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Thursday 30th October 2008 ~ Half Way There

20502 and four B10s line up at Rowan Road on 29th October
Today saw the release to traffic of 37565 which arrived at King's Lynn tonight on Y21 17.25 from Lowestoft. This was rather surprising as Jamie V had seen 20501 on X1 shuttles and I had expected this to be Y21. For the first time, all seven Lowestoft allocated Geminis were in service (37563-569), plus King's Lynn's 37573. Five of these had arrived at Lynn by 20.30 and of these 37564 had come in on L13 with a broken side window caused by vandals throwing a rock (retrieved by depot staff) and which could have been serious. 20114 off J11 worked forward to Peterborough at 19.59. 37568 had come in on L12 with a cracked windscreen and arrangements for repair were being made, so a pretty hectic night. 37569 was involved in a late running episode on K16, due off Peterborough at 13.48, it was about 30 late departing with a full load. 37563 worked K15 for the second consecutive day and was 10 late this evening on the last Lynn - Peterborough.

20508/9 were again inactive at Lynn compound and it looks like they've finished working for FEC. 20505 went over to Lowestoft on Tuesday night but has not reappeared. 20117 was 3 early at Walton Highway on K1 07.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft and was seen later on the return working running 15 late at Wisbech at just after 16.15. 20105 had a strange day, it was seen on time on J10 06.40 Gorleston - Peterborough at Wisbech having come on at Lynn after 37567 failed and later was seen 28 late on K4 13.25 ex Lowestoft, again having come on at Lynn after late running. John W saw 37567 looking rather forlorn in the centre of Lynn bus station, but it later resumed work on J10 at 12.12.


Wednesday 29th October 2008 ~ Stop The Bus I Want To Get Off (and catch the coach behind !)

A sort of cat and mouse game seems to be happening where a Gemini (the mouse) heads off to Peterborough with a B10 or B12 (the cat) in hot pursuit. The Gemini then manages to escape by returning via the Wisbech bypass and leaves the cat behind ! There are variations on this game of course, the most common one being when the Gemini avoids Wisbech on the westbound trip.

Today was 37569's first in traffic. It was rostered for K3 ( 06.54 Wisbech - Lowestoft; 10.55 Lowestoft - Peterborough & 15.18 return and 20.58 Lowestoft - Lynn). The event was not a success and 569 was seen leaving Wisbech westbound 34 late on the 10.55, with 20500 on K5 just three minutes behind. 37566 restarted its X1 career today on K1 06.29 King's Lynn - Peterborough; 07.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft & 12.25 return, but by the time it reached Lynn on the latter it was running sufficiently late to become K2 and was noted departing Wisbech just 6 minutes late - that's being kind and ignoring the 30 minutes lost before Lynn !
37568 began on K4, but by teatime this was being worked by 20103. 37573 began from Yarmouth on the 06.32 (Y9) to Peterborough and had only lost 3 minutes by Wisbech indicating that it has probably been modified speedwise. Two other successes today were 37563 which was used on the longest turn K15. This begins as the 05.42 Lynn - Lowestoft. It was seen on time as the 13.18 ex Peterborough and this evening was just 6 late on the 18.58 Lowestoft - P'bo. 37564 was also on time on K18 14.48 ex Peterborough, but somewhere earlier it had swapped places with 20104. The B10 had begun the day on K18 and the Gemini on K17. Most likely explanation is that 104 caught up the decker and overtook it. Even our top man Wayne admitted today was a shambles due to the time lost by the unmodified Geminis.
20352 which due to yesterday's swaps had ended up at Yarmouth overnight, did the whole of Y8 today and was in Wisbech bus station at 19.31 this evening (due 19,35) on its way back to Lynn. Once again 20351 remained at Rowan Road as did Paragons 20502/8/9, a sure sign of impending departure. 20141 & 20507 which were last reported on rail replacement duty have still not returned to Lynn.
Coaches on X1 duty today were 20352, 20500/01/03/04/06 and 20103/04/05/07/09/11/14/17/18/26. Meanwhile 20131 & 20142 were out on Lynn local turns to Hunstanton.

Tuesday 28th October 2008 ~ The Farce Continues....

I really would like to have some good news to report regarding the X1 revolution, but alas today followed the same pattern as recent days. Analysing the situation relies on many factors, but it quickly becomes apparent that with traffic delays and heavy passenger loadings, the Gemini double deckers are - as things stand - seldom up to the task. Whilst the new buses glossy image may distract from the fact that on many occasions passengers are waiting for in excess of an hour for a service to appear, it wont take long for the public to cotton on to the fact that the new buses are almost always late. A £2 single fare promotion introduced this week has undoubtedly added to delays with larger numbers of passengers in half term week.
So what of today (or yesterday as it is now with this report going out very late tonight !) ? well 37565 which disappeared from King's Lynn over the weekend has reached Lowestoft now, but still doesn't appear to have worked in service, 37569 is still with trade plates and was viewed by Tina yesterday on the A149 Lynn northern bypass on a test run. 37571 has gone back to Volvo with a problem with its AdBlu system and a malfunctioning destination screen, while 37566 returned very quickly after failing yesterday morning on K2 with a faulty fuel valve, it was back from Volvo and in Vancouver Avenue depot tonight.
Of the Geminis actually working, things are very hit and miss. Observations today by Bruce, James V and myself produced the following ;
37563 K17 - seen running 33 late at Wisbech westbound at 14.07 with 20107 on K18 behind it (yes literally, not a car seperated them !). It also did the daily Gemini run on the Wisbech bypass on the return to try and regain some time.
37564 - now this one really behaved itself, it was seen just 2 late at Wisbech whilst Peterborough bound on Y14 and was on time at Walpole on its return at 13.49. Tonight it was a mere 6 late on the 21.31 Wisbech to Peterborough, so well done 564.
37567. More what we've come to expect here. It did K3 06.54 Wisbech - Lowestoft and on arrival late running saw it drop down on to K4 13.25 return to P'bo, It was seen at Walpole Highway depositing passengers 35 late at 17.22.
37568 had a better day and was on time on Y8 06.02 Yarmouth - Peterborough and the 09.48 return to Lowestoft where it seems to have taken over Y9 which it worked to Lynn arriving at 17.54. It is not known what worked forward.
37573 did L12 07.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough and 11.48 return. It was 12 late on the latter, but some delay can be blamed on J11 not running on the western section, therefore meaning 573 had a double load of passengers. 20105 was J11 and presumably late running was the reason it didn't work westbound from Lynn at 09.59.
So I reckon that's 3-2 in favour of better timekeeping, maybe grounds for optimism ?

Naturally the B12s and B10s filled all the gaps. Jamie V noted 20127 which seems to be Yarmouth allocated after all, on X1 shuttles along with 201o4 which ended up on Y21 17.25 ex Lowestoft into Lynn. All the Paragons bar 20507 were in evidence on X1s and 507 along with 20141 are expected to return to Lynn before departing for distant climes.
20351 which hasn't worked since Friday is awaiting parts I am told and is resting at Rowan Road.


Newsflash 28/10/08

These photos from Des were taken last Friday lunchtime and depict vandalism on the seatbacks of 37568, one day after entering service. Do some sections of the public deserve new buses ?


