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Old 10th November 2010, 22:37   #211
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Originally Posted by Jimmyjosek View Post
KSRTC's 12 m Leyland express buses:
Jimmy, When will KerSRTCs Tata 1613 Express buses will be ready? Frankly nothing special about the design, especially when compared with the new private buses in Kerala. Time to totally revamp the design and introduce a new color scheme.
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Old 11th November 2010, 05:35   #212
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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Jimmy, When will KerSRTCs Tata 1613 Express buses will be ready? Frankly nothing special about the design, especially when compared with the new private buses in Kerala. Time to totally revamp the design and introduce a new color scheme.
I agree. The design is only nice from the front, the rest needs to be redone as does the paint scheme. You can't have the expresses looking worse than the FP's. The only plus point of KeSRTC bodies is their build quality. The new lot of Kondody bodies are shoddily built.
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Old 11th November 2010, 09:22   #213
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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
When will KerSRTCs Tata 1613 Express buses will be ready?
The 1612 Chassis have been delivered to KeSRTC (According to a Friend in TVM). Body building would commence after Sabarimala season - this is because the workshop had prioritized building ordinary buses for operation to Sabarimala.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Frankly nothing special about the design, especially when compared with the new private buses in Kerala. Time to totally revamp the design and introduce a new color scheme.
Very true. The old livery looked good when they were "re-introduced", but the "feel good" factor has worn out now. Its time the livery is revamped. Also KeSRTC needs to reduce the number of classes they offer.

Current KeSRTC offers the following classes:
Ordinary (Ordy, LS Ordy, LS-FS)
Fast Passenger (FP, LSFP)
Super Fast
Super Express
Super Deluxe
AC
Volvo

Of these, the first two use practically the same bus, with just different colours. The seat design is exactly the same, and in many cases even the running time is same! Just that the fare is different. Similarly, Super Fast and Super Express share more-or-less the same running time, but S.Exp charges more!

Recently, KeSRTC introduced Super Express buses with 2x2 seating layout (with P/B seats), which more-or-less overlaps with Super Deluxe!

"AC" is run using the old generation TATA Globus. The product in itself was of bad quality (rattles in less than a month of running, frequent AC failures, etc). Compounded with poor quality of maintenance, the buses are more of a joke now. Cancellation rates are very high, and in many cases the services are cancelled without any notice, with no replacement provided.
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Old 11th November 2010, 11:31   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyjosek View Post
KSRTC's 12 m Leyland express buses:

The first one is built at Central workshops. It serves Ernakulam-Coimbatore. I like the design
Isn't this the same one? I liked it.

Well, concerning the paint scheme and colours, I still prefer the old scheme. KeSRTC is synonymous with the Red/Orange/Green "Aana vandi"

I second what binaiks has said about reducing the classes of buses. What's the difference between Super Deluxe and Super Express? The latter used to have air suspension, but now with the introduction of 12M Super Expresses, there's no difference apart from the fare, IMO.

The AL 12M based AC buses have all been converted to Super Express or Super Fast. They used to be better than the Globus. At least I would find the same two buses doing Kottarakkara - Bangalore on alternate days, regularly. My college timings happened to coincide with the departure time of these buses at Chengannur, while they were in operation.
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Old 11th November 2010, 12:42   #215
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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I second what binaiks has said about reducing the classes of buses. What's the difference between Super Deluxe and Super Express? The latter used to have air suspension, but now with the introduction of 12M Super Expresses, there's no difference apart from the fare, IMO.
Super Expresses have a 2x3 seating layout with fixed back rests, while Super Deluxe has a 2x2 seating layout with Push-back seats. Out of the 20 new 12M Super Expresses introduced, 4 have 2x2 push back seats.

Super Deluxes are supposedly faster than Super Expresses. However, in a recent Ernakulam-Kollam journey, I found that the Super Deluxe (which I traveled during my return journey) took as much time as the Super Fast (which I took for my outbound journey!). The only difference was that the Super Deluxe was heavy on my pocket!

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The AL 12M based AC buses have all been converted to Super Express or Super Fast. They used to be better than the Globus.
The AL 12M AC buses were converted to Super Deluxe (only Kottarakkara-Bangalore route had such buses in regular operation during the last few months). All other old 12M AC buses were replaced with Globus, which are now getting converted to Super Expresses now!

In majority of the cases, the Globuses die half way into the trip, and passengers are accomodated in Super Fasts! A sample case is the Trivandrum-Palakkad service - this service disappeared from the Reservation system recently, after the bus started breaking down regularly - so regularly that 8 out of 10 days, a Super Express/Fast would turn up! Now I hear that the service is regularly run with a Super Express instead of the AC bus.

