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Old 16th February 2011, 13:59   #676
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

There are three SDlx buss which are reaching Majestic from Kerala before 6 AM via Hosur, Madivala. One each from Kottarakkara, Tiruvalla and Palakkad. Most likely what you would have got is the Tiruvalla or Kottarakkara bus since the Palghat bus starts form Palghat by 9 PM.

The Bangalore Palakkad Airbus is a long running service (it was earlier from Majestic) and although I have never travelled in the same, as per internet reviews this is a very reliable service. But the 10 PM Trichur Globus AC service if it is running should overtake this one before Salem.
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Old 16th February 2011, 14:18   #677
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

TKMCE, thanks a lot for that piece of info. I didn't want to take a chance with the 22:00hrs Globus, hence I booked this SDX. The condition of these Globuses when I last saw them at PLKD KSRTC Depot (maybe 2-3 months back when I was home) was not that great. Moreover, the SDX that I traveled in recently looked well maintained and very comfortable.

Last edited by silversteed : 16th February 2011 at 14:52.
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Old 16th February 2011, 14:31   #678
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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But the 10 PM Trichur Globus AC service if it is running should overtake this one before Salem.
The 10PM service is reliable. They don't cancel this service unless and until all buses are out-of-service. The 10PM bus would overtake the Palakkad deluxe well before Salem. IIRC, the overtake happens near Krishnagiri itself - the Palakkad Deluxe would stop at that Hotel Uthaiyya for dinner. The AC too would stop, but it takes off earlier.

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The condition of these buses when I last saw them at PLKD KSRTC Depot (maybe 2-3 months back when I was home) was not that great.
The Super Deluxes of Palakkad are among the best that KeSRTC has. Their buses are well maintained. Expect to reach Palakkad around 6~7 AM. These buses go to Coimbatore almost every time.
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Old 16th February 2011, 14:44   #679
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I traveled in KeSRTC Palakkad-Bangalore Super Deluxe two times, both on Sundays. It started at sharp 9pm and stopped near Thoppur for a short break. The service was pleasant and reached Silk Board at 4.15am. As it was a Sunday, the bus was full from Palghat and didn't go via Coimbatore.

Last edited by coolclouds : 16th February 2011 at 14:47.
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Old 18th February 2011, 23:52   #680
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Default Review - KSRTC BLR(SATELLITE BS)-PLKD-2100hrs SDX

Thursday evening, 8pm. I call the KeSRTC (hereafter mentioned KSRTC, unless otherwise specified. KaSRTC would be written KaSRTC itself) booking office phone no to inform them about my boarding point and the person takes down my request and tells me that the bus would start from the Satellite BS at 2100hrs, and will be reaching Madiwala St.Johns Hospital junction at 2130hrs. The bus, RRC974 of PLKD depot arrived at 2145hrs. The driver and conductor were cordial. There were empty seats, and many people without booking had been waiting there for this service.

I hopped in. My seat was #4, right behind the gear lever, on the RHS. It was a 2+2 Push-back seats arrangement. On the luggage rack right above my seats, were the laptop/mobile charger points. I don't remember seeing any other charging points. Anyway, good to see that it was there, and importantly, functional. There were LED reading lamps as well - but not separate ones for the aisle and window side passenger.

The seats were comfy, but with rexin covers. No calf support but the foot rests were good enough. In my case, the aunty sitting next to me had stuffed all her puffy bags between the seat and the partition grill, so I found it a bit difficult to stretch my legs, unless I kept my feet on one of the rods of the grill.

As binaiks mentioned, the bus stopped at Hotel Uthaiyya, at around 22:45hrs. I didn't find the 2200hrs Globus service checking in even when this SDX resumed journey. That place is a rip-off place. Ten bucks for half a cup of tea - outrageous.

I could see the bus overtake many KPN/Sharma/Shama buses, KaSRTC Rajahamsa and Express buses, and SETC/TNSTC buses bound for Villupuram/Salem/Madurai/Tricy etc. Most of these buses had passed my boarding point before I got in. That is, between 2045hrs and 2145hrs.