Monday 27th October 2008 ~ A Big Mistake

The comfort of the B12 Paragons will surely be missed this winter ? 20509 stands outside Vancouver Avenue garage before running light to Norwich and working the 17.17 to Peterborough (K20)
One of our B10s destined for First Glasgow is 20114, seen today clawing back 15 minutes of lost time on K16 09.25 ex Lowestoft. By the time it left Lynn on the 15.12 to Lowestoft it was only 5 late.

Talking to a 'First' X1 driver this evening, I used the situation as an opportunity to quiz him about the new double deckers. The conversation went something like this :

Q : "What do you think of these new deckers then ?" -

A: "I'd rather have one of those (a B1o)";

Q "Why what's wrong with them ?" -

A :" I've taken one to Lowestoft from Lynn twice now and with a 50mph max, you just can't keep time, I reckon on both occasions so far I have lost 15 minutes running time purely because of the 50mph limiter"

Q : "So there's no chance of keeping to the timetable then ?"

A : "Well I have had one of them which has been upgraded to 56mph, I took it to Peterborough early the other morning and we just kept time, but when the traffic is heavier I don't know"

Certainly today, not all the delays could be attributed to the Gemini speed handicap, as traffic in Yarmouth was horrendous and there was an accident on the A47 at Hockering. worst affected service was Y8 09.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft which arrived at its destination 90 minutes late. The driver then took 20111 empty to Norwich via Beccles Bypass and worked forward as L13 at 18.17 from Norwich, with 20107 coming back on Y8.

On the Gemini front, things seemed to go from bad to worse. John W says he seems to curse K2 09.42 Lynn - Lowestoft (see Saturday's report), as it left about 25 down with 20504 which had done K20 (the Norwich and return empty turn) after 37566 was removed from its first revenue earning trip. Quite what happened today is currently unclear, but 37573 on K17 06.27 Lynn - Lowestoft failed to appear on the return and 20117 took its place, seen dead on time at Wisbech by Rob B and also by Bruce and myself at Walpole. As 20117 had allegedly started the day on K18, we half expected 37573 to turn up on this, but in the end it failed to run at all. The next service westbound from Lynn was K3 which was Gemini 37567 and this was seen at Tilney Coach & Horses running 28 late ! Following it only 3 late was 20104 on K5, next westbound was K7 14.59 ex Lynn which was 15 late departing with 20502, but only 9 late when seen by Rob Brooks on the return. Another Gemini moment came next in the form of 37564 (still a 50mph restricted vehicle) which was seen firstly approaching Hardwick roundabout 31 minutes behind time and then a while later heading down (yes you've guessed it !) the Wisbech Bypass to make up some of the defecit. It didn't succeed and was still exactly 31 late at Walpole Highway on the return trip. Wisbech passengers who missed 20502 at 15.45 had to wait until 20504 arrived at 16.45 to get to Peterborough, which has been a common occurrence in the past week.

Profile 20352 on K4 was 20 late at Walpole and 26 late from Wisbech although Rob B who was on board says it got to Peterborough in 34 minutes which is commendable. Two Geminis not mentioned so far which were in service fared a little better, 37563 did J10 06.40 Gorleston - Peterborough etc and 37568 did K6 07.59 Lynn - P'bo etc and was only 5 late leaving Lynn on the 19.42 to Lowestoft. Mystery of the day is what happened to 37566/71/73 and the rumour is that they have returned to Volvo for rectification. 566 came off K2 and was not at Lynn after this, 571 which had been demic at Rowan Road had gone by this afternoon and 37573 did not complete K17, so a pretty sorry tale and whilst we are not in the business of 'bashing 'First'', it does seem that the decision to settle for a 50mph speed limit was a particularly ill thought out one. As they say things can only get better.
37569 is still at Vancouver Avenue on test and 20506 is having some of its panels beaten back into shape. X1 accident victim Scania 65540 has returned from repairs today.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up to the blog, your emails have been very kind and as ever your comments and sightings are welcome. finally a big hello to Mick in North Carolina - surely our most distant follower !!


Sunday 26th October 2008 ~ A Conspiracy Theory

20501 in its last days seen this afternoon Peterborough bound
Now is there a conspiracy going on against our beautiful new double deckers ? All this talk of late running etc. Well in the interests of neutrality, this board always claims to show both sides of the coin. Bruce is adamant that time will tell that the new Geminis are just not up to the demands of the X1 route, but today seemed to show that without the weekday delays, things had improved slightly. Late last night K3 18.58 Lowestoft - Peterborough was about 16 late going to Peterborough but 1 min early returning, albeit at 00.17 when witnessed by our correspondents at Walpole Highway, however, Bruce points out that we are still waiting for a Gemini to appear on time on a westbound service from Lowestoft.

All the Geminis on the road so far congregated at King's Lynn overnight, with as reported yesterday, 37571 at Rowan Road out of service, 37569 in prep for service at Vancouver Avenue and the other six available for traffic. With six turns to cover 37564/6 were kept at the garage and 20501/2 sent out. 37567 was out on K1 06.59 Lynn - Peterborough and was seen on time at Walpole Highway returning at 09.17, The 07.59 westbound was 37568, but this was swapped for 20505 during the day. The 08.59 was seen at Thorney Toll at 10.31 running 44 late with 37563 after the booked driver failed to turn up. It was on time at Walpole this evening on the 19.18 ex Peterborough. The first eastbound departure from Lynn had 37573.

The three turns from Yarmouth had 20126, 20117 and 20104 but 126 was changed for 20118 at Lynn at 12.42 after it had more windscreen wiper problems. 118 had been used on the morning rail replacement turns between Downham Market and Cambridge, along with 20109/42 & 20504.

25/10/08 Postscript

Well I've just heard from Rob Brooks and it would appear that Saturday's Gemini gremlins were worse than I thought. 37563 did not appear at Wisbech for the 12.31 to Peterborough, so presumably after the low power at Easton it must have been terminated at King's Lynn. All the more surprising then that it was 9 late when seen at Walpole at 14.27, as it had obviously gone empty to Wisbech and started there as the 14.09 to Lowestoft. Secondly Rob points out that 37573 went empty from Lynn to Peterborough at 15.35 to make up for its lost time being seen on the Wisbech bypass which seems to becoming a regular haunt for the Geminis and it presumably then became K5 with 20126 taking over K7. What a fiasco !


Saturday 25th October 2008 ~ 50mph - Is It Enough ?

