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Monday 28th June 2010 ~ We All Love 127 !

Here is the grand old lady fresh off another MOT waiting to operate the 16.34 from Broadland Business Park to Norwich this afternoon. Photo by Des.

and bless me, here she is again. Des says "about to operate the 17.10 ~ X1 Norwich to Gorleston, James Paget Hospital. After that the driver went home to sit in the garden with his 'Aunty Stella (Artois)!". I don't blame him do you ?

There were a few surprises today, not least of which was B10M 20109 being used on K3 to counter the unavailability of B7 37156. K18 was also an exception to a low floor service with 34108 still earning its keep. At the Lowestoft end there was more interest, firstly 37566 on K1 was changed for 37564 and this then allowed 37566 to work the 14.08 X2 to Norwich. An hour later Michael Bryant phoned to say that the 15.08 X2 also had a B9 with 37565 doing the honours. He also saw President 32207 on a Beccles school contract operated by Lowestoft garage.
Peter sent a text earlier to say that yet another alternative route into Wisbech was in use with 37567 on K4 taking Elm Low Road instead of Churchill Road. A few X1s ran via the correct route down Nene Quay on their way to Peterborough and seen were 37577 on L10 10.18, 37159 on L12 11.48, 37570 on K16 13.48 and later 37578 on L10 20.22.
Sam says he's heard that Gemini 37571 should be returning to the fleet shortly, following its fatal accident at Thorney last year.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed lately, especially Bruce, who is X1 observer in chief again tomorrow as I am over at Long Sutton.

Sunday 27th June 2010 ~ Dog Blog

A very straightforward day today, all B9s and nothing too delayed despite the hot weather. For the record, in use were 37565-567, 37570/2/4-9. 37565 was changed at Lowestoft for 37566 which is why eleven vehicles were used instead of the 10 rostered.

Rob Brooks sent in this great picture of his dog who is clearly an X1 fan ! The picture of 37577 depicts it about to turn right into Weasenham Lane at Wisbech on the unnecessary diversion which many drivers are taking.


Saturday 26th June 2010 ~ Getting Hotter

37579 running 17 late into Walpole on L8 this morning. 37159 replaced it at Lynn.
A scorcher today with 34108 reappearing from Lowestoft on L11 (it worked K16 yesterday), in preference to 37563/4. Tony reports it heading back to King's Lynn late this afternoon having viewed it at Yarmouth. This was the exception to a low floor service today though. 37579 on L8 was taken off at Lynn at midday for servicing and 37159 went forward. 37576 came back after a few days off on L9 today, it has lost three quarters of its Letters To Juliet advert !

Most surprising sight at Rowan Road this evening was B10M 20115. Absent was 20121, but it may have been out on Hunstanton services.

Friday 25th June 2010 ~ Allergic Reaction ?

37567 was allocated to Y13 today, nothing unusual in that you might think, but on a couple of recent occasions, when it has tried to work this turn, it has been involved in incidents. Firstly it had an upstairs windscreen smash, then last Saturday it was replaced at Lynn by 37159. Today it was again in trouble - possibly due to late running - and B10M 20118 ran from Lynn to Peterborough instead of the B9. Bruce saw it 25 late at Walpole Highway returning from Peterborough. 37157 was 32 late on K18 this afternoon
Today only one service was seen on the Nene Quay route out of Wisbech, this being 37569 on L12 which was 10 minutes late when seen at midday. Tonight 37579 on K15 was removed at Lowestoft and replaced by 37566. John W reports 20121 on Hunstanton schools this morning, with 20123 on the X40 and 20109 also on a Hunstanton service.
Thanks also to Bruce and Rob Brooks for their help today.


Thursday 24th June 2010 ~ 562 Is Miles Better

Rob Brooks sent in this picture of 37562, back on its regular turn, K17, today. It is departing Wisbech on the 14.18 to Peterborough. It has travelled a colossal 70,000 miles since arriving on November 23rd 2009.

Syd recently commented on the use of a Triaxle Olympian on one of the X1 shorts and Des has enlarged on this : " This is actually fairly common, a Triaxle leaves Yarmouth Depot at 15.10 to operate the 15.20 6B, it then travels light to East Norfolk Sixth Form College to Operate the 881 to Carlton Colville, followed by light to Lowestoft for the 17.25 to Yarmouth. 30105 was the vehicle involved yesterday". Thanks to Des for that and details of diagrams which involve the X1 and other routes are always welcome.

Another B10M, 20121, passed its MOT successfully today, so all being well should be with us for a while yet. Today the X1 managed to get by without the aid of these trusty coaches, but L12 produced the Royale, 34108, instead of the expected 37156 which was stopped for a service. Y6 began with 37569 but this was also due a maintenance check and 37156 replaced it for the 14.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough.

In Wisbech, many westbound services continued to take the unnecessary diversion up the A1101. Seen on the Nene Quay route were 37157 on Y9, 37565 on L10, 37562 on K17 running 15 late, 37567 on K18 and 37160 on K3. This is presumably dependent on driver rosters and it is thought for example, that Y9 and K18 are probably booked for the same driver.

