|On Thursday 17th July, 33817 passes Walsoken working K16 10.00 Lowestoft (13.20 King's Lynn) - Peterborough.|
Going back to the Sacrewell Farm Rally on July 8th and I had a couple of nice emails, one from organiser Steve Knight who says "The organisers are grateful to First Eastern Counties who made the vehicle available and especially to David Squire and Chris Speed who made the arrangements, as well as First Group Director Giles Fearnley to whom the original request was made. The bus made one mid-day trip from the rally site to Wansford and return and was well loaded on both outward and return journeys. It also stopped to pick up passengers from the previous Wansford shuttle service, being operated by a preserved vehicle, which had suffered a technical failure on its journey.
It was a nice touch for Chris Speed to programme the electronic destination display for the event". Following on from this, Stuart Perry writes "I was a passenger on the broken down vintage bus on the A1 rescued by 33816. I would like to say that although the lay-by was fairly generous I thought the transfer was conducted very professionally in what was a potentially dangerous situation with the fast moving traffic on the A1. Congratulations to all the staff from First who were involved".
Apologies to Steve and Stuart for the late appearance of their comments.
I also failed to give a synopsis of goings on at Lowestoft in recent weeks , these can best be summed up as uneventful, however, on 19th Malcolm says Royale 34108 put in an appearance working the 10.40 service 1a to Martham, then yesterday (21st) 32629 - an ex Leicester Gemini allocated to Yarmouth made a surprise sighting on the X2, working the 09.55 Lowestoft - Norwich and today it worked on the route again doing at least two return trips.
Going back now to the X1 and we are in the final week of through services between Peterborough and Lowestoft. A few Yarmouth and Lowestoft drivers have mentioned to me that they lament the splitting of the route, not least because it will limit their own sphere of operation, leaving just Lowestoft to Norwich on their books. More than a couple have also commented favourably on the blog and how they enjoy following it. Looks like I may need some help from my fellow bloggers in the east after this weekend !
Several readers have also said that they intend travelling the entire route before services are curtailed on Sunday.
The last week has seen some trying times for the X1 controllers. Thursday was a good day, but Friday saw the King's Lynn roadworks badly affect services. As is usually the case, the morning services fared ok but it was at lunchtime that things began to go awry.
Y13 12.18 Wisbech - Peterborough departed just 13 late with 33811 - this had replaced 33822 which was late arriving in Lynn. 33822 itself then became K14 and this was seen returning from Peterborough at 15.15, 45 late having lost time after being 26 late going west. Westbound services seen were K15 at 14.24 (54 late with 33807, it returned 68 late), K16 at 15.12 with 33805 running 62 late, K17 with 33824 67 late at 15.37, K18 with 33810 61 late at 16.01 and finally 33812 on K19 passing me at 16.37, 67 late. Not surprisingly all these services then took up their nearest turn in terms of the timetable, so 33812 became K2 running 7 late.
On Saturday I had a trip to Peterborough and back amid the torrential rainstorms. I took the 10.31 from Walpole Highway which to my amazement turned up just a minute late - normally one can expect a 5 minute leeway on Saturdays. We made determined progress with 33823 and our driver was obviously a stickler for punctuality which is always a good point in my book. We left Wisbech on time to the second at 10.48 and despite the Saturday traffic and poor weather pulled into Queensgate just 45 seconds late on our 11.30 arrival time.
Coming back on the 12.09 departure from Peterborough rail station with 33820, the weather was appalling with the A47
flooded in places between Guyhirn and Wisbech. Before this we had made an unscheduled diversion - see pictures - after the police had closed the normal route
Monday saw two failures, something which has not occurred for many months. 33816 working K3 came to grief in Norwich with the hydraulic cooler fault at about 11.20 and later 33809 took up its duty, then 33803 which had passed me 10 late working K19 to Peterborough expired at Guyhirn at 15.50 with loss of gears. some extremely quick remedial action saw 33820 sent hurriedly from King's Lynn and this returned westbound spot on time.
Earlier K14 had yet again been delayed and it came past me 31 late with 33810 in the path of K15. Finally today (22nd) the hydraulic oil cooler problem claimed another victim when yesterday's thunderbird 33820 failed in Yarmouth working L12. 33805 working Y13 behind it then formed the last leg back to King's Lynn of L12. This effectively leaves Yarmouth a bus short tomorrow, unless a replacement is sent from Lynn or 33820 is repaired overnight.
Finally, although not officially confirmed yet, I believe that the Enviro 400s destined for Great Yarmouth as from Sunday are 33818 -24 inclusive. These will join some of the Geminis previously used in the 37573-9 series which will be wi-fi fitted.