kid the minimum fare was 20 Ps and 5 paisa was legal tender! Most of the trips were 20 , 30 or 40 Ps. There were upto 12 double deckers (the old routmaster ones) with popular routes being to Shangumugham and Sasthamangalam in the 1970s and 1980s. Most of the city service buses were old "hand me down" ex FP and LSFP service buses. For long there were only two depots for city service- the Trivandrum City depot at East Fort and Pappanamcode. Later Vikas Bhavan was stated and even later Peroorkada depot was setup.

The suburban and long distance buses started from the Trivandrum Central depot which is still in the same place opposite the Trivandrum Central Railway station at Thampanoor. In the 70s and early 1980s most of the buses were "ordinary" services, and there were Fast Passenger (FP) and Limited Stop Fast Passenger (LSFP) buses. The upper class travel consisted of quite a few "Express" buses - the green coloured ones - but at that time they did not allow standees. There were a few Deluxe services to places like Palakkad and Kannur and the top of the line was a "Terraplane" service and a "non stop express" service betwen Trivandrum and Ernakulam. No computerisation then, advance reservations were all done the manual way (like the railways as well then) with tickets written in long hand against pre -designated quotas! There was also the coupon system for alloting vacant seats shortly before the time of departure.

Trivandrum even from the 1970s had late night services on the NH 47 and MC Road . The popular long distance routes at that time included the 5 AM Trivandrum Sulthan Battery Express via Kottayam and the 7 AM Trivandrum Payannur Express via Ernakulam. There was also an an early morning Trivandrum Moothakunnam ferry express which used to go via Fort Kochi and crossed over to Vypin on the Junkar (Car ferry). This service was extended to Kodungallur after the bridge at Moothakunnam was complete. In the 1980s an express service to Kasargode was added as well. The earliest bus on the Punalur Pathanamthitta route was the 5 AM FP to Moozhiyar via Ayoor, Anchal, Punalur, Pathanamthitta, Seetathode route.

With regard to inter state services at that time it was TTC (the current SETC) which ruled the roost especally in TVM. They had services every two hours to Chennai from 12 Noon right till 9 PM. But back to KeSRTC, there were a few Ernakulam Bangalore express services including one in the morning and 3-4 Trivandrum Kanyakumari services as well. Two of the latter services were extended to Ernakulam, one each through NH 47 and MC Road.

There was a short lived Super Deluxe service in the late 80s/early 90s from Ernakulam to Chennai. The bus and crew were of the Palakkad depot. The Changanacherry Velankanni service which started around the same time is one of the longest running inter state long distance routes of KeSRTC along with Ernakulam Bangalore.


Back to "Lightning Express", this route was started around 1990 or so. I remember ths because when the Alappuzha Kayamkulam rail line became open to traffic in 1992 this bus ran the risk of getting caught at a crossing near Vandanam in Alleppy as the approach road to the rail over bridge was not completed on time (same was the case on the Athani-Kochi airport road initially- in the very early days you got stuck at the level cross and many missed the flight). The bus used to depart Trivandrum around at 6 AM to reach Ernakulam around 10.30 , start back at 4.30 PM and reach by 9 PM. Service was quite popular especially with Trivandrum based advocates going to attend the high court in Ernakulam. The competition was Venad Express (no Janshatabdi then) which left at 5AM and took the long way around via Kottayam. The Lightning express was later extended to Trichur.

"Super Fast" services if I remember were introduced in the 1980s. Most of the longer trips were between Trivandrum and Trichur/Palghat via both NH47 and MC road. At that time there were not too many depots or sub depots. Between Trivandrum and Trichur on the NH 47 were Attingal, Kollam, Kaurnagapally, Kayamkulam, Harippad, Alappuzha, Cherthala , Ernakulam, Aluva, Anagmaly and Chalakkudi.

On the MC road between Trivandrum and Angamaly wre Kilimanoor, Kottarakkara, Adoor, Pandalam, Chengannur, Thiruvalla, Changanacherry, Kottayam, Moovatuupzha and Perumbavoor.

At that time the SFs and Express buses only used to stop at these depots so you didnt have these inumerable stop and start journeys at literally every street corner which is happening today especially in the case of Super Fasts. People who had to travel to enroute points used to take the FPs or LSFPs (there were plenty on routes like Trivandrum Kottayam and Trivandrum Kollam), so journey was much quicker.

My apologies for the long discourse but not many know about the time when KeSRTC did provide good service on both long and short distance routes. Their biggest failure was failing to catch up with the times in terms of upgrading equipment and also succumbing to political pressure and giving stoppages for Super Fast buses and Express at sub depots and operarting centres every where and a lot of those were opened in recent times. These stoppages increased journey times and drove away long distance passengers especially on interstate services to private operators.
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Old 7th February 2013, 20:37   #2594
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Kallada service is getting better. Lots of positive reviews. My daughter took the day service recently and she had a good experience as well. Good to know that Kallada is getting its act together.
They have all the issues that plagues a big operator - driver shortage, delays at origin, and issues of rude crew. Driver shortage is something that is plaguing almost every "big" private operator in India - including the likes of VRL, Neeta, SRS, etc. I am the most happiest person to know that they are getting their act together - finally they are taking feedback seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Thanks for this info TKMCE & Vineeth. I was under an impression that KeSRTC had only three B7Rs and some LF buses
KeSRTC had made history back then - being the FIRST STU in the country to buy Volvo buses. Here is an old article that appeared in The Hindu (March 2003) about the Volvo services. The name "Garuda" was first used by KeSRTC as well. Back then APSRTC did not have Volvo services, and their initial Volvo services had different names for different routes. (See this story).

Two photos of the old KeSRTC Volvos (pardon the poor photographs - my amateur skills and poor camera to be blamed):

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These two buses were sold off in 2008 - rather, they were scrapped in 2008. (The photo was taken in 2007). The three B7Rs that KeSRTC currently operates were bought out of the proceed from the sale of the two old buses and a loan taken from the Kerala State Transport Workers Cooperative Society. In addition to the three B7Rs (all 2008 model), KeSRTC also owns about 72 Volvo 8400 City buses.

Last edited by binaiks : 7th February 2013 at 20:39.
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Old 7th February 2013, 22:32   #2595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
There was a short lived Super Deluxe service in the late 80s/early 90s from Ernakulam to Chennai. The bus and crew were of the Palakkad depot. The Changanacherry Velankanni service which started around the same time is one of the longest running inter state long distance routes of KeSRTC along with Ernakulam Bangalore.
I remember the white painted Bus of KSRTC(Kerala) parked in the Ernakulam bus stand. vaguely remember, there is another interstate KSRTC bus also with same livery also parked in the stand.
Kottarakkara-Bangalore MC road Bus service also in 90s used to have similar livery.

regarding Changanassery-Velankanni service, I think originally it was Thodupuzha-Velankanni during those days which was later shifted to Changanassery.
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