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Friday 25th - Thursday 31st January 2013 ~ No News Is Good News ?

Well the long awaited news about new buses will have to wait a while longer. There would appear to be nothing happening on this front before May, the only thing that seems certain is that the new fleet will number 22 vehicles, rather than the 17 B9s currently used. At the moment, the balance is made up with the B7s which were originally used on Norwich city services. More news as I receive it.
The X1 continues to operate pretty well with the existing fleet it must be said, although niggling faults are now becoming more regular on the B9s, though this is to be expected considering they have travelled on average almost half a million miles each since their introduction.

On the route, I omitted to mention that since the end of last year, the good citizens of Tilney All Saints have had the luxury of a new bus shelter and seat for eastbound passengers. The westbound stop is situated somewhat precariously with a dyke below and no room for a shelter, however, this is one of the least patronised stops west of King's Lynn.
Peter took this picture of 37156 braving the wintry elements on L11-XL17 on Friday lunchtime in Peterborough, the rear advert  claims it is 'Spring all year round' !
Friday 25th January is our first port of call in this report. K16-XL03 with 37575 was 13 late departing Lowestoft this morning, but other services ran to time. The day was marred by 37573 being removed from traffic on K15-XL02 with a failed camshaft. The service was taken over by 37579. Earlier 579 had done a trip to Peterborough and back on K5-XL11 but at 10.30 was taken off for servicing at Vancouver Avenue. 37157 which had come in from the east on Y9-XL15 was turned round to do K5 at 10.32 to Lowestoft and in a convoluted swap for which no doubt there is an explanation,  37159 then took Y9 to Peterborough at 09.45 after it had received a new windscreen. After this frenetic period, everything settled down for the rest of the day, although early evening saw Y7-XL13, the first terminator at King's Lynn from Lowestoft arrive around 50 minutes late with 37563 and with 37572 on L8-XL14 only a minute or so behind it. It was an interesting day on the X2 with 32652 appearing in the new livery and elderly Dart 43459 expiring at Beccles on the 13.38 from Lowestoft,  while on Thursday Enviro 200 no. 44513 had been seen on the 14.08 ex Lowestoft.
Saturday 26th saw 37158 halted for work to commence on its MOT preparation, but not until it had worked K3-XL09. In the late afternoon, Bruce saw 37157 on K1-XL07 running about 25 late on the 15.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough and K2-XL08 with 37565 was only about five minutes behind it. K4-XL10 had 37577 removed late in the day with a gear fault and 37567 which had arrived at just after 19.00 on L9-XL15 worked K4 forward to Great Yarmouth at 19.35. Meanwhile 37579 on K17-XL04 had to be swapped at Lowestoft and 37156 off K16-KL03 worked the last leg of K17, the 19.48 Lowestoft - King's Lynn which arrived at its destination around 20 late. 37575 passed the 500,000 miles mark today whilst working L8-XL14 !

Sunday January 27th was notable only for the use of B7 37159 on diagram XL09, this is the turn which terminates at King's Lynn at 20.44 as there is a gap in the timetable on Sundays with there being no 20.50 thence to Peterborough. 32654 had a journey on Lowestoft town service 102 today when Enviro 44512 was unavailable.
A new week is always a good time for a fresh start, but 28th January was a bad Monday.
Roy writes "Today saw the start of disruption in the Market Gates area in Great Yarmouth. The X1 services have been moved to the east side of Market Gates outside the Troll Cart public house with buses regaining their normal route via Alexandra Road, Yarmouth Way and South Quay". 37160 was 11 late from Lowestoft on K16-XL03 this morning and this afternoon Y7-XL13 arrived with 37571 14 late, while all other services seen were on time - thanks to Malcolm Hicks for this info.
Temporary traffic lights at  the Weasenham Lane Junction in Wisbech caused problems. L8-XL14 10.35 from Peterborough was the first service dealyed, it left Wisbech 2 late on the 09.48 to Peterborough, returning 17 late with 37579. To avoid the area, services then began taking the alternative route via Wisbech St. Mary, depriving passengers at Weasenham Lane of a service ! 37565 on L12-XL18 was noted at Walpole Highway on the 12.35 ex Peterborough running just 2 minutes late, but L11-XL17 had obviously taken the normal route as it then appeared behind L12 running 44 late with 37157. At around 3pm, 37563 was seen in the Old Market on the diversionary route running 5 late on K15-XL02 eastbound, while K18-XL05 then came through 13 late with 37156.
37576 was back today (Monday)  and is seen here at Walsoken on K4-XL10 08.35 from Peterborough. It did not last the day however .....
Yes 37576 was back in service today after extensive bodywork repairs, but it decided to die at Dereham on K4-XL10 at 15.45 with loss of gears. Apparently its ECU plugs needed a clean - very technical ! K4 finished up with 37571 taking the 19.35 King's Lynn - Great Yarmouth. Another swap occurred with K1-XL07 which had 37572 removed for 37564.
34108 on an X1 short negotiates the diversion from Alexandra Road into Yarmouth Way on Monday.
Photo copyright :
Tuesday 29th was if anything marginally worse for disruption than Monday as during the morning a broken down car blocked one side of the A47 between Thorney Toll and Guyhirn. Services continued to be diverted via Wisbech St. Mary. K4-XL10 09.26 Wisbech - Lowestoft with 37572 was seen at Walsoken running 29 minutes late and K5-XL11 with 37563 came along 17 late. 37564 came off Y7-XL13 at just before 11.30 with a Nox fault, but was fit again to do K17-XL04 forward to Peterborough at 13.45 replacing 37577 which again had its gears problem.
34186 leaves Norwich with a full compliment of senior citizens on an X1 short on Wednesday. Photo : Richard Thomas
To Wednesday 30th then and with the roadworks at Weasenham Lane over, buses regained their normal route in Wisbech. Timekeeping was for the most part very good with only three services seen late, K3-XL09 08.05 from Peterborough had lost 10 minutes with 37577 and K18-XL05 14.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough ran 11 late with 37159, but Y9-XL15 is thought to have become delayed by an A47 accident at Colney and it left Wisbech 36 late without its passengers who had been transferred to 37571 on L10-XL16 itself 8 late and which then followed 37157 westbound. Mid morning, 37576 failed again - this time at Norwich on K19-XL06 with a loss of gears. At some point 37564 on K4-XL10 took over K19-XL06 with noisy 37160 filling the breach on K4.
Richard Thomas captured 37578 departing Norwich on K15-XL02 10.55 to Peterborough while fitters are attending errant 37576 in the background. Check out Richard's pictures at :

The 06.52 King's Lynn - Lowestoft (K17-XL04)  with 37565 calls at its temporary stop, handy for breakfast at Wetherspoons on Wednesday morning. 34114 is leaving on a 'short' to Norwich. Photo :Des Speed
Finally on this entry to Thursday  January 31st and on my birthday I'm pleased to report the X1 running normally, seemingly without a hitch or even a swap - now that's what we like ! Des sends us a report of  a morning peak time journey today. Driving 37159 on the Y9-XL15 06.45 Gorleston JPH to Peterborough as far as King's Lynn Southgates, he was on time until queuing out of Norwich was encountered, it then took seven minutes to exit onto the A47 at Hockering. School traffic at Dereham Neatherd School meant a 10 minute deficit by this point and only one minute was gained by arrival in Lynn.
Finally today for those of you with a railway interest too, Matthew has asked me to tell you about his new blog which you can find here  :

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