The current bout of warm weather does not seem to be affecting the availability of the B9s on the same scale as last year, but 37576 which worked the 10.05 Peterborough - Lowestoft (Y7) on Tuesday has not been seen since, so it may be the exception. It was on this same turn on May 28th when it sustained accident damage and it had only been back on the road for 3 days before it disappeared again. Mileage wise 576 is the lowest of the King's Lynn B9s at approx 176,700. At the top end, 37572/5/7 are all very close at around 192,500. This means that for this trio, the 200k milestone is fast approaching.


Wednesday 23rd June 2010 ~ Route Confusion

With services having settled down yesterday teatime using the normal route westbound out of Wisbech, it was a surprise today to find that few drivers were using the normal route out of Wisbech.
For the record, noted were Y7 with 37572, L11 with 37160, K17 11 late with 37574, K19 37579 and K2 with 37570. Diagrams 6, 8-10, 12 - 14, 18 & 1 all took the A1101 out of Wisbech westbound.
A full low floor service was in operation again today. I am told that Great Yarmouth currently have a queue of vehicles awaiting MOT and that 20107 is currently dumped in with the withdrawn vehicles awaiting attention. Mike F reports that 20115 was out on service 20 to Taverham this afternoon and 20121 was absent from Vancouver Avenue this afternoon, so may have gone to the MOT testing station.
One thing which I omitted from yesterday's report was an unusual working for 37575 reported by John W. It worked KL 7110 diagram and was seen on th 08.20 43 to North Wootton. This is thought to have been because it was required for non-routine maintenance. It was again absent from the X1 today. John adds "The 08.40 41 was 20109. If it had arrived back from schools it must have got a move on. 20123 was in about 9ish which is the usual time of arrival back of the schools coaches.

Tuesday 22nd June 2010 ~ When Is A Diversion Not A Diversion ?

.....Answer : When a road is only closed in one direction ! On the way to work I discovered that Nene Quay in Wisbech, i.e. the route used by the X1 on leaving Wisbech for Peterborough, is now closed for flood defence work, BUT only eastbound. In other words buses coming in from Peterborough have to divert down Weasenham Lane & Churchill Road in the same way they have done on previous occasions in the past 12 months, but services to Peterborough are unaffected, or at least should be !
It soon became apparent this morning that all services were using the diversion, even though this was unnecessary on westbound X1s. The first service seen using the normal route was this afternoon when K17 made an appearance with 37577 dead on time. The next bus seen was particularly noteworthy as it was 37562 on the returning K16, which took the sharp left turn at Town Bridge to gain access to the Old Market and then via Freedom Bridge to regain the usual route. This incidentally, is the signposted diversion, but the sharp turn means it is unlikely to be used regularly by the X1 I would have thought. It was very unusual also for 562 to be on K16 (a Lowestoft terminator) rather than its regular turn K17.
K18 & K19 failed to appear on Nene Quay, but K1 was a minute early with 37565, K2 with 37567 was 2 late and 20109 on K3 a minute early. So the word seems to have spread that the usual route is OK westbound !
Further to the above, a convoluted move this afternoon saw 37562 come off K16 at Lynn and 37160 which had just arrived on K3 being used to go straight back to Lowestoft instead of 562. K3 was then taken forward by 20109. 37576 did the first part of Y7 but 37568 came back this evening.


Monday 21st June 2010 ~ The Beast Lives On....

Syd says : "The welding on 20107 HAS been undertaken, so it looks like a return to service is now certain. It should now sail through the MOT at Gt Yarmouth in a few days time. The short reign of 60863 on X1s closed Saturday evening on arrival at Lowestoft. After an overnight stay it was used on 102 reliefs Sunday Morning, then light to Gt Yarmouth Market Gates to work the 1330 and 1430 service 6s, then light to Caister Road for exchange with a B9TL which returned light to Lowestoft for Monday morning use.......isn't life complicated and it gets worse the more you know !".
Gosh, sounds like great news for 107 then and against all the odds too. There was even more good news on the B10M front today, as 20121 is a third example undergoing MOT prep, this time at King's Lynn. The blog will endeavour to keep you posted on developments with 107, 121 & 127.
Bruce carried on the stirling work today but was rewarded with an entirely low floor service. Afternoon services from Peterborough encountered delays due to a diversion in Wisbech (Oh No ! Not again). Y9 with 37578 was 14 late and L12 with 37567 15 late.

Sunday 20th June 2010 ~ Blog Catch Up 3

Bruce was sidelined with friends today, but still managed to report the following :

Early time keeping was good, 37579 wandered by to Lynn sometime. BUT the 14.10 to Lynn passed at 14.45 and the 14.10 to PB passed at 14.53. The 15.10 to PB passed at 15.53 and the 16.10 to PB passed at 16.59.
The 19.10 to PB passed at 19.38 and what I believe was the 19.10 to Lynn passed at 20.04 with 37562.
The 22.10 to Lynn was only a couple of minutes late but the 22.10 to PB passed at 22.32

What is interesting here is that the roadworks at Lynn seemed to affect the Sunday service more than Saturdays.