37573 arriving at Lynn 25 minutes late this afternoon on K7
37568 at King's Lynn bus station awaiting attention from a Volvo fitter six hours after it failed

37563 heads East at Walpole Highway on K15

After the third day of B9 Gemini operation, all of a sudden feats of endurance hitherto a daily occurrence by the N reg B10s become noteworthy. Today 20105 on K6 on time at 10.09 from Wisbech to Lowestoft and the same this evening at 19.09 heading east again, or 20103 on J11 delayed as usual by the Canary fans streaming out of Carrow Road after a 2.1 comeback against Doncaster Rovers, it was 10 late through Walpole Highway at 19.28 heading west and 3 early returning through Tilney at 21.22, these old buses certainly have the ability to keep or even regain time. Will we ever see this with the Geminis ? Well unless their 50mph handicap is lifted it would seem unlikely and a complete recast of the X1 timetable may be required if todays events are anything to go by.
King's Lynn sent out five Geminis today along with two Paragons and 4 B10s. The first blip was unfortunate when 37568 on K2 expired at King's Lynn having come in from Peterborough and couldn't continue east at 09.42. I will let John Wilson explain : "37568...... Oh Dear !! When I arrived through KL bus station at 0957, 37568 was on the Norwich stand with passengers on board, although showing no destination/route display - presumably the 09.42 departure running late. I saw that other passengers were not being allowed on, so hung on to see how late it would depart. I saw that fitters were on board, so obviously a problem. By 10.18, 20118 had arrived for the 10.12, then a fitter brought in 20352 and the passengers and those waiting for 37568 boarded 20352. At 10.18, 20118 departed with several on board, followed by 20352 with many passengers at 10.22. When I left town at around 11.15, 20501 was ready to leave with the 11.12, and 37568 was still standing forlorn on the Norwich stand. In Lynn also were 20131 on 41, and 20142 on bus station showing 41, but then left for VA". I ventured out this afternoon, Kieren had told me that K3 and K15 were Geminis, so I positioned myself outside Bruce's home (he was away today) at the appointed time of 14.18 when they should pass at this point. First along was 37563 on K15 which was only 9 minutes late - I have read that earlier the driver had encountered low power problems at Easton. K3 was 20 late with 37567 which was pottering along. I then went to Lynn where 37568 was still dead in the Lowestoft bay, apparently initially it seemed a fuse had blown, but when replaced it blew again and a Volvo engineer had to attend and diagnosed loose wiring behind the dashboard. K15 departed 12 late with 37563, but by this evening it had lost time badly and hadn't passed the Hardwick Roundabout at 21.18 (due off Lynn at 20.59). Bruce recorded it passing Walpole Highway at 21.53, 36 minutes late. K3 with 37567 was seen by Tina at the same location at 22.34, a mere 17 late. Back to this afternoon now and also seen was K17 14.18 ex Peterborough with 37564 running 15 late and K7 14.59 Lynn - Peterborough with Karen driving seen near the South Gates running almost 25 minutes late with 37573. 20126 on K5 was 15 late arriving at Lynn and was eventually delayed until 14.59 taking two lots of passengers. It may be coincidence but the 11.59 off Lynn westbound was dead on time with 20114, see also the earlier comments re B10s.
37571 was out of service today with its destination display not working and 37566 remained at Vancouver Avenue with 37569.
Jamie V paid a visit to Norwich today and saw 20106/141 and 20507 at the depot compound, while 20118/142 were at Rowan Road tonight labelled up for tomorrows rail replacement work between Downham Market and Cambridge.
A little anniversary today - it is four years exactly since I first began monitoring buses on the X1. Just for the record, the buses in service on that day were all the B12s except 20502 and B10s out were 20107/114/120/122/127/131/140/141/142. Today four years later, 20114/127 and 20500/01/03/04/05/08 were still working hard on the same route.


Friday 24th October 2008 ~ All Change

It was literally 'all change' today with many services swapping vehicles at King's Lynn and some appalling late running which was hardly ideal on the day the flagship service was publicised in the local press. A further three Geminis entered service today, full details in a moment, but first the news many have been waiting for : what is going and where ? Here is the full list :

First Hants : 20111

First Glasgow : 20114/117/119/120/141/142, 20502 - 509 inclusive

First Edinburgh : 20121/123/124

First Essex : 20500/501

The other big question, what is the Gemini depot allocation ? Well it is going to be 37563-569 at Lowestoft and 37570-579 at Lynn, To begin with all Geminis will come from Norwich Volvo to King's Lynn for safety checks before entering service. The first service on the full 17 vehicles will take place at King's Lynn. Tonight 37569 was in prep and should be OK for Saturday, also new on the road today were 37564/566/573.

Gemini workings today were :

37563 : K3 all day commencing with 06.54 Wisbech - Lowestoft

37564 : L12 all day commencing with 07.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough

37566 : K20b empty to Norwich, 17.17 Norwich - Peterborough to King's Lynn

37567 : Y8 commencing with 06.02 Yarmouth - Peterborough and finishing at Lynn at 17.24 (actually much later see below)

37568 : Y21 17.25 Lowestoft - King's Lynn (off X1 shuttles seen by Rob Brooks)

37571 : K6 commencing 07.59 King's Lynn - Peterborough and finishing at Lynn at 16.54, then replaced 37567 on Y8 17.29 to Peterborough and return to Lynn

37573 : K7 14.59 Lynn - Peterborough etc replacing 20506.

The late running made the influx of new vehicles seem a little ironic. 37563 on K3 was 13 x 18 late through Wisbech this afternoon. 37564 was heavily delayed on L12 and passed Bruce 39 minutes late en route to P'bo at 11.28, it returned via Wisbech bypass and was seen by Rob Brooks leaving Norwich still about 40 late full and standing heading east ! It may have had its turn cut short at Yarmouth as it was back at Lynn as booked this evening. 37566 holds the dubious distinction of being the first Gemini failure. It was removed from K20 tonight with loss of power and 20508 which had just come in from Peterborough was used as replacement. 37567 on Y8 began the day on time but was 33 late from Norwich this afternoon heading west with 20103 on Y9 not far behind, and 37571 on K6 was replaced by 20501 at Lynn at 16.59, it then took over from 37567 on Y8 (the first Gemini for Gemini swap !!) and was seen arriving back at Lynn at 20.31 being chaperoned by 20103 on Y9 immediately behind it. So all in all timings wise a bit of a disaster.

Amongst other incidents today were 20126 failing at Fransham with faulty wipers on K16 06.07 Lynn - Lowestoft, 20501 attended with the fitters and later K15 12.29 Lynn - Peterborough failed to run and passengers were crammed on to 20502 on the next service (K16). 20142 is believed to have resumed K15 as the 14.42 Lynn - Lowestoft.

20120, resident in Vancouver Avenue, is unlikely to work for FEC again and is one of the coaches going to Glasgow - see above. The vehicles destined for other parts of First will congregate at Rowan Road after full checks at Lynn prior to being transferred.

Thanks to Jamie Vendy, Jamie Robinson, Rob Brooks, Rob Horspole, Bruce and Judith for providing details of sightings today. Special mention ought to be made of Bruce's vigil waiting for K15 this afternoon which as mentioned above failed to run !

A lady reader of the 'Eastern Daily Press' had a letter published today having a general rant about the new Geminis - strange in that they only entered service yesterday, she must have delivered the letter personally or by email ! I found her moans quite entertaining when she referred to the old buses as unreliable but comfortable. Bet she was one of those who whinged about the lack of capacity on the coaches.


Thursday 23rd October 2008 ~ We Have Lift Off !!!

37571 after arrival at King's Lynn on L12 from Lowestoft

37565 in Vancouver Avenue tonight

My shaky photo of 37563 on Nene Quay in Wisbech while working K15 12.31 to Peterborough today. Jamie R is peeping out of a downstairs window laughing at me taking the pic !!

Today was GEMINI DAY at last. 37568 & 37571 were used by King's Lynn and 37563 came out of Yarmouth together with 37567 from Lowestoft. By the end of the day the newcomers seem to have impressed everyone by their appearance, although their lack of speed - a 50 mph limiter - is a major source of complaints from drivers it would seem.