I hope KeSRTC has atleast begun thinking of replacement for the Globuses. They are too run down to run on Interstate routes now.
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Old 11th November 2010, 12:57   #216
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
The 1612 Chassis have been delivered to KeSRTC (According to a Friend in TVM). Body building would commence after Sabarimala season - this is because the workshop had prioritized building ordinary buses for operation to Sabarimala.
Thanks Binaiks. That is true, This time of the year, they will be busy readying the buses for Sabaimala season. Any idea how many new buses for Sabarimala season this year and the mix (make/class/depot allocation).
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Old 11th November 2010, 16:29   #217
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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Any idea how many new buses for Sabarimala season this year and the mix (make/class/depot allocation).
Although not a reliable source of info, Newspapers have been shouting out that KeSRTC would introduce 250 new buses for Mandalam and an additional 100 new buses for Makaravilakku. The buses would predominantly be TATA (since majority of this year's 1000 bus order went to TATA). I guess the buses will be run out of "Pamba Seasonal Depot".
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Old 11th November 2010, 18:29   #218
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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
I agree. The design is only nice from the front, the rest needs to be redone as does the paint scheme. You can't have the expresses looking worse than the FP's. The only plus point of KeSRTC bodies is their build quality. The new lot of Kondody bodies are shoddily built.
I am not too keen on KeSRTC build quality.

Even with the disclaimer that I am a die hard fan of TVS bodies, here is the list of build quality, in my opinion.

1. Irizar TVS builds (old S/F buses).
2. Buses built by KeSRTCs own depots.
3. Buses contracted out for building. (very few remain in service).

The difference between 1 and 2&3 together are very subtle. For example, look at destination board during the night. On every Irizar-TVS built bus, the board will be well illuminated, and the bulb will be invisible. Not so on most KeSRTC buses. For non-=KeSRTC built local bodies, it will be only the bulb which will be visible.

There are other aspects where difference between 2 and 3 is very obvious - seat widths, leg room, comfort / angle of seat back, etc. Seats would be very comfy on Irizar TVS bodies; with very slight degradation on non-TVS bodies. But on local built / outsourced KeSRTC bodies, the seating confort will be very inconsistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
In majority of the cases, the Globuses die half way into the trip, and

...

I hope KeSRTC has atleast begun thinking of replacement for the Globuses. They are too run down to run on Interstate routes now.
How old are these?

A typical private operator changes buses operating on long distances, every 3-5 years. If the buses stays in service longer, the operator will not. :-D

BTW, I did not know that new buses / new bodies are directly launched as ordinary services.

I was thinking that all brand new buses are launched as Exp / SF / FPs, and later converted to ordinaries as time passes (usually 2nd engine overhaul).

I was under impression that Malabar / Venad / Thiru Kochi were an exception.
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Old 11th November 2010, 19:39   #219
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
3. Buses contracted out for building. (very few remain in service).
Interestingly, ALL of them are still in service (Except a few which might have been written off owing to heavy accident damage).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
For example, look at destination board during the night. On every Irizar-TVS built bus, the board will be well illuminated, and the bulb will be invisible. Not so on most KeSRTC buses. For non-=KeSRTC built local bodies, it will be only the bulb which will be visible.
I don't agree with this point. Almost all outsourced bodies have poor illumination (at present, may be they degraded owing to poor maintenance) - the board holders are small, and in many cases, KSRTC has installed additional holders now.

On the other hand, KSRTC built buses initially sported tube-lights, which were too bright. Newer versions came with slightly subtle lighting. The current versions come with LED strips on top and bottom - the lighting is good now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
bodies. But on local built / outsourced KeSRTC bodies, the seating confort will be very inconsistent.
Somewhat true - the seating comfort on all TATA buses will be on a similar pattern, while the ones in Leyland would in a different pattern. In my experience, Leyland ones have the best seating comfort, especially in case of the front seats. I find legspace better in Leyland buses in well. Does anyone have the dimensions of the Leyland and TATA buses purchased by KeSRTC?

From an old document i had with me, I find that the TATA 1512 buses purchased by KeSRTC have a length of 10322mm. No information about Leyland though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
How old are these?
The Globuses were introduced in December 2007. They turn 3 this December. The maximum life period for "AC" buses is 5 years, AFAIK. But given the current state of these buses, they'll not last that long. KeSRTC might have to go for rebuilding/refurbishing of these buses if they want to run it that long. KeSRTC is keeping their Volvos well (not excellent maintenance by any stretch of imagination), because they have an AMC with Volvo. They should perhaps do the same thing with their new acquisitions - atleast for AC buses.

KeSRTC should, perhaps, consider Luxura/Hispano Globus/Isuzu for replacement. I heard from a friend that Isuzu is returning better mileage than Volvo (I don't have specific figures, though). The buses are comfortable enough - although a bit underpowered. But they have enough grunt to ride through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
BTW, I did not know that new buses / new bodies are directly launched as ordinary services.

I was thinking that all brand new buses are launched as Exp / SF / FPs, and later converted to ordinaries as time passes (usually 2nd engine overhaul).
New buses started being introduced as Ordinary with the launch of Venad series of buses. Currently, about 35-40% of new buses come as Venad/Malabar/Ananthapuri buses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
I was under impression that Malabar / Venad / Thiru Kochi were an exception.
Malabar/Venad are ordinary services. Thirukochi and Ananthapuri buses are built as City buses.

