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Old 11th June 2011, 12:49   #916
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
The bus was working Ernakulam-Hyderabad. Second accident involving the same bus. Happened near Madanapalle. The bus, it is said, hit a truck while trying to overtake another one.
If it got involved in an accident near Madanapallee which route is it taking to Hyderabad. I thought it was taking the NH47, NH7 route via Coimbatore, Salem & Bangalore. Wondering why it was being taken towards Vijayawada all the way from Manadapallee.
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Old 11th June 2011, 18:37   #917
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
If it got involved in an accident near Madanapallee which route is it taking to Hyderabad. I thought it was taking the NH47, NH7 route via Coimbatore, Salem & Bangalore. Wondering why it was being taken towards Vijayawada all the way from Manadapallee.
Kesineni/Kallada take the Salem-Krishnagiri-Palmaner-Madanappalle-Anantapur-Kurnool route. They avoid Bangalore since entry tax is very high for Karnataka, and it does not make commercial sense to run through Bangalore. The reason why it was being taken to Vijayawada is beyond me.
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Old 12th June 2011, 11:54   #918
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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The reason why it was being taken to Vijayawada is beyond me.
Volvo has a service dealer in Vijayawada (and Hyderabad as well).Maybe that is where it was heading to?
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Old 12th June 2011, 13:18   #919
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Volvo has a service dealer in Vijayawada (and Hyderabad as well).Maybe that is where it was heading to?
May be since Kesineni is based in Vijayawada, they get all their buses serviced at Vijayawada. Their Volvos are mostly VJA Registered.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:53   #920
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I travelled from Chennai to Bangalore in a Sharma Transports sleeper coach last night. I had booked an upper, single berth in the 23:10hrs seater/sleeper coach from Chennai Central, but when I reached their office, I was told that the said service is not operational, and they have a new sleeper coach instead, leaving at 22:30hrs. I was allotted a lower berth to be shared with another guy, at the rear.

The bus was new, and this was probably its second or third trip, going by the odo. The driver cabin was laid out very neatly, with the standard AL instrument panel found in U-trucks integrated on the dash, through-bonnet gear-shift lever, and the old AL steering wheel. As Ashley2 said, there's a door between the passenger space and driver cabin, with the cleaner's seat, when opened, preventing opening of the door. It was not a sliding door.

The beds (berths) had no bed spreads, but since the bus was new, they were clean. The head region was slightly raised, so there was no need for a pillow. One plug point, and a small lamp were provided. The lamp was not working, probably the driver had not turned on the supply line. It was a non-AC bus, so windows could be slid open horizontally. The bus was extra tall, and had sliding windows of the same size for the top berth also. The lower edge of the window was almost a foot above from the level of the bed. There was a luggage rack with a bottle holder, towards the rear of each berth.

The bus started at 22:50hrs from in front of Chennai Central, and reached Madiwala at 05:40hrs. The bus' rear suspension was very soft, and there were very little jerks. Reminded me of the old, "air bus" services by Supaa, No.1 air etc, which gave a feeling of floating in air, instead of the stiffer kind found these days. The bus did not stop anywhere for a break, according to Google Latitude. Even if it did, it's not for any considerable duration.

I liked the wide windows, for, if not for them, in the hot and humid weather in Chennai, without adequate air circulation, it sure would've been extremely suffocating, and smelly inside. The steps to climb to the upper berth were placed towards the back, and not in the middle of the berth.

The bus driver was not so inclined to follow the rules, as he was seen overtaking through the left and right, without any proper signals. He also stopped inches behind another bus at Silkboard to drop off passengers, and started honking crazily since he couldn't move the bus unless the bus in front moved a few metres ahead to make space. Even with all the streetlights on, the bus was driven constantly with high beams.

