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Wednesday 11th December 2013 ~ Floods & Fog

The weather has played a large part in the proceedings X1 wise since my last post. The high tides on Thursday evening resulted in evening services being curtailed and wisely so (see below) , since Syd reports large swathes of Lowestoft town centre under water after midnight. In fact he was involved in shifting the Lowestoft fleet to the higher ground of the bus station during the evening.

 The tide reached the top of the bridges at Wisbech too, but only minor flooding occurred here on South Brink outside the White Lion Hotel. Nevertheless, the police did have to shut both North and South Brink for a while around high tide at 20.00.
Lowestoft town centre late on Thursday evening. Photo copyright : Syd Eade'
Fortunately incidents on the route have been few and far between and the Enviros have continued to operate in a reliable fashion. 33819 is still at Full Circle being repaired and the other damaged bus, 33813, is now back in service although operating minus its rear vinyls for the time being.
On Thursday 33814 had to be taken off K1-XL07 for repairs and 33423, still in its characteristic white livery took over. Friday saw the return to traffic of 33813 (see above) but it only worked the first half of diagram K17-XL04 and was replaced at 13.45 by 33818. 33423 was deputising on K3-XL09 commencing with the 06.37 King's Lynn - Peterborough. The so called 'stealth bus' then had some rest before being called upon to work K5-XL11 on Tuesday.

On the punctuality front, Thursday was very good with only L10-XL16 running late of note, 33817 being 19 late from Wisbech on the 10.48 to Peterborough. Friday went remarkably well with only the Swaffham - Peterborough turn running late, 33818 had managed to lose 15 minutes by Wisbech and this hadn't been regained by the time it came back eastbound. I kept a low profile over the weekend when things look to have run smoothly. 33804 was out of traffic at this time awaiting a new windscreen.
Monday was a good day with everything on time at the western end of the route, but Tuesday morning witnessed a string of late departures because of an A47 incident further east. 33803 working the 09.18 Wisbech - Peterborough (Y7-XL13) , a service which enjoys excellent punctuality due probably to it being off limits for the senior citizens free passholders, ran 17 late with 33803. L8 following managed to appear on time, but Y9 and 33805 ran 15 late and L10 following was 19 late with 33824. Things then improved and the rest of the day was OK here, however some late running was also noted in Lowestoft. In the morning 33812 was 14 late arriving on K16-XL03 which then forms the 10.00 westbound and in the afternoon 33805 on Y9-XL15 was 20 late in reduced to 5 late departing on the 16.00 to Lynn. At 17.20 I saw 33823 on K4 running around he block formed by Hall Road and School Road at Walpole Highway as the main road through the village was blocked by an accident, supposedly caused by the fog. To bring us up to date, Wednesday was another foggy day, though services through Wisbech ran very well to time, even though this was not the case further east. A few regular travellers were bemoaning the poor punctuality of peaktime services through Norwich, but what exactly do they expect given the nature of the route and the heavy pre-Christmas traffic ? Have a look at the X1 Twitter feed to see what I mean.

Wednesday morning services were hampered by an RTA on the Acle Straight. King's Lynn acted quickly to minimise delays on the western section and when it became apparent that 33806 on Y9 06.41 from Gorleston was not going to make anywhere near its scheduled departure time of 09.40 to Peterborough, 33423 was summoned and worked the service instead. 33806 then departed for Peterborough as L10-XL16, 33815 the incoming bus dropping a turn to become Y11-XL17 and so on. Y13-XL19 was the first turn to run through unchanged. Des was in the thick of things and reports " 33823  Y11 - XL17 07.15 Lowestoft as far as Lynn South Gates.  On time till Acle (08.21), Queueing to Blofield and via A146 into Norwich, depart Norwich -29 (09.19). Made up 10 mins by Dereham, had to unload a large perambulator, so had to pull tight to a No. 8 sitting on stop to get to the kerb. I've done this before and usually a quick reverse and pull out will suffice. however, a No. 4 pulled tight behind me ! So I was wedged between an 8 and a 4 for 9 minutes.- No time made up. From Lynn the bus worked as L12-XL18".

Moving away briefly now from the X1, Malcolm Hicks has been monitoring Lowestoft services as usual with some unusual workings noted. On Thursday Palatine 34155 was operating an X22 service, while 37563/6/9/70 were all in use on the X2 along with 32655, 30900 & 30901. Friday saw more X2 variety with 34110 putting in a shift along with 34155. This may have been to counter the transfer away of the last of the 326xx series of ALX400s, as  32655 has finished working the route now.  37574/7/9 were all viewed on services 1 & 1a to and from Martham. 34155 enjoyed a final (?) X2 fling on Saturday and coach 20515 was also noted. Monday saw another noteworthy working, Lowestoft town service 103 being graced with the presence of ALX400 30901. 34155 had been relegated to working one of the Bernard Matthews contracts, but just when you thought it had gone,  it popped up on the X2 today (Wednesday) working the 09.25 ex Norwich.
Surely now in their final days on stagework ? Here is 20515 performing on the X2 recently.
Photo copyright : Zak Nelson / NBP.

Sister coach 20514 loading at Norwich bus station on an X2. Photo copyright : Zak Nelson / NBP.

Mark Ellis, a driver at 'First' in Norwich,  has been in touch about a new DVD featuring all the new Enviros and a variety of other vehicles locally. The DVD priced at £8 is available post free from his website at : . Sounds like a good stocking filler for bus enthusiasts to me.
Another web link now and those dear folks at the 'Wisbech Standard' have dragged up an old  photo of me and Bruce on their website, though quite what we have to do with a fanciful petition to get the X1 to divert permanently through Wisbech St, Mary is beyond me. See the full story (and comments - one of which sounds suspiciously like it comes from Victor Meldrew), here :
Sounds a bit Walter Mitty to me .....

Thanks to all our regular contributors, your help is much appreciated as always. G

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