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Saturday February 28th 2009 ~ Maids Of All Work

37563 on its final working of the week, K16 13.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft leaving King's Lynn this afternoon.
37579 negotiating London Road in King's Lynn on K15 14.42 to Lowestoft. It was running about 20 minutes late.

Thanks to Sam for this publicity !!
Or if you prefer 'Jack of all Trades'. I'm talking about the remaining B10Ms here. Not content with covering for the X1, Hunstanton services and schools work, today 20105/9 were made ready at Lynn to be borrowed for rail replacement work. How long they will be required for is uncertain, but it could lead to a pretty critical situation at Lynn if they are not back for Monday.
This week 20352 which is unfit for public service was pressed into service without its turbocharger working on Hunstanton schools jobs, thus operating at a reduced speed. Parts are expected to arrive shortly so that it can resume its X1 work. Today it was decided to use 20351 (K4) and 20353 (K7) with 20107 on K18 and keep 37572 spare at Vancouver Avenue for a well earned rest (see below). At Rowan Road 20118 was also available.
20127 set out on K1 this morning, but was replaced (at Yarmouth, I believe) by 37566, so whether this will turn out to have ended its loan is unclear. Bruce is hoping 20126 will make an appearance of course !
Fortunately, apart from a few delays, the X1 seemed to run without incident today. Latest services seen were K15 running 21 late and K16 15 late with 37579 and 37563 respectively. K5 was also about 15 late with 37567. On the positive side L11 with 37565 managed to be only a couple of minutes late arriving at Wisbech for the 19.31 to Peterborough despite football traffic at Norwich.
K7 seems to be a regular B7 turn on a Saturday, today as we've said it was 20353 which brought to an end a five day stint of 37572 which had worked K7 every day since Monday.


Friday February 27th 2009 ~ Why 21 ?

Looking more battered by the day, 20127 seen on Y14 at lunchtime - damn that sunshine !
37576 with 'Young Victoria' ad on K18 on Wednesday seen near Wheatley Bank turn.

20351 heads for Peterborough on K17 on Wednesday lunchtime

The one X1 turn which has intrigued me since it began, partly because it works off Yarmouth is Y21. Thanks to Des we now have full details of what the bus concerned does :

Either 07.15 or 07.25 Gorleston to Norwich - Return light to GY Depot
10.53 G/Y Depot to Gorleston, 11.08 Gorleston to Norwich, 12.08 Norwich to Gorleston - Empty to G/Y Depot
15.13 G/Y Depot light to Norwich, 15.53 Norwich to Lowestoft, 17.25 Lowestoft to King's Lynn. Garaged overnight at King's Lynn.

As Des says, this seems rather a waste of an Excel vehicle. Regarding the speedo reading on 37569 which I mentioned yesterday, Des says "The mileage reading was probably in Miles and not KM. The digital display on the dashboard will display may variations of differing information. Most of the drivers tend to like the display that shows Speed in MPH in the top 'box' and Adblue levels in the bottom 'box'. (The most comfortable steering wheel position for me is one that completely obliterates the Speedo dial !)".
Going briefly back to yesterday and K1 with 37577 did not complete the turn and 20109 is believed to have done the second part commencing with the 12.25 ex Lowestoft. 37579 which was on K3 was then kept at Lowestoft and 37577 returned homeward on the last leg, 20.58 from Lowestoft. What (if anything) was amiss with 37577 was only trivial as today it worked K1 again. 37579 on the other hand did not appear.
Only exceptions to B9 operation today were 20109 on L12, 20127 on Y14, 20351 on K17 and 20353 on K3. K19 was not viewed by Michael, so information on this one would be welcome. Bruce saw 20352 at Rowan Road together with 20121 (gears) and 20105 while 20118 was at Vancouver Avenue, so all four can be ruled out as K19. Sounds like 20107 is favourite.
Timekeeping took a dive after 16.00 with 37576 13 late on K2 16.31 Wisbech - P'bo and 37570 22 late on K4 following. Going east K5 was 37566 also 22 late on the 16.39 Wisbech - Yarmouth. Geminis not seen today were 37563 (Y21 ??) and 37579.

Thursday 26th February 2009 ~ Full House

All the B9 Geminis were in use on the X1 today, that's not to say that all were functioning properly. Tonight 37576 was due to have a leaking header tank examined and 37575 its hydraulic fan motor. 20127 was sent out on K2 today and this turn dies at Lowestoft. 20107 put in an appearance too, on Y14 which was expected to have been 37569. The latter may have had to visit Lowestoft depot for a service, as tonight it came in on K19. The morning part of K19 had been worked by 20109.
20352 was over the pits in Vancouver Avenue tonight, both Rob B and Andrew report it being seen on Hunstanton schools work this week. 20351 was meanwhile on K4 and 20353 did the morning Norwich run (K20). 37564 which was on L12 this morning looks like it was removed from the duty at Lynn at 13.07 and 20353 went forward, while 37564 ended up on the second half of K20.
I had a look at the mileometer on 37569 tonight - it read 37532.3 which I guess is km rather than miles. The B9s were employed as follows today : 37563 K5, 37564 L12/K20, 37565 L11, 37566 Y8, 37567 K6 (no rear service number display), 37568 Y21, 37569 K19b, 37570 K15 (third day in a row), 37571 Y10, 37572 K7, 37573 K17, 37574 L9, 37575 K16. 37576 L13, 37577 K1, 37578 K18 and 37579 K3.
B10Ms at Lynn this evening were 20105/07 (off Y14)/18/21 (gearbox u/s)/31. Most services seen today were in the region of 5 minutes late.
Finally a note on the breakdown of 20105 on Tuesday, it actually expired at Peterborough and when seen at Wisbech was en route back to Lynn after a temporary repair had been affected on its stop solenoid.


Wednesday 25th February 2009 ~ What Does It All Mean ?