The full rundown of todays workings is as follows :-

37563 Y14 07.32 YAR -LFT, 08.25 LFT - PBO to Lynn K15 08.55 LFT - PBO from Lynn, 13.18 PBO - LFT (booked to return to Lynn later tonight)

37567 L13 07.45 LFT - PBO to Lynn, K5 11.25 LFT - PBO from Lynn, 15.48 PBO - YAR

37568 K6 complete : 07.59 KLN - PBO, 09.18 PBO-LFT, 13.55 LFT-PBO, 18.18 PBO-LFT

37571 K20 06.47 KLN - NOR, return light L12 11.48 PBO - LFT from Lynn, 16.25 LFT - KLN

This all out effort to get some of the new buses into traffic was to ease a situation where some of the Yarmouth RMLs had been pressed into service while the rail replacement services between Norwich and Lowestoft used borrowed vehicles. Today 20507, 20106/121/141 were all in use on these.

Four more Geminis arrived at Lynn today, 37565 and 37566 are taxed and ready for service, while at Rowan Road 37569 & 37573 are awaiting documentation.

Services generally ran about 10-15 minutes late today, but the worst period was in the evening rush when 20500 left on time with the 16.31 Wisbech - Peterborough (K2), but the 17.01 (K4) which was seen belting through Walpole Highway by Bruce and myself at 17.23 with 20501 running 35 late then disgraced itself by losing all its air on the Wisbech Horsefair roundabout. this left several people stranded and they had to all wait for K6 which itself was precisely 30 late with 37568, departing at 18.01 after a gap of 90 minutes since the previous westbound service !
37568 managed to lose more time and was 34 late leaving Lynn on the 19.42 to Lowestoft.
As can be seen the two Geminis from the coast both came off their digrams at Lynn with L13 going forward with 20107 and Y14 with 20126. The latter had done K19 to Norwich and would normally have then done the X2, however, it must have returned empty to Lynn on this occasion. Meanwhile Paragon 20508 was on the X2 and returned on K19 tonight. Michael saw 20111 on a Bernard Matthews contract this morning and it then did an X2.

Rob H had to drive to Norwich this morning and saw K6 with 37568 and 37571 returning empty to Lynn off K20. Judith was very excited by seeing 37563 and Jamie R did it to Peterborough on K15 saying the seats weren't as hard as he thought they would be ! Chrissie reported 37567 leaving Wisbech on K5 9 late en route to Peterborough. It was only 4 late coming back. Bruce had to go to Spalding today and missed a lot of the action, but we joined forces at Walpole Highway tonight to have a chinwag and view 20501 and 37568 heading west - yes we really were talking for that long !

Despite all the excitement there were still B10s to be had : 20103/04/07/14/17/18/26/27 were all in action at various points on the X1.

Newsflash IMPORTANT ~ 23/10/08

Due to reasons beyond my control, I am making the X1 blog members only from this evening. All you have to do is get a Google password/id and you can access it. Any probs, email me on

First Geminis worked from Lowestoft to Lynn this morning.


Wednesday 22nd October 2008 ~ Everything in Moderation

Well, I've just looked at the terrible mess I made of yesterday's report and with the aid of an emergency monitor, this one should be better ! It is with regret that as of today I am making the X1 blog a 'members only' experience. This is solely because some people who take their jobs too seriously have objected to other First employees contributing to the blog and as the last thing I want is for someone to get into trouble, this seemed the best way around it. Hopefully those who want to read it will apply to join as members.
An accident on the A47 made services from Peterborough late at teatime. K2 16.31 Wisbech - Peterborough with 20117 was already 29 late departing and then after the accident returned 58 late on the 17.18 ex Peterborough. It was still 58 down when it left Lynn for Lowestoft. K4 was (I think) terminated at Wisbech with 20503 and returned on time, but K6 was delayed by about 35 minutes with 20127. It left Lynn eastbound at 20.17 (due 19.42). After this things returned to normality. K17 and K3 both had B7s today as booked (20351/2) and amazingly both were on time. 20509 on Y14 was 17 late going to Peterborough. 20507 was on maintenance at Lynn last night but was not seen today, it is assumed to have done K5 17.12 Lynn - Lowestoft on which it must have replaced 20142 which ended up on town diagram 11.

Tuesday 21st October 2008 ~ In The Dark

I hope you'll bear with me in this report as I'm writing it without the aid of a screen as mine has packed up. When switched on it appears for about 1 second then goes blank, so i will try and check this for errors, but don't guarantee to succed !
Firstly news has appeared this evening of 37577 arriving at Fleetwodod Docks in Barbie livery, whereas it was expected to be in Excel X1 guise. The two Geminis at Lynn are now taxed and after type training with a fellow from Volvo on Thursday are expected to take to the road this weekend. Norfolk County Council are likely to end up with a hefty bill, as despite plenty of advance warning, they still haven't cut overhanging branches on the Toftwood route which will be an obstacle to the new vehicles. Another feature of the new deckers is that they are equipped with no less than 16 cameras ! I'm not quite sure how a driver is supposed to monitor all these, but there you are.
A brief mention of today now as I'm still typing blind. 20351 made the first appearance of its type on L13 07.45 Lowestoft - P'bo etc after overnighting on the coast after travelling over on K18 yesterday. there were a number of swaps, but overall timekeeping was fair.


Monday 20th October 2008 ~ Great Expectations

My friend John had to return to Edinburgh this morning, so what better way to get him to Peterborough station than on the X1 ? I drove him to Wisbech bus station, passing Bruce on the way at Walpole Highway. John caught K6 08.31 Wisbech - Peterborough (07.59 ex Lynn) with 20141. It was already 13 late arriving at Wisbech, but then got embroiled in chaos when a lorry overturned at the Parnwell interchange on the approach to Peterborough. It eventually arrived at Peterborough around 10.15 (due 09.13). Naturally my friend missed his pre-booked train and after getting nowhere with the travel office staff, he then encountered a friendly ticket inspector who endorsed his rail ticket and then another amiable guard on a later train. P'bo travel centre had told him to buy a single ticket for £100 !
Meanwhile back on the X1 the first service delayed by the accident was K4 08.48 P'bo - Lowestoft which Bruce noted 50 late at Walpole with 20114. 141 then followed on K6 56 late and then Y8 09.48 ex Peterborough with 20501 33 late. Y9 was 10 late heading west but was 31 late at Walpole on the 10.18 ex Peterborough with 20117. After this services ran only slightly late and by the afternoon on time running became the norm. Changes at Lynn due to the riot were K4 with 114 terminating, while 20142 replaced it at 10.12 to Lowestoft. 20141 on K6 was similarly substituted by 20109 and whether Y8 went through with 501 is unconfirmed. Y9 with 20117 terminated with 20506 having gone out eastbound at 11.42. Tonight Y8 14.25 ex Lowestoft was 20507. The 10.24 (L12) and 11.24 (Y14) arrivals at Lynn are unknown, but 20105 did L12 forward to P'bo and 20114 (off K4) did Y14, however it appears to have travelled up the Wisbech bypass to reach Peterborough as it didn't pass our man Bruce.
K19 - the X2 turn - began with 20126, but this got swapped and as Sam says : "126 did the 15:38 from Norwich and had a good turn of speed...however like all stories things go down hill from there on ! The indicators stopped working - hazards work but show a constant orange light and then it started to rain (no the roof didn't leak!) the wipers didn't work so when I got off the driver was ringing up the depot, for a fuse I expect". 20504 which had done K18 06.57 Lynn - Lowestoft replaced 126 on K19, while K18 went out from Lowestoft at 10.25 with profile 20351 (24 late at Wisbech). K17 09.55 which was allocated 20351 was given 20104 and this ws 22 late at Walpole. Tonight 20500 did the 17.55 ex Lowestoft instead of 20114.
20120 was in Vancouver Avenue tonight, but its place over the pit had been taken by 65532. 20505 was receiving a service and attention to its heater matrix on pit 2 and pit 3 was host to Gemini 37571.


