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Old 22nd December 2013, 19:43   #3181
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Was at Edappaly (COK) yesterday. The Tippu Sultan and KPN Non A/C s to Chennai both passed by and there was someone waiting for Nellippilly Non A/c to Bangalore. A Hindusthan A/c Sleeper also passed by - not sure whether it was to Chennai or Bangalore. Supaa Non A/c to Coimbatore was also operational.

Today morning saw an empty KaSRTC B7R on Ernakulam Bangalore (must have been one of the specials of yesterday night) as well as the Kallada day service B9R on the Ernakulam Bangalore route. Later in the day saw Paulo to Mangalore/Goa.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 20:15   #3182
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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
Was at Edappaly (COK) yesterday. The Tippu Sultan and KPN Non A/C s to Chennai both passed by and there was someone waiting for Nellippilly Non A/c to Bangalore. A Hindusthan A/c Sleeper also passed by - not sure whether it was to Chennai or Bangalore. Supaa Non A/c to Coimbatore was also operational.

Today morning saw an empty KaSRTC B7R on Ernakulam Bangalore (must have been one of the specials of yesterday night) as well as the Kallada day service B9R on the Ernakulam Bangalore route. Later in the day saw Paulo to Mangalore/Goa.
Few weeks back, I was waiting for a bus to Cochin at Gandhipuram, Coimbatore on a weekday morning. All these buses Tippu Sulthan, Hindusthan, Sona etc reached after 5 am. I got Hindusthan a/c sleeper for Rs. 250 that day through roadside agents.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 21:12   #3183
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Reached Coimbatore from Bangalore through Hindusthan travels.


Prompt departure by 1330 hrs at Madiwala; bus was full.

Stopped for a 20-30 minute break at Sree Saravana Bhavan, Krishnagiri. The helper locked the bus after people got down. "decent looking people are stealing laptops saar".

Entered Erode and dropped some passengers.

Was shown two tamil movies, not too low or too loud volume settings.

I got down at Hope's college signal by 1945 prompt.

On an average, maintained 90-95 kmph(gps).

Now the negative point: Was a bit rash when in NH47. Volvo drivers are really hesitant to use the brakes and instead, they go full blaring on their air-horns to force other vehicles into submission. It is discomforting to see the gnarled faces of truck drivers. This is the situation:

a) A traffic police stopping 2 wheelers in the slow lane.
b) Seeing this, a truck moving at a sedate speed(in the slow lane) getting into the fast lane.
c) The Volvo behind the truck blaring the horns and pushing through the fast lane, while the truck brakes like anything.
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Old 25th December 2013, 19:21   #3184
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Is the Mumbai - Kochi Kallada still running? If yes, can anyone help me out on how to book the ticket in Mumbai?
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Old 26th December 2013, 17:24   #3185
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Originally Posted by prmd_cochin
Is the Mumbai - Kochi Kallada still running? If yes, can anyone help me out on how to book the ticket in Mumbai?
Isn't the Kallada National JV services is cancelled? I think you may do Mumbai - Bangalore and Bangalore - Kochi separately. You will get more options.
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Old 26th December 2013, 17:46   #3186
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Is the Mumbai - Kochi Kallada still running? If yes, can anyone help me out on how to book the ticket in Mumbai?
Nope. The direct service stopped long time back, and they were offering connection buses for sometime until October, when the JV parted. The sole option now is changing buses in Bangalore. If you take a bus departing from Mumbai between afternoon and 6pm, you'd be in Bangalore between 7 and 12. Kallada has buses to Trivandrum at 1330 and 1430. Or you can take a KaSRTC from Shantinagar (first one at 1600hrs).
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Old 26th December 2013, 20:11   #3187
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

The below is more an Intercity "Train Travel" review but will still be useful.

