Showing posts from November, 2015

Thrissur to Bangalore: On a Kerala State RTC "Multiaxle"

I was fully undecided about my return journey after my vacation. Air Tickets for Sunday went at high rates, while I couldn't opt for a bus since I needed to be in Bangalore maximum by 4AM on monday. Tickets for buses leaving on Sunday were being sold for astronomical sums as well. I finally decided to take a bus on Saturday instead - and have a nice rest at home on Sunday, so that I can start off fresh on Monday. I decided to look for state buses - I hadn't travelled in a Kerala RTC multi-axle buses in a very long time - almost a year! This was the best opportunity for me to try them again - there were four options, and I briefly considered taking the last bus - but ruled out since that bus would reach Bangalore quite late in the morning. I finally decided to take the last Kerala RTC bus via Salem, which is the 1515hrs Trivandrum-Bangalore service. Booking was done online. In the run up to my journey, I got a mild hint that I might get the Scania Metrolink 13.7M trial bus fo

First ride on Airavat Diamond Class: Bangalore to Thrissur

Scania was launched in India about two years back. The initial product as only the 14.5M variant, followed by the 12M and the 13.7M variants. The first institutional buyer to purchase the 13.7m variant was the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. KSRTC went in for a new brand name for the Scanias, and called them the Airavat Diamond Class . The basic question, like everyone asked, was - what is the difference between the Diamond Class and the Club Class. One primary difference was that Club Class used Volvo B9Rs and Mercedes Benz Multi-Axle buses, while Diamond Class used newer Scania Metrolink HD 13.7m multi-axle buses. Club Class buses have a seating capacity of 49 (44 semi-sleeper seats and 5 regular 'executive' seats), while Diamond Class buses have only 46 seats - all semi-sleeper. The fares are the same in both the classes. Airavat Diamond Class was first inducted into the KSRTC fleet sometime during the end of June 2015. They initially replaced the first set of