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Saturday 5th October 2013 ~ A Tale of Three Geminis

Syd Eade, a regular contributor to this blog writes " I had my first experience of the announcements on board 33808 this afternoon. I was pleased that they were quite refined and not overpoweringly loud. There were a couple of mistakes though as the GPS cannot work out which way the bus is going. The first announcement after leaving Lowestoft Bus Station came almost immediately in Katwijk Way and was an incorrect 'We are approaching Lowestoft Bus Station'  The next stops were all called correctly but on arriving at Tesco we had a correct 'We are approaching Tesco and Pleasurewood Hills',  however after calling, then proceeding by turning at the round-a-bout to return to the A12, the same announcement was made again at the same point as inbound. After that, all went to plan and the system performed faultlessly. The boarding passengers can regularly be heard voicing their approval of the buses and how smart they are, I can't remember that reaction with the B9s, the odd comment maybe but this is almost every passenger coming up the stairs! 
I took a few photos during the day at Gt Yarmouth and have sent them in case they are of interest...after all one of the buses may be having its last day on X1 ! In a change from the bright low sun, today was dull and cant please a photographer, but at least it wasn't cold or windy (blessings duly counted)". 
Well Syd has a point and as they are such good pictures, I've included them all here. I wonder how many Geminis will feature next Saturday ?
33423 was back on its old regular turn, K3-XL09 and is seen here heading westbound on the 13.47 departure.
Enviro 400 no. 33804 was working K5-XL11 today and is due for servicing on Monday, so will not be out on Sunday.
Possibly the rogue B9, 37566 heads for Lowestoft working the 10.05 from Peterborough. Might turn out to be its X1 swansong ? See report below.
33808 which Syd arrived on was working diagram K1-XL07 today. This is now the shortest X1 turn on a Saturday as in the evening it terminates at Lynn rather than Great Yarmouth. 33808 has been a solid performer this week.
37572 arriving on the 13.30 Lowestoft (14.17 Yarmouth) - Peterborough, K4-XL10. 
K6 -XL12 which starts as the Swaffham - Peterborough has yet to see an Enviro and today was 37577, seen here heading east in Great Yarmouth this afternoon

33809 has also had a good week and was working K2-XL08 which should garage at Lowestoft tonight.
After sterling work over the past five years, today was the last day on the Peterborough route for 37579. See below.
The ratio of Enviros (including 33423)  to B9s today was 11 to 8. The Geminis are now being withdrawn from the X1 at an increasing rate and 37563/4/7 were stopped today and the intention was to do the same with 37569/579. K18-XL05 began the day with 37569, but this was taken off this afternoon and I'm not sure which bus took over. This evening 37579 was due to come off L8-XL14 at 21.30 for 37566 which had come in on Y7-XL13 to go forward, however, 37566 failed (almost predictable I would say) and instead 37569 had a reprieve and took over from 37579.
Almost retired, 37569 is wheeled out again to work L8-XL14 21.35 King's Lynn - Lowestoft
A shortage of Excel drivers saw controller David Fields bring in 37579 to King's Lynn garage on an X1 for the last time tonight.

Timekeeping today was pretty poor in the middle of the day. A vigil with Bruce from 13.10 - 14.15 saw the following services pass : 

XL02 K15 33812 4 late (pictured above) 
XL03 K16 33810 13 late
XL04 K17 33813 3 late

XL17 Y11 33807 21 late
XL19 Y13 37571 9 late

The missing bus was 37573 on L12-XL18 which became stuck in traffic after an accident at Nettle Bank between Wisbech and Guyhirn and which finally passed Bruce at 14.34, 59 minutes late. 
Enviros 33814/5/6/8 were at Vancouver Avenue this evening and it is hoped they may be OK for traffic on Monday.

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