A few people have asked me recently about the codes used referring to the X1 car lines. Well for those interested you can go to :
On this page you will find a link to the M-F timetable and diagrams.
One thing I used to find handy when following trains was that one could usually predict pretty accurately what a loco would do the following day. This is something which is almost impossible with buses, but recently a pattern has emerged with the X1 terminators at Yarmouth. This is best explained as follows :
K1 arrives YAR 20.25 - does either J10 or Y21
K20 arrives LFT 00.37 - does either J10 or Y21
K5 arrives YAR 19.25 - does Y14 07.32 Yarmouth - Lowestoft
K6 arrives LFT 22.37 - does Y8 06.02 Yarmouth - Peterborough
It is strange that two turns which terminate at Lowestoft then go empty to Yarmouth, but there you are.
Turns which terminate at Lowestoft and overnight there are the following
K16 arrives 18.10
K18 arrives Gorleston 19.00
K2 arrives 21.37
Y9 arrives 23.37

These four turns are used indiscriminately next day on
Y9 06.32 Yarmouth - Peterborough
J11 07.05 Gorleston - Peterborough
L12 07.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough
L13 07.45 Lowestoft - Peterborough

With this in mind I am planning to change the prefix on turns 9,10 and 11 which I have used since the inception of the X1. Y9 will become L9, J10-Y10 and J11- L11.

Quick look at today now and 37573 returned to traffic as predicted on K4. 20127 did L13 10.59 Lynn - Peterborough and completed the turn. It either did K19 and took over L13 at Norwich (a fairly regular occurrence until recently) or came on at Lynn. K3, L12 and K19 turns were not seen. 20351 was on K17 but everything else was B9 operated. Timekeeping was very good.


Tuesday 24th February 2009 ~ Jigsaw Puzzle

Ryan was in touch today to say that the buses with relevance to the X1 which spent overnight at Yarmouth were as follows : 20103/7/26, 37564/9/71. this is strange because while the Geminis went over on K5, K1 and K6 respectively yesterday, 20103 was last seen on Y8 yesterday morning. It looks like it came off at some point and was probably the unidentified B10M I saw on K20 last night. Today the three Geminis at Yarmouth were used as follows : 37564 Y21, 37569 Y14 and 37571 Y8. Grahame saw 20103 on a schools turn at Yarmouth this morning.
There were two other unexplained things today both involving B10Ms. Imagine you are a detective ? Try working this one out. Firstly 20127, which was still at King's Lynn (and therefore had not done the first part of K17 yesterday as I thought), had according to the board at the garage, done K2, but this evening 20109 was on this turn. 20109 itself had gone east on K19 this morning, but at lunchtime Sam saw a Volvo Olympian on this diagram. Tonight K19 returned to Lynn with 37568. Meanwhile Y9 appeared at Wisbech at 09.30 with 37567, which is believed to have come on at Lynn. To add to the confusion, the next service, J10 was seen 12 late with 20105. This then expired at Wisbech with a solenoid problem on the 10.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft and after fitters attention went empty to Lynn where after repairs it was fit to continue on Hunstanton schools work. J10 restarted at Lynn at 12.12 with..... 20127 which was where this topic started !!! The most likely explanation for all this is as follows ; Y9 began at Lowestoft with 20105 which was replaced by 37567 at Lynn, 20105 which had been removed to get it back onto schools work, then continued west after relieving an unknown vehicle on J10 half an hour later. The ailing vehicle was then sufficiently revived to be sent back to Lowestoft on K2 replacing 20127. As to the identity of the mystery vehicle ? I'd put money on it being 37568 !
Well if you haven't got a headache after reading that, then you are made of strong stuff and if you understood it perfectly, then you are made of even stronger stuff !
For the second day running 65540 did K4 in its entirety. This didn't impress Mr. Robinson who had to suffer the indignity of travelling on it on the 17.48 ex Peterborough and who thus arrived here with the numb bum associated with Scania travel.
On the Profile front, the two regular turns managed to account for two of them today, viz 20351 on K3 and 20353 on K17. The other, 20352 was at Rowan Road awaiting attention for battery and turbo problems. 20118 joined 20105 on this afternoon's Hunstanton schools work, but what did the third turn is unknown. It couldn't have been a B10M as 20131 was in Vancouver Avenue still undergoing repairs to an electrical fault and 20121 is unserviceable.
The situation at Lynn should be eased somewhat tomorrow, as 37573 has arrived back here following accident repairs at R.H. Bodyworks near Diss. It had apparently hit some protruding scaffolding in Peterborough a couple of weeks back. Gemini 37579 has received an advert for a new series on the Disney Channel while the 'Young Victoria' ad is now on 37563/5/75/6/7. This means that 37575/7 only carried the Expedia Weekend Break ad for.... a weekend ! Timekeeping was good today and thanks to Rob Brooks, Bruce and Sam for sightings. Apart from 37573, the remaining 16 Geminis were all in service on X1 today.
20120 and 20505 are believed to both be in Scotland now and 20121 is due to receive attention from a Powertrain engineer tomorrow, 20123/4 have been seen in normal service working off Ipswich depot following their long period of inactivity.

Monday 23rd February 2009 ~ So That's What They Mean By A Weekend Break ?

As previously reported in this blog 37575/7 had advertisements for Expedia Weekend Breaks attached on Friday, so imagine my surprise when today 37575 appeared with a replacement promo for a new film called 'The Young Victoria' fitted at either Lowestoft or Yarmouth over the weekend ! Similarly adorned is 37565 and sporting an ad for the first time, 37563 spotted by Rob Brooks today.
King's Lynn were short of sufficient vehicles to cover today, the expected allocation was 20105/109/118/127 = three Hunstanton schools plus one X1 (K19?), 20351/2 and 37563/4/6/8/9/71/2/4/9 (Total 11 for X1). The requirement on weekdays is for 13 X1 vehicles and although precise details are unclear, it looks as though 20127 did K17 and not K19 as expected and was swapped - presumably at Yarmouth - for 37570 which had expired there on Saturday. K19 had either a B10 (20131 was on repairs and may have been complete in time) or either Gemini 37579 or B7 20351 and the shortfall was made up by Scania 65540 which did K4 all day. This is quite unusual these days, a Scania quite often starts out on K4, but is usually swapped at Lynn at either 10.12 or 16.29. In conclusion, either 37579 or 20351 was unavailable today hence the Scania appearance. B10 20103 did Y8 and an unidentified B10, probably 20109, did K20 tonight. Interestingly, neither Bruce, Rob or myself viewed Y14 at lunchtime, though tonight it was 37578 as expected. J11 with 37575 was 17 late past Bruce this morning, but had reduced the defecit to 5 minutes when returning east through Wisbech just after midday. Another B9 which made up time well was 37571 which was 27 late into Wisbech for the 08.31 to Peterborough this morning, 20 late returning east and only 9 late when seen tonight on the 17.31 Wisbech - Peterborough.


