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Thursday 8th May 2014 ~ Reassuring Blog

On Sunday April 27th, 33822 is seen near Terrington St. John  on the 15.30 Lowestoft - Peterborough.
Well here we are at last again just to reassure you that everything has been going very well on service X1. Yes,  the Enviro fleet appear to be every bit as able as their Gemini predecessors at meeting the exacting demands of the route. 
In the period under review, 33810 has returned from bodywork repairs at Full Circle (April 29th) and 33816 also spent a few days there for minor repairs. In this connection Chris Coultas writes " When you say the Enviro's go away for bodywork repairs at Full Circle, is this as a result of accident damage or other damage sustained throughout their travels "? Well it is usually just to repair minor bodyside scrapes Chris, fortunately nothing really major has occurred in service up to this point in time. Chris continues "I have been reading your blog for some time and I think it's rather good ! Well done on creating such an amazing piece of work. I myself am hoping to travel on the X1 at some point as the Enviros look quite enticing". What a nice thing to say, - Well there we are - another fan for the X1 !

 Now then, where was I ? Oh yes what has been happening in the frontline. The MOT programme is continuing, though maybe surprisingly, the fleet are not being treated in numerical order. According to my records, so far done in chronological order are 33803/4/5/6/13/15. As I write 33807 is being prepared for the same. 33807/10/11/14/19 have undergone modifications to the seating. The initial arrangement of glued foundations having been proved to be insufficient to deter vandalism and heavy duty staples are now being used to secure seating.
Yarmouth branded Enviro 33423 helped cover the shortfall caused by the Mots and mods as previously reported working K3-XL09 from 22nd - 24th April inclusive. It didn't stay around for long though and by the weekend of 26th/27th had moved east and been procured for rail replacement work. Everybody's favourite standby was then purloined to work on the X2, presumably to cover for Gemini MOT work. Malcolm first noted it on on Monday 28th April arriving in Lowestoft at 10.00 and it remained on the route at least until May 3rd. 

33423 on the X2 photos copyright Zak (Chief Admin) Norwich Bus Page

After a period away, its nice to welcome Kieran Smith back. He says "Yep, I'm back in the game! In my absence from the enthusiast world i've missed a lot, and only managed to get a shot of SN60CAA (33423). I thought an image of it may be of use to you as it's just completed a few days on full X1 journeys. Today it was seen on rail replacements!"  
Photo copyright : Kieran Smith

Lowestoft were obviously "on the floor for power" (an expression often employed by a railway friend of mine ) on 28th as ex Jersey Dart 43868 arrived in Lowestoft on the 09.25 from Norwich and even today (8th May) Enviro 200 44513 was noted by Michael Bryant working the 10.55 X2 ex Lowestoft.

With 33423 gone from the X1 it was a case of shuffling the pack to ensure servicing commitments were met successfully and this was achieved by swapping buses on some turns. 33805 was taken off K6-XL12 on Friday last (May 2nd) as it was overheating. This kept it out of traffic until Wednesday 7th. 33814 has also not currently worked since Friday 2nd and is sidelined with a hydraulic oil cooler problem, something which has affected a few of the fleet up to now. One thing I haven't mentioned (I think) is that some of the Enviros seem to make quite a noise when accelerating. Some of this can be put down to the wind being in a certain direction, but yesterday I heard something heavy accelerating past my work - I thought it was a dustcart and was surprised to see it was 33816 coming into Wisbech slightly early on K4-XL10 to work the 09.25 to Lowestoft.
33812 leaves Norwich Bus Station where on Sunday May 4th, one lane was coned off leaving buses turning left having to use the right hand lane ! 33812 wasworking the 13.30 from Lowestoft. Photo copyright : Kieran Smith

Punctuality has been quite good of late, although Friday 2nd (before the Bank Holiday) saw delays. The 15.58 Wisbech - Peterborough with 33803 passed me 29 late and the following service with 33811 was 14 late. On Saturday 3rd, Breydon Bridge in Yarmouth stuck open between 09.30 & 10.45 causing some delays to the service.

Bank Holiday Monday 5th saw 33808 out of service after a 3 week stint on the road, it needed a new destination screen after hitting a bird, it was back out next morning though. 
At the Lowestoft end there have been more unusual sightings alongside the X1s. On 25th April the 10.40 to Martham left with 34187, an increasingly uncommon visitor these days. Next day, Saturday 26th Paragon coach 20515 was noted on rail replacement work at Lowestoft station following its displacement from the X1 shorts and Jamie Skinner bemoans the loss of the coaches, saying "the replacements are less than impressive" referring to his picture below. 
Photo copyright : Jamie Skinner

On 29th, Lowestoft town service 101 which gets an occasional mention in these columns produced 34114 on loan from Great Yarmouth and this was noted daily on the service until May 3rd, after which Malcolm went away for a few days break from his vigils at Lowestoft for us.

I mentioned the forthcoming Sacrewell Farm Rally in the last posting and Steve Knight says "Thanks for mentioning the appearance of an X1 vehicle at the Peterborough Bus Rally in July. You were quick, I only had the confirmation from David Squire on Tuesday last week. It will certainly do one of the Sacrewell Farm to Nene Valley Railway shuttles. I am really pleased that First have agreed to support the event".
Trevor Watson has written in response to Richard Adderson's query about invisible destination displays with digital photography. He suggests using a rotating polarised filter as a possible remedy. Thanks to all of you who take the trouble to contact me and I apologise that time doesn't always permit an email reply, I do though try and include your comments here in the blog. 

A quick look at the Enviro 400 mileages, mostly to the nearest 100 updated to end of service tonight.
33811  71200
33812  69500
33808  66800
33807  66300
33818  65677
33821  65606
33806  63100
33805  62900
33816  62800
33815  62300
33820  61500
33804  60768
33810  60752
33814  60000
33817  59700
33823  59500
33824  58600
33813  57900
33822  57400
33809  55000
33819  54300
33803  53800

Many of the anomalies are due to the staggered arrival of the fleet, that being said one would expect first arrival 33803 to top the mileages when ironically, the reverse is the fact. Its early problems after delivery having cut its mileage drastically. 

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