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Tuesday October 25th 2011 ~ The Seven Year Itch

Exactly seven years ago today, I started to write down the vehicles used on the X1, transferring them into a MS Works chart each day. All seems a very long while ago now - all coaches then of course. Over the years the service has used up to 21 vehicles, though back in 2004 the figure was 18. Today the service uses 19 Monday to Saturday and 10 on Sundays.
There were wholesale swaps at King's Lynn this afternoon to fit in servicing requirements and to facilitate repairs on some ailing buses. The changes began at 12.30 with Y9 when 37576 was replaced by 37566 from the garage. At 13.00 L10 saw 37577 changed for 37572, the latter again fresh from the garage. With both spare buses now used, the changes proceeded as follows :
14.00 K18 37569 in, 37576 out.
14.30 K19 37564 in, 37577 out. 
15.00 K1 37571 in, 37569 out.
15.30 K2 37570 in, 37564 out
16.00 K16 37159 in, 37571 out
In the case of 37569, 37564 & 37571, they all laid over for an hour before continuing on the route. At least one bus had an oil leak.
Despite all the swaps, timekeeping was fair with the latest service through Wisbech being L12 and 37578 nine minutes late. This evening 37578 had lost a lot more time after an RTA in Bracondale and was noted at Dereham running 53 late (sched departure is 20.44).
There were no Geminis out on the X2 again - not possible with Lowestoft not having one spare of course. Michael Bryant reports that of the Presidents, 32207/08/10/12 are the only X2 regulars at the moment, with 32214 having been absent for about 2 weeks, 32211 the same for about 2 months, whereas 32213 has been missing from Michael's sightings for about six months now. Any news on these absentees would be welcome.
There was fun in the East tonight. Des drove 37579 into Lowestoft on K4 whereupon it is due to go light to Yarmouth garage. On arrival at Lowestoft at 22.30, Dart 43453 on the last Lowestoft - Martham service 1 was in trouble, a non-starter with Lowestoft fitters in attendance. In the end Des waited with the Dart and 37579 worked the 1 to Martham. Once started and on his way with 43453, he saw the last southbound service 1 also in trouble at Hopton with 34186. This service continued with the Dart and Des then found himself with his second broken down bus of the night, awaiting fitters from Yarmouth. 34186 had air in the fuel system and once rectified Des drove it back to Yarmouth garage.

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