Sunday 22nd February 2009 ~ Just Another Sunday

Yes not a lot happening today. Geminis seen in service on X1 were 37564/7/9. 37572/7/8/9. This leaves two turns unaccounted for. 20127 returned to Lynn last night and spent the day in the garage at Lynn.


Saturday 21st February 2009 ~ Poorly Profiles ?

37575 near the Wheatley Bank turn just before 17.00 tonight on K4. Later it took Y9 forward from Lynn in place of 37568.

The move from First Devon & Cornwall to Norfolk for the B7 Profiles has largely been an unhappy one. Occasions when all three manage to appear in service are these days quite rare. Certainly their availability is inferior to other types and problems with doors and electrical faults seem prevalent. Today for example, 20351 was at Rowan Road after repairs to a door hinge and 20352 was at Vancouver Avenue garage with a battery problem. The only B7 in traffic was 20353 which having ended up at Yarmouth last night and today worked Y8 06.02 to Peterborough followed by the 09.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft. For reasons best known to FEC it was then removed as it was 'Required at Lowestoft Sunday', at least that's what King's Lynn were told. 37566 took over diagram Y8 which ends up at Lynn at 20.07.
Appearances by B10Ms are by no means certain on Saturdays, although L13 07.45 from Lowestoft which ends up on the 23.00 Lynn - Hunstanton is always a good bet to get one. Today was no exception and 20118 did the honours, it left Wisbech 7 late on the 11.31 to Peterborough and tonight was 13 late leaving Lynn on the 19.59 to Peterborough, probably due to Norwich City playing at home. Two of the other 'regular' B10Ms were also out, 20103 on K18 which was 22 late from Wisbech on the 14.01 to Peterborough, it being shadowed by a virtually empty 37577 on the 14.31 departure which was seen running 2 minutes early ! Not to be outdone, 20107 did K5 and was on time this afternoon. So that's three oldies so far then, wonder what the odds were on a fourth ? Well 37570 which took K7 this morning was obviously 'ill' at some point and this afternoon this turn was seen leaving Wisbech with 20127 - a very rare performer in recent times. This turn is booked to finish at Lynn tonight, so it will be interesting to see if Yarmouth reclaim 127 before then.
Other B10Ms in the news today were as follows, 20105 on 41s to Hunstanton, 20106 Rail replacement following MOT this week, 20109 Rowan Road spare, 20121 Vancouver Avenue and 20131 Vancouver Avenue for attention to malfunctioning lights.
Of the B9 Geminis, 37573 - the one with the makeshift destination glass - has now not been seen for about 10 days. Bruce says Y9 11.09 Wisbech - Lowestoft was 37569 this morning, but this was swapped at Lowestoft for 37576. K4 today was 37575 but on arrival at Lynn at 19.07, it was immediately required to relieve 37568 on J11 18.59 to Peterborough. It was seen returning 15 late at Tilney. This one also has the Expedia advert which we mentioned yesterday as being on 37577. The small rear adverts for CO2 emissions seem to have spread - amongst new carriers are 20131 and 37565/72.

Friday 20th February 2009 ~ FST is back !

Yes a dose of FST, good old fashioned 'Friday Standard Time' hit the service today. As usual things were pretty much alright until lunchtime. Morning services seen at Wisbech were K1 07.48 ex Peterborough with 37567 (1 early), K2 08.18 37577 (2 late and with a new advert for Expedia Weekend Breaks in a very similar colour scheme to the Cadburys Creme Egg one it has replaced), Y8 09.01 Wisbech - Peterborough 37566 (1 late), Y9 09.31 37564 (4 late), J10 11.39 Wisbech - Lowestoft 7 late with unid B9, J11 12.09 to Lowestoft with 37579 (10 late) and L12 12.39 eastbound 20107 (11 late).
The balloon went up with Y14 which is due to depart Wisbech for Lowestoft at 13.39, but which was seen arriving 27 late with 37570, closely followed by 37578 on K15. Some interchanging of passengers is believed to have taken place at Wisbech and it looks like Y14 then went via the bypass to Lynn while K15 took the booked route through the villages, passing Bruce 9 late. At this time services to Peterborough were running 15 late and were jointly observed by Bruce and myself as follows : K16 37568, K17 20105 and K18 14.01 Wisbech - P'bo 37565.
Next westbound service was K3 which was 15 late passing Bruce with 20109, but presumably due to congestion 25 late when seen by me departing Wisbech. A degree of normality returned with of all turns K5 (see yesterday), which was a very respectable 2 late with 37569. After this though things worsened and K7 was 20 late with 37572, K1 was 24 late going to Peterborough with a B9 - possibly not 567 which was on it this morning, K2 may have been knocked out due to the late running and the bus on K2, 37577, was seen departing Wisbech at 17.06 - either 35 late if still on K2 or 5 late if by now on K4. Next westbound was 20353 seen near Terrington at 17.24 running either 38 late if K4 or 8 late if K6 !! It would subsequently appear that 20353 did take up K6 and worked through to Lowestoft on the 18.18 from Peterborough.
Bruce paid a visit to Rowan Road this morning and present were 20352 (no apparent reason so perhaps fresh off a maintenance service), 20131 (electrical fault) and 20106 (ready to depart for Ipswich on rail replacement duties). The White Elephant off K20 was hiding in the depths of Vancouver Avenue.

Thursday 19th February 2009 ~ Afternoon Mystery

After last nights performance, which was because of an accident between Thorney Toll and Guyhirn adding to delays around King's Lynn, today was better - well at least to begin with. Morning services through Wisbech between 09.00 & 12.30 were all Gemini worked except Y9 09.31 to Peterborough & 10.18 thence to Lowestoft which had 20104. Passing eastbound were K2 37579 (1 early), K4 37577 (2 late), K6 37566 (RT), Y8 37565 (1 early), J10 37569 (2 late), J11 37567 (1 early westbound and 5 late returning) and L12 37572 (2 late).
After this westbound to Peterborough were L13 11.31 37568 (7 late), Y14 12.01 20109 (5 late) and K15 12.31 37575 (10 late). Running then became very haphazard and K16 13.01 left 29 late with 37571 immediately followed by K17 with 20353 just 1 late. K18 which was 37564 suffered and was 36 late arriving at Wisbech for the 15.39 to Lowestoft. Not far behind it was K3 15.18 Peterborough - Gorleston with 20352, a mere 10 late.
K5 has always had a poor reputation for afternoon punctuality as by the time it reaches Wisbech on the 15.01 to Peterborough, it has already worked 05.24 Lynn - Peterborough, 06.43 Peterborough - Lowestoft and is then on its way back west again as the 11.25 from Lowestoft. Today it was just 8 late with 37563. The westbound schedule was in a mess by teatime with 37577 on K4 seen hurrying away from Walton Highway 32 late.
Michael reports 20103 & 20107 both on X2s today as well as 20118 on K19.


