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Tuesday 8th October 2013 ~ The New Look X2

Yes the X2 takes the headlines today, with newly repainted 37568 out on the road after a quick safety service. Our man Syd Eade was out and about and caught up with 568 as she prepared to work her first duty, the 14.55 to Norwich this afternoon :
Here she comes, 568 pulls into Lowestoft bus station from Gasworks Road depot. 
Well fancy meeting you here ? 37568 shows off its nifty paintwork to 37571 which was working Y7-XL13 15.00 to King's Lynn.
Geminis have worked on the X2 before of course, but only on an occasional basis and this stopped once Lowestoft lost their allocation. Here 37568 begins its first spin in its new paint scheme. Photographs copyright : Syd Eade.
Meanwhile, yet another B9, 37563 has left King's Lynn for repainting at Full Circle. 37566 & 37571/2/3/4 were still active on the X1 today. During the day, only two diagrams passed through Wisbech notably late. 37573 on L10-XL16 10.48 to Peterborough left at 11.07 and K15-XL02 with 33815 due away at 13.28 was 24 minutes late departing.
Damon Powell has spent a few days in the area sampling the X1 and here is his report and a selection of photographs :
"I’ve just got back after a weekend in the area sampling the new order of the X1 – very very impressed by what I experienced. I’ve not seen Enviro 400’s presented to such a high standard before, and the blue and gold livery especially suits them well. It’s a shame that adverts will shortly be applied to them though – it’ll somewhat undermine the smart appearance.

Wi-Fi is pretty reliable across most of the route – I was using my laptop most of the way – and quite fast too; and the air-con was very much appreciated on Monday once it got a bit warmer! The leather seats are comfortable and not too hard either, and I can confirm they’re comfortable enough to have a snooze on the boring bits of the A47!

The next stop announcements are useful, but there are a few faults with this system… It gets a little confused at various places, and the computer also can’t pronounce Swaffham! (Swarf-ham, anyone?) It’s quite ineffective on the all stops section around Dereham and Toftwood too and because there are two calls for each stop, we were well past some stops before it had finished announcing quite a few times.

My only other small gripe is with the destination screens… Is there really any need to have the ‘calling at’ and ‘then’ wording on the intermediate screen? I understand where First are going with it, but the lettering could be so much bolder and clearer if it wasn’t for that – and I’ve simulated what that would look like below!

Apart from those two little things - which I’m sure will be ironed out once things settle down - I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the buses, and the team who make it all happen. Keep up the good work! Oh, and, I reckon that should a human voice be provided for the next stop system, Gerard should be behind the mic…!"
Thanks Damon, but I definitely disagree with the last bit lol. Here are Damon's pictures :
On Saturday night, 37573 is at Norwich with K14-XL01 19.35 Yarmouth - Peterborough. I guess I will work out what happened on Saturday night sooner or later !

37571 on K18-XL05 06.45 Wisbech - Lowestoft heads along the Acle Straight on Monday morning 
33815 on the old concrete section of the A47 which follows the course of the old Lynn - Dereham railway , the 09.05 from Peterborough K5-XL11 is near Wendling.
33805 in Dereham Market Place working Monday's 11.35 from Peterborough.
At Dereham again, boarding for Lowestoft is 33807 on Y11-XL17 12.05 from Peterborough, until recently a B7 Gemini turn. Behind is the corresponding westbound service, the 12.30 from Lowestoft (K2-XL08) with 33809.

The rather packed destination blind advertising the connecting forward service no. 1 from Yarmouth to Lowestoft seen on 33811 forming the 18.20 eastbound departure (K4-XL10)
All photos copyright Damon Powell
In his report Damon mentions the wi-fi facility and Cheryl says " From Wikipedia :  Blocking of * domains by keyword-based Internet filtering systems is encountered due to the domain containing the substring "gspot." 
May explain why the X1 blog is blocked on the buses. I cannot view any blog spot blogs"
Hmmm, well I'm not sure where the G Spot is on an Enviro Cheryl, I guess I will have to ask one of the fitters !!

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