Saturday 25th October 2008 ~ 50mph - Is It Enough ?
37573 arriving at Lynn 25 minutes late this afternoon on K7
37568 at King's Lynn bus station awaiting attention from a Volvo fitter six hours after it failed
37563 heads East at Walpole Highway on K15
After the third day of B9 Gemini operation, all of a sudden feats of endurance hitherto a daily occurrence by the N reg B10s become noteworthy. Today 20105 on K6 on time at 10.09 from Wisbech to Lowestoft and the same this evening at 19.09 heading east again, or 20103 on J11 delayed as usual by the Canary fans streaming out of Carrow Road after a 2.1 comeback against Doncaster Rovers, it was 10 late through Walpole Highway at 19.28 heading west and 3 early returning through Tilney at 21.22, these old buses certainly have the ability to keep or even regain time. Will we ever see this with the Geminis ? Well unless their 50mph handicap is lifted it would seem unlikely and a complete recast of the X1 timetable may be required if todays events are anything to go by.
King's Lynn sent out five Geminis today along with two Paragons and 4 B10s. The first blip was unfortunate when 37568 on K2 expired at King's Lynn having come in from Peterborough and couldn't continue east at 09.42. I will let John Wilson explain : "37568...... Oh Dear !! When I arrived through KL bus station at 0957, 37568 was on the Norwich stand with passengers on board, although showing no destination/route display - presumably the 09.42 departure running late. I saw that other passengers were not being allowed on, so hung on to see how late it would depart. I saw that fitters were on board, so obviously a problem. By 10.18, 20118 had arrived for the 10.12, then a fitter brought in 20352 and the passengers and those waiting for 37568 boarded 20352. At 10.18, 20118 departed with several on board, followed by 20352 with many passengers at 10.22. When I left town at around 11.15, 20501 was ready to leave with the 11.12, and 37568 was still standing forlorn on the Norwich stand. In Lynn also were 20131 on 41, and 20142 on bus station showing 41, but then left for VA". I ventured out this afternoon, Kieren had told me that K3 and K15 were Geminis, so I positioned myself outside Bruce's home (he was away today) at the appointed time of 14.18 when they should pass at this point. First along was 37563 on K15 which was only 9 minutes late - I have read that earlier the driver had encountered low power problems at Easton. K3 was 20 late with 37567 which was pottering along. I then went to Lynn where 37568 was still dead in the Lowestoft bay, apparently initially it seemed a fuse had blown, but when replaced it blew again and a Volvo engineer had to attend and diagnosed loose wiring behind the dashboard. K15 departed 12 late with 37563, but by this evening it had lost time badly and hadn't passed the Hardwick Roundabout at 21.18 (due off Lynn at 20.59). Bruce recorded it passing Walpole Highway at 21.53, 36 minutes late. K3 with 37567 was seen by Tina at the same location at 22.34, a mere 17 late. Back to this afternoon now and also seen was K17 14.18 ex Peterborough with 37564 running 15 late and K7 14.59 Lynn - Peterborough with Karen driving seen near the South Gates running almost 25 minutes late with 37573. 20126 on K5 was 15 late arriving at Lynn and was eventually delayed until 14.59 taking two lots of passengers. It may be coincidence but the 11.59 off Lynn westbound was dead on time with 20114, see also the earlier comments re B10s.
37571 was out of service today with its destination display not working and 37566 remained at Vancouver Avenue with 37569.
Jamie V paid a visit to Norwich today and saw 20106/141 and 20507 at the depot compound, while 20118/142 were at Rowan Road tonight labelled up for tomorrows rail replacement work between Downham Market and Cambridge.
A little anniversary today - it is four years exactly since I first began monitoring buses on the X1. Just for the record, the buses in service on that day were all the B12s except 20502 and B10s out were 20107/114/120/122/127/131/140/141/142. Today four years later, 20114/127 and 20500/01/03/04/05/08 were still working hard on the same route.