Wednesday 18th February 2009 ~ The Circus Comes To Town

Traffic has been very light this week with it being schools half term, that was until today when obviously everyone decided to go out in the car for a day out ! The other side effect of this is that the coaches normally restricted to Hunstanton schools work have taken their chance to get out on the X1.
Timekeeping was Ok to begin with and K1 07.48 from Peterborough was 3 early at Walton Highway with 37565. Likewise 37566 on Y9 was right time and 37577 on Y8 and 37576 on L12 just a couple of minutes late. Highlight of the morning though was undoubtedly the appearance of 20131 on K6 07.59 Lynn - Peterborough and 09.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft. It was not alone representing the old order either as 20103 was J10 and 20118 Y14. The latter was delayed westbound at Wisbech by hordes of passengers and was 16 late returning. By teatime things had not improved and K4 16.29 Lynn - Peterborough was 16 late at Walton Highway with 37579. K7 16.18 from Peterborough was also 16 late with 37575.
What happened this evening is currently unclear and had it not been for the fact that I went to the pub to play cards I would have been unaware of any difficulties. The 19.18 from Walpole Highway to Lowestoft (K6) passed through slightly late with 37574, or so it appeared. What I didn't realise at the time was that this was K2 running 63 late ! Subsequent eastbound services were viewed from the Rose Tavern, on the North Brink in Wisbech and were as follows :

K4 B9 due 18.33 - passed at 19.58
K6 B9 due 19.03 - passed at 20.41 (98 late)
Y8 B9 due 19.33 - passed at 20.42 !!
Y9 B9 due 20.03 - passed at 20.44 !!
K20 20109 due 21.03 - passed at 21.11
L13 B9 due 22.03 - passed at 22.05

This must have been because of an A47 accident. The trio of white elephants passing just before a quarter to nine even raised the eyebrows of the locals and a rumour started that it was the same bus doing a circuit, or should that be a circus ?
Westbound 20118 was on time on Y14 21.31 Wisbech - Peterborough.

Tuesday February 17th 2009 ~ Amalgamation

Or....Don't try and overtake this bus because you'll destroy the ozone layer ?
20109 heads into Walton Highway on Monday morning's K4. It was on the same turn today.

The news filtered through today of the merger of First Eastern Counties and First Essex. Experts said this had been a prospect for several years, others are now pondering whether outposts such as King's Lynn will be left with older buses, the newer ones moving to nearer London. Surely Lynn have always had old buses ? Bruce is rather hoping that the B9 Geminis will be moved in that direction.
Today 20118 which had indeed done Y14 last night was out again on K1 07.48 ex Peterborough. 20109 did K4 yet again and was on time, while L13 had an unidentified B10M at lunchtime but had 37566 tonight. K20 this evening was also a single decker of some description and Jamie Vendy saw 20105 at some point during the day on an X1.


Monday 16th February 2009 ~ Where Has 20120 Gone ?

Two buses which have disappeared from King's Lynn are former X1 coach 20120 which spent several months here since its last working in August and Olympian 34904. I will investigate further but my visit today was untimely as the boss man wasn't there.
The new rear ads are not quite what I'd described and actually promote motorists accelerating gently to limit CO2 emissions, today I saw 37571 with one of these adverts and Rob B reports 37570 as also treated. B7s 20352/3 did K17 and K3 as booked while 20351 remains sidelined at Rowan Road with a door problem. During my visit this afternoon, 20105 was also present and 20121 which was started up by a rail replacement employee. There was no sign of 20505 which may be at Volvo for repairs.
So what of the other B10Ms today ? Well 20103 was K19 this morning and tonight 20104 was seen arriving at Wisbech a few minutes late on L13 20.31 to Peterborough. 20106 was at Lynn garage and 20109 spent the day on K4, seen at Walpole Highway 15 late this morning and 5 late tonight. 20118 was believed to be the vehicle I viewed from the pub tonight on Y14 (it is difficult to positively identify buses at night, but it was definitely a B10M and looked as if it had the Norfolk Police side ads which can only mean it was 118). B9s NOT seen were 37563/5/7/73/6/9 with turns J11, L12 and Y21 unaccounted for.
Timekeeping was hit and miss until lunchtime, but this afternoon 20352 was dead on time at Terrington on K17.


Sunday 15th February 2009 ~ Environmentally Friendly !

The advertising chaps were at work overnight and today a clutch of B9 Geminis appeared with rear ads for the first time. 37566/68/69/79 were all seen treated, I think they are boasting of the low exhaust emissions on todays buses. All X1 turns were seen bar one. 37565 on the 10.59 Lynn - Peterborough was swapped on returning to Lowestoft and 37579 appeared tonight. Other Geminis out were 37563/4/6/8/9/72/7.
Regarding the B10Ms relegated to rail replacement work, Nick Field reports on EABG : "20121/23/24 will move to Ipswich before Friday to work Ipswich to Billericay on Sunday. They should remain there for 8 weeks, then one will go for paint and rebrand in Essex before coming back to be based at Ipswich. Eventually 20106/15/21/23/24 will all be done along with 20102/110 at Essex. Then the allocation should follows : -KL 20106/15, NOR 20121, IPS 20123/24, Clacton 20102/110".

