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Old 19th July 2011, 10:14   #961
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Monday - Thursday, VRL offers Bangalore-Mumbai/Pune for Rs. 800 and Bangalore - Hyderabad @ Rs. 400 on Multi Axle Volvo !!
On similar lines, ABTX is now offering Rs.20-30 off from Tueday-Thursday. Got this in email today:
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Old 19th July 2011, 11:04   #962
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Had been to Chennai for the weekend. An unplanned trip. But was lucky to find tickets both ways. Bangalore to Chennai in a Sharma Transports non-AC Sleeper coach. It was a new bus built by Prakash on an AL 12M 160hp chassis with 6-speed transmission. The bus was scheduled to arrive at Madiwala at 22:45hrs, but it came only at 23:20hrs, and started at 23:35hrs. Very comfy ride, had a floating effect. Reached Chennai Anna Arch at 06:20hrs. The expected time of arrival was 06:30hrs at Chennai Central, I'm sure the bus would've made it on time. Ticket was booked through redBus, for Rs.450.

Return journey was in a KPN AC sleeper coach. Decided to give a try with KPN. The bus was old, but comfortable, though not as comfortable as the Sharma bus. The bus was supposed to pick me up from Guindy at 23:15hrs, but it came only at 23:50hrs. Reached Chennai at 07:05hrs. Somewhere before Hosur, another KPN bus had a break down, and some of its passengers were made to board our bus. There were one or two empty berths, so 4-5 people could sit comfortably. Ticket price was Rs.665, but since I'd booked the return ticket through redBus on the same day as the onward journey, I got a discount of Rs.50.

During my return trip, at around 04:00hrs, I found it very cold, so I asked the driver to increase the temperature setting for the AC. The driver replied politely that it was an old bus and did not have any controls for the AC. But he turned off the AC for some time - it was a normal switch that controlled the AC, no knobs/buttons to change anything - blower speed, cooling, recirculation, etc.

Last edited by silversteed : 19th July 2011 at 11:06.
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Old 19th July 2011, 11:41   #963
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Most of the buses reduced fares on Mumbai route. S.N Roadways Volvo for Rs. 700; VRL @ Rs. 800; SRS@ Rs. 800; Geepee @ Rs. 810; Neeta@ Rs. 850 etc etc.

Another interesting thing noted is, some operators claims to do Bangalore-Mumbai in 15-15.30hrs whereas VRL claims 19 hrs.

Can anyone comment on these services and their actual running time?
Once I travelled in Konduskar and VRL for which the travel time was 19 & 18 hrs respectively.

Hope operators towards South too offer discounted rates
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Old 22nd July 2011, 16:35   #964
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I had a trip in the Mercedes Multi-Axle yesterday. Traveled from Aluva to Bangalore - the bus (KA-07-A-1212) was operated by Bharathi Travels. Some points:

We left Aluva at 2100, and were in Silk Board, Bangalore by 06:13. This includes a 40 minute break near Koratty for Dinner and a 15 minute break at Tiruppur for Diesel. The ride was average. I was on the 9th row, right about the rear axles. Engine was very audible, so were the brakes. The AC was not consistent - the coach was getting hot whenever the bus slowed down or stopped, and it was getting terribly cold when the bus ran at high speeds.

The aisle was horribly narrow - it was impossible to walk through with a bag in hand. The seats too appeared narrow to me (Am taking a B9R on my way back - so would make a better comparision).

The bus was clean, and the interiors appeared very fresh. It had about 49000 kms in the odo. The drivers were very decent - no hard brakes or rash overtakes. They did maintain good speeds wherever it was possible. There was one Shama B9R giving us a good run for quite some time.

The dashboard and the driver cabin was miles ahead of the two-axle Mercs currently available - the dash board looked well finished, with an MID and good looking instrumentation. The driver and the co-driver gets three aircon vents each - all with direction control, but no flow control. The gear lever is short and good looking.

The horn switch, as usual, is placed on the knob that controls the indicators and the wipers - a very awkward setting, given that our drivers survive on horns!

In addition to the aircon vents for passengers, there are aircon vents directed at the windows. These vents cannot be closed, and sadly adds to the misery of the passenger sitting below it. I had this misfortune - this vent spews out cold air, and there is now way you can get away from it. The lack of air-volume control is sorely missed as well. The window air vents also ensure that a lot of condensation precipitates on the glasses, making for a completely translucent window.

Something very specific to buses of this operator: The paint scheme(s) chosen by this operator ensures that atleast a couple of windows are totally blacked out for passengers. In the particular bus that I traveled on, one full and a half window glasses were painted upon - the passengers getting seats around this window would be blind to the happenings outside the bus.

Note: The route taken by this bus was: Aluva-Mannuthy bypass-Palakkad bypass-Walayar... somewhere ... Tiruppur-Salem-Hosur-Bangalore. The bus loaded/unloaded some parcels at Tiruppur - so guess that is their regular route. I've mentioned "somewhere", since I fell asleep in this section, and am not sure where the bus turned off. The bus also refueled at Tiruppur, where we also crossed our pairing bus.

Some pics attached - all taken in the bus that I traveled in.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 18:14   #965
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Note: The route taken by this bus was: Aluva-Mannuthy bypass-Palakkad bypass-Walayar... somewhere ... Tiruppur-Salem-Hosur-Bangalore. ....
That somewhere could be Avinashi!
Nice review Binai!