--

Here is the breakup of buses built by KSRTC over the past two years.

RR Series: (Started in August 2007, and finished in November 2008).

Total buses built: 923 (Tata: 545, Leyland: 378)

City-Fast (Ananthapuri): 42 (T:42)
Ordinary (Venad/Malabar/SWB): 301 (T:198; L:103)
Fast Passenger: 323 (T:248; L:75)
Super Deluxe: 30
Super Express: 8 (L:8)
Super Fast: 219 (T:57; L:162)

From this, the ordinary buses (City Fast+Ordinary) buses make up 343 buses, i.e., 37.16% of the total produce.
--
RA Series: (Started in September 2008 and ended in February 2010)

Total buses built: 997 (Tata: 214; Leyland: 783)

City-Fast (Ananthapuri): 80 (L:80)
Ordinary (Venad/Malabar/SWB): 400 (T:105; L:295)
Fast Passenger: 402 (T:104; L:298)
Super Express: 46 (T:5; L: 41)
Super Fast: 69 (L:69)

Ordinary buses formed 48.15% (480 buses) of the total produce.

RN series has now crossed half-way mark. RN series would be somewhat similar to RR series, with majority of the buses being from TATA.

Currently, Super Fast/Super Express buses get "downgraded" to ordinary at the end of three years (Some Super Fast buses get "lucky" that they only become Fast Passengers at the end of three years). Fast Passenger buses run for 5 years before getting "downgraded".

Last edited by binaiks : 11th November 2010 at 19:46.
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Old 11th November 2010, 20:29   #220
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Binay, thanks for all the info

Can you elaborate what the difference between the various series of buses? (RR, RA, etc).
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Old 11th November 2010, 21:19   #221
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
KeSRTC should, perhaps, consider Luxura/Hispano Globus/Isuzu for replacement.
KerSRTC should stay away from Izuzu for now. Let it prove its worth with private operators first.
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Old 11th November 2010, 21:26   #222
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Can you elaborate what the difference between the various series of buses? (RR, RA, etc).
No great difference. A few cosmetic changes here and there. The RR TATAs are 1510s (697 TC Engine), while the RA TATAs are 1512Cs (A few early RA buses are 1510s).

For the uninitiated, RR/RA are fleet number series for KeSRTC buses. KeSRTC identifies all its buses using the Fleet numbers, and not by registration numbers. Each series has 999 buses, and the 1000th bus is numbered as such - in case of the 1000th bus after RA series, the bus was numbered 15000. (This was the 15000th bus acquired by KeSRTC). The current series is RN, which has reached about 510 now.
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Old 11th November 2010, 22:52   #223
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Prasad AC cab:

This is an AC private stage carrier in Kerala. It runs between Ernakulam and Parassinikadavu, via Guruvayur, Kozhikode, Kannur. Dep EKM 07.00 pm, Parassinikadavu - 08.10 am. The bus is AC, with ABS. This is the second AC bus in Kerala, first one being Parasuram.

They charge Rs. 160 between Ernakulam and Kannur while a non AC KSRTC superfast, departing at 06.30 pm from Ernakulam to Mangalore charge Rs. 180 between Ernakulam and Kannur. Its the best bet to ravel between Ernakulam and Malabar districts

Body built by Atal coach, Karur
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Intercity Buses operated by various private travels and STUs-dscf1244.jpg  

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Intercity Buses operated by various private travels and STUs-dscf1247.jpg  

Intercity Buses operated by various private travels and STUs-dscf1394.jpg  

Intercity Buses operated by various private travels and STUs-dscf1396.jpg  

Intercity Buses operated by various private travels and STUs-dscf1399.jpg  

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Old 12th November 2010, 09:59   #224
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Do they allow standees? I assume this bus is a stage carrier and is mandated to stop in most places between EKM and Kannur?
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Old 12th November 2010, 10:28   #225
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Originally Posted by Jimmyjosek View Post
Prasad AC cab:

This is an AC private stage carrier in Kerala. It runs between Ernakulam and Parassinikadavu, via Guruvayur, Kozhikode, Kannur. Dep EKM 07.00 pm, Parassinikadavu - 08.10 am. The bus is AC, with ABS. This is the second AC bus in Kerala, first one being Parasuram.

They charge Rs. 160 between Ernakulam and Kannur while a non AC KSRTC superfast, departing at 06.30 pm from Ernakulam to Mangalore charge Rs. 180 between Ernakulam and Kannur. Its the best bet to ravel between Ernakulam and Malabar districts

Body built by Atal coach, Karur
How can they afford to run a service so cheap?
Even by the most conservative estimate, that means a fare collection of approximately Rs 5,500 (assuming 30 people paying full fare).
Diesel will cost at least Rs 3,500 (assuming mileage of Rs 4 per km, diesel per litre Rs 45).
That leaves hardly any money to pay the cost of the driver/conductor, amortisations and repair costs.
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