Saturday 14th February 2009 ~ Return to the Fens

I made my return home this morning and found myself on the A47 at Peterborough around 13.25. No roadworks to delay things today, but westbound services I met were running fairly late. I passed 37567 on K16, 37575 on K17 and 37565 on K18. My sister saw 37563 on K5 running about 20 late.
Went to King's Lynn for an update. 20505 was in the corner of Rowan Road compound, so not gone yet, but 20121 had returned and was parked here as if it had never been away. Other vehicles at Rowan Road were 20109 with 'special' on the front, well we know it is ! 20131 (41), 20351 (out of service) and 20105. At Vancouver Avenue were 37570 off J10 and 20353 off K4, while outside was 37566 which Bruce saw on Thursday. It's collision repairs have included it receiving a bold font fleet number on the front. It had been on K3, but came off at some point and was replaced by 37572. Over the pits in the garage were 20106, 65532 and 34950.
The seven X1 diagrams which originate at Yarmouth or Lowestoft all pass through or terminate at Lynn during a 80 minute period on Saturday evenings. Tonight they were : Y8 37568, Y9 37576, J10 37570, J11 37579, L12 37571, L13 20103 and Y14 37569.
King's Lynn turns not mentioned so far were : K1 37564, K2 37574, K6 37578, K7 20352 and K15 37577.

Friday 13th February 2009 ~ More A47 Chaos

Bruce from Walpole Highway says " Today I was pleased to see 20109 ambling by me to Lynn at 10.07 - 20 late on K4 08.48 ex P'bo. 578 was near enough on time with Y8 but 575 was 5 late at 10.53 with L12. I think 564 was also a bit late with L13 but was talking to next door neighbour.
566 passed Tesco in Lynn at 13.30 going east but surely could not have been L12, could it? (No - I think it was J11 because......)
Going home again due to a faux pas at Tesco (Don't ask!), I retraced the X1 route expecting to meet Y14 or K15 but met neither! But did see 20352 - 11 late on K3 13.59 ex Lynn to P'bo- although I didn't know it was 352 at the time.
Then life got interesting. Having returned to Tesco successfully this time and buying even more shopping, I couldn't resist visiting Vancouver Avenue to find the servicing bays empty, 65527 having its engine washed ,and good old 20505 still there - freshly washed and all its transfers in place!!
A visit to Rowan was called for and all that was present was a poorly 20351. However I couldn't be moved to read the Out of service sticker on the windscreen. But 65528 had gone for the first time since before Christmas.

Coming home down the X1 route, I was looking for K18, the immortal Gorleston, as my marker for timetable madness among all the Lowestofts. Met a B7 on the outskirts of the village at 15.50 and promply freaked out - as I always do with B7s. Registration numbers not in alphabetical order and no off side fleet numbers - rubbish! It was 353 and it was tanking it - but was it the Gorleston on time? I hadn't looked at the destination!
Not caring for the rapidly defrosting food, I performed a U turn, got on to the dual carriageway and ran parallel to 353 hoping to get to the roundabout at the end first. Not a chance even though I probably exceeded the speed limit! He was tanking it round the old road - no sweat.
However I wasn't going too fast not to notice 37568 - Out of Service - on the dual carriageway at 15.55 heading west empty towards Wisbech/Peterborough.
Getting home at last, I left the thawing food to Tina, not daring to take my eyes off the road. At 16.10 37577 went by westbound on what I assume was K1 - 22 late. Then at 16.20, 37579 hove into view heading east with the magic Gorleston and Jph Hospital on the destination , 32 minutes late. Hence 353 was K17 - 31 minutes late - no wonder he wasn't hanging about! So where the east bound Y14 or K15 were , Lord only knows. But it would explain that 566 was in fact J11, 30 odd late. I'm now going to lie down in a darkened room".
Rob Brooks sheds more light : Roadworks at Thorney Toll today with temp traffic lights, that would account for some delays. I've seen an un/id B7 (20353 see Bruce's report above) go east from P'bo at 1440 , followed by 37579 at 1510, then 20352 east at 1549. I'm not going to attempt to predict what was on which diagram though ! I was sat in the roadworks for about 25mins, with queues going back to the Thorney bypass and up to Guyhirn bridge the otherway".
Well judging by the current state of the A47 surface between Wisbech and Guyhirn, I suspect we are in for many more days of delays due to emergency resurfacing, following the recent snow.

Thursday 12th February 2009 ~ A Tale of Two Travellers

My contribution to today's blog is merely my sightings first thing this morning : K1 568, K2 575 and Y8 579. K4 had not passed me by the time I reached Guyhirn roundabout at 09.46 so was running pretty late.
Bruce also took a trip out this morning and says : " Went to Peterborough but the radio said the A47 was closed at Thorney so I had to go Whittlesea way. Hadn't seen any X1s all morning but Emblings had a VR on the 701 service. Coming home, met 574 at Guyhirn at about 14.30 on what I think was K18 and 577 at Wisbech Tesco (K3) but with considerably less than 30 mins between them. Parked in the multi story by the Bus Station and walked over to the Old Market Place and back and hung around a bit but no X1s seen. Nor did I see any driving home at 15.20!"
Sounds like a chose a good day to be away then.


Wednesday 11th February 2009 ~ Just When You Thought They Had Gone

Emails exchanged with Nick Field on EABG this evening were of interest to this blog. It appears that the transfer of 20121/3/4 to Scotland has been abandoned, only problem being that of course 20121 has already gone north. Nick says that he is rostered to take 20505 northbound this weekend and will return with 20121 !! He adds "20121/123/24 were all meant to be heading to Glasgow but are now staying and dont form part of the ops fleet and once the tridents come 20115/106 will follow suit.They are all to be painted in a X1 colour scheme for Private Hire and Rail Replacement Service 20106/15 at KL, 20121 Norwich VR and 20123/24 Ipswich".
Should prove interesting ! I'm sure the private hire work will include use on the X1 if recent events are to continue. Today King's Lynn began the day with the exact requirement to cover its 13 X1 turns and 3 Hunstanton schools services. Everything seems to have worked Ok with B10s covering as follows : 20104 K18, 20107 K16 and 20109 K6/Y9. In the latter case 109 was two early on K6 at 10.16 passing Bruce at Walpole Highway eastbound, whether it came off at Lynn at 10.37 or continued on the turn until 16.54 is debatable, however, it was utilised once more at 17.59 when it did Y9 to Peterborough. Meanwhile K6 tonight was 37579. L13 ran slightly late at lunchtime, but on time tonight with the trusty 20103 incidentally.
K19 is a bit of a mystery as Michael Bryant viewed it at lunchtime with 37567, which is believed to have been released off maintenance at Lowestoft. Possibly 20105 did the first part, but due to its clanking and wheezing was removed for examination ? Speaking of exams, the Lynn servicing diagram K20 was 37564 today and it was seen on the 17.17 Norwich - Peterborough tonight having acquired the 'New In Town' ad mentioned yesterday. Punctuality was average today, highlight being 37568 on K4 17.01 Wisbech - Peterborough which was 2 early departing.
I'm away until Saturday now, so if you wish to see a blog for the intervening days, please submit your sightings for Thursday/Friday and if sufficient gen is available I will compose a blog on my return.


