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Sunday May 29th 2011 & Monday May 30th 2011


Most unusual aspect of today was Lowestoft turning out 37157 on the 09.48 to Peterborough when three B9s were available. Yarmouth produced 37566, 37160 and 37579 while 37568 & 37570-574 were used from Lynn. Malcolm confirmed 37568 doing K6 and then the 15.31 service 1 to Martham.

Anyone for bingo ? Come to think of it, anyone know why the displays sometimes default to this ?
An entirely B9 worked service today, but traffic conditions disrupted the timetable. 37565 was seen 16 late on the 15.50 King's Lynn to Peterborough and earlier 37574 on the 08.30 from Yarmouth was 14 late. 37566 sent out by Lowestoft was 11 late on the 09.48 to Peterborough. Malcolm viewed an unidentified B7 working on the X2 - by process of elimination, it must have been 37156 as all the others were at King's Lynn.

37572 heads west through Walpole Highway on the 09.30 Great Yarmouth - Peterborough today.
The Bank Holiday Monday rain falls harder as 37568 passes by on the 11.05 from Peterborough.


Saturday May 28th 2011 ~ Needs Must

A couple of days ago I was remarking on the rarity of a King's Lynn Scania working an entire X1 diagram. Today brought another example of this when 37563 which came off K1 last night was deemed unfit for service with an injector problem. With coach 20352 still undergoing maintenance, Scania 65532 was once again called upon to deputise on K3. December 15th 2007 was the last time a full turn was Scania worked on a Saturday !!

65532 heads past Boskoop Farm this afternoon while working K3 16.15 King's Lynn to Peterborough (12.55 ex Lowestoft). The telegraph pole is normally obscured by Geminis and I'd forgotten about it !
This morning I made a trip into Wisbech and was surprised to see 37565 running 16 late on Y7 and further on 37569 as L8 running just 5 late. L9 was not seen at all, but 37159 was on this duty and came in this evening as booked. 37575 on K16 was changed at Lowestoft for 37156 and later 575 was seen by Des arriving into Norwich at 17.30 on an X2.
Earlier in the day 37566 was in trouble at Hockering on K18 where it overheated. Fitters attended and this afternoon it was back on K18, seen below heading back to Lowestoft on the 15.35 from Peterborough.

Friday May 27th 2011 ~ Doubles All Round !

37566 with a full load on Y9 10.18 Wisbech - Peterborough today

An all low floor service resumed today but by the end of the day things were once again precarious. Considering it was a Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend, timekeeping was fair. Services ran around 10 late on average this afternoon. Y6 changed vehicles at Lowestoft with 37159 being replaced by 37569 for the 14.25 to Peterborough. Later K1 with 37563 was in trouble, the B9 misfiring. The 18.02 Lynn to Lowestoft was then taken by 37564 which had just terminated on Y7. 37158 was spare at Lynn today and 20352 was undergoing inspection.


Thursday 26th May 2011 ~ Knocked Out

Clever planning yesterday meant that today two out of the three single decker turns could revert to Gemini operation. As expected 37158 re-emerged on X1 duty with Y13 instead of 20126 and King's Lynn were able to use 37578 in place of a Scania. 20352 was in action however and plyed forth on K3 - a great improvement comfortwise on the use of 65532 yesterday.
At lunchtime I had the pleasure of meeting up with Malcolm from Lowestoft, one of our regular contributors. He had a trip out by X1 to Wisbech, but sensibly broke his journey en route for refreshment purposes. Amongst the vehicles he saw was 37575 in King's Lynn garage having just arrived back from its MOT at Bexwell. we enjoyed a good half hour or more catching up and during this time K16 came in with 37160 and then Y13 eastbound came in with 37158 :

37158 back on X1 duty before departure as the 13.56 Wisbech to Lowestoft today.
 Afternoon punctuality eastbound was hit and miss and noted from X1 hq were 37569 on K14, 12 late ; 37570 on K15 4 late ; 37160 on K16 9 late and later 37159 on K18 4 late.