The bus was doing steady 70+. Climbing up along the ghat section didn't seem too difficult. We reached Salem bus stand at 0130hrs. I saw its brother, the PLKD-BLR service, getting out at 0140hrs. My bus left the bus stand at 0150hrs, 5 minutes before its scheduled departure - as all seats were filled. The bus hit the highway at 0155hrs.

The next leg of the journey was not so smooth, because of the numerous diversions put in place - construction of fly-overs and/or 4-laning was in progress along this road. However it was a bit adrenaline-pumping for me. I saw trucks coming on the wrong lane with all 4 HLs on, and I found myself stomping on the imaginary brake pedal - but the driver would've already veered left or the truck would've veered to its left. Then, some villagers running across the road, sometimes cars snaking their way through the gaps between trucks and other buses. And two reckless bikers on CT100 and HH Passion trying to overtake trucks from the left, at the diversions.

The driver never showed any sort of urgency, but was smoothly accelerating his way upto 75kmph. That's what the GPS showed me as the max speed attained. Reached the Aravind Eye Hospital at 0430hrs. Two elderly women were to get down. The conductor played the gentleman by escorting them until the security cabin at the gate. He helped them carry a presumably piece of luggage too. The bus was at Coimbatore interstate bus stand at 0440hrs - 25 minutes before time. The bus went inside, and was waiting at the exit for passengers, when I noticed the 2200hrs BLR-TSR Globus, RNC 210 IIRC, pull up in front of the city bus stand on the opposite side of the road at around 0500hrs.

The Globus looked like it had received a fresh coat of white paint on the body, and some orange-brown paint on the underbody and axles, suspension parts, etc. The SDX however was looking a bit run down from the outside, but the interiors were clean. To my surprise, the speedo, tach and other gauges on the instrument cluster were functional.

0505hrs. Now the Globus takes off, followed by a Kallada non-AC bus and then the SDX. Soon, it's the SDX trailing the Globus. I think the SDX driver was maintaining a light foot on the A-pedal for not overtaking the Globus, but soon this guy felt they were unnecessarily tailing some trucks. So, he shifts down and almost completes the overtake that he finds another bus on the opposite side. Plan aborted. From that point onwards, the two KSRTC buses were moving like a convoy. Both cruising at close to 70kmph.

Passed the border and the Walayar check post at 0530hrs. That was really really quick. Both the buses were inside PLKD depot at 0555hrs. 10 minutes before scheduled time of arrival.

On the whole, a very good journey. Unfortunately, the movie I was watching, and the excitement left me awake all through the trip. Result, I spent the whole forenoon sleeping. But it was good to be home

Last edited by silversteed : 18th February 2011 at 23:54.
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Old 19th February 2011, 08:46   #681
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Default Re: Review - KSRTC BLR(SATELLITE BS)-PLKD-2100hrs SDX

Good Report

Last time I travelled on the 2200 TSR Globus it overtook the Palghat SDX at Salem. Also I think some of the Globus buses have got a round of maintenance. I saw the 1830 Kottayam one at Satellite and even that seemed to have had a fresh coat of paint.

And this rip off dinner stop at Hotel Uttaia - is this guy so pwerful that anypne and everyone has to stop there - public and private- and let pax suffer!!!

When I came last weekeend by the 1930 Airavath, the bus stoopped at a place after Hosur which had a service station and a Mc Donald/CoffeeDay and Sri Krishna Inn and a very clean rest room block. But there was just one other bus - a KPN Volvo at peak time (10 PM). The place was really like a breath of fresh air - surprising things was in the last five years in the innumerable trips I have taken from BLR to Kerala, except for a couple of times where there was a stop at AAB somewhere near Krishnagiri, every other trip - private pr public, Volvo or AC or rattle trap, the stop was at this lousy "Uttiah" hotel

Rajeev
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Old 19th February 2011, 09:31   #682
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Travelled Bangalore-Pune-Bangalore in the KSRTC Multi-Axle Volvo. I had the seat just above the multi-axle on one journey and a 2nd row one on the next.