Saturday 19th June 2010 ~ Blog Catch Up 2

Bruce's log :
08.34 Y6 with 37574
08.40 K2 6 late with 37578
09.04 K3 with 37577,Y7 with 37160
09.32 K4 with a B9 2 mins early
09.34 L8 with 37575
10.04 K5 with 37576 (boo) Y9 with 37564
10.34 L10 with 37569, Y6 with 37574
11.04 Y7 with 37160
11.06 L11 with 37566
L12 - missed the little blighter
12.12 Y9 with 37564 8 late
12.14 Y13 with 37159 10 late
12.36 K14 with 60863 2 late
14.06 K17 with 37562 2 late
15.06 K15 with 37572
15.08 K19 with 37570
15.36 K16 with a B9
16.40 K18 with 37572 6 late

37159 had 'not in service' on the front, but was conveying passengers and I guess had replaced 37567 or the like at King's Lynn.
Elsewhere one of our loyal band reports 20126 back on the road and 20127 now undergoing MOT work, so good news there.

Friday 18th June 2010 ~ Blog Catch Up 1

Bruce Reports :


08.31 K2 with 37564
08.40 Y6 with 37575 6 late
09.06 K3 with 37159 2 late
09.25 Y7 with 37568 21 late
Missed K4/L8 or did I?
10.04 K5 with 37562
10.07 Y9 with 37569 3 late - or was it?
Missed Y6 and L10
11.05 L11 with 60863 only 1 late - text Gerard - but was it?
11.17 travelling to Tesco hoping to meet L12 but met 37156 in Tilney all Saints on the real L11.
11.50 returned to Walpole without any shopping due to problems at home and met 37569, Sorry Not in Service and empty, heading for Lynn at the pullover roundabout - on time to pick up L8 from Lynn???
11.57 followed L12 leaving village 23 late with a B9.
12.23 saw Y13 from down our fields with a B7 19 late
13.53 returning to Tesco met 37579 at Tilney All Saints on K16 or 17 - take your pick
16.06 back at home with shopping met 37579 showing Lowestoft on K17 (?) only 2 late
16.14 I don't believe it - another B9 heads to Lynn at a fair rate of knots following 579 as well - K16 or K17? - I give up!
17.05 travelling to Walton Highway met 37160 (Gt Yarmouth) with 37578 (Lowestoft) immediately behind it!. (K18/19?)
19.18 out front cutting grass to restore sanity and saw K4 with 37574 but nothing from Lynn in 45 minute.

Steven confirmed some of Bruce's suspicions/fears : K1 37567, K4 37574, Y6 37575, L8 was 37569 with 60863 on L10. K14 37157, K15 37577, K16 37579, K17 37573, K18 37160 and K19 37578.

Syd says "More movement on 20107. It has been taken over to Gt Yarmouth for MOT assesment work, which looks likely to include the extensive chassis repairs at Perfects. It is certainly more promising than sitting in the corner at Lowestoft. On the X1 front another tri-axle made an appearance yesterday (17th)...30105 worked the 1725 Lowestoft to Gt Yarmouth. We know its an extra, but I wonder if the public realise it hasnt just arrived from Peterborough ! ".


King's Lynn Roadworks This Weekend

The South Gates roundabout at King's Lynn is being completely closed from Saturday until 06.00 Monday and this will entail X1 services being diverted via the bypass and Gaywood to gain access to King's Lynn bus station. This will obviously add a fair bit of time to schedules. Vancouver Avenue garage will be situated at a dead end during this time with no direct access to Rowan Road, vehicles having to travel via Tennyson Avenue and the Bypass to reach the compound.
I am away now until Monday and will conveniently miss all the chaos. This does mean though that I am putting out an extra plea for sightings during this period. Please email them to stating vehicle number and direction of travel. If sufficient info is received, I will do a summary blog when I return. This gives me another opportunity to thank all our regular contributors, those mentioned and those who wish to have their identities hidden for obvious reasons. Have a good weekend all of you. Gerard


Thursday 17th June 2010 ~ Thank You 109

Sam Wickham sent this picture of two identical buses at Lowestoft today. 37160 has arrived on Y6 and 37156 is ready to take over and form the 14.25 back to Peterborough. Incidentally note the two variations of the AXA Insurance ad on the rear.
This lady chauffeur (discretion prevents me revealing her name) was obviously so frightened at the prospect of being captured on film by Sam, that she pulled down her sunvisor a bit too far when bringing 37575 on K1 into Lowestoft bus station today. Says Sam "The sun was very bright at the time !"

A couple of beasts photographed at Yarmouth Caister Road garage last week. 20128 was a one time X1 regular, but has latterly been downgraded to a Driver Trainer. Photo by Anonymous.

20109 again, this time out in the sunshine on K15 today, near Walsoken.

