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Showing posts from November, 2018

TN-SETC AC Sleeper: Bangalore to Coimbatore

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Sometime in June 2018: Tamil Nadu State Express Transport Corporation, the state's long-distance services operator, introduced new Sleeper class coaches - their top-of-the line offering, to date. As luck would have it, one was operated on the Bangalore-Coimbatore route, perhaps the only route where I had even a remote chance of trying them!

Fast Forward to October 2018: I and TW were planning to head to Kerala during diwali - TW is new to her job, and she was unsure of being able to get leaves on the days we wanted. We kept procrastinating our decision to book. Towards the end of October, I decided to bite the bullet and book a ticket. TW made it clear that she wanted a Sleeper coach. Just what the patient wanted - I quickly glanced at the other options I had, and came to the conclusion that the TN-SETC Sleeper coach to Coimbatore was the best option we had. Wasting no time, I headed to their website (www.tnstc.in) and grabbed two lower berths towards the front of the bus. Although…

First on the Celeste! Thrissur to Bengaluru - Kerala Lines

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Prakash Bus Corporation launched their new premium sleeper model - 'Celeste' sometime in October 2017. The new model was built from scratch on the new Volvo B11R Euro-4 chassis. The coach was offered on both, the 13.8m & 14.5m, variants of the new Volvo B11R. Fully built as a Sleeper coach, the coach offered better ride quality and comfort to passengers.

Almost a year since the coach was launched, I was yet to get a chance to travel by the Celeste. My good friends at Kerala Lines had launched their own Celeste coach some time in mid August 2018. The coach was built on the 14.5m variant of the B11R, and had 42 premium berths. This coach was among the first choices as I looked for my return ticket from Thrissur to Bengaluru, after Puja holidays. Fares was low, at the normal weekday rates - I decided to grab this opportunity and booked two berths - I & TW were traveling.

October 20, 2018:
We had planned to leave home around 2000hrs - it was raining through this time, and …

Airavat Club Class: Bangalore to Thrissur

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There were no plans to go home for Dussehra initially. My parents were to join us in Bangalore for Pooja, but the plans went for a twist as the pooja came closer. As it got confirmed that we had to go home for Pooja, and in fact reach there for Durgashtami itself - tickets were being sold at a premium - and I decided to stick to Karnataka SRTC - for two reasons - one, their fares were the lowest, two, they offered a late departure, which suited us the most. The return was booked with a private operator - we were returning on Saturday night, and options were aplenty.

October 16, 2018:
Quite unusually, I managed to leave office on time, and got home well in time to get ready before TW returns from office. TW ended up a little late, and we had to hurry - hurrying out of home is constant, irrespective of how well we plan! We left home a while after 1930hrs, hurried out to the nearest metro station. We missed a train just as we entered the platform - the next one came 8 minutes later. We h…

Changanassery to Bengaluru: Kerala Lines Scania!

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Booking on Kerala Lines was a no-brainer. We had taken Kerala Lines to Kerala on our trip to distribute deluge rehabilitation material. It was a precluded decision to book our return also on Kerala Lines. The tickets were booked when we reached their office for the outbound journey (read here) - the requirement was that we wanted a bus that reached Bangalore first - we were given tickets on the Adoor-Bangalore Scania.

October 11, 2018:
It was a very tiring, but a very content day. We wrapped up the day distributing 'return to school' kits to needy students in the Kuttanad area, and then returned to Changanassery. After confirming our pick-up point, we headed to a restaurant nearby for some good dinner and also to get fresh. We took our time to finish dinner and then headed to our pick-up point by around 1915hrs. I had already received an SMS that the bus had some technical issues with its GPS tracker, and hence it was un-trackable. The guy at the office called up the crew for …