Frankly, I did not find a significantly improved suspension because of the multi-axle; could also be the nicely smooth NH4. The interiors of the bus are good with a charging point for each pair of seats. The thigh support is good if you are average height; if you are tall, it is useless.

The bus overall looks neat. Surprisingly, both the drivers were driving within 100km/hr. I had traveled last year and at night the driver was driving consistently at 120km/hr.

Also took the Pune-Aurangabad-Pune MSRTC Volvo. Surprisingly, the bus left at the scheduled time (no waiting till the seats filled up). The bus stops once at Ahmednagar and then at Smilestone. Manage the journey in 4.5 hours. The drivers restricted to 80 km/hr. I feel there is a speed governor installed; the bus felt like driven at high rpm. No TV in the bus though.
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Old 19th February 2011, 09:34   #683
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Default Re: Review - KSRTC BLR(SATELLITE BS)-PLKD-2100hrs SDX

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
On the whole, a very good journey. Unfortunately, the movie I was watching, and the excitement left me awake all through the trip. Result, I spent the whole forenoon sleeping. But it was good to be home
Are yaar!
I dont think your movie kept you awake only your passion for travel kept you awake.Keep going!
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Old 19th February 2011, 12:35   #684
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Default Re: Review - KSRTC BLR(SATELLITE BS)-PLKD-2100hrs SDX

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Are yaar!
I dont think your movie kept you awake only your passion for travel kept you awake.Keep going!
The movie was not so good, "Detective", starring Suresh Gopi...

Was wondering if the SDX I travelled in, was a 114bhp Viking, or a higher powered version. It never felt strained while going uphill, and overtakes were done without downshifting.

EDIT: Checked the Kerala MVD site. It says it's a 2008 model, 222" Viking, 84KW (I assume it's KW although the site mentions the unit as BHP). So, it's a 130bhp engine, isn't it?

Last edited by silversteed : 19th February 2011 at 12:38.
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Old 19th February 2011, 12:45   #685
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

On weekends, the service is far better as the seats are full and don't go via Salem/Coimbatore, of course, much ahead of time.
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Old 19th February 2011, 13:35   #686
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Default Re: Review - KSRTC BLR(SATELLITE BS)-PLKD-2100hrs SDX

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Was wondering if the SDX I travelled in, was a 114bhp Viking, or a higher powered version. It never felt strained while going uphill, and overtakes were done without downshifting.
Its a 114bhp Viking, with rear air-suspension. The bus did not feel strained perhaps since it isn't much loaded - they don't carry extra luggage, and the number of passengers too is less.
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Old 19th February 2011, 16:56   #687
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Yeah, you're right. I got the conversion factor wrong. Hmmm 114bhp engine for such a service would mean better FE figures without compromising on the travel time
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Old 20th February 2011, 12:36   #688
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Sharma Transports 2 x 1 Non AC BLR-EKM

One of the few buses running in 2 x 1 Non AC sitting configuration in BLR -COK route. Starts at 8 .15 PM from Ernakulam reaches around 9 AM at Kalasipalayam. Not ideal for people who have an early start but the bus is comfortable, the single seats give privacy and there is both good leg room and enough luggage room in the "airline style"overhead racks. Takes the elevatred expressway to Silk Board, no stops for dinner as bus starts late from EKM . Not a bad option if time is not the factor. Sharma is one of the earliest operators in the route (I first took them in 1991).
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Old 20th February 2011, 17:28   #689
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Sharma Transports 2 x 1 Non AC BLR-EKM

One of the few buses running in 2 x 1 Non AC sitting configuration in BLR -COK route. Starts at 8 .15 PM from Ernakulam reaches around 9 AM at Kalasipalayam. Not ideal for people who have an early start but the bus is comfortable, the single seats give privacy and there is both good leg room and enough luggage room in the "airline style"overhead racks. Takes the elevatred expressway to Silk Board, no stops for dinner as bus starts late from EKM . Not a bad option if time is not the factor. Sharma is one of the earliest operators in the route (I first took them in 1991).
Did it go via Trichur town? there is another service by Greyhound (Ashirwad) at same time and reaches Bangalore by 7-7.30am (Trichur byepass, Palghat town)

They charge only Rs. 480 on Tuesday to Saturday compared to Rs. 560 regular fare.