20121 is a proper Eastern Counties vehicle with Norfolk registration (even if NVG does stand for 'not very good'). It was therefore nice to see it carrying an advert proclaiming 'Best In Norfolk' this week ! Seen here after arrival at King's Lynn on K5 on Tuesday.
The current spell with B10M 20109 pretending to be a B9 Gemini looks to have ended this evening, not that 109 did anything wrong of course. Unless you count yesterday when it was on the final westbound service (K19) and a wheelchair passenger needed to board. It was probably because of this that today 109 was entrusted with the top B9 turn, K15. On average, this turn gets a B10M once a year.
Tonight though, the situation looks to have been remedied with both 37573 (Volvo) and 37576 (Accident Repairs) back at King's Lynn. On the minus side, it is confirmed that 37158's absence this week is also due to accident damage.
60863 was sent out on K14 today, it was 25 minutes late on the 12.48 Wisbech - Peterborough and was not seen at all returning probably indicating it travelled empty back to Lynn. This was pretty much the worst example of late running which was prevalent today. 37567 equalled this feat by also being 25 late on the 13.05 from Peterborough (Y13) but that had been reduced to just 5 minutes this evening.
There were some diagram swaps at the Lowestoft end today. Firstly K18 arrived with 37156 and 37565 took over, then Y6 with 37160 was swapped for 37156 and completing the trio 37566 on Y9 was changed for 37160. These moves meant 37160 finished at home at Lynn and 37156 likewise at Lowestoft.

Wednesday 16th June 2010 ~ Juggling Resources

Smart is the word ! Jim Long kindly sent this picture of 20102 which had arrived at Ipswich today fresh from repainting for use on Ipswich schools work. It would be nice to see the other B10Ms given a coat of paint too wouldn't it ?

The ranks of sidelined King's Lynn Geminis increased today with the non-appearance of 37572 out of Great Yarmouth. Instead, Y13 was provided with the delights of 60863. This had last appeared on the mainstream X1 on February 9th. As this bus has previously run out of fuel on Y13 diagram, arrangements were made to refuel it before departure from Lowestoft on the 18.48 to Peterborough.
37562 returned to its normal roster on K17 today, but the top B10M at King's Lynn, 20109, was once again back on top link duty working K19, the turn which commences with the 07.21 Wisbech to Lowestoft. It was 13 late through Walpole this afternoon and 23 late when departing Wisbech due to congestion. 37565 working K2 was swapped at Lowestoft for 37157 today.
37574 on K15 was 17 late into Wisbech for the 13.18 to Peterborough, 37567 15 late on the 15.48 and 37157 14 late on the 16.18. Morning delays were all less than ten minutes.


Tuesday 15th June 2010 ~ One, Two, Three School Buses

One of those enigmas which the X1 sometimes throws up occurred today. What was expected today was that after an extremely rare overnight at Yarmouth, 20109 would return home to King's Lynn.
Standing at Wisbech waiting for an X1 this morning however, you would firstly have seen 20123 on Y7 09.18 to Peterborough, followed by 20121 on K5 09.56 to Lowestoft and then (the one that was expected) 20109 on Y9 10.18 to Peterborough ! This also explained why John W only saw 20118 in Lynn bus station off the Hunstanton school runs, it's not known what worked the other two turns.
20123 came on Y7 at Lynn replacing 37570 which was unable to continue, so it may have actually had time to do its school run first. Y7 is off King's Lynn at 08.45 and 20123 was 8 late westbound at Wisbech and 9 late returning. It came off at King's Lynn and it is not known what worked forward to Lowestoft, although 37158 was absent this evening.
20121 was out on K5 as 37573/6 were still unavailable.
K18 began the day with 37159, but this returned from Lowestoft on Y7 and K18 was seen at Wisbech 22 late this afternoon with a revived 37570. So another mystery - what worked K18 from Lowestoft to Lynn ?
In general afternoon punctuality was poor. Noted at Wisbech were K16 with 37568, 13 late on the 13.48 westbound and 29 late returning, K17 with 37575 10 late on the 15.05 from Peterborough. K19 37578 21 x 16 late then later 37579 21 late on the 16.48 westbound (K3) and K4 with 37572 23 late.
At Beccles, 37156 was seen by Michael on the 13.38 Lowestoft - Norwich X2. Meanwhile John W says "In case anyone is perplexed by a strange Plaxton with First swirls, a visitor in Lynn and around is Trurorian 20475 (Y5 TRU) seen today on Austin Fields, and afterwards loading its party at Tuesday Market Place. A bribe might have sent the driver through Walpole Highway which could have caused a little confusion!". Well with today's goings on John, I'm quite surprised that it wasn't snapped up for the X1 !

Monday 14th June 2010 ~ From Good To Bad

20109 with a driver looking pleased to be photographed on K3 in King's Lynn this morning. Rob Brooks.
The morning went quite well today with only one exception to a low floor service, this being B10M 20109 which worked K3 as 37573 was required in Norwich (presumably at Volvo) and 37576 is still absent. Delays were minimal and most services ran nicely to time.