Ernakulam Junciton- Trivandrum - Janshatabadi Express (evening service from Calicut via Ernakulam and Alleppy). Had to book three days before even for a II class ticket as travel was a couple of days before Xmas. Train reached 15 minutes late and departed after 10 minutes instead of the usual 5 but still reached on time at 20:55 which meant the journey was covered in 3 hr 10 min. Fully booked train with unreserved passengers travelling in the vestibule and near the doors. We were allotted D-12 which was a very old and tattered coach of unknown vintage but some of the other II class coaches were definitely newer.Total 14 II class coaches and 2 AC Chair Car coaches along with a pantry car. The highpoint of the train is the short journey times and just 4 stops The low point was the arrival n Trivandrum Central. Arrival was on Platform 2 and the station has a very narrow walkway (half the width of almost all other stations) which connects it to the overhead passenger walkway linking the platforms. With the Trivandrum Palakkad Amrita express boarding from Platform 3, it was mission impossible to cross over with a young kid and a heavy bag. Had to wait for nearly 20 minutes before the madness receded somewhat (madness because there was no policeman in sight to enforce a simple rule like people coming down to stick to the right and people going up to stick to the left or something similar). One day there will be an almighty stampede and then only Indian Railways will learn a lesson. By the time my son and I crossed over it was a good 20 minutes after the train arrived and by that time the Eranad express (which had left Ernakulam almost an hour before our train) had reached as well on Platform 1. Trivandrum Central has a pre paid auto service monitored by the police which is a blessing in disguise for travelers especially arriving in the night.


Return Trivandrum Ernakulam was on Xmas day. Originally planned to take one of the private or KaSRTC volvos to Alwaye in the evening but since I had a young kid decided to travel in the morning itself. Old timers from Kochi may remember that good old reliable publication "Jaico Time Table" which is now in its 34th year. Had picked up a copy from Ernakulam and invaluable it turned out to be as it informed that the "Kochuveli Amritsar Superfast Express" takes a mere 3 hours 30 minutes from Trivandrum to Ernakulam via Quilon and Alleppy with only three stops (third one being at Kayankulam) on its way to Amritsar via Mangalore, Madgaon and Panvel. Booked a sleeper class unreserved ticket from the station when the booking office opened at 0745. Train was already parked on Platform 1. There were 9 sleeper class coaches , 2 "extra" sleeper coaches, 1-II AC and 2 III AC. Typical Indian Railway style, people were in RAC/WL were allotted to the 2 "extra" sleeper coaches ES1 and ES2 and there were two sleeper coaches added on at either end but no one had any clue including the station guys whether ES1 was the one on the front or at the back and vice versa. Finally train left 15 minutes late and reached 15 minutes late at Ernakulam.

This is a good option for Trivandrum Ernakulam or even Trichur rail travel if only Indian Railways bothers to clean the coaches rather more frequently than "once in a blue moon "which looked like the case here. Almost without exception all the second class sleeper coaches were competing with-each other for the award of the dirtiest rail coaches I have traveled in during the last three decades. Toilets were stinking and had corroded fittings. I understand this is a NR train. There were 2 III AC and 1 II AC coach as well as a pantry car . One of the quickest trains between Trivandrum and Ernakulam with possibly the dirtiest coaches attached to a train passing through Kerala. The train runs weekly on Wednesdays. On Tuesdays on the same timings and route ,another train runs from Kochuveli to Chandigarh. I took an auto from my home but there were two "JNURM" volvos which reached the station, one form East Fort and another from Medical College. Overall if you are thick skinned and can turn a blind eye to the filth of the train, not a bad option because of the quick journey times.
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Old 1st January 2014, 18:48   #3188
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Came across in today's Malayalam regional newspaper (Malayala Manorama Bangalore edition) that Kerala SRTC to start multi axle Volvo services (Bangalore ~ Kerala) starting next month. Though there is an approval to procure 10 buses, these will be in a phased manner and they may start with 3 buses for one route, the third one will be a spare. Sure the fare is going to be the cheapest of the lot.

Cheers!
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Old 2nd January 2014, 00:13   #3189
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I had to travel again by Indian Railways between Trivandrum and Alwaye at very short notice and this time I have only good things to say about the whole Indian Railways experience.

Around 5 PM got news that I have to be in Alwaye before 10 AM the next day. Decided to try for AC Chair Car which I was not hopeful of getting at such short notice (journey was on a Tuesday morning) and was about to go to to the main railway station at Thampanoor when our driver mentioned that a new railway booking counter has opened recently at Medical College . This was indeed good news and reached there just a few minutes before closing time.


