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Old 14th November 2011, 14:02   #1231
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
More fotos of Snooze.
In the second pic, the lever on the right side of the steering stalk - is it for the retarder?

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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Ashly, first time I am seeing a separator in a double berth. Looks nice but how good is the space for the window berth?
I've seen such separators in an SRS Travels' non-A/C sleeper too. If it's the same way here, then there's enough space for the window-side passenger. The partition isn't too thick. In the bus I'd traveled, there was a luggage carrier also, for each berth, complete with a bottle-holder.
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Old 14th November 2011, 15:57   #1232
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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In the second pic, the lever on the right side of the steering stalk - is it for the retarder?
IIRC, there is no separate actuator for the Retarder - it is actuated automatically when the driver presses the brake pedal.

The stalk is for the horn - may be it also has provisions for dipper.
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Old 14th November 2011, 22:15   #1233
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
IIRC, there is no separate actuator for the Retarder - it is actuated automatically when the driver presses the brake pedal.

The stalk is for the horn - may be it also has provisions for dipper.
The green switch is for the horn. The lever is for hand brake I guess.I saw him pushing it down after parking the bus.
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Old 14th November 2011, 22:44   #1234
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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IIRC, there is no separate actuator for the Retarder - it is actuated automatically when the driver presses the brake pedal.
You sure about that? Because I've seen a similar lever to activate/deactivate the retarder in a first generation Volvo B7R. But it was mounted on the dashboard, and not on the steering stalk.

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Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
The green switch is for the horn. The lever is for hand brake I guess.I saw him pushing it down after parking the bus.
What you said about the green switch and the handbrake lever are true. What I was referring to was the lever on the left side of the steering column.

Last edited by silversteed : 14th November 2011 at 22:53.
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Old 15th November 2011, 07:41   #1235
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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You sure about that? Because I've seen a similar lever to activate/deactivate the retarder in a first generation Volvo B7R. But it was mounted on the dashboard, and not on the steering stalk.
You are right - there was a similar stalk in the older Volvos, which was used for the retarder. However, during my journey in the Corona, all I saw was a switch on the Dashboard - you need to switch that on. And then every time you touch the brake pedal, the retarder was being actuated.

Half way through the journey, the retarder failed, and the driver was seen checking the switch. At that time, the driver had explained how the system works in the Corona, and contrasted it against a Volvo.

Time to get it confirmed from a driver..
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Old 15th November 2011, 09:09   #1236
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

had a travel by Sharma Travels from Bangalore to Mumbai. The bus was to start at 12.15 hours. The bus came, refuelled, change of blankets all took another 20 minutes and started at 12.35 hours. The journey was good. Reached Kamat Upachar at 2.05 pm,(half an hour lunch break) Davengere at 5.15 pm (break for 30 minutes for coffee) and a place 35 kms off Belgaum (toilet was not good) at 10 pm. The vehicle had done 4.25 lacs kms and was still in good shape. The interior was also good. Gave a pat to the driver for having driven beautifully and at a fast pace. dropped at 6.15 am at Andheri.
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Old 15th November 2011, 09:51   #1237
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Default Bangalore-Goa route

I travel regularly between Goa-Bangalore. Below are my experiences about various travel operators over a period of last 2 years.

SS: Semi Sleeper, S: Sleeper
1. Seabird: Operates Volvo(SS) and Non AC S+SS combo coaches. Until March 2011, I traveled with them. Volvo buses are good and Sleeper OK. Punctuality was there greatest problem. Sometimes you reached an hr early and sometimes 2hrs late. Staff was just OK. Reading lights dont work. They had an ISUZU SS operating which crashed in a ditch(dont know the fate now)

2. VRL: Have Volvo(SS) and Non AC (S+SS). There is/was also a ISUZU SS plying on this route. Buses are good and in sleeper coach you get charging points and overall curtains+upholstery is good. Rates are marginally high. Staff is good and they also have some sort of luggage management system. Punctual compared to Seabird.

3: KSRTC Airavaat: Operates Volvo(SS) on this route. Rates are higher compared to other and you get a .5lt water bottle compli. Bus/Staff is generally good. Quite punctual.

4. KTC volvo: Kadamba operates Volvo(SS) on this route. Buses are good and staff too. Have four times with them and overall experience with them has been good. Rates are marginally high.