Problems began after lunch when 37567 suffered a broken upstairs front window while working Y13. Not sure where it happened but it certainly didn't run as the 13.56 Wisbech to King's Lynn much to the disappointment of a sizeable contingent waiting at Walpole Highway and Andy james reports it arriving at King's Lynn at 14.13 'not in service'. What happened next is uncertain, but 567 may have worked through to Lowestoft anyway as K14, a turn which terminates at Lowestoft while 37568 which was on K14 looks to have completed Y13.
There was a fatal accident near Acle at around teatime which threw the service into chaos. L8 18.50 Lynn - Peterborough departed with 20109 which had just arrived on K3 and the coach worked all the way back to Lowestoft, then as booked going to Yarmouth to stay the night. Meanwhile 37577 on the incoming L8 arrived in time to form L10 the 19.50 westbound from Lynn. L10 came in with 37566 which retired to the garage.


Sunday June 13th 2010 ~ Technological Boost

That man Des was in touch today, he obviously feels sorry for me having read about my failure to transfer mobile phone pictures to my PC ! Speaking of mobiles Des says

"I don't know if you've noticed but many people now access the internet on their mobile phone. The X1 Blog doesn't particularly render too well on a mobile, but, I've being playing around and have come up with this link.

If the above address is typed into a browser address bar on either a phone or a home computer, it renders the X1 Blog for mobile viewing. If you find this useful, then just add the link to your blog page".

Clever stuff hey, Des continues : "What do you think of having a mobile friendly page that links to many blogs and bus sites? Blogs are best as they tend to contain far less images than the photo sites, here's an example :"

Well I hope some of you will find that useful, fascinating stuff.
Today was a Gemini operated service with departures eastbound from Lynn commencing with the 06.50 producing 37564, 37578, 37562, 37566, 37563, 37565, 37568, 37569, 37570 & 37574.

37564 had a problem though this evening and the 19.35 King's Lynn to Lowestoft was given 37160 as a replacement.

Not the best photo I've ever taken. 37564 against a stormy sky at around 17.10 tonight, but it does show the 'Good Luck England' poster above the bodyside 'X1'. 37160 later replaced 564 on this turn.


Saturday June 12th 2010 ~ Setting A President ?

Syd writes : "The recent arrival of the President bodied B7TLs at Gt Yarmouth are not actually for the summer service 3. All told 7 are due there for work/servicing before moving to Lowestoft. This should then release the 7 Royale Olympians assuming the B7TLs are ready, the Palatines remaining at Lowestoft for the time being. The eventual transfer of all the Royale and Palatine Olympians to Gt Yarmouth for Contracts and Schools only should then see off the tri-axles.
This brings me to the latest plan hatched up for the X1......Two of the B7s are to be tacho fitted for X1 back-up to replace 34108s involvement. This grand plan is due for implementation at the end of the month. This is already in trouble as 32212, which was put into service when still restricted to 32mph yesterday, has today been re-calibrated to 50mph upon which it promptly expired. 32212 has now been inspected and a new engine isnt needed, just a quantity of replacement bits. No other B7TL has turned a wheel yet, 32208 and 32210 were both towed to Caister Road and have yet to see a pit. The end of June date for X1 use may therefore seem a little optimistic. The other casualties of this are of course due to be 34333 and 34921.
Good news about 20107 is that it spent some time on the Gasworks Road pits Friday, so it isnt a lost cause yet, but is back outside at the moment".
Well it's nice to know what may be in the pipeline and thanks very much to Syd for that. That uncommon phenomenon - an all low floor day was achieved today. All the Geminis were out except 37576 (accident repairs), 37156 & 37158.
Punctuality was good today and the most delayed service seen was only 7 late, this being 37567 on the 11.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough (L12). In contrast 37575 was seen arriving at Walpole 4 minutes early on the 13.06 to Lowestoft.

Friday June 11th 2010 ~ Observation Post Blog

My first day out for a while, but didn't see an X1 all day as I was off at an early hour to the BBC Archives. This meant Bruce was on duty and he reports :

Well our little mate is absent from his post again so out comes the Walpole Highway B10M again

07.34 K4 passed with a B9 but missed K19, due 07.31
08.01 K1 on time with 37566
08.08 K5 with 37159
08.34 K2 with 37567, Y6 with 37569
09.04 Y7 with 37573, K3 with 37158
09.38 L8 with 20121- 4L , K4 ????
10.04 37570 on Y9, 37159 on K5
10.34 a B7 on time on L10
11.08 going to Tesco met 37563 on L11 a bit late
11.12 37569 on Y6 leaving Lynn and seen from Tesco car park
12.12 saw L8 leaving Lynn from Tesco car park with 375x4 (574 or 564?)
13.45 met 37565 on L12 near to home. Rather a lot of passengers waiting early in the villages for 37562 on K17!!!!
14.12 Y13 with 37578 - 8L
14.14 K17 with 37562 - 10L
14.38 K18 with 37156 - 4L
14.51 K14 with 37568 - 17L
15.22 K19 with 20109 - 18L
15.38 K1 now has 37577
15.46 K15 with 37575 - 42L
16.10 K2 with 37567
16.16 K17 with 37562

Now I sat outside in the car from 15.03 to 16.16, not wishing to miss K19. K15 had Lowestoft on the front - the absent K16 is the Gorleston. No Gorleston bus passed me - which might explain why there were so many people waiting for K17 to Wisbech at 13.45. K17 had an unusual well filled load on. But it is Friday and I only get to see a little snapshot of what goes on. Now can I get K4 when it returns?".