Wednesday 25th May 2011 ~ The Full Monty

I thought the days of Scanias doing complete X1 diagrams had gone forever, but today, such was the predicament that the operators found themselves in, that K3 was worked throughout by 65532. This last happened by my records on 17th September 2009.

In addition 20352 was out on K5 and 20126 worked L8, which is seldom anything other than a B9. By putting it on L8, this insured that the coach ended up at Yarmouth this evening. Tomorrow it should be possible to replace 126 as again today 37158 was in use locally at Yarmouth, operating 881 contract from Carlton Colville to East Norfolk College.
Malcolm reports from Lowestoft : "Rachel had 37563 on K14 this morning. At the bus station I saw 37571 working K17 as usual,  34112 arrived on the 09.10 ex Norwich X2.  37567 came in on K18, but it then went down to the garage from where 37157 arrived to work K18 10.55 to Peterborough. Before it could leave, it had a faulty starter switch and in the end passengers had to get onto 37574 which worked the next service, K19. 37157 departed a few minutes after 37574 still showing X1 Peterborough on the destination screen so K18 must have been reinstated and it departed 33 minutes late. Rachel had 20352 on the way home and it was 15 minutes late".
So it looks like the errant 37157 went empty for part of its journey. By the time it reached Wisbech it was only 2 minutes late. Overall, timekeeping was pretty good today and K14 12.48 Wisbech to Peterborough was actually seen running 2 minutes early with 37563. K16 had 37156 which is still noisy and due to its legendary slow speed. Bruce made contingency plans just in case ......

37578 was out of service at Vancouver Avenue today, hence the need for 65532 to work. 37575/6/7 were also unavailable as previously advised.


Tuesday May 24th 2011 ~ It Takes All Sorts (of buses)

Quite a trying day for the operators today, but with a minimum of inconvenience caused to the travelling public. King's Lynn managed to provide ten Geminis for eleven turns, the odd one out being K3 with coach 20352.
At the other end, the repair of 37578 at Yarmouth saw this used on Y6 leaving 37158 spare and this did the 07.52 X1 shuttle from Gorleston to Norwich. Lowestoft also had a spare B7, 37157 which was reported by Malcolm on the  09.40 Norwich to Lowestoft X2. 34157 replaced this on the 11.08 return. Meanwhile, coach 20126 was used on X1 turn L11 which it operated all day.

Some days things all hold together, but today was not one of those ! I suppose seeing various Geminis appearing with a new advert for 'Kung Fu Panda 2' should have made me realise it was going to be one of those days.
First dilemma was when 37572 on K5 was in trouble with an air problem, into King's Lynn at 10.27, it was replaced by 37156 which was taken off L10. This then left L10, the 10.15 to Peterborough to go forward with Scania 65532. The obvious intention was to make good 37572 so that it could knock the town bus out on its return from Peterborough, this was to be thwarted though when 37574 working K15 suffered a water leak. 574 reached King's Lynn at 12.40 and after some delay, a repaired 37572 was seen leaving Vancouver Avenue at 12.56 heading down to the bus station to replace 574 on the 12.45 to Peterborough. All this meant that when 65532 came in from Peterborough at 12.55, there was nothing more suitable left to relieve it with the result that the Scania went all the way through to Lowestoft on L10.
37576 was seen being towed to Volvo at Norwich just before lunch. Slight axle damage has been caused after a wheel bearing shattered and this work was unable to be carried out at Lynn depot.
After almost ten hours on the X1, this evening 65532 was replaced with some sense of irony by 20352. The latter had come in at 19.07, been refuelled and cleaned and was then sent back to King's Lynn bus station to operate the 19.50 to Peterborough.
Here are some pictures of events today....

On loan B7 Profile coach 20352 looks quite smart as it arrives at Wisbech on K3 this morning. 37578 on the  08.48 to Peterborough (Y6) can be seen in the background.

65532 worked throughout on the 11.35 Peterborough - Lowestoft today. It is seen here on Walpole A47 Flyover. (picture : Bruce Billingham)

Bruce was on hand to capture a second successive X1 turn with unorthodox power. 20126 descends from the A47 flyover today working L11 12.05 Peterborough - Lowestoft.

