Friday October 16th 2009 ~ One Year Later (Part 1)
King's Lynn depot this evening, exactly 12 months since the first Gemini arrivals. 37566 stands next to the earlier built 37158 with 37575 in the background.
37572 complete with wheeltrims (shortly to be removed) was tonight's first King's Lynn arrival off K19.
37575, the highest mileage Lynn based Gemini gets a bath at its home garage this evening
Well a year is a long time in politics they say, the same could be said in public transport. Tonight it was exactly twelve months since I first set eyes on the first X1 Geminis. If you look back at the relevant blog you will see the pictures I took on that occasion and above are some taken this evening with the necessary permision.
Despite various reports around the turn of the year predicting their removal from the route for a variety of reasons, the B9s continue to ply the route and look set to continue in 2010. How long the B10M coaches will continue to supplement the fleet is uncertain. Every time they seem to be on the point of making a dignified exit, problems with newer vehicles give them a reprieve. We have seen this with the Geminis and the Profiles. The majority of people in the company who I have spoken to have nothing but praise for these coaches and it is ironic that while little trouble has been experienced with the engines, it is the corroding bodywork which will be responsible for the eventual demise of the type. About the only thing the B9s have going for them from a drivers point of view is that being shorter than a B10M, they are easier to manouevre.
There was virtual gridlock in King's Lynn for a time this morning after a fatal accident on the eastern bypass saw the Hardwick roundabout come to a stand. In addition roadworks with three way temporary lights on South Brink in Wisbech and at Walton Highway were then joined by a further set at Terrington St. John. Couple this with the ongoing Peterborough roadworks and it is a wonder that the service didn't capitulate completely.
Although very few diagrams were viewed during the morning, with some help from Bruce I have managed to piece together what worked all but one turn. The missing one is Y13 which is somewhere between Peterborough and Wisbech as I write this, but I will not be driving up to Walpole Highway at 00.10 to check which bus is working it ! I will rest with the theory that it should be 37578. Worst affected by the delays was K15 09.26 from Lowestoft which is due through Walton Highway at 13.05 and was seen at this location at 13.40. The next service with 20103 was a mere 23 late going to Peterborough. Things had eased by teatime and 20107 was just a few minutes late on K4. Incidentally 107 has become associated with a two day cycle this week. Its workings since last Friday have been K4 on Friday, Monday, Wednesday and again today and Y7 on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday. Each two day cycle has seen it accumulate 717 miles - not bad for an old'un. 20104 was the other B10M out and this worked K2. There was no sign of 20126 today, but as I have indicated morning services were not fully observed.
K19 had a vehicle change this afternoon, 37572 which was working the turn was swapped at King's Lynn for 37579 and this did the 17.32 to Lowestoft. 37568 seen arriving at King's Lynn this evening on L11 did so with 'Not In Service' showing on the front instead of the normal display. On my way to Lynn tonight found myself following 37577 on K5 doing a respectable 60 on the A47 in the traffic flow, certainly a slightly higher speed than I would have expected. 37567/8 now carry small rear adverts for Kwikfit tyres.