Fancy 20121 getting yet another run out and as for 20109 ? Well defies belief really. With 37575 on K15 running excessively late, 37572 off the invisible K16 came back late tonight.

Thursday 10th June 2010 ~ Lowestoft Locals

The wanderings of 37565, seen in Lowestoft today but on a local service.

Peter writes "Saw an unknown Gemini go past Lowestoft station on an X2 today and thought "I could get the X1 back to Wisbech from here" but then came to my senses and caught the Oulton-Broad-North-only to Norwich !".
Michael Bryant enlarges on this : 37565 on the 10.08 X2 here, Sam confirms it too. Another source says "Surprising thing was that it then proceeded to work on strange things all day. It did a trip or two on town service 102 followed by some Bernard Mathews contracts then topped it off by working on service 1/1A to Martham until midnight !"
Variety is the spice of life it would seem. Well now, if you'd told me this time last week that K19 would be getting B10M 20109 for the third consecutive day today, I'd have told you to wake up. Nevertheless, this is exactly what happened. It was 20 late through Walpole this afternoon due to the King's Lynn South Gates pandemonium. At one stage, Norfolk Green announced that its services would be avoiding the area altogether such was the havoc.
Bruce was on observation post duty today once more. Highlight (apart from 109) was 34108 on K14 which managed to convert a 14 minute late run westbound into being just 3 late coming back.
37575 passed its MOT today and should be available again now.


Wednesday June 9th 2010 ~ Bruce Does The Business

Yes because I am still confined to barracks as it were, the man in his observatory was again on duty today. Timekeeping was even worse than yesterday but there was a Brucey bonus as 34108 was in action on L12 replacing 37568 which was due a safety service. 568's day was not completely idle however, as it was seen by MIchael Bryant on the 13.35 Lowestoft - Norwich X2.
Y6 which started the day with 37566 was changed at Lowestoft for recent absentee 37157. This didn't actually get to Peterborough though as events conspired against it.

Peter enlarges on the situation with a tale of his own : " On my way back from Derby this afternoon, starting with the 16.34 to St. Pancras, which today was HST worked and goes via Corby. This meant I had to change at Oakham ! Whatever next, Oakham Interchange ? I hope the other six passengers on board enjoyed the views from Harringworth viaduct.
This was then supposed to lead me into a minus five for the 18.10 X1 (K4) to Wisbech. Arrived at 18.15 just in time to see the rear of a Gemini departing, so legged it over to Queensgate to find that the bus I'd just 'missed' at the station was in fact the 17.40 departure (K3) with 37158. This was now in the bus station simultaneously with 37574 on K4 and it was decided after some banter between the drivers that 37158 would go empty to Walpole (?!) and that the passengers would go on 574. We followed 158 as far as Thorney, where we took the village route and 158 made haste down the bypass. On approaching Guyhirn, we caught up 37158 and it then became apparent - due to the fleets of police and emergency vehicles - that there had been an A47 'incident' somewhere between Wisbech and Guyhirn. This meant we then went via Wisbech St. Mary in convoy with 37158. We stopped 'unofficially' in Wisbech Old Market where through passengers to destinations beyond Lynn then transferred to 37158. On arrival at Wisbech, 37157 was sat in the Horsefair with 'X1 Lowestoft' on the front, seemingly going nowhere."

Now I have to confess that Peter sent me a couple of pix to my mobile which I thought I could just bluetooth to my Pc. Wrong ! My PC does not have bluettoth, so I guess I will have to work on that one. The sight of a pair of Geminis in Wisbech St. Mary would have been quite something. In the event, neither 37158 or 37574 went through to Lowestoft and 37573 off a service inspection looks to have gone instead. 37157 on Y6 was terminated at Wisbech and then resumed its turn as the 20.00 to Lowestoft. Meanwhile there was more mayhem on the A47 this evening, both east and west of King's Lynn. 37159 on Y9 did not appear to have arrived at Lynn by 21.15 (due around 19.10), but it may have come in and gone straight back out on K4 rather than 37573 I suppose. Wisbech bypass was closed this evening and most traffic seemed to be taking a diversion via Friday Bridge.

Tuesday 8th June 2010 ~ Vandals Strike

20109 on Gemini turn K19 this afternoon passing Walpole Highway

I suppose considering the length of the route, the X1 doesn't suffer greatly from vandalism, however, a driver reports that today 37563 was heading down Brasenose Avenue in Gorleston heading for Lowestoft on K4 when a youth threw a missile which broke the offside lower deck window behind the stairs. Somehow, it looks as if 563 remained in service, unless you know different.
There was a problem of a different kind later with 37570, which had overnight been adorned with a new advert for the film 'Killers'. Whilst travelling down the Norwich bypass on Y7 14.55 ex Lowestoft, part of said ad started flapping about in the wind only for it to become completely detached on the Dereham bypass. Here it is on arrival at Lynn, thanks to Andy and our man in the know :

Looks pretty silly now doesn't it - divine intervention may be with an advert for a film called 'Killers' depicting guns being in rather bad taste in view of recent events ?