I'm happy that I reached safe, but I would definitely give a second thought to booking this service again.
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Old 13th June 2011, 15:00   #921
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Default Re: ABT Poor Experience

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Originally Posted by para_7k View Post
Negatives:

Bus Quality:
  • Rattles were there all over. A small undulation and the bus becomes a rattle box.
  • The Panel that holds the A/C blower, reading lamps had given away on one end and water was dripping intermittently.
  • I was not able to turn off one of the A/C blower.
  • No calf support
  • The rubber on the foot rest of my seat had given way exposing sharp ends of steel.
Driver Attitudes:
  • In the Chennai - Bangalore route, we asked to drop us off at Hosur and the driver was rude enough to ask us why we hadn't informed earlier. We did inform some one who came to verify the tickets.
  • There is no attendant in the Coach which only adds to the driver Frustration.
  • On the way back, the driver had music on with high volume which was disturbing our sleep. We requested him to turn down the volume twice but he turned a deaf ear.
  • He showed all his frustration to passengers who requested for Intermediate stops.
Others:
  • Poor Value for Money - I pay 599 for Chennai to Hosur and get to travel in an abused bus where as Kesineni offers me a seat in Volvo B9R for 610.
  • The kit that contains a paper napkin and others was given only one way. We were not given that on the way back from Hosur to Chennai.
  • There were two counters in the Guindy office that issues boarding passes but one of the staff went missing so there was a mix up in issuing passes.
Overall, I'm terribly dissatisifed with the experience, especially that I was not able to sleep the whole last night.

Personally, I will not choose this again and will stick to Parveen or Kesineni
Mine was a bitter experience that turned into a better customer experience.

I tried ABT for the first time this weekend to go from Chennai to Trichy. The bus left their Guindy office on time at 9.15 PM and left Koyambedu at 10.30 PM. The bus was clean, NV levels were low and the driver wasn't driving rash (probably the effect of the accident few days earlier?). All was well for the first 1.5 hrs. It was somewhere after Melmaruvathur when I noticed little droplets of water falling on my lap from the aircon duct. Since the drops were not frequent, I decided to watch it till the midway stop. A little before 1.00 AM the driver pulled up at a wayside motel some kms before Villupuram and I noticed that there were a few other passesngers too who had the same problem. The lone driver said it was probably because of most people closing their air vents and went through the bus opening them up. When people complained of cold, he agreed to set the temperature slightly higher and assured that the problem will go away. I was irritated and sent a complaint to the Customer Service email id from my BB handheld.

When the bus started 20 mins later, the dripping continued although now it was a little more frequent and spread out. Draping the blanket over I tried to catch some sleep. Then all of a sudden there was a deluge frome the overhead panel and my shirt was soaked through. I got up and proceeded to complain to the driver only to see that there were at least 5-6 other passengers and one of them was a lady sitting in the first row. She was already sitting in the driver's cabin trying to get her soked clothes dried by the engine warmth. The driver was very apolegetic but had nothing else to offer. He allowed me to use the cleaner's jump seat (since there was no cleaner) since Trichy was less than a 100 kms away. That gave me an opportunity to watch his driving style. Surprisingly the driver was maintaining the speed at 95-100 and was driving safe.

Sitting inside the cabin, I wrte another email to customer service pouring out my frustration and indicating that I might make a claim for refund.

The bus reached Trichy at 4.15 AM but not before a few buckets of water drained itself from the aircon into the bus. At least 10-12 seats were showered.

That morning at around 8.30, I got a call from someone claiming to be a Customer Service representative from ABT's central office in Coimbatore. After apologising profusely and listening to my experience in detail, the Cust Rep was quick to inform me that they had decided to give me a full refund I was free to collect it as cash from any of their offices - Chennai or Trichy. When I couldn't go over to their Trichy office on Saturday, the same guy called me again and informed me that I can even collect the refund in the form of a free ticket from their Chennai or Trichy office. I informed him that I will collect it as cash from their Chennai office this week.

Now that is what I call good customer experience.
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Old 18th June 2011, 15:42   #922
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I am not sure if it would still qualify in here as a intercity travel review, as I undertook a recent trip(official excursion) to Stuttgart and Geneva. But the medium of transport was the interesting part here. It was a Mercedes-Benz Travego Multi axle intercity tourer. The total capacity is 50 seats and the bus is rated with 4 stars for comfort by EU standards. These stars are rated based on seating comfort, facilities available and the maintenance of bus overall.

