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Saturday 16th July 2011 ~ The Other X1 Blog

A special day out today with Des Speed. The object : to check out another X1 service operated by 'First'. The day dawned wet and miserable and I had to drive to Lynn for the 06.56 train to London. On the way I passed 37572 (gosh, I actually predicted it would be) on K2 and then as the driving rain got worse, K18 heading empty to Wisbech with 37576 - at least I thought that's what it was, the rain making identification difficult. Surprisingly, the latter had 'X1 Lowestoft' on the blinds, rather than 'not in service' even though it was still heading west !
Meeting Des at Paddington, we headed west on the 09.30 HST to Bristol, passing through what seemed like dusk en route as the rain fell heavily. By the time we reached Bath, things had improved and on arrival at Bristol, the sun began to break through. At Bristol bus station we made for Bay 17, home of the X1 to Weston-Super-Mare. This arrived with a Volvo B7 decker and this gave us a comfortable ride through to Weston (below)

 We passed several other X1s en route with Geminis, some service branded, some not.

After a trip to Wetherspoons for lunch, we strode out onto the pier and the Welsh coastline could be made out quite clearly. Our journey back on a Gemini was very pleasant, although two pints of Cottage Brewery 'Shadow' stout had made me a little sleepy !

 To wake me up, we abandoned our Gemini in favour of a Dart which took us down to Clifton and a short walk to Brunel's suspension bridge with its impressive views. We were back in Bristol in time for the 17.30 back to Paddington and my trip back to Lynn was via the Hertford loop - due to engineering work - and a change of emu at Hitchin.
In my absence, the X1 seemed to have behaved although I am reliably informed that two vehicles had to be changed following passenger illness. L8 and Y9 are believed to have been involved. 20352 was K3 and 37563 arrived back from Volvo enabling 37564 to go the other way. 37156 remained at Lowestoft, so may have found itself on the X2, although there have been no reports to confirm this.

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