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Friday 1st - Sunday 10th February 2013 ~ Well Behaved Buses

It's quite a while since I wrote a blog entry, but despite this there is little to report. The week just gone must rank in the most successful since Geminis took over the X1. By my reckoning, there were six vehicle swaps during the entire week which leaves 118 diagrams starting and finishing with the same bus. Any bus company would quite rightly be proud of such a record,
February began with 37573 having its camshaft problem sorted, but no sooner was this back on the road than 37578 disgraced itself by suffering an injector failure, It was operating K5-XL11 on Friday 1st, but 37576 took over - I think for the 17.15 King's Lynn to Peterborough. This diagram finishes at Lynn at 20.00, but 37576 was then called upon to take over from 37565 on Y6-XL12 20.35 to Lowestoft. L12-XL18 had 37575 removed with a rear suspension problem, but 37574 was spare to take over at 11.15.
Timekeeping was fair with many services running 6 to 8 minutes late, but nothing any greater than this. X2 sightings from Malcolm included Dart 43463 on the 13.38 to Norwich - is this booked a Dart I wonder ? The 15.38 service had Palatine 34155.
Considering what a successful week was ahead, this looked highly unlikely as of the evening of Saturday 2nd at King's Lynn. With 37575 having its suspension examined and 37578 stopped with its injector fault, this just left one spare bus, this was 37565 which took over K18-XL05 from an ailing 37574 during the afternoon. At 20.30 37563 was brought in on Y6-XL12 with a dashboard warning showing, With 37579 and 37159 earmarked for heavy cleaning, 37158 which had arrived on Y7-XL13 was started up to replace it, however, this then failed with an ABS modulator fault. 37576 which had come in on L11-XL17 was still being examined and cleaned, so this only left 37157 which had just had the treatment after arriving at 20.00 on K5-XL11. It was 37157 then which took the 20.35 to Lowestoft in exactly the same fashion that 37576 had done the previous night. Anyway it was a sunny morning on Saturday and here are some pictures from Des of buses on the Yarmouth diversionary route :
I think this is 37569 on the 09.25 from Lowestoft, though I stand to be corrected. (Photo :  Des Speed)
37156 takes the 09.55 from Lowestoft over unfamiliar territory (Des Speed)

Des says he was experimenting with a new camera and was none to impressed with the results. Looks OK to me Des ! This is 37568 working K1-XL07 08.00 Wisbech - Lowestoft with Paul smiling for the camera !
Sundays are usually fairly predictable with just ten diagrams, but some swaps were made on this occasion. XL02 with 37572 is supposed to arrive in Lowestoft at 20.30 and then do the 20.48 back to Lynn, 37577 which had done XL09 13.10 from Peterborough, due into Lowestoft at 17.30 did the 20.48 instead and XL06 10.10 from Peterborough which was 37576 and which is then supposed to work the 1 service to Martham, instead came back on 577s turn, the 17.48 Lowestoft - King's Lynn. Meanwhile the driver of 37565 had experienced unusual vibrations and XL07 changed vehicles at Lynn with 37579 working the 18.50 to Peterborough and 20.10 back to Lowestoft.
I had a meeting in London on Monday 4th, so took K5-XL11 with 37570 at 10.06 from Walpole Highway to Lynn, bang on time. To my surprise though, on arrival here it went 'not in service' to the garage, see picture here :

Shortly afterwards, 37565 (hopefully vibration free - see above) appeared in its place on the 10.32 to Lowestoft. As we arrived in the bus station, 37156 was seen departing for Peterborough 11 minutes late on L10-XL16 which is due off at 10.15.
On my return from the Capital, I took advantage of my free pass and took 18.35 King's Lynn to Lowestoft with 37577 as far as the Southgates, coincidentally with the same driver who had driven me earlier. I then walked down the road to have a peek at what was in the garage. Here I was told that my service forward was having to change vehicles owing to passenger illness and needed cleaning, so I was able to board the replacement vehicle - would you believe 37570 again ! - for onward travel back to Walpole on the 18.50 ex the bus station. 37567 soon arrived and passengers were transferred with only a slight delay.
Bruce kindly sent me details of Monday's buses on which there was one other evening swap, Y6-XL12 having 37572 , due a safety service,  replaced by a repaired 37158.
The rest of the week has gone very smoothly. Tuesday saw 18 out of the 19 turns viewed at Wisbech and most were on time, the maximum lateness recorded going to 37567 on K5-XL11 which was 9 late to work the 09.56 to Lowestoft and later 37564 was similarly delayed on K14-XL01 14.26 eastbound. Punctuality on Wednesday was even better and even 37157 working K16-XL03 13.48 Wisbech to Peterborough with Des at the wheel turned a 7 minute late departure into an on time arrival returning eastbound. This was all the more surprising as earlier, the Acle Straight had been closed with diversions via Filby. 37570 on K14-XL01 also driven by Mr Speed was 14 late at Acle, but on time departing Lynn at 12.45. L10-XL16 with 37568 started from Dereham this morning owing to no driver being available at Lowestoft.
On Thursday morning, 37576 had a problem with its lights and instead of working its rostered turn , the Y6-XL12 05.50 Great Yarmouth - Peterborough, it was decided to drop it down to work Y13-XL19, however, repairs weren't completed in time so instead, coach 20514 deputised on the 07.30 Yarmouth - Lowestoft and 08.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough as far as Yarmouth where 37576 was fit to continue. If one discounts this incident though, a third successive day passed without any bus swaps. Punctuality was pretty good too. Malcolm Hicks reports X2 services still giving employment for Palatines and today 34155 did the 10.38 to Norwich with 34156 doing the 15.08.
So to Friday 8th and again ten minutes was the heaviest delay noted. K14-XL01 had 37575 swapped for 37569 at lunchtime and later on 37158 off K5-XL11 replaced 37571 which had an adblu fault on L8-XL14 21.35 Lynn - Lowestoft. 37578 returned to traffic today on K4-XL10. Over at Lowestoft two successive services departed from the resort with the old timers, 34156 was the ao.38 and 34155 the 11.08 to Norwich.
Saturday passed without incident although Jamie did see an X1 on Wisbech bypass at lunchtime which was probably a reaction to an earlier accident between Swaffham and King's Lynn. 37159 is now stopped for MOT work until Thursday. Sunday 10th saw some delays on the route with Bruce reporting the 13.50 King's Lynn - Peterborough passing by with 37575 at 14.30, 19 minutes late. An hour later 37572 was also seen running 11 late, but 37569 due past him at 16.11 was on time.
Too good to last ? Well probably, but next time we will have news of forthcoming roadworks at Gorleston and Hockering as well as the week long closure of Norwich bus station for roof repairs.

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