Last edited by coolclouds : 20th February 2011 at 17:30.
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Old 21st February 2011, 10:19   #690
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Just to provide a diversion to the Kerala/Karnataka fair being discussed here , a small report on travel by KPN from Chennai to Dharmapuri (DPI).

I do a one day, 2 nights trip the Chennai - Dharmapuri trip twice a year and used to take MSS Mettur Super service as it was the only available private operator earlier.

MSS buses were well maintained but the pain points were
a) Drunk passengers
b) 0.5 -45 mins stops and Krishnagiri/Kaveripakkam to unload a half tonnes of cargo carried on top of the bus
c) abrupt cancellation of service/combining services if they don't find many passengers

MSS has 12M (170HP) Variant

After NH4 was fourlaned, KPN started a Chennai-DPI-Mettur- Erode service that is operated as AC service from Chennai Erode and non A/C during the return. Started taking it for the past 4 trips and KPN plies non stop to DPI except for a 10 mins tea break) and usually does it in 4.5-5 hrs. Have been taking KPN for my other trips as well (Chennai-Trichy, Chennai-Salem as well).

Some observations from my regular KPN travel.

1) Usually found the KPN drivers operate the bus smoothly (gradually acceleration and breaking).

2) The buses are getting old and not seeing too many new buses these days. Some of the smaller operators maintain their buses better

3) The A/C buses are a mix of 12M and the regular vikings.

4) Good set of passengers and bus usually start on time and kind of a no-nonsense service. No great frills either.

5) They don't take cargo on top of their buses as they have a separate Parcel service.

6) Off late their buses don't have good pickups and usually overtaken by Sharma/KSRTC/ABT/ARC etc.

However this time, had a slightly bad experience.

1) The bus I traveled recently had a lot of screeching noise from the A/C and rattling noise from the front suspension. horrible pick up as well. There was no climate control for the A/C and the driver switches off the A/C for improved pickup every half an hour or so and if the passengers complain that it too cold.

2) They switched off the A/C and forgot to switch them back on and we were sweating most of the time. Had to fight with the driver to make them switch the a/c back on

3) There was a new recruit to KPN (a driver who had been driving buses for corporates) + a old KPN driver not familiar with the route. The old hand requested me to guide him on the exit to Dharmapuri as my family were the only passengers for DPI. The new recruit drove the bus nicely till Krishnagiri but forgot about the 2 passengers who were supposed to be dropped off at the Krishnagiri NH4-NH7 intersection but stopped 4 kms on NH7 for a cup of tea. The old hand woke up and was upset. He took the bus back to the junction driving on the wrong side of the road for about 4 kms to drop the passenger. He also was blasting the new recruit as it would be costly for both of them if the passenger complained, which are taken seriously by KPN resulting in a Rs. 10,000 fines to employees.

4) the old hand then asked me to sit with him to help him take the Dharmapuri exit. He clearly couldn't read any of the clear signboards which were giving directions to Dharmapuri. Secondly he was shaking the steering as they generally do for a vehicles without PS. Had the heart in my mouth with his driving style.

5) I told him about the rattling and he said that he will ask the workshop guys to take a look at it. Also, he complained about their work culture of the maintenance dept. which is like a Govt. company these days.

6) Return trip the same set of drivers and the old hand fortunately drove only for the short Dharmapuri - Krishnagiri stretch after which the new recruit took over.

Overall, KPN standard is going down. Have seen the ABT buses these days and they seem to be better maintained. Any feedback from the folks here on ABT and other equivalent provider.
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