Showing posts from January, 2020

Thrissur to Bengaluru: Salabham Mercedes Benz 'DreamZ' Sleeper coach

MG built sleeper on Mercedes Benz Chassis launching tomorrow!

The very next day, the all new "Dreamz" built on Mercedes Benz OM2441 Chassis was launched by MG Bus & Coach, at the BusWorld Expo in Bengaluru. This happened in September 2018.

The launch bus was handed over to Salabham travels later. Some things went wrong. The bus didn't come to the road until early 2019. They ran the bus on routes - then went off roads for some time, and then again relaunched during Christmas 2019.

How can I not try this bus, was the question I had. The timings of this bus while it runs from Bengaluru to Thrissur was not very comfortable for me - I had to try it out in the opposite direction for sure. The bus terminates at Madiwala, and hence I had to budget for travel time from Madiwala till my residence - this effectively ruled out this option if I had to reach Bangalore on a working day. My turn to try this bus came when I looked for tickets to return after an extended holiday for M…

Hosur to Thrissur: Kochuveli Garib Rath Express

I had booked this ticket quite in advance - Makar Sankranti holiday, plus a plan to take a couple of day leave to make it a long holiday at home. I opted for a lower berth, and ended up getting a side lower berth - I was worried from the moment I saw this. The side middle berth would surely make it claustrophobic, and I always have a fear of congested places. In the run up to the journey, a lot of things changed, and I ended up having to change my boarding point to Hosur.

January 14, 2020:
I had reached Hosur a little before 1930hrs, on a bus from Chennai. After alighting outside the bus station, I spent some time walking aimlessly - around the bus station and the flower market opposite the bus station. The flower market was busy - Tamil Nadu was celebrating its biggest festival, Pongal, the next day. The entire area was busy - people were every where. I kept wandering around for some more time, before I headed to a restaurant nearby for dinner. I had to spend a lot of time - my train…

Chennai to Hosur: KMRL Kalaimakal Travels AC Sleeper

One email from Chennai - about a presentation at Chennai - turned a lot of my plans upside down. I had plans to go home for Makar Sankranti - spend a few days with my darling daughter. The original plan was to spend 5 days at home - certain situations in office made me cut this down to 2. Now this email threatened to cut it down to zero! I was missing my cutie really badly - and really wanted to go home. I looked at all possibilities to head home from Chennai - trains were sold out, buses were selling at astronomical fares (low cost airlines would be ashamed). I did not want to spend that kind of money to travel. In fact, tickets to Bangalore weren't cheap either.

At this point, I decided to retain my original booking from Bengaluru to Thrissur by train. I had reserved a ticket by train a few months in advance - I hadn't reserved my return ticket though. I began searching for trains from Chennai to Bengaluru - with the hope of being able to connect to my train from Bengaluru …

A Quick trip to Chennai: RKK Volvo B9R

The biggest confusion I have everytime I head to Chennai is whether I must travel the previous day, or take an overnighter, or taken an early morning bus. Overnight buses are almost always ruled out since that necessitates renting a room to get fresh - I prefer reaching Chennai the previous night in such cases. This time around, an evening departure was ruled out due to official commitments. I was left with the option of taking an early morning bus now - I looked at the options available, and picked up my favorite option on the route - RKK Travels. There were two reasons behind this decision - one, my previous experiences with them were great; two, they offered a pick-up at Majestic!

January 14, 2020:
I had hardly slept the previous night - the excitement about the journey kept me awake for most part of the night, and I might have managed about 2 hours of sleep at the most. The alarm went off at 0200hrs - I had planned to leave home past 0230hrs, and I was absolutely unsure of being a…

Thrissur to Bengaluru: KSRTC Ambaari Dream Class Volvo Sleeper!

Traveling post-Christmas is always an expensive affair. I had a train ticket for travel on Christmas day itself, but changes in plans made be cancel the ticket and reschedule the journey by road. Now, buses are often the priciest option available - I had to stick to state buses to save on some money. I looked at the sole sleeper option from Thrissur, and found it didn't have 'better' seats - I booked a seat on an Airavat Club Class. As the date for my journey kept coming closer, a great new broke in - KSRTC (Karnataka) was introducing a new Ambaari Dream Class service from Thrissur to Bengaluru - this was perhaps the best news I heard. I waited for the reservations to open, and I certainly was the first to book a ticket on the first ever trip of the Ambaari Dream Class service from Thrissur to Bengaluru. I cancelled the other ticket I had, in the meantime. Ambaari Dream Class is KSRTC's premium sleeper offering! This new fleet of multi-axle Volvo sleeper buses feature…

Trichy to Thrissur: 'Tea Garden' Express train!

The options to travel from Trichy to Thrissur seemed quite limited - only one premium bus listed, and at a high cost as well. I wasn't very happy booking this ticket at the price they had listed. I looked at trains, and found one option listed there as well. Sometime during the process, I even considered doing a break journey - changing buses on the way. I hadn't factored in the amount of luggage I would be carrying when I planned this journey. As the date for my journey came closer, I decided to book on the train - and ended up getting a side-upper berth.

The train I booked my ticket on is the present day Karaikal-Ernakulam Express. This train traces its roots to the 20th century when it started as the Mettupalayam-Cochin Harbour Terminus 'Tea Garden' Express carrying parcels containing tea leaves from the Nilgiris to the port at Cochin from where it is exported. I am not sure if it always ran from Mettupalayam - but that is what my father tells me. The train was lat…

Bengaluru to Trichy: Sri Renganathan AC Sleeper

Trichy is a city in Tamil Nadu, that I have never been to. I wanted to go there, but an opportunity never came. The opportunity came there in the form of a brochure - a brochure for a four-day workshop at a medical college in Trichy. I was excited about the event, and applied without much ado. A colleague from my department also applied for the event. We did not book our onwards ticket until we got the confirmation - but our return tickets were booked (not exactly return, but we were heading to our hometowns from Trichy) since we were traveling right before Christmas.

The confirmation for our event came in about a month (a little less than a month, actually) before the event. We had to reach Trichy the previous evening - and hence decided to book on a day service. There weren't too many options - and picking one was made easy. I decided to book on Shri Renganathan Travels AC Sleeper - since two of us were traveling, I booked on a lower double berth - I realized a folly in this mu…