Tuesday 10th February 2009 ~ A47 Tricks

B10M 20107 arrives at Wisbech on L13 at lunchtime. It had avoided the A47 incident and came in via the Old Market and Freedom Bridge.
Gemini 37576 leaves Wisbech Horsefair on the 13.01 to Peterborough today. It had replaced 20109 at Lynn.

After what seems like a few months without an 'A47 day', today upset the placidity. An accident near Guyhirn about midday caused lengthy queues and Jamie Robinson reports that traffic was solid from Wisbech Tesco to Guyhirn eastbound at 12.35. L12 11.48 ex P'boro got caught up in the mayhem with 37572 and passed Bruce at Walpole Highway 40 late, running behind 20107 on L13 which travelled via Wisbech St. Mary to avoid the chaos and which was 8 late from Wisbech. Later Terence saw 37572 arriving at Lowestoft with 'not in service' on the front before resuming its turn as L12. K17 with 20351 also seems to have travelled westbound via Wisbech St. Mary, but 37568 on K18 took the normal route and ran 2 minutes early.

K4 couldn't even manage a B10M today because 20104 once again had battery charging problems. As a result, it was Scania 65531 which took the 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough. 20104 was later revived and took over. K19 left Lynn with 20105 this morning, but 20103 then took over and came back tonight. 20105 itself turned up on Y21 sounding most unhealthy with a badly screeching fanbelt. 20109 did K16 but came off at Lynn at lunchtime so that it could make up the shortfall on Hunstanton schools. It was replaced by 37576 off K20. The afternoon part of K20 was 37574 off repairs. 20505 has returned to Rowan Road pending transfer. Geminis 37576/9 have lost their Creme Egg/Sex Drive ads this weekend and now sport more tasteful examples promoting the film 'New In Town'. Not that I'm suggesting that Cadbury's Creme Eggs are not tasteful ! Speaking of eggs, Jamie Vendy reports a Gemini arriving at Lynn this evening having been pelted with them. Arrivals at Lynn in the early evening were : J10 37578, K4 20104, J11 37579, L12 37572, Y8 37564, K19 20103 and Y21 20105. Today Sam noted 20127 on the shuttles. 20351/353 were K17 and K3 as usual.

Monday 9th February 2009 ~ They Can't Manage Without 'Em

37564 passes Mount Pleasant as it leaves Wisbech on K1 08.39 to Lowestoft this morning. Note last weeks snow is still in evidence.
As suspected, today was pretty good for the vintage B10Ms. 20103 did K16 06.07 Lynn - Lowestoft, 09.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough & 13.48 return and was on time. 20104 did Y14 07.32 Yarmouth - Lowestoft, 08.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough, 12.48 return, 17.55 Lowestoft - P'bo and 22.18 back to Lynn, while 20109 was K4 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough, 08.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft, 13.25 return and 17.48 Peterboro' - Lynn. In addition Sam saw 20105 on K19, just fresh off MOT, he reports "20105 sounded like someone had put stones in the gearbox and the whole front of the bus (blind box ceiling etc) was rattling and wobbling quite badly! Most of the paint seems to have bubbled also". Oh dear ! Sam walso saw 20127, now an X1 rarity on the 878 contract and 20115/126 on shuttles along with 37568 (Y21). Rob Brooks saw K17 with 20351 departing Peterborough right time at 14.18 and 37572 was the following 14.48 (K18). Bruce saw 20106 in Lynn garage with 20505 seemingly repaired and ready for departure to Scotland on the forecourt. Geminis NOT seen today were 37566/74 only. 20353 was K3 but an unexpected absentee today was 20352 which is on MOT prep this week.


Sunday 8th February 2009 ~ Counting Them In

37574 hiding from the snow, out of traffic at Lynn depot tonight minus a mirror and wiper.
37573 passes piles of snow at Walpole Highway this afternoon while operating the 14.18 from Peterborough. The smaller destination display is visible and was working despite its appearance in this picture.

King's Lynn had 5 B9 Geminis due to arrive late this evening where they joined 37567/78 at Rowan Road and 37572/4 at Vancouver Avenue. Of the latter pair, 572 was suspiciously sitting in exactly the same spot as it had done last Thursday evening, suggesting that it may need repairs. 574 certainly does as it has a mirror missing and a broken wiper. The three B7 Profiles were all at Lynn tonight, 20351/3 in the garage and 20352 at Rowan Road. B10Ms available were 20105/6/9/18/31 and 20103 was on the 21.18 ex Peterborough. At least three B10Ms will need to be used on X1 turns tomorrow if 37572/4 are not back on the road, leaving the remaining three for Hunstanton schools runs. 20118 did not complete K15 yesterday and must have come off at Lynn at 14.37 as it was then on Hunstanton services.
Paragon 20505 is still here and was on No. 2 pit at the garage tonight flanked by 65525 and 34921. As well as 20103, the following B9s were seen on X1s today : 37564/68/71/73/77 leaving three turns unknown.


Saturday 7th February 2009 ~ B10Ms to the rescue

37575 on K17 this lunchtime making a wintry scene at Walpole.

Didn't venture out this morning, but had to take a trip to Wisbech in the afternoon. First bus seen was 37575 on K17 09.55 from Lowestoft which was 8 late. At Wisbech Y14 12.48 from Peterborough arrived on time with 37570. After this no less than three B10Ms appeared in five minutes through Walpole Highway !! 20118 was working the 13.18 from Peterborough instead of 20351 which had started the turn, 20103 passed by over 30 late on K18 10.25 from Lowestoft and a couple of minutes behind that was 20105 on K3 10.55 ex Lowestoft. Bruce was about in his car too and there were some frantic mobile phone calls when he saw 103 and 105. In addition K4 was worked by 20109. Four B10s on a Saturday is exceptional as normally there are sufficient B9s and B7s to cope without using any at all. 20103 did something remarkable, it worked as 'not in service' from Wisbech at 14.39 , but was back on K18 on time when seen by Bruce at 15.48 at Walpole. Did it turn round at Thorney possibly ??
Other Lynn turns today were K1 37567, K2 37576, K5 37578, K6 37570 and K16 37565. How 37570 managed to get on Y14 having started on K6 is a mystery. Later K6 was seen with 37576 which had earlier been on K2. Tonight Y9 19.18 ex Peterborough was 37579.


