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1066 and all that ! ~ Blog Catch Up

Yes it's post number 1066 ! So appropriately history is made as the MD of First Bus takes a look at the X1, but more of that anon. To begin with let's go back to Friday 24th to see what happened .....

Friday 24th June

Morning services seemed to run well and even 37570 on L12 which is due eastbound from Walpole at 13.36 was bang on time. I travelled to Norwich first thing and viewed several services, all Gemini worked. Malcolm had a day out on the X1 traversing the entire route. He says " I had a great day and managed to see most of the X1 buses including 20352 on diagram K3.
 I had 37563 on K14 to Kings Lynn and 37571 to Peterborough on K15 (usually this bus does K17) . Coming home I travelled on 37579 on K17 to Kings Lynn, where 37575 replaced 37579 which went to the garage. From Lynn I took 37158 on K18 to Norwich and then 32211 on the 1850 Norwich to Lowestoft X2 service, as K18 terminates at Yarmouth. During the day 37569 replaced 37156 on L11, 37156 replaced 37575 on K1 and 37565 replaced 37160 on K5".
A lot of swaps there then and further investigation reveals the following. 20352 was only on K3 from the 09.32 Lynn to Lowestoft and the early part of the turn was worked by 37569 which then retired for an exam. 37156 looks to have been ailing once again, something which is happening with increasing regularity and it was taken off  L11 before being revived for K1. 37565 worked just the Lowestoft to Yarmouth breakfast leg of Y13 where 37157 took over. 37565 was then spare to relieve 37160 after lunch. Speaking of which, Matthew says "Thought you'd like to know that 37160 broke down AGAIN at 14:00 when leaving Lowestoft bus station. Chaos then ensued as the spare bus was brought in to bay 4 to load,  only for the 14:10 Service 1 to arrive,  meaning the replacement Gemini, 37565 had to reverse out and park in bay 7 , before it was loaded and despatched". The normally reliable 37160 seems to be becoming a liabilty at the moment and the B9s certainly seem to have the upper hand when it comes to reliability.
Punctuality suffered later in the day with 37156 being 24 late from Peterborough on the 16.35 and 37574 on Y6 17.45 from Lynn was 19 late at Walpole. Thanks to Bruce for a full days sightings.

Des says "An historic day today as First UK bus chief Giles Fearnley made an unannounced visit to Great Yarmouth depot, meeting and informally chatting with all grades of staff. This immediately started rumours that Yarmouth could be the first place in the UK to have localised 'First' operations without the national branding we have been used to. I spoke with Giles Fearnley and the topic got onto the X1 and the X1 Blog. He had been made aware of the blog by Nigel Barrett - Regional Managing Director and sees blogs like yours as a positive way of communicating with our passengers. He told me that he is intending to travel on the X1 at some point in the future".
Well that's good news indeed and we await futher developments on this.
37573 departs Peterborough Queensgate on K15 14.14 to Lowestoft on Tuesday. Photo : M.P. Turner

Saturday 25th June 2011

After yesterday, very little seemed to happen. The B7 worked services lost time with 37159 on L11 being 12 late and 37157 on K14 11 late. 37568 was sent to Volvo for modification yesterday and was absent today. The disgraced 37160 had a welcome day off at Lowestoft.
Des says "I was driving a poorly 37564 on Y13 08.25 from Lowestoft. Wet roads resulted in the usual adblue problems and by  Dereham, the adblue was showing as empty and the engine had derated. Later I was driving 37158 on the Y10 13.02 King's Lynn to Lowestoft, the bus was late into Lynn, resulting in a 10 minute late departure, however, we were on time by Norwich (14.50) - I was supposed to refuel at Lynn, but being late, I decided to fuel at Lowestoft at 16.10".
Refuelling of the B7s when on the longer diagrams is a daily occurence which we may not have mentioned before.

Sunday 26th June 2011

All B9s today - 37563/5/6/9, 37570/3/4/5/9 to be precise.
37566 at Lowestoft where some wag has been tampering with the 'Pedestrians' signage, 566 was about to work the 16.48 to Peterborough today. Photo from Des Speed

37570 at Gorleston Magdalen Square today while working the 07.35 King's Lynn to Lowestoft. Photo by Des Speed
37575 is joined by 37570 at Lowestoft this morning. [ D Speed]
A blazing hot day where many X1 blog readers enjoyed a day out at the East Anglian Transport Museum's annual open day. These included Sam who reports 37563 working the Martham service this afternoon off K6. Me ? I was enjoying a ride on an open top Stagecoach Trident from Grasmere to Windermere and back.

Monday 27th June 2011

Trust me to go and spoil things - you may recall I was singing the praises of Profile coach 20352 the other day, well today it expired with an oil problem and was taken into Yarmouth garage for attention. It had been working K3 and this then left Lowestoft at 12.55 with the spare bus, which was 37160.

Des captured 20352 resting at Yarmouth today
Other than this a fairly unremarkable day, although the use of 37159 on K15 might have turned a few heads.

This jogger seems intrigued that a B7 is on K15, see below. Photo DS
The last time a B7 worked K15 in its entirety was back in 2009 when the B7s were new to the route ! Sister B7 37156 was in trouble again today, overheating perhaps being an understandable complaint in today's sizzling temperatures. It expired on K5 at Swaffham - what is it about 37156 & Swaffham ? - and it looks like 37564 was sent from Lynn as a replacement.
Malcolm reports 37579 on Y7 requiring fitters attention at Lowestoft before an 11 minute late departure on the 14.55 King's Lynn service.
Des writes "Giles Fearnley (Managing Director First UK Bus) - Stepped foot onto an X1 today. He boarded 37569 just after it had arrived at Norwich Bus Station at 14.45. We exchanged comments about the hot weather and he bade me farewell". Good to see the top brass checking things out.

Tuesday 28th June 2011

37568 returned from Volvo and was available for K4 while temperamental 37160 went the other way for attention.
Coach 20352 found its way to Lowestoft after yesterday's failure and provided a surprise by working the 14.08 X2 to Norwich.

James Race was in position to photograph 20352 reversing out of Lowestoft bus station this afternoon on an X2.

37156 spent the day at Lynn for an exam and investigation and this evening 37570 off Y7 was used as replacement for an ailing 37567 on L8, the 18.50 King's Lynn to Peterborough.
Rob Brooks says "Paid a visit to King's Lynn today to watch the Market day services, X1s noted with timings were :
K4 37568 1002 Lynn - Lowestoft a 0957 d1003
L10 37573 1015 Lynn - Peterborough a1009 d1016
K5 37159 1032 Lynn - Lowestoft a 1028 d1035
L11 37574 1045 Lynn - Peterborough a1040 d1046
Y6 37566 1102 Lynn - Lowestoft a1059 d1106
L12 37565 1115 Lynn - Peterborough a1110 d1117
Y7 37570 1132 Lynn - Lowestoft a1130 d1135
Y13 37158 1145 Lynn - Peterborough a1140 d1146
L8 37567 1202 Lynn - Lowestoft a1159 d1202

Some pretty impressive timekeeping there then Rob. Thanks also to Brucey for his continued 100% coverage of X1 workings in my absence.

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