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Friday 4th September 2009 ~ Changing Times

Grahame reports that the latest fleet list shows 20123/131 as withdrawn, rather than unfit for service. Word is that 20123 is to be looked at next week and if its engine can be made good it will be repaired and returned to traffic as the bodywork is good. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of 20131 which needs a lot of welding and if the engine in 20123 turns out to be dud, then the engine from 131 will be used if compatible. This means it really is the end of the road for dear old 131 which owes First nothing. For the record its last X1 use was on July 15th and its last working of all two days later on Hunstanton schools. Schools contracts resume next week which will deprive the X1 of three B10Ms and the vehicles in the frame are 20105/118/121. 105 is still in use on the X1 and did Y6 all day today sending it through to Lowestoft tonight. The plan is to replace it in the morning with Gemini 37579 off a safety service. 118 was taken off X1 duty this morning - it had done K3 to Peterborough and back - and was replaced by 20352.
Volvo engineers attended to 37572 at King's Lynn today and it should be back functioning tomorrow. A shortage of parts means 37573/6/7 remain at Volvo and it is hoped that at least one will be back on the road by midweek. 37565 returned today on L8 and 37564 which had a day off yesterday came out on Y13 today meaning 20107/127 could be rested until they are next needed.
I don't think the B7s will be around for much longer - the ramp on 20351 which was repaired recently has now failed again and as these take almost 20 minutes to function, they are hardly suitable for a service with a 30 minute frequency. Having said that all three were once again in action today. Royale 34108 did Y7 today and a reduced number of B10Ms were in evidence : 20103 on K4, 20105 on Y6, 20106 on L10 this morning and L11 tonight and 20118 as described earlier. Punctuality suffered as usual on a Friday with afternoon services running up to 20 minutes behind time.

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