Friday 6th February 2009 ~ Winter Continues......

A further belt of snow hit the west of the route during mid and late morning, but this didn't lie for long and delays seemed to be no worse than a normal Friday.
Y14 12.48 from Peterborough turned up at Wisbech 16 late with 20104 and another B10 in action was 20103 which did K4. Jamie R who travelled on 103 on the 17.48 from Peterborough reports it still has a problem with a lack of heating. Two B7s were seen today, though neither were identified. One did K17 as usual, while the other was on J11 07.05 from Gorleston. Geminis seen were 37564/9/73/4/7/8.


Thursday 5th February 2009 ~ A Route of Two Halves

Three hours after the snow stopped and normal service resumes at Walpole Highway. At 12.52, 37565 approaches on L12 as 37563 heads for Wisbech on K16. Apologies for the poor photo, very much a point and shoot job !
A rather empty 37570 seen from my work in Wisbech at 09.47 this morning en route to Peterborough.

Whereas the east of the region bore the brunt of the snow on Monday, today it was the turn of the west. Sam sent an email mid morning asking what all the fuss was about as he only had rain in Beccles. Here around Lynn and Wisbech it was a totally different story. It began to snow at 4am and continued until 10.00. This made everything bar the main A47 passable only with care. It was decided to make the western section of the X1 a reduced frequency of hourly.
Lynn garage supplied the normal full compliment of buses, but obviously some did not do their booked turns to Peterborough. The six westbound departures between 05.24 and 07.59 were allocated as follows : K5 05.24 : 37574 ; K7 05.54 : 37575; K1 06.29 : 37578; K2 06.59 : 37579; K4 07.29 : 20352 and K6 07.59 : 37570. In addition K3 which goes empty from Lynn garage to Wisbech to form the 06.53 to Lowestoft had 20353 allocated. How many of these services ran is debatable, but from information gathered by Bruce, Jamie Robinson and myself we can deduce the following. First westbound service on the booked route through Walpole Highway passed Bruce at 09.00 with a B9 thought to be 37573 tackling the A47 flyover at walking speed as Y8. Some earlier services had run but presumably took the A47 bypass to reach Wisbech. One of these was 37574 which was seen entering Walton Highway eastbound at 09.07, so in the path of a late running K1. Had it really set out at 05.24 on K5 as booked, then in reality it was by this time running 85 minutes late ! The next westbound service seen was through Wisbech at 09.47 and was 37570 (this should have been K6 07.59 ex Lynn due off Wisbech at 08.31 !). Jamie later saw it at Guyhirn at 11.21 having lost a further 15 minutes and heading back east in the correct timings for J10. With me so far ?? Jamie himself left Wisbech for Peterborough on 37565 at around 11.10 (L12). At 12.05 37564 was seen arriving at Wisbech on Y14, only about 8 late.

This afternoon there was a period of rain and consequently most snow on the road disappeared. After this an hourly service resumed and subsequent services were seen as follows : K15 37571 (4 late), K16 37563 (6 late) and K17 37577 (3 late). K18 14.01 Wisbech - P'boro then failed to appear, or was very late. The next service K3 was 20353 as expected and was 2 late. K5 departed Wisbech westbound slightly early at 15.00 with 37568 , but then K7 15.31 was not seen. K1 16.01 had 37567 one minute early and 37574 which had been seen earlier was K2 16.31 again on time. Rather inconveniently K4 17.01 Wisbech to Peterborough didn't run for some reason tonight.
Having to do my supermarket shop tonight, I popped over to Lynn to check things out. There had been swaps at Lowestoft too, as K16 started with 20103 and K17 with 20351, these were not the buses on these turns at lunchtime, see above. 37568 had been K18 and this ended up on K5. Meanwhile 20109 went out on K19, the X2 turn, but 20106 came back on it tonight. The spare turn (K20) was 37576 today. Y8 tonight came in with 37578 and Y21 with 37569 which had been seen by Terence at teatime. At Rowan Road tonight were 20118, 20351 (taken off K17 at some point with an electrical fault), 20105 (off MOT) and 20131 (off service 40). 20505 also remains at the compound. Vancouver Avenue had 37575 on pit 1 for an exam with 37565/70/72/73. More snow forecast for the morning, so we will see what ensues.

Wednesday 4th February 2009 ~ Gemini Notes

Distinguishing between the B9s from a distance is not easy. All are in original livery, but there are still ways of narrowing down the options ! Adverts are currently only carried on the Drivers side. As things stand they can be classified as follows :
Original destination display / No adverts : 37563/4/5/8/9/71/2/4
Large destination display / No adverts : 37578
Original destination display / Creme egg advert : 37566/7/70/3/7
Large destination display / Creme egg advert : 37575/6
Large destination display / Sex Drive ad : 37579

No doubt in time, other characteristics will become apparent. B9s seen today were 37563/4/5/7/8/9/70/3/5/6/7/9. Punctuality was less impressive today and worst performer was K5 16.39 Wisbech - Lowestoft which was 10 late with what looked like 37564.
B10Ms seen were 20109 on L12 07.15 from Lowestoft, but possibly only forward from Lynn at 10.29. Terence positively identified this one and he also saw 20107 on shuttles. L13 also had a B10, 20103 which worked all day.


Tuesday 3rd February 2009 ~ History is Made

What a difference a day makes 1 : 37570 heads east on Y14 12.48 from Peterborough in bright sunshine in contrast to yesterdays sleet. Walpole Highway.
What a difference a day makes 2 : 20107 rushes eastbound out of Walton Highway on the 13.17 to Lowestoft (L13) today.

It's 10.49 on Saturday last and here's an unusual view of 37577 departing Queensgate on J10.

