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Friday 16th December 2011 - Wednesday 21st December 2011 ~ The Megablogs Continue

Well you all know what it's like at this time of the year, the days flash past and before you know it, Christmas has arrived. Cheryl says "Emblings bus called 'Kim' is decorated with tinsel, why can't 'First' do the same ?" Well I guess it might cost them a lot of money dear ! Let's have a quick look at recent events, oh and apologies for the large posting again.
Especially for Cheryl, here is another smaller operator's B10M decorated for the Festive season !
Friday 16th December : The mystery of 37160 and its MOT continues - I am told it has not taken place yet, so we will see what happens ! Today 37576 was seen on K5 passing me 6 late at 09.56 only to reappear on L12 21 late at 12.11. It has been having adblue problems of late. 37572 had been taken off L12 and K5 had gone forward with 37160, itself having started out on K4 but 37157 replaced it after attention to its heating system. This evening L8 had 37571 swapped for 37578 off Y7.
For a Friday near Christmas, punctuality was fair - apart from 37576 mentioned above, all other turns were reasonably near time. 37566 on K17 15.05 ex Peterborough was the poorest performer being 15 late.
Des says "Wellington Road in Dereham has been closed since Wednesday with roadworks due to finish today. Here's a nice little map (click to enlarge)

Saturday 17th December : I had a trip to Cambridge today and used the X1 to get me to Lynn. Bruce kindly agreed to give me a lift to and from Walpole Highway as beer drinking was involved.
I took Y7 with 37579 which was reasonably loaded, it is such a shame that the lack of air conditioning on these buses inevitably means windows are covered in condensation spoiling the good views which are affordable. Despite this handicap I was able to clear the window to look out for L11 going the other way - I needn't have bothered as it didn't run and 37574 was viewed lurking in Vancouver Avenue as we passed. We'd seen L12 on Nar Ouse Way with 37158. So in the end I was glad I was travelling east rather than a 30 minute wait going west.

37579 departs King's Lynn as the 11.32 to Lowestoft today. It is unique in the X1 fleet in retaining the small font destination display.
 I returned on Y10 with 37157 which was lovely and warm upstairs and with Blondie Karen in charge as far as the Southgates. After the obligatory 5 minute changeover, we set off again and our driver did his best to make up the lost time. 37569, 37572 & 37160 were not seen on the route today, although it is quite possible that one of them replaced 37574 on L11.

37579 still looks remarkably clean despite the wet conditions today.
Des writes "Icy roads off the main A47 made me 8 late into Lynn with 37579 on Y7 06.22 ex Yarmouth this morning. Later I was 4 late departing Lowestoft on the 13.55 (K5) westbound with 37571 after I had to take it to Gasworks Road for cleaning after some passenger illness. The roadworks in Dereham had not finished as expected and it was not until early afternoon that the road reopened and K3 was able to use the normal route".
On the X2 the new arrivals seem to be fairly reliable. Malcolm saw 32652/4/6 all in action today.

Sunday 18th December : The usual quiet Sunday with the only notable occurrence being the use of loan Gemini 36180 on K4 which ends up at Yarmouth (tut tut !). 37574 was parked front end in at Vancouver Avenue which is most unusual - perhaps after it was taken off L11 yesterday. Peter sent a text : " On a filthy (well outside anyway) 37567 on the 14.10 ex Peterborough. The driver got out at the bus station to wipe his mirrors and also came round to our front nearside window and wiped a clean square. He said "There you go mate, now you can see where you are going" ! Excellent ! He must have realised I was a friend of the X1 blogmeister". Des explains the current problems with 37576 which he drove again today "It is something to do with the adblue sensor being in a different position.This means 'Fill tank, Adblue system error, No Data etc' messages flag up on the dashboard and because the sensor thinks the emissions are high, the computer derates the engine performance".

Monday 19th December : Funny old world isn't it - not so long ago we had a fleet of X1s travelling about advertising the film 'Iron Man', now they have begun to appear with 'The Iron Lady' on the side ! I was otherwise engaged today at our Christmas work party so didn't see much, however, our loyal band of corespondents covered every turn. 37160 wasn't out - having an MOT maybe ??!!
36180 came back from its Great Yarmouth overnight on Y9.  Malcolm says Palatine 34157 was being used on the X2, although 32651 was spare in the bus station. Clive on EAB Group reports the sad news that former X1 vehicles 20112 & 20116 have been withdrawn by First Scotland.

