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Sunday 6th October 2013 ~ Retiring Gracefully

With XL18-L12 having been delayed near Wisbech due to an A47 accident on Saturday afternoon , XL19-Y13 ran via Wisbech St. Mary and reached King's Lynn first, which explains the long queue awaiting to board 37571 eastbound. Photo : Tony Powell
Sunday dawned with the following seven Geminis still available for X1 work : 37566/69/71/72/73/74/77. Of these, 37571/77 were out on the route today plus later 37573 which had to take over from an ailing 33811 on XL02 diagram (16.05 Peterborough - Yarmouth). 33811 was also in trouble late last night when it failed at Guyhirn on K14-XL01. The problems are believed to be oil filter related. Timekeeping today otherwise was very good.
Before its mishap, 33811 working XL01  12.20 King's Lynn - Peterborough yesterday.  Photo copyright : Tony Powell

I've had another report, this time from Tony Powell who had a day out yesterday, he writes "Bob and I came to Lynn yesterday for one of our occasional lunch-time meetings. A Gemini (37574) on the 11.05 from Peterborough to Lynn gave a more-or-less on-time journey for what was almost certainly my last Excel Gemini experience. 
Return was on the 15.20 to Peterborough. This produced Enviro 33808 and another on-time journey. and  our first chance to try one out. Overall very impressed, seats much more comfortable than the Geminis (even the B7s were more comfortable than the B9s in my view)  Air-Chill effective, if a trifle noisy) but no other major problems. 
I had expected to find the on-board stopping announcements irritating but this was not the case. They were not intrusive and generally very accurate (except for leaving Lynn  when, after passing the Railway Station, the system correctly gave the next stop as London Road, Southgates. The bus of course turns right after the Raiway Station and so must confuse the system so that the next stop information was changed to Railway Station again  But a curiosity rather than a problem.
One thing that I did not expect to like was the route information along both sides of the bus at the bottom of the upper-deck windows. This unnecessarily restricts downward vision from the window seat. As someone who enjoys looking out of windows can I start a campaign to get this removed? 
I note that the new buses have external advert frames, just like the Geminis. Has one received any ads yet?  I dread to think what that will do to the new image. In this context I would mention that Stagecoach, with their comparable "Gold" brand, do not fit external ad frames to their dedicated vehicles. In other words, the integrity of the brand is protected".
Thanks for that Tony. The new buses are expected to receive adverts within the next few days, just as soon as studs to allow this are fitted. Applying adverts to branded buses has always been controversial - I know a number of people at First who are disappointed that this is still going to be the case with the Enviros, but official word is that advertising on such a high profile route raises an income which is too huge to ignore. Take into account that in the slightly less than five years that the Gemini B9s have reigned, they have carried T side adverts - that's just the driver's side - for 197 different major campaigns, quite apart from the supersides and the smaller rear ads.
Geminis awaiting transfer to Full Circle for repainting.

1 comment:

Steve W said...

I would totally agree with the dislike of the route vinyls on the top deck windows. Whoever thought them a good idea obviously doesn't have children, who will have their ability to see out of the windows severely restricted. I had the pleasure of the company of an editor of another blog last week on an Enviro, and even he had problems seeing out.

Everyone loves the seats, but having kid's grubby feet trampling all over them just so they can see out won't do much for their longevity, nor the condition of the clothes of anyone following themn on a wet day. Can we start a campaign to get them removed?