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Friday November 9th - Sunday November 18th 2012 ~ Cracks Appearing ?

The past week has seen much swapping of buses chiefly due to unexpected defects, though it is fair to say that this has not had too detrimental effect on the timetable. The B9 Geminis have been incredibly reliable over the past 4 years and have exemplified the faith which First Group put in them. Nevertheless, signs of age are now beginning to appear.
Going back firstly then to Friday 9th and 37156 was in trouble on L11-XL17 when it's alternator packed up at Blofield, for a while causing an obstruction and meriting an announcement on Radio Norfolk's traffic news. 37571 was sent out as replacement and completed the turn. 37569 on K15-XL02 managed to do most of its diagram before it suffered a water leak and 37160 off K16-XL03 took over for the last leg back to King's Lynn from Lowestoft. The day's delays were up to ten minutes at times, but nothing too serious and relatively good for a Friday. 37570 was switched from Y6-XL12 to K5-XL11 to get it in the circuit for an exam at King's Lynn on Monday. 37565 took Y6 forward at 08.15 and 37571 came off K5 at 10.30. Both 37563 and 37578 had repairs completed by the Volvo man today. At Lowestoft 34155 was being used on the 09.38 X2 to Norwich.
Saturday 10th saw 37563 back in service taking Y6-XL12 forward from Lynn to Peterborough at 17.45 in place of 37574 (believed to be because of a broken window). L11-XL11 changed 37569 for 37156 at some point today. Otherwise little of note to report as was the case on Sunday.

The new week began on Monday 12th with a reasonable day for punctuality, but wet misty conditions may have contributed to an accident mid afternoon which saw some services diverted via Tilney All Saints to avoid the obstruction on the Pullover Road. K19-XL06 & 37563 and also K1-XL07 with 37579 were 12 late from Wisbech followed by K2-XL08 and 37578 running 17 late. Earlier 37568 was 10 late on K15-XL02 13.18 Wisbech - Peterborough, but made up some time and went back east only 3 late. It had obviously been delayed early on as Malcolm reports it arriving in Lowestoft 13 late before working the 09.25 to Peterborough.  A whole host of new advertisements have adorned the fleet today for the films 'Nativity 2', 'Silver Linings'. 'Alex Cross' and 'Great Expectations'.
Ironically, the latter is now on 37575 which passed me (below) running 8 late on L8-XL14 09.48 Wisbech - Peterborough following a no-show by Y7-XL13, which later came back from Peterborough as booked with 37577. Neither Bruce or myself saw it going west so I guess it must have travelled light from Lynn to Peterborough for some reason.
 Y9-XL15 came into Lynn from the east this morning with 37565 and this was changed here for 37157. Shortly afterwards though 37567 on L12-XL18 required changing as it had an adblu fault and 37565 ended up on this turn.
 Another casualty on Tuesday 13th was 37564 which came to grief in Great Yarmouth while working L10-XL16 eastbound - binding brakes caused by a seized rear caliper being the cause. This evening 37157 took its place on the 19.50 King's Lynn - Peterborough. Earlier K1-XL07 which had started out with 37566 had this replaced by 37157 commencing with the 10.02 Lynn - Lowestoft. On arrival back at Lynn at just after 16.30, 37566 was fit to resume the turn. Tuesday was a  good day for punctuality only spoilt by the B7s ! 37156 had already been delayed by heavy loadings further east when Des took it forward from King's Lynn at 09.50 as Y9-XL15. Departure was 15  minutes late and on arrival in Peterborough it went straight to the rail station to drop/ pick up. Going back east it was just 7 late from Queensgate and 5 late back into Lynn, so well done that man !
 The aforementioned  adblu fault kept 37567 out of service but it was due a safety service anyway. Both 37569 & 37577 had attention to water leaks before they could start the day on K4-XL10 and K19-XL06 respectively.The last two X1 buses to sport the controversial Stonewall advert , 37564 & 37568, both had them removed today. I say controversial as apparently according to online news sources a driver in Yorkshire refused to take a bus forward because of the ad !
 Timekeeping on Wednesday was fair, nothing in excess of 12 minutes lateness being recorded and there were no swaps which is good to report. 34155 was once again in use, this time on the 14.38 Lowestoft - Norwich X2.
So to Thursday 15th when I was away from the route working at a polling station. Bruce gave a full report and nothing untoward seems to have happened, save the no show by L10-XL16. This evening it was 37563 as booked, so not sure what happened there. K4-XL10 had 37573 for most of the day, but this evening it was in Vancouver Avenue so clearly did not work the 19.35 King's Lynn - Great Yarmouth. At Lowestoft Malcolm saw 37577 arrive 12 late on K15-XL02 and today 34155 was employed on the 09.08 X2.
Friday was hit and miss for punctuality. most services ran fairly well, the exceptions being 37577 on K5-XL11 09.05 ex Peterborough which had lost 19 minutes by Wisbech. 37160 on L11-XL17 was 14 late on the 11.18 Wisbech - Peterborough and 37564 on L12-XL18 was 22 late, reduced commendably to 15 late returning eastbound. K14-XL01 which is notorious on a Friday came through eastbound 14 late with 37567. Later in the afternoon 37159 was 18 late on K18-XL05 14.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough, 37563 13 late on K1-XL07 15.15 and 37566 13 late on K2-XL08 15.45 from Lynn. 37157 had a good day for a change - it was spot on schedule with K3-XL09 08.56 Wisbech - Lowestoft and only 4 late on the return leg this afternoon. Further east, 37572 was 20 late arriving in Lowestoft on K17-XL04 this morning, so had done well to be only 4 late when seen by me at Wisbech later on.
37156 was intended to work K5-XL11 this morning, but it was stopped with an ABS modulator fault, so 37577 deputised - possibly the reason for its lateness (see above). Later on 37563 on K1-XL07 required cleaning, so 37156 took the 18.02 King's Lynn to Great Yarmouth . A couple of accidents on route tonight meant a few turns changed buses, in addition to which, 37573 which had arrived at King's Lynn at 18.07 (Y7-XL13) was then cleaned and turned out again for the 18.50 to Peterborough (L8-XL14) in place of 37564 which had a gearbox fault.

Oh Dear ! 37156 suffered a recurrence of its ABS fault on Saturday morning, so 37579 was driven over to Great Yarmouth at some early hour, in order to work Y13-XL19. Not sure if a coach would have worked, had this movement not had taken place.
37579 dashes through Walpole Highway almost on time on Y13-XL19 this lunchtime.
37569 was in Vancouver Avenue having some panels replaced and repainted today. Timekeeping was fair, though I'm not sure if the Norwich v Manchester United match at 17.30 would have caused extra congestion this evening. By the way did I mention the score ?  :+)
Finally to Sunday then and 37572 was noted heading to Peterborough 16 late this afternoon by Bruce. 37577 on XL06 which normally works the Martham service on arrival in Lowestoft, instead came back on XL08 instead of 37565. It was a busy day for unscheduled swaps with L10-XL10 changing 37568 for 37567 this afternoon and similarly XL07 having 37578 taken off in preference to 37570.
This rather timely NHS advert is now being applied to some of our buses.

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