At the other end.... 20352 earning its keep, seen entering Great Yarmouth Market Place on the 13.55 from Lowestoft (K3).  Photo courtesy East Norfolk Bus Blog / RN

A discussion on how to 'Drive Green' with a Scania is taking place as 20352 prepares to replace 65532 this evening.

Well fancy meeting you here ! 20126 on L11 meets 65532 heading for Vancouver Avenue this evening.


Monday May 23rd 2011 ~ Buses Behaving Badly

So a new week begins with 37575/6/7/8 all off the road for a variety of reasons, all previously discussed. In contrast today Lowestoft had 37156 in hand and this worked a full X2 turn, doing the 09.38, 12.38 & 15.38 departures to Norwich, all viewed by Michael B. 37578 was recovered enough at Yarmouth to work the 07.52 Gorleston - Norwich - Yarmouth shuttle.
King's Lynn serviced 37570 first thing so that it could work K5 and predictably 20352 was on K3 and 20126 on K14. These two coaches were responsible for the heaviest delayed services through Wisbech today. K3 was 12 late on the 08.56 to Lowestoft and K14 was 9 late in to work the 14.26 eastbound.
I managed to miss 37571 in both directions on K17 today, but I am told it did run. Tonight two swaps at King's Lynn involved K2, in at 18.27 from Peterborough with 37565 and out at 18.32 with 37566 (this had just arrived on Y7) and the 20.27 in from Peterborough (Y6) was 37572, removed for servicing and replaced by 37159.

37160 passes Wisbech park with L10 19.50 King's Lynn to Peterborough this evening, it was running about 7 minutes behind time, probably due to an A47 accident at West Bilney which delayed K18 and Mr. Speed by 15 minutes.

Sunday 22nd May 2011 ~ Tidying Up

I seem to have been bombarded with info and pictures lately, which is excellent and I'm certainly not complaining. It does mean though that I sometimes forget to include all the stuff that you send me. For example, on Thursday Christine sent a message to say she had seen 66126 (S116JTP) arriving at 09.30 in Norwich with an inbound X1 shuttle. Now I have to admit that I didn't know what sort of bus this was, but I did find a picture of it on Jamie Vendy's Flickr site. Knowing Jamie, I'm sure he won't mind me using it. You can find his photos at :

66126 at Yarmouth Market Gates. Photo courtesy of Jamie Vendie.

Another picture I was sent recently was a nice pair of B10M coaches, again at Yarmouth, but now used as driver trainers ....

Nice to see the old Barbie livery again. Photo by our man in the know !

Continuing on a Yarmouth theme, here is a picture sent by Des of early morning at Caister Road on Friday

The smaller fleet number on 37568 is noticeable here, it was acquired during accident damage repairs.

Today was a rather uneventful day on the X1, although there were two consecutive services worked by B7 Geminis. The hourly departures out of Yarmouth from 07.30 were 37156, 37157 and 37568. 37572 was spare and 37578 was also present (possibly still with adblu problems). The driver's shuttle to Norwich was Royale 34111 (pictured by Des, right).
The other Geminis in action today were ;
K1 37565
K2 37573
K3 37567
K4 37566
K5 37579
K6 37569
L10 37574

Finally, fuel prices from Des :134.9 Tesco Lowestoft,
133.9 Sainsburys Norwich, 135.9 Sainsburys Easton
and 135.9 Tesco Lynn.


Saturday May 21st 2011 ~ More Blow Ups

I had a phone call from Peter this morning : "I suppose you know there's a single decker on the X1 don't you ?" he asked, "Ah" I replied all smug, "That'll be the white coach won't it ?". "Well actually no " he said, "I'm near Thorney and it's one of those Scania King's Lynn town buses !".
So it was that I drove up to Bruces at Walpole Highway and we waited to see what would turn up. Timekeeping was obviously OK as firstly 37566 went winging by on L11 07.15 from Lowestoft and a few seconds later, bang on time...............

