The return journey from Thrissur to Bangalore

For some obscure reason, the number of buses running between Kodungallur and Thrissur. This meant that I had to leave a pretty long buffer time for my connection. My bus back to Bangalore was to depart from Thrissur at 2000. I left home at 1800, and took a bus to Kodungallur. From there took a Limited Stop bus heading to Thrissur. The bus left at 1820. The driver stepped the gas pedal pretty hard, and we were flying through the way. 

Run through most of the way was pleasant, except for a bad traffic block as we neared Thrissur. A temple festival was underway, and people had jammed the roads. It took quite some time to cover a short 1.5km stretch. The bus dropped me near the KSRTC bus station - Chettiyangadi - bus stop at 1940. I tugged my baggage and walked towards the bus station. On the way, got some local snacks and packed them into my bag. 

I reached the bus stop at 1945. I noticed that my bus was already at the platform, and the engine was on. I got a bottle of cold drink and got into my bus. One huge disadvantage of a Globus is that it is badly underlit. I had a tough time locating my seat. I settled on the seat. On the adjacent platform, a Super Deluxe to Bangalore (from Kottarakkara) was preparing to depart. That bus left soon later.

That vacancy was filled by a Karnataka SRTC Rajahamsa, heading to Bangalore. My bus started backing from the platform at 2003 - late by about 3 minutes. One Superdeluxe (heading to Bangalore, via Gudalur) was preparing to take up the spot, while the next AC bus was being prepared for the run. 

My bus was KL15-6408 (RR210) of Thrissur Depot. The bus pulled out of the bus station, and the driver picked speed like crazy. The conductor came around and gave tickets to a couple of passengers who hadn't reserved earlier. Tickets of reserved passengers were checked while boarding itself. All the 45 seats in the bus were taken and we were running a load factor of 100% right from the starting point! We overtook the Kottarakara-Bangalore Super Deluxe at Pattikad (just after Thrissur Bye-pass). The driver kept a real good pace. On the way, he also overtook the Kottayam-Bangalore AC Bus. With that overtake, my bus was now the "first" AC bus heading to Bangalore. 

The bus did not enter Palakkad town and we just zipped through the Bye-pass at 2122. The driver picked up more speed after the bye-pass. I had a short nap. I woke up as the bus hit a pothole at the TN border. The ride on the first few kilometres of road after Walayar (Tamil Nadu Border) was patchy. There was slight traffic congestion near check-posts. But being a government vehicle, we could run through. The driver picked up speed once again afterwards, and he kept going at high speeds. We took the Coimbatore bye-pass too. 

The entire run through the bye-pass took 25 minutes, and we joined the crowd from Coimbatore. The road got slightly congested now. I took another short nap. I woke up as we approached Avinashi. We stopped for a break just after Avinashi. The place was "Perumanallur". The bus was parked at a fuel station, and there was a small tea stall-cum-bakery nearby. Almost every one in the bus got down to stretch their legs and a short refreshment at the bakery.


My bus, KL15-6408, RR210, at Avinashi - working 2000 TSR-BGLR AC

The break was from 2308, to 2326. While we were waiting, two more KSRTC Super Deluxes came around - they were the Thiruvalla-Bangalore and the Palakkad-Bangalore services. Those buses went ahead of us, but my driver did not spare them! He did another stalwart performance, and we were zipping through Erode. I had a nap after Erode, and woke up as the bus was running through Omalur. We had already entered NH7 (To Bangalore) by now. 

I started timing the run now. He was comfortably doing a kilometre every minute. He kept overtaking buses, and never gave a chance for anyone to come even close to him! We crossed into Karnataka at 0400. Made a brief halt at Electronic city to drop a couple of passengers. After this, my bus raced with the Ernakulam-Bangalore Superfast, beating him hands down. We made another brief halt to drop a passenger near Kudlu Gate. Finally he dropped me at Bommanahallu at 0429 - He did the entire run from Thrissur to Bangalore in just Eight hours and 26 minutes! A really impressive show, considering the fact that Volvos of Karnataka SRTC too take around the same running time.

Some points about the bus:

The first bus that I took (in May 2008) was a disappointment. That bus was KL15-6411 (RR213) of Thrissur Depot. The bus had a malfunctioning AC, poor pickup and a very noisy ride. The second journey was by KL15-6412 (RR214), again of Thrissur Depot. This bus was pretty well maintained. The AC was powerful and kept cool through the trip. The ride was rough and vibration levels were too high. The last bus - KL15-6408 (RR210) - took me by surprise. The bus did 100kmph easily, without much vibrations. The AC was too powerful. The ride was rough - the suspension seems to have gone for a toss. Markings on the bus claimed that the tyres at Nitrogen, and not air. 

The braking was really confidence inspiring - the Voith Retarders did a really nice job. The ride was overall good. The bus however lacks punch to tide over gradients. This is one department that needs attention - otherwise an average package given the cost of the bus. 

Comments

You mentioned about 3 deluxe buses. kottarakkara bangalore is a worst bus in case of speed. palakkad bangalore is also the same kind. it ll take 9 hours to reach bangalore from palakkad, as it has a speed governer corrected as 70.

But the thiruvalla bangalore bus ll reach bangalore at around 5 or 5.30. (Total 15 hour journey from thiruvalla) Trains ll also take this much time.

Did ur bus overtook the tvla bangalore deluxe?
Binai.K.Sankar said…
Yes it did overtake... Here is a list of overtakes:

KTR-BGLR SDLX: Pattikad
KTM-BGLR AC: Wadakanchery
TVLA-BGLR SDLX: Avinashi
PLKD-BGLR SDLX: Avinashi
EKM-BGLR SF: Kudlu Gate

Undoubtedly, this is the fastest non-volvo service run by KSRTC.

For the Record:
The TVM-BGLR Volvo (KL15-7231) took 7 hours and 32 minutes from TSR to Bommanahalli.

The TSR-BGLR AC (KL15-6408) took 8 hours and 26 minutes.

In May 2008, the BGLR-TSR AC (KL15-6411) took 12 hours to reach TSR from BGLR.

In Mar 2009, the BGLR-KKD-EKM AC (KL15-6412) took 11 hours to reach TSR from BGLR

In Jul 2008, the Karnataka Volvo (KA-01-F-8466) took 8 hours and 47 minutes to reach TSR from BGLR.

In May 2008, Karnataka Volvo (KA-01-F-8461) took 9 Hours and 19 Minutes to reach Bommanahalli from TSR.
Anonymous said…
What do you say about the seat posture Binai? I am 181 cms tall and I find the leg space a bit short. Also the angle of recline for the push-back seats in the Globus KSRTC buses is lesser than other buses. But as you said, considering the cost difference, the Globus is a pretty neat package.
Sunup Kurien
Binai.K.Sankar said…
Dear Sunup,

The leg space is pretty tight - completely agree with you. I found it tough to sit straight even if the seat ahead of me was even slightly reclined. Even the width of the seat is lower compared to the Volvo. But, given the cost, its a pretty neat package.
Anand K said…
I am wondering why the KSRTC is fitting the Speed Governors in the Inter State routes and I don't know the rationale behind it. I have noticed the Speed Governor in the Madurai - Thiruvalla Super Deluxe Service.
to provide safest journey for the passengers. if they are not doin this, whats the difference b/w ksrtc and private bus operators?
Binai.K.Sankar said…
Sujith,

I don't agree with you that this is for providing "safe" journey. There are instances where even buses traveling at 40kmph have caused bad accidents. Instead of installing speed governors, the government should have the guts to improve infrastructure and train drivers about safety. You can be safe at any speed - provided you have absolute control on your vehicle.

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