Monday 26th January 2009 ~ The Travelling Public
An artists impression courtesy of Jamie V of what 131 would look like in Schools livery !
Some of you regular readers of this blog will have experienced travel on an X1 service with one of the new B9s. It is pretty common knowledge by now what I think of them -no heating, inadequate seating spacing, fizz lighting etc - but I must say I actually find them quite aesthetically pleasing from the outside. The livery whilst not being practical, is smart and their ability to keep the schedules following the speed upgrade is now up to coach standard (and that takes a bit of admitting after the hard time this blog gave them in the first ten weeks). Today though two of our regular correspondents, quite by coincidence, travelled on a B9 for the first time and here are their thoughts .
Kieron says "It's official - the X1 deckers suck ! Travelling on the 09.59 from Lynn (J11) I've just arrived at Wisbech and am en route to Peterborough. I'm cold, my back hurts and can't get my legs comfy". Bruce also tried a B9 for the first time taking L13 13.19 from Walpole Highway to Lynn with 37579, he said "On 579 nearly at Lynn and feel seasick , it's like a trawler in a gale. Sitting just behind the staircase upstairs and the legroom is inadequate but clearly better than the other seats". He had a slightly improved journey back on 37564 on K5 but sitting at the front found (as I did) that your knees get bruised and it is easier to sit sideways.
It was a dank foggy morning here in the Fens. On my way to work I passed K1 07.48 ex Peterborough dead on time with 20107 and then espied through the gloom an unidentified B9 in front of me 28 late on K6. Rob Brooks was about too and says, "saw K6 at Cromwell Road roundabout at 09.03", confirming it as about 27 late, but like me failing to identify the bus concerned. Tonight K6 was 10 late at Walpole at 17.27 with 37578. Other sightings by Rob this morning were : "37563 K2 0818 ex Peterborough on time departing, Thorney 3 late, Wisbech arr 0908, dep 0914 (5 late). Awkward passengers!! 20351 K4 0848 ex Peterborough a few down (saw the inbound at Eye at 0840) later seen entering Wisbech on 0939 to Lowestoft a few late. 37571 - Y8 0901 Wisbech - Peterborough left 5 late. 37572, J10 1001 Wisbech - Peterborough arrived 1000 depart 1005 after being boxed in by NG Solos and arrived 1138 on the 1139 back to Lowestoft. 37576 L12 1101 Wisbech - Peterboro departed 1107. 37565 Y9 1108 Wisbech - Lowestoft arrived 1106 departed on time, having been 3 late departing Wisbech on the 09.31 and finally 37579 L13 1131 Wisbech - Peterbro (07.45 ex Lowestoft) left 1 early after having arrived 5 early!!!!!!!
I can report subsequent happenings with Y14 12.01 Wisbech - P'bo being right time with 37568, but then for some reason being 14 late returning. K15 14.09 Wisbech - Lowestoft was on time with 37575. K16 was also a B9 seen slightly late by Bruce, while K17 was a Profile as booked, 20353 in fact which was 4 late after release from repairs. 37570 was K18 .
K4 this evening was 37563 running 28 late at Walsoken, having taken over from the B7 reported earlier. Other evening sightings were 37565 Y9 4 early, 37579 L13 2 early, 37568 Y14 right time.
37571 which Rob saw on Y8 didn't complete this turn and Bruce saw it heading for Lynn bus station at 14.30 with 'not in service' on the front. I think it was probably K20 tonight. The B9 on K20 was seen arriving at Wisbech at 20.58 which is exceptional and probably indicates an early departure from Queensgate (sched 20.28). The record for earliest ever eastbound arrival falls to 20509 a few years back when it arrived at 21.51 on the 21.28 from Queensgate, but is assumed to have turned round short of its destination. The record for a coach is held by 20141 which was seen arriving at 14.59 one Sunday afternoon a couple of years ago.