 65527 came storming along with a full load on Y7 10.05 from Peterborough. This wasn't the only surprise today though. Y10 was worked by 20126, though it was in the wars at one stage and had to visit Vancouver Avenue garage because it was overheating. Although I couldn't be certain, it seems to have got to Lynn OK and then gone to the garage for attention instead of working the 10.15 to Peterborough. It did get at least as far as Wisbech eventually though, as Bruce phoned to say he'd seen it passing by 14 late on the return 11.35 from Peterborough. The Southgates webcam confirmed this and it was seen here at 13.03 inbound and 13.22 outbound to Lowestoft, by this time still about 15 late.
Now why was all this happening after as Des said, there had been nothing much to write about ? Well the King's Lynn B9s seem to have a bug. 37576 was still resident over the pits in Lynn garage, presumably awaiting parts, 37577 is still at Full Circle being repaired, 37578 went down at Yarmouth with an adblu fault, hence 20126 appearing and now 37575 is due to begin its MOT preparation work. The reason for 65527 doing a trip to Peterborough this morning was that 37569 arrived in Lynn with a blown alternator (yes another one, see yesterday) and had to be quickly repaired so that it could relieve the Scania and take up its turn at 11.32 to Lowestoft, where it was seen arriving by Malcolm.. This still left a shortfall and Profile 20352 filled the void by working K5 all day.
From Lowestoft, Malcolm reports "37156 arrived on K18 and return, 37579 was on K19 with the destination screen working properly now and 37157 came in 10 minutes late on K1".

20126 making a fine sight on the 16.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough near Tilney All Saints at just after 20.00 this evening.

Friday May 20th 2011 ~ Low Floor Coach ?

Well not exactly, but a coach with a disabled ramp, 20352 took to the road this morning at last. It had last worked on the route at the end of September 2009. Rather oddly it was chosen to work K4 at 07.15 from Lynn to Peterborough, thanks to Marcus for the report. It was removed on the way back at Lynn where K4 went forward with 37578. This was seen thanks to Cheryl who was tipped off that K4 might be interesting , "Do you call 578 interesting ?" she quipped. K5 which had started with 37571 was then taken out for servicing and the Profile took over and worked forward from Lynn at 10.32 to Lowestoft.
37565 overheated at Peterborough whilst on L12 this morning and fitters were despatched to the rail station to change a belt, 565 was soon back on its booked turn and was seen this evening arriving on L12 from Lowestoft. The Geminis have been reliable lately, so wouldn't you know it, later another one expired at Peterborough station. This time it was 37157 which was due to work L10 21.10 back to Lynn, this required fitters attention and was coaxed back to Vancouver Avenue where a new alternator was fitted.

37563 passes King's Lynn railway station this morning en route to Lowestoft on K1
 Bruce and myself joined Des and Arthur today and went on a jolly to London. Des travelled on Y6 both ways with 37567. We were surprised by the large number of London buses (not all Geminis either) which had the noisy fan problem.

One of the many London Geminis we saw today, this 188 was photographed in Greenwich.

Us (any similarity with the cast of 'Last Of The Summer Wine' is purely coincidental) having walked the foot tunnel under the Thames from Greenwich to the Isle Of Dogs.

Thursday May 19th 2011 ~ Is That It ?

The X1 has definitely been going through one of those weeks where effectively, nothing is happening. Knowing the X1 like I do though, it can only be a matter of time before something interesting crops up !
Punctuality was good today, but nosedived in mid afternoon with the following being seen through Wisbech :

K18 37160 17 x 19 late, K19 37572 7 late westbound, K1 37567 1 late westbound, K2 37566 3 late westbound, K3 37578 13 late westbound and K4 37568 17 late westbound through Walpole (see below)

37568 with Blondie trying to make up some time on K4 this afternoon.
 37565 on K16 was changed over at Lowestoft for 37156 and 37576 which was in for servicing at King's Lynn today was strangely still in bits this evening suggesting that it may have a problem. Former Stansted coach 20352 has had all the associated vinyls removed in preparation for use on the X1.


