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19/12/2009

Friday 18th December 2009 ~ Battling Against The Elements

Jim Long kindly sent this picture of former X1 stalwart 20122 at Ipswich today. It is now a driver trainer, but has clearly suffered from the overnight snow. That most reliable of B9s, 37564 is seen at Wisbech today on Y13 - a mere 40 late. Thanks to Rob Brooks for the photo.


Seen in a snow shower, 37158 was captured at Wisbech on the late running K14. Photo : Rob Brooks


Today's star performer, the shortly to be withdrawn N605APU (20105) photographed at Wisbech by Rob B prior to its departure at 12.36 to Lowestoft.



As expected, here in the west at least, the X1 was affected by the snow and frost overnight. Compared to earlier this year however, a sterling effort was made to ensure that a reasonable service was provided despite the conditions. My first experience of the route came as usual at 08.30 this morning and the C classified section from Tilney to Walton Highway was pretty bad, but passable with care. I stopped off for a chat with Bruce who said that things were improving and that I'd just missed 37578 heading for Peterborough. This was in the times of Y6 but was in fact K5, about 30 minutes late. I headed towards Wisbech and passed 37567 at 08.43 in Walton Highway, this was Lowestoft bound and was running 8 late if K2 and 38 late if K1 !
The easiest way to report on the rest of the day is to record events in chronological order and here is what was seen (casual rather than continuous observations) up to 11.00

09.20 B9 arriving at Wisbech for Lowestoft, believed to be K3 running 30 late
09.45 37562 arriving at Wisbech for Lowestoft, thought to be K4 25 late
10.28 37563 departing Wisbech for Peterborough, this is believed to have been Y9 running a mere 8 late

Jamie R was at Peterborough rail station at 11.15 awaiting an eastbound X1 and the first service to arrive was (quite notably) 20105 in the path of L10. The driver had a chat with Jamie and told him that he was then going to pick up at Queensgate and suggested that he wait for the service a few minutes behind which was running direct to Wisbech. 37563 then arrived and boarded by Jamie did indeed run through without visiting the bus station and with very few passengers as a consequence. Rob Brooks was at Wisbech and says 'Here is my report from Wisbech Horsefair :
20105 L10 1226 Wisbech - Lowestoft a1232 d1234
37158 K14 1248 Wisbech - Peterborough a1315 d1318
37576 K16 1435 Peterborough - Lowestoft about 5ish late.
My next sighting was L12 which had 37566 and departed Wisbech at midday (12 late) and was seen passing Walpole on the return at 13.53, 19 late.
I too saw 37158 heading west at Walsoken and this one lost time badly and was 62 late coming back. Y13 had 37564 and was 40 late into Wisbech for the 13.56 to Lowestoft.
Other afternoon services viewed at Wisbech were as follows :

37573 K18 14.48 Wisbech - Peterborough : 4 late

37576 (as seen by Rob) K16 15.26 to Lowestoft : 7 late

37575 K19 15.18 Wisbech - Peterborough : 12 late

In addition, K1 was only 2 late with an unidentified B9.
Bruce had a busy day but can add 37572 on L8 at 12.16 through Walpole, meaning it was 41 late.

Tonight road conditions took a drastic turn for the worse around Wisbech with (disgracefully) no gritting having been done by Cambs CC. K4 was 47 late departing for Lowestoft with 37565 and this was followed shortly after by K5 with 37579 (this had gone 'out of service' to Peterborough earlier) and this was 35 late. Both buses were reduced to a 15 mph crawl on the old road because of the severe ice which had formed.

2 comments:

Des Speed said...

Hi Gerard,
Just to comment on the sightings - I brought 37563 on the 05.50 ex Yarmouth. K/L arrival should have been 08.07 but arrived at 09.08. Not wholly due to weather conditions but the problem of slow cautious drivers on the various roads, sometimes speeding along at a heady 25 mph on the A47! Traffic congestion into K/L was also another factor. 37563 then departed for Peterborough at 09.15. My duty scheduled me on the 09.32 ex K/L to Lowestoft, I took the statutory 45mins rest break and awaited the next X1 heading for Lowestoft. The next Peterborough departure arrived at K/L at 09.43 and was promptly switched to a Lowestoft departure with a K/L driver. At 10.00 I was asked if I could disregard my duty and take 20105 from K/L to Peterborough (There being no K/L drivers available to go in that direction.) I followed the full route and overtook 37563 on the outskirts of Peterborough. So the approximate departure from Peterborough rail of 37563 at 11.20 should have been the 09.35 departure. On my return journey, I once again caught up with 37563 and transferred my onward passengers to 37563. The driver that I had 'lapped' was (I was told today - Sat) also 'lapped' on a later Friday journey! He's an ex London driver and commented that they don't have weather conditions like this in London! Regards....

Gerardtcc said...

Hi Des,

Thanks very much for explaining things. A great help. Cheers Gerard