The bus has a rear engine-6 cylinder(In-line)-12 litre Mercedes OS 457 LM series engine Euro 5(bluetec 5) with 6 speed mercedes GO gearbox. ZF steering with servo assist and ZF front axle, and Mercedes powered axle with a steerable dead axle(configuration like in Indian merc bus). Tank capacity 490 litres with a mileage of about 28kms/100ltrs. Empty weight of the bus is 18tonnes. It is equipped with the following:
1. Voith Hydrodynamicretarder
2. ABS
3. Electro-Pneumatic Brakes(disks up front and in the steerable dead axle wheels)
4. Brake limiter
5. Brake Assist
6. Distance measuring device(for cruise control)
7. Traction control system
8. Front collision Guard
9. Reverse Assistance(Camera)

The bus was huge! It is 13 mts long and has a toilet and fridge inside the bus. Seats were quite comfortable and equipped with seat belts. As usual once the engine was started I was unable to find any major difference between the one in India and this one. Yes, it was indeed noisier than Volvo or MAN or Scania. The bus has done about 18Lakh kilometers but was looking brand new. The ride was smooth as the roads in germany are quite even and are of the top quality. The real character of this bus is in the highway, it reaches 100 in no time and could do easily 150, but the driver kept it always at 100. It was a German precision 100 kmph. and was on cruise control for most part of the drive. But once we left the German autobahn into the swiss/french highways, the roads got bad and bus was quite bumpy and noisy. I guess a slightly over inflated tires. The ride was really bumpy and as said earlier, it was quite noisy. I have been on many buses here and found this to be the noisiest of them all. I have been on a merc bus before, it was a Mercedes Tourismo bus and it was silent, so much that I was in the last seat and still I was not able to hear the engines and ride was very smooth.
But then, on the facts side, the bus is equipped with 3 windshield wipers, 2 in normal position and one on the top. Rear view mirrors, in my opinion gave best view with very minimum or probably no blind spot at all. has a camera which comes on automatically if the reverse gear is engaged. Equipped with 6 gears and retarder on the steering column, it is quite comfortable for the driver. The retarder is equipped with cruise control and cruise control has plus and minus options to control the speed. Clutch is pretty light and steering this mammoth was quite a easy job as the driver found it easy while in some tricky and very narrow corners. Overall, a 11 hour journey and no stress at all. I have been in this bus for the past 4 days and we have been travelling for more than 1500kms up and down, but no stress of travelling at all. Overall very comfortable. Now some pics.
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Last edited by AlphaKilo : 18th June 2011 at 15:53.
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Old 18th June 2011, 16:25   #923
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Very detailed review Alpha Kilo. As few clarifications.

1. Are you sure of mileage? 28 kms/100 litre (0.28 KMPL). Should it not be 28 litres/100 km (3.6 KMPL) ?
2. The Speedo is calibrated for 120 -130 KMPH. So not sure it can do 150 easily.
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Old 18th June 2011, 16:31   #924
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by DWind View Post
Very detailed review Alpha Kilo. As few clarifications.

1. Are you sure of mileage? 28 kms/100 litre (0.28 KMPL). Should it not be 28 litres/100 km (3.6 KMPL) ?
2. The Speedo is calibrated for 120 -130 KMPH. So not sure it can do 150 easily.

Thanks for the correction! I am not so comfortable with ltrs/100kms, always get confused. The speedo says 130 I guess, but the driver said that bus showed a 150 in a wheel alignment test bench. And yes forgot, the bus is equipped with GPS based tracking and driver management system. It indicates in the speedo console with a warning symbol when the driver has exceeded the max. hours he is allowed to drive without a break. So normally for every 4.5hrs, one has to take a break of 45mins.

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 18th June 2011 at 16:35.
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Old 19th June 2011, 17:04   #925
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
If it got involved in an accident near Madanapallee which route is it taking to Hyderabad. I thought it was taking the NH47, NH7 route via Coimbatore, Salem & Bangalore. Wondering why it was being taken towards Vijayawada all the way from Manadapallee.

