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Monday 14th September 2009 ~ A Masterpiece Of Timing

Today, for once, the X1 timetable seemed to actually work out as forecast. The first turn from Yarmouth (Y6) was the exception, being 13 late with 37568 and 37570 was 7 late on the 12.45 Lynn - Peterborough (K15), but these were the heaviest delays noted. There are just about enough vehicles to cover at present and this morning this required all the allocated buses at King's Lynn to be available. In the event this didn't happen and 37578 was kept in (possibly for servicing) meaning that K3 had 65528 as on Friday. It worked all day and was spot on time departing Wisbech on the 16.48 to Peterborough.
B10Ms in action were 20103 on K4, 20104 on L12 and 20106 on K5.

I promised last week to air your views on my mini rant about the B9s. Here are some of your comments.

Rob Brooks says "You said you'd like to hear our thoughts, so here's mine: Parks Of Hamilton & Tratherns Services (although the same company in essence) both used double deck Neoplan Skyliners on National Express duties from Scotland (Parks) and the deepest darkest south west (Tratherns) recently, until NatEx decided they didnt want double deck coaches on their approved list, so Parks & Tratherns got rid of them, and replaced them with tri-axle 14m B12B(T) Plaxton Panthers. Thinking about it they went at roughly the same time the B9s came on.... It would be great if the same could happen with the X1, I think these coaches seat 65, but knowing what FEC are like they could squeeze them up a bit and get 70"

Bruce adds "Really gonna exercise my thoughts following the invitation in the blog. Will keep the expletives out but this on a morning when so far I have seen 20105,20118,34108 and 37570 and its only 09.30!!!!!!"

Jim Long writes : " Hi Gerard and all. Yes I think you may be right about the choice of bus being used on the X1, but! may I just point out that the B9 is a 9.4litre turbo diesel designed by Renault,and the Volvo is only a 9.6litre turbo,but,designed by Volvo. As I have said to numerous people,why did they drop such a successful engine as the TD100 series ? It beats me, probably unable to get the emissions right, but, one would have thought a few electronic mods coupled to the fuel system, may?? have cured this, but I'm sure they would have looked at that,wouldn't they???
As for coaches,why go back to being overcrowded, unless we get say 25-30 of those I'm sure the route will pay in the long run for them,but, please bare in mind the Volvo coach on offer is now a B9R which is the same engine as the Decker and you have already condemned that as unsuitable, so what's left ? Why not try the Scania Omnidecker or even the latest versions of the Enviro400. Those two may just have the edge over the Gemini engine,but,what ever way we look at this,can you see Fec getting another batch of new buses for this service ? I can't, maybe after 5 years. Mind you, if it were to become Greyhound sponsored route Caetano Levante's may be the answer,and this then would be a flagship in this area.... Regards to all, Jim".

Thanks to those of you who wrote in and if anyone wishes to comment further, please get in touch.

1 comment:

Ian Wiseman said...

I don't know if this is fact or fiction but not long after the B9's started running I was on one going to Norwich and got talking to the driver in King's Lynn prior to leaving and he said that (in his words) we were "stuck with them" even though "they were a mistake and not the ones that First meant for the X1" - he went on to say that the B9's we were meant to get were more comfortable and would be seen as a definate step up from the B10's B7's etc. However when FEC took delivery of the batch and had them liveried up it was then realised that these had actually been meant for First in another part of the country but as the X1 was desperately in need of the upgrade it was decided to take this batch rather than wait longer for the ones we should have recieved....i guess what we need to know in order to gauge if this is true is did First somewhere else get a batch of really posh B9's after we got these when they would seem too posh for the routes they are used on....maybe leather seats etc....and possibly a more reliable and better engine.