The options were Venad express which takes nearly 5 1/2 hrs (and stops at every other station on the way) and leaves at 05 AM or Jan Shatabdi which leaves at 96:00 and reaches at 0941. Looked at the time table at the booking counter and found there was third option the Nagercoil Mangalore Eranad Express which leaves at 0350 and reaches at 0832. Without much hope asked the counter guys whether any AC Chair car was available for Eranad or if not in Janshatabdi or Venad or as a last option at least a reserved II class ticket will do. To my surprise the counter person said while Eranad AC Chair Car was wait listed in normal quota, Tatkal quota had 11 seats available. Luckily I had an ID card with me but they needed a self attested photocopy which I did not have. The counter staff suggested that I pay for the ticket straightaway as it was closing time but he will give me the ticket only after I handover a photocopy of the ID which I agreed. That was indeed going out of the way, and soon I had the photocopy done and the ticket in my hand.

Next day arranged for a cab at 3 AM, reached the station by 0335 (Trivandrum Central) and the train was already waiting. The AC Chair car was neatly maintained. There were some notices pasted inside from the Salem division.The train does not appear to have a pantry car however vendors were getting on at some intermediate stations. The Coach was half empty when it left Trivandrum but was 90% full when it left Ernakulam on time at 0810. The TTE was efficient and was upgrading most passengers who tried for upgrades with a II class ticket. Reached 3 minutes late at 0835 at Aluva. Glanced in to some II class coaches and they were equally well maintained. The train runs via Alleppy.

Overall highly recommended although do keep in mind that Calicut Jan Shatabdi via Alleppy now has a stop at Alwaye and is a better option especially from Alwaye to Trivandrum where it departs later and arrives earlier than Eranad. However from Trivandrum, if you can put up with the 0350 Dep time, then this is the train to take for an arrival well before 9 AM at Alwaye.

Last edited by TKMCE : 2nd January 2014 at 00:17.
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Old 6th January 2014, 11:04   #3190
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Default Bangalore - Hyderabad - Bangalore in Orange Tours

Travelled to Hyderabad and back over the weekend. Had booked Orange both ways, because of my excellent experiences with them.

BLR-HYD - Merc Semi-sleeper
Our boarding point was in front of the BP Fuel station beside Madiwala Police station. Scheduled time 9:30pm. At 7:30, I received their first SMS alert, stating that the bus has started from their originating point, Marathahalli. At around 9:10, the crew called me to confirm that I am travelling as planned, and also to tell me the exact location of the boarding point. The bus arrived on the dot at 9:30pm, and left at 9:35pm. It was like clockwork!

A Telugu movie was being played, which got over by 11-ish. Once the bus had crossed Mekhri circle, a bottle of water and a small pack of biscuits were distributed (earlier, it used to be a pack of Tropicana and Goodday biscuits. Cost cutting at the least noticeable place). The blankets were already kept on the seats, neatly packed in a polyethene cover. A welcome addition was a pamphlet that shows the location of the emergency exits, hammers, fire extinguishers, and also phone numbers for police, fire services and ambulance.

The seats were good, but not as wide as those in Volvos. And of course the AC vent on the roof rack, facing the side glass made sure that the blanket is to be used. Had that vent been absent, or at least adjustable, the temperature inside the bus was kept at a very comfortable level. Another minor gripe was the omission of charging points. Volvos provide one point for every two rows of seats at a minimum. A noteable difference in the comfort factor was the higher engine noise and retarder whine that's audible inside the passenger saloon. Apart from these quirks, a no-nonsense, comfortable trip. We were dropped off at Gachibowli X-roads at 5:45, about 5 minutes ahead of their scheduled time of arrival.

There were two breaks, one was a little after 11 o'clock, and another one before Jadcherla. Clean rest rooms, and a tea/coffee vendor was also there. There was no dinner break. The crew can be given full marks. Both the drivers maintained a steady pace of about 90-100kmph and hardly any honking and no hard braking at all. Had it been a Volvo, I would've rated the trip 10/10. Since it's a Merc, I rate it 9/10.

HYD-BLR - Tata AC Sleeper
Booked their sleeper to try it. The scheduled pick up time was 7:35pm, at Gachibowli Ajanta Paradise hotel. A Swaraj Mazda mini bus arrived at 7:40pm, and took us to Afzalgunj by around 8:30pm, where the sleeper buses was already waiting. The pick-up in charge helped the passengers with their luggage and also guided them to the right bus. The pick-up bus had passengers to Bangalore as well as Chennai.

