A Tamil Nadu Government-owned State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) “Ultra-Deluxe” bus on its way from Changanasserry in Kerala to Chennai via Kottayam, Kumaly, Kambam, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruchchi, Perambalur, Villupuram and Tindivanam. Leaves Changanaserry at 1500, Kottayam at 1530, Kumily at 2030 (yeah, 5 hours for 100 km!), reaches Chennai at around 8 in the morning. Very, very slow, crawling and underpowered. SETC operates long-distance and “luxury” service buses in Tamil Naduwhile TNSTC operates ordinary and “non-luxury” services. By “luxury” they usually mean individual seats with push-back. The route number is 768 UD. Captured on the KK (Kottayam – Kumily) Road 7 km from Kottayam. A Kerala private bus to Manimala can be seen behind it. Captured while running, no cropping done.
A Mercedes Benz (single axle) bus of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) makes its way to Chennai from Bangalore, seen at Sadanandanagar in Bangalore. This bus model is relatively rare, as all new buses are multi-axle. Note the nicely designed door and the overall compact dimensions and looks. Unlike Volvo which builds its own bus bodies, Mercedes buses are built by Sutlej.
One of many KPN Travels India Ltd’s Multi-Axle Volvo 9400s (B9R) on its way to Chennai from Bangalore getting ready to depart as seen at Bommanahalli, Hosur Road, Bangalore. The mighty Volvo will complete the 350 km Bangalore – Chennai stretch in 4 and a half hours. The Hosur Road – Electronic City Elevated highway can be seen in the background.
The 16041/16042 Chennai – Alappuzha (Alleppy) – Chennai Express at Thrissur Railway Station, hauled by Erode’s WAP 4 #22232. The first coach (SLR) with the name board. The Board says Alappuzhaaa Express in Tamil and Malayalam, and Alempi Express in Hindi. Hahaha. The 16041/16042 is the Second Express train ever in Kerala and the very FIRST Express that started running in South Kerala and survives to this date. The history of the train goes back as far as 1944 when it started running as some slip coaches to be attached to the then 12/13 MAQ – MAS Malabar Express. Later it became a separate train and for a time was named the 41/42 Madras – Cochin “Kerala” Express, the most prestigious and premium train in Kerala! Later it was downgraded and now stops everywhere, and even goes to Coimbatore lately!
KSRTC’s (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) Volvo 9400 Multi-Axle Semi Sleeper bus on its way from Bangalore to Chennai via Hosur, Krishnagiri and Vellore stuck in traffic at Madiwala Check Post signal. The buses are branded “Airavat Club Class” and with the tagline “Sleep like a baby” (aaramamaagi maguvinandha nidrisi), both written in Kannada on the sides of the bus. Quite long and handsome looking bus, it is very comfortable and KSRTC provides excellent service. (Volvo 9400 series models were earlier known as the Volvo B9R)
KSRTC’s Mercedes-Benz multi axle bus smoothly slithers past Sadananda Nagar on a rainy noon on its way from Bangalore to Chennai. Though outnumbered by Volvos, KaSRTC has a fair share of Mercedes buses as well, and they run under the same brand name “Airavat” as the Volvos. A difference here is that Volvo coaches are bodied by Volvo themselves while Mercedes coaches are built by Sutlej. Both are equally classy.