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Thursday December 13th 2012 - Friday December 21st 2012 ~ Seven Years Bad Luck ?

Isn't that what they say if you smash a mirror ? Read on dear friends.......

Pre Christmas traffic doesn't seem to have affected X1 service schedules quite as badly as in recent years. Here's the latest goings on from X1 land. Like many of you I suspect, I was given the worlds worst cold recently so info for 13th & 14th is a little sketchy as I was absent from my office window. On Thursday 13th 37572 was taken off Y6-XL12 in the evening, but it has nevertheless been out every day for a month, 37159 off Y9-XL15 finished the turn. Another swap to an eastbound service occurred with 37573 coming off K4-XL10 and 37568 taking over for the 19.35 King's Lynn - Great Yarmouth. On to Friday and there were numerous swaps with all the Geminis being involved at some point apart from 37574 which is still laid low with a gearbox problem. 37156 had a nightmare run to Peterborough on K16-XL03 departing Southgates 18 late, traffic then took irs toll and the bus was 29 late into Peterborough rail station. Despite quick loading and a 20 minute defIcit leaving Queensgate, 156 was 32 late at Wisbech. Des' next turn, K18-XL05 was 12 late from King's Lynn eastbound but thankfully lost little further time. This was with 37160 which had earlier terminated at Wisbech on the 14.15 from Lynn after failing to start. A faulty relay was replaced by fitters.  37571 suffered a puncture on Nar Ouse Way at 12.25 on L10-XL16 and K15-XL02 never ran from Lowestoft at 09.25, starting instead at Yarmouth at 10.12 with 37569.
After a quiet period, Saturday saw a bit of excitement -firstly L12-XL18 managed to overtake L11-XL17 meaning that 37157 off L12 ended up on L11. This was not without incident as 37157 then became involved in a skirmish in Gorleston losing  a wing mirror and mirror arm. On arrival in Yarmouth, Paragon coach 20515 was sent to the rescue and this then worked forward to King's Lynn. Initially it was intended to send it back east on L8-XL14 21.35 King's Lynn - Lowestoft, but this fell through and instead 20515 went back east on Sunday - I think 37156 travelled light from Yarmouth and the driver took the coach back, but this needs confirmation.

Back to Saturday and Tony & Marcus report the 16.45 King's Lynn - Peterborough, K4-XL10 with 37572, leaving Lynn via the A17 and then diverting through Tilney All Saints to regain the booked route, so presumably yet more delays on the A47. The Sunday service was entirely B9 worked otherwise with slight delays due to a broken manhole cover on the Acle Straight.

Monday 17th : The X2 provided a surprise today with Norwich Gemini 36166 workung on the route - it is thought to be on loan whilst 32655 is away, presumably for repainting. 66126 was also about on the 12.40 Norwich - Lowestoft. 32200 and coach 20514 were viewed at Norwich by Malcolm on X1 shorts.
Wisbech Xmas Market brought much extra traffic to the Fenland town today. X1 services shuffled by fully loaded with around 7 minutes being average lateness this morning.
My staff Christmas party was held at Terrington St. John Woolpack which was handy for viewing afternoon services between the Turkey and Christmas Pudding. 15 minutes was the maximum delay recorded by 37570 on Y13-XL19. Both K16-XL03 & K17-XL05 came back through the village eastbound 13 late but 37573 on K18-XL06 was just 3 late. There were more incidents tonight, 37567 on Y7-XL13 was caught in queueing traffic from Little Fransham to Swaffham McDonalds roundabout because of an rta. The service finally got away from Swaffham to Lynn at 18.23 (47 late).
 K1-XL07 burst at Acle tonight with a gearbox hose failure on 37574 and it then had to suffer the indignity of being towed into Great Yarmouth. This in turn led to an unexpected sight on Tuesday morning when Grahame Bessey reports Y13-XL19 08.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough departing with coach 20514. This was soon taken off however and a revived 37574 worked forward from Great Yarmouth. Delays of up to 10 minutes were noted on some services, but overall the standard of timekeeping was better than in recent days and certainly an improvement on previous years. An unexpected sight amongst the Geminis at Lynn this evening was Ex LT RM 39623 for MOT. Tuesday also  saw 37565 on K15-XL02 swap over at lunchtime for 37564 which had been receiving an axle modification. To enable scheduled maintenance to take place on the B7s, K18-XL05 also had a change with 37158 giving way to 37159 at 14.15.
Wednesday saw some patch up work to panels on 37565 and 37156, while 37566 had a starter fault which was rectified in time for it to work K5-XL11. A good day for timekeeping despite busy roads and heavy loadings. 37160 on Y9-XL15 was exceptional, being full when it passed me just 2 minutes late on the 10.18 Wisbech - Peterborough and it hadn't lost any more time when it went back to Lowestoft at 11.56.
 On Thursday, the Christmas shopping hoards become even greater. Afternoon services ran around 10 late which surely only a scrooge could grumble at ? There were two failures, 37571 on K15-XL02 and 37578 on K17-XL04. The latter had an adblu problem while 37571 had a problem on the Acle Straight where speed was reduced to 15mph. After pulling in and consultation with King's Lynn garage, the system was reset and the bus continued to Lynn where it was changed over at 12.44. 37159 on K18-XL05 was fairly typical of today's services , being 8 late from King's Lynn westbound and 21 late on arrival back at the Southgates changeover, all the loss due to heavy traffic. There was a visitor to the King's Lynn office today :

By all accounts, Friday was a dreadful day - major congestion and accidents on the route conspired to make buses run at irregular intervals. This afternoon, Peter was waiting for over an hour at Peterborough rail station with two arrivals going back east empty before a bus arrived at 16.10 and eventually left Queensgate with a full compliment of standing passengers. Cheryl was waiting at Thorney for the 17.35 to Wisbech and saw 37570, 37563 and 37158 head westbound before 570 returned to pick her up considerably late. At Lowestoft things weren't much better with Malcolm viewing  Y7-XL13 arriving 29 late with 37566, 37567 on L8-XL14 arrived just 5 late and earlier 37158 on K5-XL11 had been 20 late in. Later L8 caught up Y7 at Great Yarmouth. Passengers transferred to 37567 on L8 and Y7 (37566) went light westbound to regain some time.On his morning outward trip, Peter had caught Y9-XL15 with 37159 which was 15 late and delayed due to a malfunctioning ticket machine. Below is a missive from Bruce to the X1 team and a rather festive listing of today's bus plan until the A47 intervened !

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