5. Paulo Travels: I dont like this operator. Many bad experiences and rude staff.

Some points to note: Try and take the bus playing via Bangalore-Hubli-Yellapur-Karwar-Goa route. The road is good and also travel time is less. Most sleeper/Non AC coaches travel via Karwar-Kumta-Honnavar-Sagar-Chitradurga route. This route is crap and filled with potholes and speedbreakers. Those traveling to south Goa, you also have an option of boarding/alighting at Karwar which can save around 200 bucks in case of VRL/Seabird/KSRTC volvos and than travel by Kadamba.
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Old 15th November 2011, 13:20   #1238
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Default Re: Bangalore-Goa route

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SS: Semi Sleeper, S: Sleeper
..

3: KSRTC Airavaat: Operates Volvo(SS) on this route. Rates are higher compared to other and you get a .5lt water bottle compli. Bus/Staff is generally good. Quite punctual.

4. KTC volvo: Kadamba operates Volvo(SS) on this route. Buses are good and staff too. Have four times with them and overall experience with them has been good. Rates are marginally high.
Er! Does KSRTC operate a Semi-Sleeper Volvo? AFAIK, their Volvos have Executive seats, and not semi-sleeper ones. They recently introduced the "Airavat Club Class" service on that route - these buses have semi-sleeper seats.

KTC (Kadamba) too operates only 45 seater buses - these too have executive seats, and not semi-sleeper ones.
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Old 15th November 2011, 13:41   #1239
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Default Re: Bangalore-Goa route

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Er! Does KSRTC operate a Semi-Sleeper Volvo? AFAIK, their Volvos have Executive seats, and not semi-sleeper ones. They recently introduced the "Airavat Club Class" service on that route - these buses have semi-sleeper seats.

KTC (Kadamba) too operates only 45 seater buses - these too have executive seats, and not semi-sleeper ones.
Ooops, Sorry I did not knew about KSRTC new service. Also I dont really know the difference between executive and SS.
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Old 15th November 2011, 14:24   #1240
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Default Re: Bangalore-Goa route

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Ooops, Sorry I did not knew about KSRTC new service. Also I dont really know the difference between executive and SS.
This is a Semi-Sleeper seat:
Intercity Bus travel reviews-img_4337.jpg

An executive seat wouldn't have that calf-support portion, and the leg room would be lower.

A B7R would hold 45 seats in Executive configuration and 41 seats in Semi-Sleeper Confirguration (36 SS and 5 Executive with limited recline). A B9R would hold 53 Executive seats, or 49 seats in SS Configuration (44 SS + 5 Executive with limited recline).

A regular Isuzu holds 41 executive seats, while in Semi-Sleeper config, there would be only 36 seats (all SS). Isuzu big can take 45 seats in executive config, and 40 in SS config.
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Old 15th November 2011, 15:16   #1241
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
IIRC, there is no separate actuator for the Retarder - it is actuated automatically when the driver presses the brake pedal.

The stalk is for the horn - may be it also has provisions for dipper.
Might be door opening switch.Saw that in some leyland buses.
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Old 18th November 2011, 16:49   #1242
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

I had travelled Hyd-Blr on 16th in a Volvo of Kesineni travels and returned on 17th in an Isuzu belonging to SRS. Just wanted to update on the quality of the buses and services. The Volvo was a multi axle one and I was seated on the 30th seat. The ride was very smooth and comfortable. As the roads too have improved, there was nothing that would give away that the bus was in motion unless I pulled back the curtain. The timings of Kesineni was too good. The Isuzu bus on the other hand was of lesser comfort compared to this and transferred the vibrations on to me. I was seated in 26th seat. Seats were also not of great cushioning and there was no calf support. Woke up many times during the journey. In the Volvo, I woke up only once and that was when the bus reached Bangalore. Both the buses were very clean and both had two LCDs. And SRS too proved punctual. But the behaviour of the staff is an area which I would like to see an improvement in.
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Old 18th November 2011, 18:54   #1243
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
In the second pic, the lever on the right side of the steering stalk - is it for the retarder?