Apart from this is there any considerable ride difference between singel axle and multi axle bus
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Old 22nd July 2011, 21:18   #966
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That somewhere could be Avinashi!
But why would the operator turn off at Avinashi, go to Tirupur and then come back to the highway? This is baffling me. I slept soon after Walayar, and by the time I opened my eyes we were at Tirupur bus station. I couldn't understand which route the bus took to get back to Salem as well.

The next time I take this bus, I'll surely remain awake, or may be keep a GPS tracker

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Apart from this is there any considerable ride difference between singel axle and multi axle bus
I cannot comment on the Mercedes - since I traveled on the Two-Axle between Bangalore and Mysore, which was relatively a very well surfaced road, while I took one of the worst roads in the Tri-axle! On good roads, both buses performed equally well - but I guess the multi-axle was better behaved on the road.

However, I've tried both types of roads in a Volvo - the multi-axle certainly provides better ride quality. Body roll is lesser in a Multi-axle, and major potholes are buffered better in the multi-axle.

The multi-axle has better pick-up, and has better stability on the road. It handles curves better (in both the Merc and the Volvo). A head-on comparo coming soon.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 23:26   #967
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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The next time I take this bus, I'll surely remain awake, or may be keep a GPS tracker
Use Google Latitude. If you have a smartphone, install Google Maps and sign in to Latitude using the Google account. Then exit the app. While exiting, it will ask you whether to keep updating your location or not. Choose Yes. Later, when you are at a PC, just look at the location history in Latitude Tada!

How else do I keep track of the location and timings of my trips, and get some sound sleep while travelling!

It won't drain your battery, trust me. Okay, not in my 5800XM. Just that it connects to the internet using GPRS every couple of minutes.

Last edited by silversteed : 22nd July 2011 at 23:30.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 08:27   #968
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That somewhere could be Avinashi!
Nice review Binai!
These days all night services to Kerala go through Tirupur since road development works are on way from Perumanallur Till karmathanpatti(Near CBE).
The route taken while coming from Kerala is Right turn at Trichy Toll on L&T bypass ,Cbe and it passes through Sulur and then entering Tirupur town Joining back the old route near Chengapalli(Vijayamangalam Toll).The Road is good on this route compared to the other and even traffic is less.

I was on the 9th row, right about the rear axles.Engine was very audible, so were the brakes.


This is because of the brake system employed- called EBS-Exhaust Brake System. That is when brakes are applied it releases air. The first batch of Volvo B9R's(sofiyalines,kpn)had the same EBS system which was later changed.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 24th July 2011 at 21:36. Reason: Fixed quote tag + Merging back-to-back posts. Please use the Edit button if posting within 30 mins of previous post.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 09:13   #969
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This is because of the brake system employed- called EBS-Exhaust Brake System. That is when brakes are applied it releases air. The first batch of Volvo B9R's(sofiyalines,kpn)had the same EBS system which was later changed.
MB does not have exhaust brakes but the noise could be well from retarders!
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Old 23rd July 2011, 09:33   #970
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MB does not have exhaust brakes but the noise could be well from retarders!
Even I think its from the retarders. The sound is somewhat like the sound a stone cutter makes when it starts cutting - (I am talking of the cutters that people use to cut marble/granite/tiles for domestic masonry).

But there is another noise that comes while the driver applies brakes very lightly - that resembles an "Air leak", and the sound gets cut abruptly as well.

Sadly the sounds are too feeble for me to record it - and perhaps, only nuts like us would be hearing them - for we look at details :(
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Old 23rd July 2011, 10:11   #971
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Even I think its from the retarders. The sound is somewhat like the sound a stone cutter makes when it starts cutting - (I am talking of the cutters that people use to cut marble/granite/tiles for domestic masonry).

But there is another noise that comes while the driver applies brakes very lightly - that resembles an "Air leak", and the sound gets cut abruptly as well.

Sadly the sounds are too feeble for me to record it - and perhaps, only nuts like us would be hearing them - for we look at details :(
Binaiks- That sound you heard of a cutter is definitively of retarder brake.But i once remember a MB technician telling about EBS being deployed in their buses. Will get it clarified.And other interesting part is MB have drumpad brakes and not disc brake.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 10:30   #972
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Binaiks- That sound you heard of a cutter is definitively of retarder brake.But i once remember a MB technician telling about EBS being deployed in their buses. Will get it clarified.And other interesting part is MB have drumpad brakes and not disc brake.
Hey, are you sure that the MB has drum brakes ? I guess, only the rear load bearing axle has drum brakes. The driven wheels and the front wheels both have discs in my opinion!

Aalok
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:00   #973
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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Use Google Latitude. If you have a smartphone, install Google Maps and sign in to Latitude using the Google account. Then exit the app. While exiting, it will ask you whether to keep updating your location or not. Choose Yes. Later, when you are at a PC, just look at the location history in Latitude Tada!

How else do I keep track of the location and timings of my trips, and get some sound sleep while travelling!

It won't drain your battery, trust me. Okay, not in my 5800XM. Just that it connects to the internet using GPRS every couple of minutes.
Easy way!! just curious to understand if it works on Blackberry phones?
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:38   #974
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MB does not have exhaust brakes but the noise could be well from retarders!
MB tri axle brake specification.(source:mercedes-benz.co.in) It has EBS and does not have disc brake.All are lining drum brakes.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:59   #975
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MB tri axle brake specification.(source:mercedes-benz.co.in) It has EBS and does not have disc brake.All are lining drum brakes.
Thanks for correcting me.
But now I am puzzled what service brake, EBS,retarder and ABS do all together.
Is then MB's are the safest bus on road
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