Sunday 19th October 2008 ~ Mischief Making

I'm assured by the people that know that the Yarmouth Gemini is in perfect condition and the rumour seems to have come about by someone saying 'one of the new buses at Yarmouth has been damaged', by which it is assumed they meant 20353. Work is well underway on this one and also on long term absentee 20119, thanks to Ryan for the update.

The new arrivals at King's Lynn spent another idle day at Lynn garage as did 20351/2 at Rowan Road compound. Tonight 20118/120 & 20505/8/9 were at the garage and 20109/126/131/141 and 20506 at Rowan Road. Old timers 20103/5/7 were on the X1 turns starting at Yarmouth / Lowestoft and at least two of 20111/114/142 were out on Lynn diagrams.


Saturday 18th October 2008 ~ Paper Buses

The two Geminis at King's Lynn are awaiting paperwork and cannot be taxed until it arrives. Meanwhile a rumour was floating around Lynn this evening that the Yarmouth Gemini has already suffered some damage in the depot confines !
Next week promises to be fun when Norwich - Lowestoft rail replacement work begins and First are said to be struggling to provide their full contingent of vehicles.
20120 finally arrived at Vancouver Avenue today and it should be on the road by the end of the week after getting a new turbocharger and service. Lynn are short of labour this week though.
20114 was involved in a couple of swaps today. It began on K1 06.29 King's Lynn - Peterborough but was taken off the 07.48 return at Lynn as 20121 was required a service and this replaced it. 114 then remained spare and came in handy to replace 20502 on Y14 08.25 from Lowestoft which had to be taken out of traffic due to passenger illness.
Bruce reported most services from Peterborough about 10 late and this afternoon 20107 on K5 14.29 Lynn - Peterborough was 17 late and 20142 on K7 following was 13 late. After this things settled down and by early evening services were on time. 20131 was helping out on Hunstanton services today.

Friday 17th October 2008 ~ The Waiting Game

Neither of the two new arrivals seemed to move today, but thanks to East Anglian Bus Group members we now know that Lowestoft and Yarmouth have received their first Geminis too. 37563 is reported by Grahame at YAR and is the first, numerically of the series, reg AU58 ECA.

Timekeeping was fairly good for a Friday, but there were several changes to diagram at both Lynn and Lowestoft. 20103 on K5 15.48 Peterborough - Yarmouth left 34 late and was heavily loaded as a result. 20106 was not seen today and may have gone for Rail replacement work as the Norwich - Lowestoft line is closed temporarily from this weekend. 20131 and 20142 were relegated to schools work today.


Thursday 16th October 2008 ~ Meet The Geminis

The dust was just settling from 20353's accident yesterday when this afternoon Geminis 37571 (AU58ECV) and 37568 (AU58ECJ) arrived at King's Lynn. It is rumoured locally that they may go into service as early as Saturday, but neither is taxed at the moment. I checked the hardness of the seats and can confirm that they are...... well, hard.

20104/06/42 were on schools today while Paragons 20502 (service) and 20509 (air fault) were idle. 20121 had a charging fault but was fixed to work K20 this afternoon. Jamie R travelled on it on the 20.18 ex Peterborough and remarked that it was a lot quieter than 20117. 20131 has acquired an ad for 'The Architects of Fashion, Grand Arcade' on the passenger side, but retains the M&S one on the other side. It came in on Y21 17.25 ex Lowestoft on which 69007 had originally been rostered. There were (amazingly) no swaps other than K20 today which had 20141 this morning. Timekeeping was good generally, but K16 13.01 Wisbech - Peterborough was 18 late departing with 20105.


Wednesday 15th October 2008 ~ Oh Deer What Can The Matter Be ?

B7 Profile 20353 had a bad day today. It started the day at Yarmouth after the mix up yesterday which saw it come in on K5. Today it worked Y14 which begins with the 07.32 Yarmouth - Lowestoft and then the 08.25 to Peterborough. It was spotted on the latter approaching Wisbech 29 minutes late with 20505 on K15 behind it 12 minutes in arrears. By the time it had come back from Peterborough 353 was still 28 late but 505 had made up time and was on time meaning they were running within 60 seconds of each other . Later on 20353 hit a deer on the Acle straight, causing considerable front end damage - thanks to reports from Paul, Grahame & Ryan for the info - so it will be out of action for sometime and was towed in to Caister Road depot at Yarmouth. Because of this 20105 which was working K5 15.48 Peterborough - Yarmouth (seen leaving King's Lynn 15 late) was turned around at Norwich to run as Y14, on which it was 4 early at Walpole at 23.15 heading back to Lynn from Peterborough.
Things went a bit pear shaped at teatime as 20118 on K4 13.25 ex Lowestoft had a puncture, so to cover this 20500 off K1 replaced it. K1 itself then departed to Peterborough with Scania/Wright 65526 seen 8 late at Wisbech, as all available coaches were either on schools or on Hunstanton services (20106/111/131/504). 20131 worked forward from Lynn to Lowestoft at 18.12 relieving the Scania.
There were further changes when 20506 on K6 was swapped for 20111 for the 16.59 to Peterborough. Y8 which was coming in 22 late on the 14.25 ex Lowestoft with 20117 was seen at the South Gates at 17.43, where it was passed by 20506, confusingly also on Y8 heading for Peterborough, yes two buses on one diagram, well briefly anyway. 20117 did itself go to Peterborough on the 17.59 (Y9) replacing 20104.
20509 was declared a failure this morning with low air and an electrical fault and it has been dumped at Rowan Road in front of dead 20120.
20109 has had its 'One Two Free' ad replaced by one for a Fashion chain.
Even though a new Gemini has yet to arrive at Lynn, reports suggest that some may be in service within a week !!


Tuesday 14th October 2008 ~ Coaches For All

Today King's Lynn provided 13 coaches for the X1 as usual but due to the dire situation on town routes, six others were found to assist here. 20504 did town diagram 11 and 20506 off an exam did turn 16. In addition 20131 and 20106 were on Hunstanton services and 20109 on schools. The other bus was 20111 which was removed from K5 14.29 to Peterborough to do schools, while 20353 went on the X1, even though this turn ends at Lowestoft. 353 was not the only Profile to be heading for the coast this evening as 20502 was a last minute failure for K1 06.29 to Peterborough and 20352 replaced it. Incidentally traffic build up on Nar Ouse Way at Lynn was so bad today that the enterprising lady driver of 352 on the 07.49 P'bo - Lowestoft did a U turn here and came in via Hardwick Road successfully beating the queue. 20502 was fit this afternoon and took K3 13.59 to Peterborough replacing 20353 (see above).
K19, which spends the day on the X2 began with 20141, but 20104 came back this evening. Worst timekeeper noted today was K18 10.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough which was 16 late at Wisbech. 20126 came in on Y21 17.25 from Lowestoft tonight with another new advert on the back.