Our bus was a Prakash built 1+1 sleeper. Since both the drivers were standing near the door, I couldn't get a glimpse at the controls, so I assumed it would be a Leyland 12M CRS or a 180hp EDC. The bus started once everyone boarded, and then I found something amiss - despite closing the driver cabin door, the engine whine (which sounded more like a Cummins, than the AL H-series) could be heard clearly, and once the bus picked up speeds above 75kmph, the entire bus was vibrating. Out of curiosity, I walked up to the cabin to take a peek, and as I guessed, it was a Tata chassis, probably an LPO1618c.

Except for the vibrations and the harsh engine whine, this trip was also good. The bus stopped for dinner after Jadcherla, at the same place. Since we'd cosied up on our berths, we didn't bother stepping out. The break lasted about 30 minutes. Not sure if there were any more breaks. We got down at Anand Rao circle at 5:45am, on time. Except for the rattling experience, the trip was good. I would rate it 7/10, deducting 3 points for the bus.

As for the operator, they are the best in Bangalore-Hyd route as of now. Ticket fares are a tad higher than the rest, but it's worth it.
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Old 6th January 2014, 15:07   #3191
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Any recommendation for a Bangalore-Nagercoil bus? Should be a Multi Axle Volvo and arrival at Nagercoil should be by 6-7? I normally one of the KPN services. Nothing major to complain about. But its been more than a year since the last trip. So was wondering if there is a better option.
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Old 10th January 2014, 19:12   #3192
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Any recommendation for a Bangalore-Nagercoil bus? Should be a Multi Axle Volvo and arrival at Nagercoil should be by 6-7? I normally one of the KPN services. Nothing major to complain about. But its been more than a year since the last trip. So was wondering if there is a better option.
If you have not traveled yet I suggest to try Kallada Suresh or G4. There are couple of them on both G4 and Suresh between 9 and 10:30 from Madiwala and drop you between 5 and 6 at Nagercoil. I always send my friend from Trivandrum in either of these depending on seat availability. Both the drivers in the route will drive without much of honking, hard breaking and ensure you get to sleep tight. Its be more than 10 times and yet to hear a negative comment hence I recommended for a change from KPN.
On the other hand if you like spirited driving you can try with SRM Volvo tri-axle. I think most of the SRM drivers are know for this even on Chennai - Erenakulam route the one bound to Thiruvalla, I had a horrible experience once.

Cheers!
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Old 10th January 2014, 19:30   #3193
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Came across in today's Malayalam regional newspaper (Malayala Manorama Bangalore edition) that Kerala SRTC to start multi axle Volvo services (Bangalore ~ Kerala) starting next month. Though there is an approval to procure 10 buses, these will be in a phased manner and they may start with 3 buses for one route, the third one will be a spare. Sure the fare is going to be the cheapest of the lot.

Cheers!
This news is true. Talked to the driver on Trivandrum-Bangalore volvo last week and he also confirmed the same.
With a smile he said -'Next month onwards we will be getting new buses in this route.'

The current bus had covered 9,15,934kms as on last sunday.

Arun
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Old 13th January 2014, 09:22   #3194
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I have been travelling quite frequently on the Bangalore - Trivandrum route(via nagerkoil). These days because of the speed governor mandate, the travel time has increased by at least 2 hours. I've travelled in the fastest commuting G4 to test this [ started from BLR at 10.30, reached Kerala by 12 next day[ ; return [ started from TVM at 8, reached BLR at 8.30]. Also to add others who started off with me too reached quite about the same time as I could see them lining up at the tool booths.

The fast experience is long gone, now better opt for a smoother train travel.
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Old 19th January 2014, 09:14   #3195
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Did a quick trip to Udupi and back from Bangalore, attended the pariyaya festival in Udupi. We had booked KSRTC club class services on both the legs and the buses left on time , reached on schedule. While returning , we had to change the bus as the original bus had a bush problem and was making a racket. The transferring process was very smooth with the staff manning the whole process at the depot 2 in mangalore. Shiradi ghat is in pretty bad shape and even with multi axle bus , we could feel the undulations present on the road. Our decision to not drive made total sense.
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