Monday 27th October 2008 ~ A Big Mistake
The comfort of the B12 Paragons will surely be missed this winter ? 20509 stands outside Vancouver Avenue garage before running light to Norwich and working the 17.17 to Peterborough (K20)
One of our B10s destined for First Glasgow is 20114, seen today clawing back 15 minutes of lost time on K16 09.25 ex Lowestoft. By the time it left Lynn on the 15.12 to Lowestoft it was only 5 late.
Talking to a 'First' X1 driver this evening, I used the situation as an opportunity to quiz him about the new double deckers. The conversation went something like this :
Q : "What do you think of these new deckers then ?" -
A: "I'd rather have one of those (a B1o)";
Q "Why what's wrong with them ?" -
A :" I've taken one to Lowestoft from Lynn twice now and with a 50mph max, you just can't keep time, I reckon on both occasions so far I have lost 15 minutes running time purely because of the 50mph limiter"
Q : "So there's no chance of keeping to the timetable then ?"
A : "Well I have had one of them which has been upgraded to 56mph, I took it to Peterborough early the other morning and we just kept time, but when the traffic is heavier I don't know"
Certainly today, not all the delays could be attributed to the Gemini speed handicap, as traffic in Yarmouth was horrendous and there was an accident on the A47 at Hockering. worst affected service was Y8 09.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft which arrived at its destination 90 minutes late. The driver then took 20111 empty to Norwich via Beccles Bypass and worked forward as L13 at 18.17 from Norwich, with 20107 coming back on Y8.
On the Gemini front, things seemed to go from bad to worse. John W says he seems to curse K2 09.42 Lynn - Lowestoft (see Saturday's report), as it left about 25 down with 20504 which had done K20 (the Norwich and return empty turn) after 37566 was removed from its first revenue earning trip. Quite what happened today is currently unclear, but 37573 on K17 06.27 Lynn - Lowestoft failed to appear on the return and 20117 took its place, seen dead on time at Wisbech by Rob B and also by Bruce and myself at Walpole. As 20117 had allegedly started the day on K18, we half expected 37573 to turn up on this, but in the end it failed to run at all. The next service westbound from Lynn was K3 which was Gemini 37567 and this was seen at Tilney Coach & Horses running 28 late ! Following it only 3 late was 20104 on K5, next westbound was K7 14.59 ex Lynn which was 15 late departing with 20502, but only 9 late when seen by Rob Brooks on the return. Another Gemini moment came next in the form of 37564 (still a 50mph restricted vehicle) which was seen firstly approaching Hardwick roundabout 31 minutes behind time and then a while later heading down (yes you've guessed it !) the Wisbech Bypass to make up some of the defecit. It didn't succeed and was still exactly 31 late at Walpole Highway on the return trip. Wisbech passengers who missed 20502 at 15.45 had to wait until 20504 arrived at 16.45 to get to Peterborough, which has been a common occurrence in the past week.
Profile 20352 on K4 was 20 late at Walpole and 26 late from Wisbech although Rob B who was on board says it got to Peterborough in 34 minutes which is commendable. Two Geminis not mentioned so far which were in service fared a little better, 37563 did J10 06.40 Gorleston - Peterborough etc and 37568 did K6 07.59 Lynn - P'bo etc and was only 5 late leaving Lynn on the 19.42 to Lowestoft. Mystery of the day is what happened to 37566/71/73 and the rumour is that they have returned to Volvo for rectification. 566 came off K2 and was not at Lynn after this, 571 which had been demic at Rowan Road had gone by this afternoon and 37573 did not complete K17, so a pretty sorry tale and whilst we are not in the business of 'bashing 'First'', it does seem that the decision to settle for a 50mph speed limit was a particularly ill thought out one. As they say things can only get better.
37569 is still at Vancouver Avenue on test and 20506 is having some of its panels beaten back into shape. X1 accident victim Scania 65540 has returned from repairs today.
Thanks to everyone who has signed up to the blog, your emails have been very kind and as ever your comments and sightings are welcome. finally a big hello to Mick in North Carolina - surely our most distant follower !!