Newsflash 14/10/08

The first photos of the Geminis for X1 with grateful thanks to Alistair Liddle.


Monday 13th October 2008 ~ The best made plans

Well today the stream of Geminis arriving at Fleetwood Docks continued. According to Sam, who is much more on the ball with these things than me, now in England are : -
37565 AU58ECD
37566 AU58ECE
37567 AU58ECF
37571 AU58ECY
37572 AU58ECA
37573 AU58ECX

plus two as yet unidentified.

Alistair Liddle has taken a couple of photos of the new arrivals :

Meanwhile Richard says that initial plans to send two to Lynn on Wednesday have been modified and the plan is now to send one each to Lynn, Lowestoft, Yarmouth and Norwich for driver training. He expressed his surprise that Norwich should be given one for this purpose and says that because he is away until Thursday, the new arrival may possibly be postponed until his return.

On the road today timekeeping was unpredictable. The early morning service went well with only 20502 on K4 being 10 late, but later J11 11.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft was 15 late with 20114. Westbound services were on time until the 12.01 departure from Wisbech (Y14) which never arrived at all and was instead viewed by Bruce with Profile 20353 using the A47 bypass en route to Peterborough 30 late, it was nearer 15 late returning and this evening was 4 late on the 21.31 to Peterborough but very noteworthy was it arriving back at Wisbech 5 early on the 22.18 return.
K15 08.55 from Lowestoft with 20507 was heavily delayed and as a substitute 20142 was sent out from Lynn to Peterborough at 11.59, this also did remarkably well and was 2 early into Wisbech on the 13.18 ex Peterborough. 20507 meanwhile took on the mantle of K16 12.29 Lynn - Peterborough but was 26 late at Walpole. K16 itself had started with 20121 but this was removed and sent out to Hunstanton on Service 40. 20351 on K3 10.55 from Lowestoft was 20 late passing Bruce, but had regained a little time and was 14 late returning on the 15.18 from P'bo.
Other changes today were 20506 on K6 09.18 ex Peterborough which was removed at Lynn for safety checks and a service and replaced by 20127 off K20. 20509 which had been having attention to its brakes took the afternoon part of K20. 20508 on K2 17.18 ex Peterborough came off at Lynn for a service and 20105 took over. Sister 20106 worked a Hunstanton schools turn today, but not one of the usual turns, instead it did route 8 which I believe is normally a decker, however, Olympian 34904 fell apart at Snettisham this morning with a seized engine and had to be towed back to Lynn and this would have made them short. Whilst on the subject of schools work , 20105/109/131 did the usual Hunstanton turns while Sam spotted 20126 on contract 878 this morning at Loddon.


Sunday 12th October 2008 ~ It's All Happening

Following yesterdays confirmation that four of the new Geminis had indeed arrived in Norwich, today another two arrived at Fleetwood Dock en route from the Wright works at Ballymena to FEC.
Now far be it from me to start another load of rumours after the debacle with the Hunstanton replacement deckers which never arrived, but I am told this evening that two Geminis will be arriving at King's Lynn for driver training on Wednesday. Let's see if we get this one right ! I assume that means that Lowestoft will receive the other pair, IF they are the ones currently at Volvo in Norwich.
Today was a good day for the B10s with 20103/04/11/21/41 all out on the X1. 20501/2/3/7 were the B12s in use today.
For those interested in older things, some pictures of my expedition to track down the Leyland Olympians yesterday are at :


Saturday 11th October 2008 ~ The Big Event Begins

After a day of uncertainty, it transpires that the first new double decker Volvo/Wright Geminis for the X1 have arrived in East Anglia. They apparently came down on Friday morning and were spotted by various bus enthusiasts at Long Sutton, then later near Dereham and on Norwich southern bypass. There would seem to be 4 at present, with 2 more possibly arriving in the UK tomorrow. The new arrivals are at present at Norwich Volvo, which I believe is on the Sweet Briar Road Industrial Estate. Thanks to Grahame Bessey and members of the Yahoo EABG for this information.

Meanwhile today, one could be forgiven for thinking that we needed any new vehicles at all. There was only one swap and that was 20506 coming off J10 10.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft for a scheduled service and its place being taken by 20109. Michael saw 20118 at Lowestoft depot this morning where it had been stopped for a tyre change. Once again 20501 remained at Lynn garage all day and 20509 was also in for maintenance. 20351/2 spent the day at Rowan Road along with 20106, 20131 and of course 20120. It would appear from reports that 20353 was used by Yarmouth today - I'm guessing on X1 shuttles between Gorleston and Norwich.
20141 returned to X1 duties today for the first time since its engine blew on August 27th. It did the early bath turn, K4 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough etc.

20508 continues to have a problem with its destination screen, today it was once again heading for Peterborough, this time on K17, but with Great Yarmouth on the front which seems to be the default on 508.


Friday October 10th 2008 ~ Who gives a hoot ?

Who gives a hoot ? Well not B7 Profile 20353 which Ryan says was taken off the road today at Yarmouth with its horn not working. It had done K4 08.48 from Peterborough and was replaced by 20103.
The other two B7s had a strange day, 20352 started on K17, but by early afternoon had switched to the following turn K18. It was due off Wisbech to Peterborough at 14.01 but left 23 late and on the return 14.48 Peterborough - Gorleston it had lost considerably more time and was 38 late at Wisbech with 20351 on K3 just two minutes behind it. Rob H saw them leaving in close succession and by the time they reached Walpole, Bruce says they were following each other. 20352 only worked to Lynn and it is not known if a replacement vehicle did the 16.12 (K18) or whether it was cancelled. This wasn't quite the end of 352s day though as it then worked Y8 17.29 Lynn - Peterborough and return replacing 20109. The following service also changed vehicles, Y9 arriving with 20121 and departing westbound with 20506. Swaps were too numerous to mention in their entirety today, but 20131 did K15 11.59 Lynn - Peterborough instead of 20503 which in turn did K17. 20105 on L13 13.09 Wisbech - Lowestoft ran late and 20509 on Y14 was only 2 minutes behind it when seen by Bruce nearing King's Lynn.
20106 has returned to King's Lynn as it is due a service, I'm unsure as to whether it came in on Y21 last night or whether it came over today. It may well have done a Hunstanton schools trip this afternoon, 20141 certainly did and the third contract may well have been 20507 which had done K18 until 13.24 (see 20352 above). 20501 remained in Vancouver Avenue this evening undergoing maintenance.


Thursday 9th October 2008 ~ A Helping Hand

20118 in the sunshine at Walpole Highway today on K17 13.17 to Peterborough

With a backlog of maintenance developing at King's Lynn, today two B10s were sent from Lowestoft to assist the situation. These were 20104/09 which were utilised on the afternoon schools turns along with 20131. The arrival of Volvo Olympians at Lowestoft has presumably eased the situation there. The reinforcements meant that 20501/05/07 were all able to receive scheduled services.