More details are here https://picasaweb.google.com/rcrao.b...43379692007602
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Old 19th June 2011, 18:26   #926
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
The speedo says 130 I guess, but the driver said that bus showed a 150 in a wheel alignment test bench.
So, the engine is on par with those in the Mercs and Volvos in India, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
It indicates in the speedo console with a warning symbol when the driver has exceeded the max. hours he is allowed to drive without a break. So normally for every 4.5hrs, one has to take a break of 45mins.
Isn't that amazing! Most operators in India fail to accept the drivers too are humans!
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Old 19th June 2011, 18:50   #927
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I am not sure if its the same engine as the indian Mercs. But according to the website, it says the engine is OM 457 LA Euro 3 12 ltrs and 265 KW power(360hp) with 1600 Nm torque at 1100 rpm. Whereas the travego(multiaxle) has OM 457 LA Euro 5 12 litres 315 KW(~430hp) power and 2100 Nm torque at 1100 rpm.

True, here in india too there is one such rule for driver fatigue, but who follows them is the question? Here, in Germany, it is made a rule and is strictly followed, Actually it is enforced! A GPS device with a smart card given to the driver is used to track the status. Without inserting the smart card, no one can start the bus!

Moreover, the bus is equipped with electronic locks similar to any merc car, and only with the proper key the door can be remotely unlocked. Then it has a finger sensor on the door opening knob, its not like normal pull up knob. Just swipe the finger on the sensor and door opens with the typical pneumatic sound - "Pufff"

And ya this bus the Travego M model with 50 seats, has a optional engine, with 350 KW power and 8 speed auto transmission.

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 19th June 2011 at 18:58.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:34   #928
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Excellent review of the MERC, had a question though. How practical is the toilet, I mean, imagine sitting next to the toilet. Maybe Indian busses also should get toilets. That way, they can take the fight straight to the railways
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:54   #929
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Parveen Travels has introduced a new Mercedes-Benz Multi-Axle bus service between Ernakulam and Chennai. This bus would go via Coimbatore, Salem, Krishnagiri, Vellore. This bus is in addition to the existing B9R service, which goes via Salem-Pondicherry.

The service was flagged off by Kochi Mayor, Shri Tony Chammany today. I saw the bus while it was being prepared for the inauguration - but could not wait until the flag off since I had to leave early.

The fare is Rs. 1250 (via Vellore), compared to Rs. 1150 (Via Pondicherry).

There was one Chennai registered BMW X5 parked near the bus. There was nobody in the car (there were nobody in the bus as well) - guess that was of the owner.

Attaching a couple of pics of the bus.
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Old 19th June 2011, 22:05   #930
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Excellent review of the MERC, had a question though. How practical is the toilet, I mean, imagine sitting next to the toilet. Maybe Indian busses also should get toilets. That way, they can take the fight straight to the railways
Toilet is quite practical. These buses are E+3/4 level and the toilet is exactly at the second entrance(middle of the bus) and I am a 6 foot fella who had no issues with headroom in the toilet. Well, according to the German standards its comfortable . One person can easily fit in and has a wash basin with a WC similar to aircraft ones. But yes, if not maintained properly obviously whole cabin of the bus would stink. So no issues sitting near it or beside it. The bus also had a coffee/tea maker other than a refrigerator. for all these we loose 4 seats(which we have in indian multi axles). The bus can be only 48seater(12.9mts) 50 seater(13mts) or 55 seater(14.5mts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Parveen Travels has introduced a new Mercedes-Benz Multi-Axle bus service between Ernakulam and Chennai. This bus would go via Coimbatore, Salem, Krishnagiri, Vellore. This bus is in addition to the existing B9R service, which goes via Salem-Pondicherry.

The service was flagged off by Kochi Mayor, Shri Tony Chammany today. I saw the bus while it was being prepared for the inauguration - but could not wait until the flag off since I had to leave early.

The fare is Rs. 1250 (via Vellore), compared to Rs. 1150 (Via Pondicherry).

There was one Chennai registered BMW X5 parked near the bus. There was nobody in the car (there were nobody in the bus as well) - guess that was of the owner.

Attaching a couple of pics of the bus.
wow! Bus is beautiful. Now i realise where did Sutlej got this model from. Its actually the tourismo model of Merc bus range but with projector lamps instead of filaments. A bundespolizei(German Police) bus - Tourismo model.

http://www.autoevolution.com/images/...e-medium_1.jpg

In image 4 the middle door, shows a staircase and one can see a wall sort of thing visible on left(visible) side of the stairs, this is the entrance to the toilet.

http://www.autoevolution.com/news-g-...269.html#image

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 19th June 2011 at 22:09.
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