Tuesday 20th December : One of those days ! The troubles began with a collapsed manhole cover between Thorney Toll and Guyhirn causing queues early this morning. These were then added to when a lorry and a car decided to have a shunt in the affected area. K2 and 37563 on the 07.30 from Peterborough passed me just 9 late with Calvin trying to make up time, but then things worsened. K3 with 37157 was 16 late into Wisbech, I missed seeing 37566 on K4, but K5 with 37569 - back in traffic at last - was 25 late. After this 37577 on Y6 was 11 down, 37574 on Y7 likewise and I missed 37567 on L8 which had been 7 late going west.
Y9 10.18 Wisbech - Peterborough with 37579 was 12 late departing and no less than 34 late coming back. 37565 was on L10 with Peter on board, he says "On the 10.48 ex Wisbech (4 late) and now the A47 is closed at Guyhirn to recover a lorry, so I'm enjoying my first ever X1 via Whittlesey - looks like it could take a while by the volume of traffic". He was not wrong, and it arrived at Peterborough bus station at 11.44.
 The delays continued into the afternoon and I saw 36180 on K15 14.05 ex Peterborough 25 late, K16 with 37571 15 late, K17 37568 23 late and K18 37159 17 late.
Des says " I had 37579 again today from the James Paget on Y9, the windscreen washer jets became blocked en route so we popped in to Vancouver Avenue for them to be cleared. Returning east on Y6, this bus had damage to a mirror, so another garage visit was required. The bus (37577) was lightly loaded and we got away at 11.27, about 20 late. Just 5 late into Norwich where K5 with 37569 was still loading. A quick call to control to suggest me running light to Lowestoft to takeover K5 at 13.55 was sanctioned and I was into Lowestoft at 13.47. 37569 then became Y6. Due to the Thorney Toll disruption, my next turn, L8 with 37567 was 18 late departing".
Cheryl was waiting for K2 at Thorney at 17.30, only to see 37563 as expected turn up, but going west instead of east. It was closely followed by 37157 on K3 and in the end 37563 went light from Peterborough to Lynn and poor Cheryl had to await the return of 37157 !

The spare bus pool was a bit depleted today with 37572 having an engine fault and 37576 stopped again with adblue problems. 37571 on Y13 was taken off at 11.40 and the 11.45 to Peterborough left Lynn with 37160. 37575 on K16 then needed replacing and 37571 was off again westbound at 13.15.

There were further problems in the evening peak after another A47 accident on the western Norwich bypass at 18.20. Y9 with 37579 got through OK, but L10 with 37565 and L11 with 37578 both became trapped in the ensuing chaos. L12 managed to avoid this and 37564 was seen arriving at Lynn on time at 20.40, however, the two delayed buses didn't arrive until after 21.00. 37574 was used to work L10 19.50 Lynn to Peterborough having come in on Y7. The A47 reopened at Longwater at 22.25.
In Lowestoft Malcolm saw 32652 having a sortie on the 101 town service to Hollow Grove while President 32210 worked the 11.38 X2 to Norwich.

Wednesday 21st December
A better day thank goodness, but the temporary lights near Thorney Toll were still in operation. Peter writes " 17 late into Peterborough on K4 with a very cold 37575 (due 08.29), but right time tonight on a sweltering 37157 on K5 18.40 eastbound. There's no happy medium with X1 heating !"
K4 was the exception though and morning services were little affected, however,  after lunch there was a dip in punctuality. Y13 with 37569 arrived into Wisbech 29 late for the 13.56 to Lowestoft and K14 didn't do much better, it was 20 late with 37160. K15 was a different story though and 36180 was 5 minutes going west and hadn't dropped any further time when it returned. Mind it did have a driver noted for punctual running at the wheel !
A couple of swaps took place this afternoon, 37567 on L8 was changed for 37572 at 12.02 and later the 17.02 Lynn to Lowestoft (K18) had 37574 swapped for a repaired 37576. Meanwhile 37573 had a day off for servicing.
The X2 continues to provide a variety of buses, thanks to Malcolm Hicks for his regular reports. Today 32656 was on the 11.38 to Norwich, 32210 was on the following 12.08 departure and later this afternoon 32652 arrived 24 late on the 12.40 ex Norwich meaning 34157 had to be found to work the 14.08 which departed 15 late.
The Fenland Citizen newspaper reports today that Nene Quay in Wisbech is to be closed eastbound from January 23rd until June 29th for the remainder of the flood defence work to be carried out. This will entail Lowestoft bound X1s taking a diversionary route, either via the A47 bypass and A1101 or via Weasenham Lane.
Thanks to all who have supplied information and photographs recently, much appreciated.

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