As reported yesterday B7 Profile 20351 spent overnight at Yarmouth. It came back today on Y9 06.32 Yarmouth - Peterborough, but by the end of the day had changed places coming in on Y8, while 20117 had reversed turns and was Y9 20.42 Lynn - Lowestoft. 20352 did K3 and Chrissie saw it leaving Lynn bus station 16 late at 14.15 but with a keen driver it was only 7 late from Wisbech, meanwhile 20353 had an interesting day, beginning on K17 as usual it was removed from this at Lynn at 12.54 and then replaced 20127 on L13 13.42 back to Lowestoft, in order that the B10 could do Lynn town diagram 7 on the Hunstantons. K17 went forward to Peterborough with 20118, so there may have been a fault on the B7.

There was a major delay on the A47 east of Lynn tonight as 20111 on L12 due in at 19.39 was seen arriving at 20.40 while 20353 on L13 was just in front of it 46 minutes late. As a result, 20504 off K4 19.07 arrival from Peterborough was procured to work L13 19.59 to Peterborough. 20501 was unfit to continue on K6 at 16.59 to Peterborough so 20109 off a schools turn replaced it and 501 retired to the garage. Lowestoft swapped 20142 on K5 11.10 arrival for 20107 on the 11.25 return and K1 12.10 arrival saw 20105 come off and 20142 return. K19, the X2 diagram started with 20103 but 20105 replaced it during the day.

Some good news today was 20141 passing its MOT and it should be available for traffic tomorrow. 20120 is next in line for repairs after another long lay off.

Wednesday 8th October 2008 ~ Celebrations

Firstly congrats to Lowestoft as two W reg Olympians from first Somerset & Avon have arrived to oust some of the antiquary on the X2. The new vehicles for the X1 are due to start arriving soon and the King's Lynn fitters are to receive training on the new type in Ireland.
No alterations today though, except the service ran pretty much to timetable for a change. Perhaps anticipating lay overs at Lowestoft, King's Lynn surprisingly despatched 20117 on K4 07.29 Lynn -Peterborough. This came back on K6 which ends up at Lowestoft, meanwhile, K4 continued with 20508 which had done the initial eastbound service (K15a). 508 has other issues though and it was seen at 17.05 confusing the Wisbech locals on K4 with 'Great Yarmouth' on the destination blinds, whilst en route to Peterborough ! The B7 Profiles had a mixed day : 20351 was used on K17 which is an internal Lynn diagram, but this ended up on K18 so it may have a Lowestoft overnight. 20352 did the morning part of K20 then rested, whlie 20353 did all of K3.
Travellers on the 19.45 42 town service from Lynn to Gaywood Park had unexpected luxury with 20505 off L12 which left with 'Special' on the front, which I suppose it was !


Tuesday 7th October 2008 ~ Better than Monday

The Yarmouth roadworks had a major impact again today, but FEC managed better and the service ran pretty well with a succession of layovers at Lowestoft to allow for the delays.
Y8 08.29 King's Lynn - Peterborough and 09.48 return failed to appear which would have inconvenienced the early rising Wisbech senior citizens. 20505 should have worked it. The next service (Y9) with 20500 was on time as was 20121 on J11 10.31 Wisbech - Peterborough. After this things were unpredictable.
20351 which ended up at Yarmouth overnight after yesterday's swap shop came out today on Y14 08.25 ex Lowestoft and was 20 late approaching Wisbech. It was , however, on time tonight with the 17.55 Lowestoft - Peterborough. K15 was given 20142 by Lynn this morning (see Sept 27th blog), so quite a rarity, but it returned on K16 and came off at Lynn with a knocking noise, mind you it was fit to do Hunstanton schools later. 20109 off a C grade service took over. Lowestoft chucked out 20111 on K15 08.55 to Peterborough due to late running, but this had lost 28 minutes by Wisbech and was followed in to the bus station by 20109 on K16.
Earlier because of 20109 being out of action, K20 (the Norwich commuter turn) was cancelled due to lack of resources. Normally a Scania would deputise, but with 43801, 43802, 30235, 34933 and 34901 all on repairs, this was not possible. By this afternoon, 20504 had been hastily repaired and this did the second half of K20 and was 4 early at Tilney on the 20.18 ex Peterborough.
K3 10.55 Lowestoft - Peterborough changed vehicles at Lynn, 20127 off (for help on town services) and 20353 (off maintenance) going forward. Later 20117 came off Y8 14.25 ex Lowestoft at Lynn and for the second consecutive day 20131 worked forward on this turn.

Monday 6th October 2008 ~ Melt Down

What started as a perfectly normal Monday ended in meltdown due to roadworks in Yarmouth which paralysed the eastern end of the service. Things began quite well, but by mid morning the knock-on effect of the Yarmouth resurfacing work was becoming apparent. After J11 10.31 Wisbech - Peterborough (07.05 ex Gorleston) departed on time with 20127, things went rapidly downhill viz L12 11.01 with 20105 24 late, L13 11.31 with 20121 20 late etc. 20126 on Y14 was due off Wisbech to Lowestoft at 13.39, but was still in the bus station at 14.00.
Meanwhile over at King's Lynn it was organised chaos. Almost every service changed vehicles and at one stage the service seemed to be running as two separate entities (Lynn - Peterborough & Lynn - Lowestoft). To add to the problems, 20353 failed on K3 and had to be replaced by 20118 which had been allocated a Hunstanton schools run. 20127 went to Peterborough twice, firstly on J11 and then again on K17 12.59 ex Lynn. 20131 did Y8 17.29 Lynn - Peterborough as the incoming service was delayed. 20107 was kept for schools work, but the other two turns are unknown, although 20131 probably did one.
20508 has now returned to mainstream X1 work following bodywork repairs on Saturday. The replacement double deckers for Hunstanton services are being postponed following a phone call to Lynn depot this afternoon.
20141 (MOT) and 20353 (repairs) were first in line for maintenance tonight and 20504 was next in line. 20120 remains at Rowan Road awaiting its turn for repair.


Sunday 5th October 2008 ~ Paragon Parade

All ten B12 Paragons were present at King's Lynn over Saturday night / Sunday morning and all six Sunday Lynn turns were B12 worked, while Lowestoft sent out 20107/117/142.
20505 was ailing on the 08.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft and after some delay it was replaced by 20508 which was running 11 late when seen passing Walpole on the return afternoon trip from Lowestoft. This evening 20504 was in trouble for the second consecutive night. This time it broke down at Peterborough and Richard had to take 20501 over to relieve it on the 19.18 to Lowestoft. 504 is back at Lynn now but may require a new turbocharger.
Four W reg Olympians are apparently arriving at Lynn on Tuesday/Wednesday to replace the worst of the vehicles in use on Hunstanton services. If they are not immediately replaced, this could give an opportunity to send 20507/8/9 to Scotland by using the new buses on the schools contracts which are currently B10 worked, thus releasing them for X1 work.


Saturday 4th October 2008 ~ Double Trouble Part 2

20504 (right) explains to 20503 (left) why it refused to go to Peterborough this evening !

As expected last nights problems with the failed B10s were not major. 20107 had a loss of gears/ power merely caused by a blown fuse while 20126 had loss of air pressure which was resolved by repairing its air dryer (no jokes please). Both buses were out on the X1 today, 20107 on K5 - on weekdays this is the first Peterborough turn from Lynn, but on Saturdays it starts at Wisbech - and 20126 on K1 which is the first Peterborough turn on Saturdays. All three B7 Profiles were kept spare at Lynn today and one result of this was 20142 appearing on the X1 for the first time since about 15th September, it did K18. At King's Lynn garage 20118 was having a service and 20141 had returned from a chassis wash at A.R.M. at Setch and was on MOT prep.