On the road today, timekeeping was pretty dismal with the South Gates roundabout roadworks again being largely responsible. By mid afternoon, most services were in the region of 20/25 late. There don't appear to have been any swaps to the morning allocation of X1 vehicles which is quite rare. Even rarer was the vehicle allocated to K19 - after yesterday's B7, today it had B10M 20109 ! I'm pretty certain this turn has never been worked entirely by a B10M before. Bruce adds - guess who was driving it this afternoon ? You might just be able to make it out from the picture...


Monday 7th June 2010 ~ Turning Back The Clock

Rolling back the years, 20121 heads back home tonight on K5 18.40 from Peterborough, seen passing Tilney All Saints in very poor lighting conditions.

With the schools contracts running again today, King's Lynn sent out 20109 on number 2, 20118 on number 4 and 20123 on number 5 to Hunstanton. This left 20121 spare and because of the absence of any Paragons, it was allocated X1 duty K5. The shortfall being because of MOT work on B9 37575.
I was absent from the scene today with a nasty rash and Bruce held the fort, phoning to report the unusual appearance of 121. In the end it did the complete diagram and for the record, the last time it completed a full X1 duty was on April 20th 2009 !!
Apart from a mid morning blip the timetable held up pretty well. Rejuvenated 37567 appeared on L10 and managed to reduce a westbound defecit of around 17 minutes to about 4 returning.
Both Ian and Peter were in the vicinity of Wisbech bus station at 17.00 to report 37159 on K19 and 37160 on K3 simultaneously. K19 is normally a solid B9 turn and this may well be the first time it has worked with a B7.

Sunday 6th June 2010 ~ Beware Tornados

Today was enlivened by that good old English tradition, the weather. I ventured out just after 2pm and en route to Walpole Highway was engulfed by the entire contents of the sky, then as I neared the main road the deluge was added to with halestones and the entire road was awash with about 6 inches of water. Nearby Marshland St. James had a mini tornado with the roof being ripped off a bungalow and local structural damage. For a short time visibility was similar to being in thick fog.
The X1 ran very well all things considered and 37160 forming the 14.10 to Lowestoft was just 3 minutes late (about normal for a B7 !) and 37572 heading west on the 14.08 to Peterborough was 18 late. Other services today ran pretty much to time. 37156 was another B7 in action, but everything else was B9s with 37577 on the 15.10 to Lowestoft running a minute early.
Paragon 20501 is reported to have rejoined 20500 in Essex and may well be doing the Stansted to Clacton run again.


Saturday June 5th 2010 ~ Fingers Crossed for 20107.

There was some good news on the B10M front today. 20126 has returned to Great Yarmouth after engine repairs where it joins 20127. The latest I hear is that 20107 may have had a stay of execution and is likely to be repaired after all. Time will tell and I wont stake my reputation on it, but thanks to our man for the info. 20109 was yet again turned out from King's Lynn on Excel today. It did K5, but only a trip to Peterborough and back, as by that time 37578 was ready off maintenance to work forward. Royale 34108 was not used on the X1 today, but all the B7s except 37159 were. 37575 is due to be stopped for its MOT tonight. This is the highest mileage X1 Gemini and has clocked up over 191k on its odometer. After yesterday's delays, services seen today were pretty much to time.

Tonight's blog includes our first video (if it works) showing 37567 when it was noisy recently

Friday June 4th 2010 ~ Now Get Out Of That !

Tonight I was expecting 34108 on Y6, instead I got 109 - 20109 as seen here passing Tilney.