I've seen such separators in an SRS Travels' non-A/C sleeper too. If it's the same way here, then there's enough space for the window-side passenger. The partition isn't too thick. In the bus I'd traveled, there was a luggage carrier also, for each berth, complete with a bottle-holder.
BTW what is the retarder for ,i am hearing it for the first time
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Old 18th November 2011, 21:25   #1244
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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BTW what is the retarder for ,i am hearing it for the first time
A retarder is a device that helps in decelerating or braking. In modern buses, it's a device fitted over the propeller shaft, to provide braking force. This device is not a substitute for the friction brakes fitted on the wheels, but only to improve the braking effectiveness. The effect of a retarder fades as speeds decrease. Having a retarder puts less strain on the brakes, and hence improves safety.

Older trucks and buses had a system of closing the exhaust by way of a lever. This was called E-brake or Jack-brake.

AshLey buses use Electromagnetic retarders - where an electromagnetic force is applied on the prop shaft, a section of which is magnetized. Think of it as the exact opposite of an electric motor. Volvos and Mercs use Voith Hydrodynamic retarders. Guess Tata buses also use the same thing.

Google for more information.

Last edited by silversteed : 18th November 2011 at 21:27.
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Old 19th November 2011, 13:42   #1245
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Traveled from Ernakulam to Bangalore by Airavat Club Class last night.

The bus (KA-01-F-9151) started off from Ernakulam at 2039 (scheduled departure 2035 - the delay was due to my fault. I reached the BS only at 2038, thanks to the infamous traffic block at Edappally gate. The conductor called me and confirmed if I'd be boarding, and hence waited for me). The bus traveled from Ernakulam BS to Vyttila where it has another pickup.

The bus had about 35 passengers (good loads for a working day) - with a lot of them traveling without advance reservation. We did NOT have any pickups after Vyttila. The bus stopped for dinner at Hotel Jubilee, at Pongam (near Karukutty, on NH47, between Angamaly and Chalakudy). The dinner break was from 2143 to 2210. I was carrying my dinner from home - and hence utilised the dinner break for a stroll and some photography.

A good number of operators have shifted over to this restaurant from those shady road side motels. During our break, the next Airavat Club Class (coming from Trivandrum) joined us.

The driver was very slow - he lugged the engine very often. He never bothers to downshift even when the engine starts crying out - the gearshifts were horrible - very late and hence we were losing time. Vibrations were well under control - the bus was a year old and had some 2.47lakh kms on the odo! There were no rattles (except one - which due to a bag on the hatrack), no unusual noises from the transmission or the engine (except the cries).

The ride quality was really good - the bus handled the bad patches between Thrissur and Palakkad really well. I slept soon after Kuthiran - the horrible road did not disturb by sleep at all. I woke up when the bus was at Walayar - we were stuck in the infamous block at Walayar Check Post.

It was 0200 by the time we reached Coimbatore (the bus ran through the town instead of taking the bypass). The Trivandrum-BLR Airavat Club Class was giving us company all the while. I slept off a while after we crossed "The Residency" on Avinashi Road, Coimbatore. The time was around 0230, then. I woke up straight at 0600 AM - this was perhaps my longest single sleep in a bus!

I was expecting the bus to be around Hosur bus now - but we were just reaching Krishnagiri. The bus was being driven by the Conductor-cum-driver now - this guy had a habit of shifting to neutral the moment the bus hit a down grade! It was very disgusting, and we were losing time very quick. The Trivandrum-Bangalore Club Class was not seen anywhere now. We stopped at a wayside motel somewhere between Krishnagiri and Shoolagiri (Google Earth calls this place - Kurubarapalli - it was one "Hotel Surya"). There was just our bus at that time. The Ernakulam-Bangalore Mercedes Multi-Axle (which left a good 30 minutes before us) overtook us at this point.

We left from there around 0645 - the driver took over now. He was faster than the other guy, but still not great. This guy was lugging the engine a lot - shifting gears at the wrong time, and above all - poor calculation during overtakes. He had to stop midway during overtakes many times. Finally the bus reached Electronic City by 0750. I got off at Bommanahalli - at 0813. It took almost 12 hours (11 hours and 34 minutes) for the 560-odd kms run.

The ride was really good - was smooth, jerk free, and rattle free. Despite having run over 2.4lakh kms, the bus appeared fresh. Interiors were in good shape. A "super" civilised not-so-gentle man had stuck a chewing gum on the window - wonder when our people will get civilised. The bus was otherwise clean.

I used a KSRTC m-Ticket for the first time - a great initiative that can save a lot of paper! You just need to show the SMS, and lo!

Some pics attached.
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