A close watch was kept on punctuality today and Peterborough bound departures from Wisbech ran as follows : Y8 09.01 on time, Y9 09.31 4 late, J10 10.01 10 late, J11 10.31 4 late, L12 not seen, L13 11.31 5 late, Y14 12.01 4 late, K15 12.31 8 late, K16 13.01 on time, K17 13.31 4 late, K18 14.01 17 late, K3 14.31 on time, K5 15.01 14 late, K7 15.31 11 late and K1 16.01 14 late. 20142 on K18 had reduced its defecit from 17 mins to 9 on its return, while a recovered 20107 on K5 slashed its lateness from 14 minutes to just 1 minute.

This evening things once again became a mess and the driving rain and strong winds didn't help. Y8 06.02 Yarmouth - Peterborough & 09.48 return to Lowestoft had 20104, but this was swapped at Lowestoft and the 14.25 to Peterborough set out with 20114, this was deemed unfit to continue on arrival at Lynn and 20508 which had been on a town service and which hadn't been on an X1 for weeks was borrowed to work Y8 to Peterborough and back. The next arrival at 17.54 , Y9 with 20504 was also failed and instead of departure to Peterborough at 17.59, passengers had to await the arrival of 20111 on J10, the 18.24 arrival. This got away at about 18.40 and was seen returning through Walton Highway at 20.48 (31 late). J11 was, as is usual on such occasions, delayed by Norwich City playing at home (or trying to !) and was 20 late getting away from Lynn with 20105. L13 19.59 to Peterborough was also delayed with 20103 departing 12 late. The late arrival of J11 meant that K6 19.42 to Lowestoft with 20127 had to wait for the driver to have his break and eventually left at 20.04, 22 late. So all in all a pretty poor night.


Friday 3rd October 2008 ~ Double Trouble !

Yesterday's calm was a mere memory by this evening as the usual eventful Friday unfolded. Timekeeping was patchy, with less than 10 minutes late being average during the morning.
First surprise was 20352 appearing at Wisbech on J11 07.05 from Gorleston, it had started the day on K20 (the commuter to Norwich and return light job), but keeping it on this would have meant it ended up at Lowestoft, so it was switched at King's Lynn with 20117 which had come in on J11 and the B10 then did the remainder of K20. Meanwhile the B7s normal turn, K4 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough etc was covered by 20507 - a ploy to make sure it ended up at Lynn ??

20353 bucked the trend of 10 minutes lateness by turning up on K17 09.55 from Lowestoft on time, but an hour later 20351 on K3 was 15 late going west and 17 late returning. K5 11.25 ex Lowestoft was well late and was seen on its return, the 15.48 Peterborough - Yarmouth arriving at Wisbech 33 late with 20104. This had gone over to Lowestoft on K19 (the X2 turn) but it then replaced 20121 on K5. Subsequent services from Wisbech to Peterborough varied in fortunes : the 15.31 (K7) was only 7 late with 20505, the 16.01 (K1) with 20500 was 22 late, the 16.31 (K2) with 20103 on time (!), the 17.01 (K4) with 20507 5 late and 17.31 (K6) at least 12 late with 20126. Returning, Bruce saw 20500 being followed by 20103 through Walpole Highway at 18.22.
What nobody was expecting was that two B10s would expire in service simultaneuosly at 18.40 !
20107 was on Y9 18.31 Wisbech - Peterborough (14.55 ex Lowestoft) but failed at Guyhirn, passengers then having to wait an hour for 20117 which was fortuitously on time on K20, while just up the road at Thorney 20126 on K6 18.18 ex Peterborough also broke down. The passengers were picked up by the following Y8 18.48 with 20509 and this ferried them through to Lynn where 20504 (off J10) was prepared to work forward in the path of K6 which left 26 late at 20.08. At the same time 20111 which had worked K19 (X2 turn) was made ready to work Y9 20.42 to Lowestoft in place of 107. Both failed B10s were attended by fitters and were able to return to King's Lynn under their own power, 20107 arriving at 20.40 and 20126 being noted on the A47 Tilney bypass at 21.00, so presumably ailments were minor.

20142 was on the 43 service to North Wootton tonight and the schools turns were 20508, 20118 and 20131. Tonight 20508 was over the pits at Vancouver Avenue - if its new panels have arrived, it could be on its way north very soon. Both 20507/9 have ended up at Lynn tonight also (20507 it would appear by design) so watch this space !


Thursday October 2nd 2008 ~ The Full Picture

It's not often you get a day on the X1 where everything pretty much runs to plan, but today fitted that description. Because of this here is a full list of today's coaches used :
K1 20502 K2 20109 K3 20352 K4 20351 K5 20114 K6 20509 K7 20501

Y8 20103 Y9 20111 J10 20507 J11 20121 L12 20104 L13 20105 Y14 20500

K15 20505 K16 20107 K17 20353 K18 20506 K19 20126 K20 20504 Y21 20503

Both K3 and K4 were on time this afternoon with their B7s which as regular followers will know is highly unusual, For the third successive day Y9 08.59 Lynn - Peterborough was not seen and certainly today it didn't run. Whatever malady 20111 was suffering from (if indeed any) was quickly made better and it completed the turn restarting as the 11.42 Lynn - Lowestoft.

20141 arrived back at Lynn today in preparation for its MOT. 20118 did King's Lynn local diagram 9 on the Hunstanton services.


Newsflash 1/10/08

Long term out of service B10, 20119 is currently undergoing repairs at Yarmouth after a long period inactive. It last worked on August 2nd and has been awaiting acceptance of a quote for necessary welding work which has now been given the go ahead. Thanks to Ryan for the update.

Wednesday 1st October 2008 ~ A Strange Business

I was despatched to that far flung corner of South Lincs again today, but Bruce kindly logged much of the day. He says ' Timekeeping was exemplary from the King's Lynn direction until the 12.59 (K17 09.55 ex Lowestoft) which was 20353 running 7 late'. Lateness then increased with K5 11.25 ex Lowestoft passing 19 late with 20103. Things had settled down by this evening as usual, but 20105 on Y9 19.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft was 14 x 13 late in and out of Lynn for reasons unknown.
What remains unexplained is a strange swap in the middle of the day. 20117 on J11 11.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft was taken off at King's Lynn and replaced by Scania 65531. 20117 then took K18 13.29 from Lynn westbound. The incoming vehicle on K18 looks to have been Profile 20351 which misbehaved last night and spent overnight at Lowestoft (still not officially permitted), this was at Rowan Road parked up this evening. 20105 which had done the first part of K18, the 06.57 eastbound from Lynn was later switched to Y9 14.55 ex Lowestoft. The end result was that the Scania ended up at Lynn, whereas Y9 and K18 both finish at Lowestoft, so at least that made sense. The first part of Y9 is an unknown quantity as Bruce didn't see it, but there were very few coaches spare at either end so it looks highly likely to have been 20127.

20508 did its usual Hunstanton schools turn today but had to visit the garage for damage to an armrest. 20118 & 20131 were the other two coaches sidelined for this work. As expected 20352 has had the M & S adverts removed as (surprisingly) has 20142 which is in for a service at the moment. 20141 is due for MOT this week, but it has not returned to King's Lynn as yet.