37562 had a safety service this morning, so was put out on K4 instead of K17 today. The warm weather saw plenty of A47 traffic with slow moving queues on the coastbound carriageway up to the Pullover Roundabout at Lynn. Bruce decided to take a detour via Saddlebow to get to Lynn to save time.
An 'incident' involving the emergency services between the Mount Pleasant roundabout and Clarkson Avenue coming into Wisbech caused chaos for a couple of hours from 13.00.
With the alternative route via the dockside also closed, X1s either took the bypass or went through Walsoken into Norwich Road. Having failed to get through, I turned round and met 37570 on K17 queueing on Lynn Road, so did my public duty and stopped to inform the appreciative driver that he'd have to turn round. This was at 14.24. 570 was next seen passing the town bridge westbound at 14.52, having taken almost half an hour to travel about a mile !
Naturally this all made for heavy delays and viewed were K14 with 37575, 18 late before encountering the blockage on its way back to Lowestoft, 37577 23 late likewise on K15, K17 which as we've said was 32 late going to Peterborough was exactly the same lateness returning. K18 with 37160 was 24 late from Wisbech westbound and 22 late coming back. K16 was not seen in either direction, but was allocated 37157. Similarly K19 with 37573 was not seen going to Peterborough, but was only 4 late when seen coming back.
Partly as a result of the accumulative delays, there were several changes of diagram. K3 started with 37158, but Lowestoft provided 37578 as a replacement. K5 had B10M 20109, but this was changed at Lowestoft for 37566 which sounded quieter today. Y6 was 34108 this morning, but 20109 was sent back. This would in theory have seen it spend the night at Lowestoft, but a windscreen crack saw it taken off at Lynn at 20.30 with 37566 off K5 going forward.
More stepping up saw 37568 on Y7 then handed over to 37158 (off K3) and 37564 on L8 was then swapped for 568. L11 with 37156 (out after an absence) was changed for 37564 BUT somehow 37156 managed to get back to Lynn anyway, possibly empty to alleviate a shortage of power.
Later this evening, the last legs from Lowestoft to Lynn of K15 and K19 were changed with 37577 giving way to 37157 and K19 with 37573 being swapped for 37160.


Thursday June 3rd 2010 ~ Disintegrating Fans

So far 37563/7/70 have all had the loud fan fault which makes one think that this could end up being a malady which will affect the whole fleet. This afternoon 37566 went by on K16 making the loud noise indicating it is the latest to be afflicted.
20109 was again in frontline action on K3 and 34108 was K18. punctuality was hit and miss. 37568 kept its reputation by being on time heading to Peterborough on L8, but being 21 late coming back. 37159 following on Y9 was 7 x 20 late west and eastbound respectively. At lunchtime 37572 was 28 late on K14 with 37574 just 1 minute late close behind westbound. 34108 was worst performer mid afternoon being 15 late on the 14.48 to Peterborough. 37575 was taken off K19 for a service this afternoon and replaced by 37158, while 37567 made its way to Volvo at Norwich for repairs today.
Back in the UK after three weeks in the States, Peter says " Been waiting at Peterborough rail station for the 18.10 to Lowestoft (K4), it has just turned up at 18.33 with 37569 and 37160 is right behind. Driver has told me he is going empty to Lynn and I've got to do 37160 on the 18.40, so its hard luck if you wanted to travel beyond Lynn as this is where the 18.40 terminates !"

Wednesday June 2nd 2010 ~ All Quiet on the X1 Front

Not only has 37567 been cured of its deafening fan, 37563 has too returned to normal - possibly the reason why it was late on the road yesterday.
37567 spent a second day out of service at King's Lynn and 37565 was rested at Lowestoft. 37576 is off the road with accident damage as previously reported and 37156 may well be on MOT as it has not appeared for almost a week now. Royale 34108 was out again on L11 and B10M 20109 enjoyed a full day out on K5.
Timekeeping was much better than yesterday with everything viewed within 10 minutes of time except K1 with 37564 which was 15 late departing on the 15.48 Wisbech to Peterborough, 37160 a similar 14 late on the 16.48 (K3), while earlier 37575 was the black sheep on K15 being 18 late for the 13.18 westbound, but with arrears reduced to 10 minutes heading back east.
Late tonight K19 returned to Lynn from Lowestoft with 37572 instead of 37578 which was in diagram.

Tuesday June 1st 2010 ~ Half Term Havoc

The school holiday has given the green light to a series of roadworks which today badly affected X1 punctuality. Particularly bad was a new phase in the King's Lynn South Gates roundabout scheme and in Wisbech, the closure of Weasenham Lane for resurfacing. The latter although not on the route resulted in tailbacks onto Cromwell Road affecting the X1.
Peterborough bound services from Wisbech were initially only slightly delayed. 34108 was 10 late on Y6, but the rest of the morning was relatively OK. Going east, things were much poorer though. I try to avoid lists where possible, but here are today's sightings westbound / eastbound at Wisbech.
Y7 37565 RT / 2 late
L8 37566 RT / 5 late
Y9 37578 7 late / 15 late
L10 37572 7 late / 24 late
L11 37573 5 late / 10 late
L12 37568 13 late / 10 late
Y13 37577 19 late / 21 late
K14 37579 10 late / not seen
K15 37575 not seen / 41  late
K16 37157 27 late / 25 late
K17 37562 not seen
K18 37563 20 late both ways
K19 20501 17 late / 21 late

The day began with K2 being 37574, just 4 late passing Walpole but this had increased to 18 late this afternoon. K3 had 37160 only 2 late this morning but 35 late for the 16.48 Wisbech to Peterborough.
K4 went from Lynn to Peterborough and back with B10M 20109 this morning before 37569 was resurrected. 37158 started on K18 before 37563 was revived and this is even more surprising because 37567 was also unavailable and was tonight still over the pits at Vancouver Avenue. K5 was 37159 and later Y7 had 37565 swapped for 37564 at Lowestoft.  To complete the day 37570 was K1.
A few B9s have had 'Good Luck England' stickers fitted on the nearside. 37565/72 have been noted so far.