Traditionally traffic at this time of year is light and looking back at my X1 diary I have made for several years, this is confirmed. Today however, was exceptional for punctuality by any standards. Only one service exceeded 2 minutes lateness and this was K6 first thing, which has become less reliable since it has been rostered to do a North Wootton local prior to the 07.59 Lynn - Peterborough X1. Today it was 17 late into Wisbech with 37578. Typical of today was K1 08.39 Wisbech - Lowestoft which was on time with 37574 and still on time when departing as the 16.01 to Peterborough. K4 was today's surprise with Scania/Wright 65526 out on the 06.29 Lynn - Peterborough. This evening a B10M had replaced it and it looked to be 20109. it was another good day for B10Ms with 20107 out all day on L13 07.45 Lowestoft - Peterborough etc, 20103 on K18 14.01 Wisbech - Peterboro' and very unusually 20104 on the following K3 14.31 westbound, this is diagrammed for a B7 but in the event of one not being available, it is inevitably a B9.
Geminis noted today were : K1 37574, K2 37577, K5 37569, K6 37578, K7 37576, Y8 37567, Y9 37579, J10 37563, Y14 37570, K15 37575, K16 37564 and Michael says K19 was 37565. Only b7 seen was 20353 on K17 while turns unaccounted for are J11, L12 and K20.


Monday 2nd February 2009 ~ Snow joke

37571 arrives at Wisbech today on K18 14.01 to Peterborough during some light snow.
Wintry scene at Walpole Highway this lunchtime, 37571 is approaching on the 13.47 to Peterborough while 37574 disappears eastbound as the 13.49 to Lowestoft.

37574/577 at a snowy Rowan Road on Sunday evening

Weather forecasts for some days had predicted snow in the east for Sunday afternoon and to a lesser extent today. Certainly here in the west, the accumulations of snow forecast failed to materialise, although Norwich seems to have been more seriously affected. In Wisbech, light snow fell intermittantly today but scarcely enough to settle and by this evening it had turned to rain. The only X1 service which seems to have run foul of the weather was as one might expect, the first departure westbound from the coast. Y8 was 37569 which departed Wisbech at 09.27, around 26 late. After this delays of up to 15 minutes gradually evaporated and by the time J11 11.18 from Peterborough passed me with 20103, it was just a minute behind time. 37578 on K16 13.01 ex Wisbech to P'boro was 12 late but thereafter things once again improved. L13 07.45 from Lowestoft arrived at Wisbech with 20109 which had presumably replaced the original vehicle on this turn at either Norwich or Lynn. Only B7 seen was an unidentified example on K17 14.18 from Peterborough which was on time.
B9 37564 was Y9 today and it has now had its advert for 'Mamma Mia' removed. B9s not seen in service today were 37565/566/572/575. K4 and K20 had unidentified B9s and K7 was not seen, along with K19 and Y21.
First B9 I saw today was 37573 on K1 which I can confirm as being in the condition Andrew described recently. This morning its destination read 'Lowestoft X'.


Sunday 1st February 2009 ~ Gone with the wind

Discovered tonight that four Glasgow drivers flew in to Norwich Airport on Friday morning whence they were taxied to Lynn to fetch 20505/6, 20121 & 20141. In the event 20505 had to be left behind as it had a problem with its gears. It was at a snowy Rowan Road tonight and is the last remaining coach due for transfer. On a related note Jamie V sent a web link to photos of reliveried 20500/1 now branded for the X22 Colchester - Stansted service, this made me smile as despite the new livery, the fleet numbers are in different positions ! :

Seen in service today were Geminis 37565/70/72/76. At Rowan Road were 20106/9/18, 20352, 20505, 37574 and 37577 while in Vancouver Avenue were 20105 (MOT), 20353, 37567/8/78.

Saturday 31st January 2009 ~ Bits and Pieces

A few bits today as I had friends visiting. there were at least two B10Ms out, 20103 was K16 and was 14 late through Terrington heading west (due here at 12.44). Jamie V reported 20104 on K6 09.18 ex Peterborough. Late running caused much swapping, for instance 37563 on K1 07.48 from Peterborough returned later on J11 15.55 from Lowestoft after a 210 minute break. 20104 on K6 didn't come back and this was 37567 which had gone across on K5. Jamie R travelled over on Y9 which very unusually was 20351, it was a little late at Walpole Highway on the 11.19 to Lowestoft. Only other service originating from the coast identified was L13 with 37570.
According to the board at Lynn, today's departures were : K1 563, K2 571. K3 576, K4 20352, K5 567, K6 20104, K7 20353, K15 575, K16 20103, K17 578 and K18 565.

Friday 30th January 2009 ~ Eterborough ?

Andrew writes that 37573 on K6 07.59 Lynn - Peterborough this morning "appears to have had a new piece off glass fitted around the front destination display and the blacked out surround partly blocks the led display for example on the 'Peterborough' it blocks some of the p and all of the route number! ". I will watch out for that one Andrew.
The service ran fairly well considering it was a Friday today. Maximum lateness recorded on a bitterly cold day in Wisbech was 12 by 37579 on K18 14.48 ex Peterborough and 20351 on K3 following it at 15.18. Tonight though I was at Peterborough railway station to witness 37572 arrive at 18.16 (due 17.43) on K4. Surprisingly J11 was one of the other B7s and Bruce reported another in Vancouver Avenue being repaired. 20141 and 20506 had also migrated to the garage from Rowan Road. B10Ms continue to appear and today we had 20103 on L13 followed by 20104 on Y14, both did the full diagrams.
Gemini B9s seen were : K1 568, K2 569, K4 572, K6 573, K7 575, Y8 578. Y9 567, J10 565, L12 571, K16 577 and K18 579.

Thursday 29th January 2009 ~ Creme Egg Mystery.

Writing this on Sunday evening, so will make it brief. There was a Profile B7 on the first westbound service out of Yarmouth (Y8) and this was assumed to be 20351 which went over on K6 yesterday. Two B10Ms were noted being 20103 on L13 07.45 ex Lowestoft on which it did the whole turn and 20104 which was K5, a rarity these days. Geminis seen out were : K1 565, K7 572, J10 579, J11 569, Y14 575, K16 567, K17 576 and K18 563.
37565 was in service today having had its Cadburys Creme Egg advert removed, which is odd as all the others etain it. Bruce says to tell you all that the class 31 misreported as 31232 last night was of course 31233. Meanwhile Ryan reports that Yarmouth have 5 B10 coaches in attendance, these being 20123 20126 20127 20129 (trainer) and now 20115 also.