Wednesday 18th May 2011 ~ The Workers

Kerry, Calvin (evening maintenance), Vera, Dale, Steven and John with 37568 & 37578
Well I thought you'd like to see the King's Lynn garage evening shift. These are some of the people who keep your X1s clean and tidy - well at least to begin the day. They kindly agreed to have their picture taken before the forthcoming changes to staffing here. Some of you will recognise Calvin as he was until fairly recently an X1 driver.
The very peaceful time on the X1 continues. Today 37575 was kept in at Lynn, so most unusually Lowestoft's 37565 took K19. It's possible that the driver simply took the wrong bus with the numbers being similar ! K2 which was 37568 came off this turn at just before 18.30 tonight and 37570 which had just come in on Y7 returned east at 18.35.
At lunchtime I ended up following K14 with 37156. It was running 12 minutes late and seemed incapable of exceeding 40mph. Its fan was roaring loudly as usual. Spare Lowestoft bus today was 37563.


Tuesday 17th May 2011 ~ Schools Variety

Michael Bryant reports the two Beccles schools runs as being Royale 34112 and X1 Gemini 37578 this afternoon. 578 had been taken off K15 last night and replaced by 37157. This morning Lowestoft were able to send out 37563/5/70 & 37156 without using 37578, but this evening it was seen at Wisbech on L10 having replaced 37563. The other spare bus today was 37158 at Lynn.
Work has started on Profile 20352 at Lynn, but it still requires some repairs to its disabled access. It is due to be sorted on Thursday.


Monday 16th May 2011 ~ Mini Report

Another day with things running smoothly. 37158 off for servicing at Lynn and 37156 spare at Lowestoft which allowed it to do a school run this afternoon, presumably tied in with some X2 work. It was viewed by Michael Bryant after Malcolm had seen it at the depot in the morning.
Punctuality was pretty smart and there were only two things to note, firstly K5 with 37579 was seen at Freebridge roundabout where the A17 joins the A47 at 19.50 (spot on time), but with 'sorry not in service' on the front. Had the driver jumped the gun with the destination screen, or was 579 poorly ? Later 37578 on K15 was unable to do the last leg of this turn from Lowestoft to Lynn and 37157 off K14 was substituted.
No X1s here, but Peter says "This is the East Midlands HST which visited the Mid Norfolk Railway on Saturday. You might like to note that the train departed Peterborough as Stagecoach's direct 1025 to East Dereham service arriving at 1323 - that's 2hrs 58 mins compared to First Group's X1 1035 Peterborough to East Dereham arriving 1307 - a mere 2hrs 32 mins. So there you have it, the X1 is faster than a high speed train !!"

Sunday 15th May 2011 ~ Sunday Sightings

Piecing together the X1 movements on a Sunday can be difficult at times. Bruce and Malcolm regularly help me to complete the picture. Today my sister picked me up to go and see my brother who is in hospital at King's Lynn. We pulled out onto the main road at Walpole Highway with an X1 looming up behind us. I told Ros to pull over into a layby so we could view 37563 go by on the 13.05 ex Peterborough. "Hmmm" she said, "Now we are stuck behind that ". I replied by explaining that the B9s can put in a good turn of speed and we hadn't caught it up by the time we turned off at Terrington. On the way home, I checked my watch and informed my sister that we should, all being well, arrive at the Hardwick roundabout about the same time as the 14.05 ex Peterborough and sure enough, right on time, we pulled up at the lights just as 37569 went by.
Jamie R travelled to Walpole on the 10.05 from Peterborough which was 37565 - this is the bus which does the Martham service on arrival at Lowestoft. So that's three of the ten vehicles accounted for. Bruce obliged with seeing K1 with 37578 and K2 with 37570, both confirmed by Malcolm. Bruce also spotted K3 with 37573. Between the various parties, the remaining diagrams were seen with K4 37572, K5 37575, Y7 37564 and Y8 37157. Of course the only service running particularly late was Y8 with the B7.
37568, currently allocated to Lowestoft, looks likely to soon be a King's Lynn bus. It is seen here in Vancouver Avenue garage this evening.

Warning notice now affixed to the side of 37568. Fuel theft is now a serious business.

Saturday 14th May 2011 ~ Tedium

The low floor Gemini predominance continued today. Nothing worthy of much note, but at lunchtime the 12.45 from King's Lynn to Peterborough (K15) was 11 late with 37573 and the next service (K16) was seen at Waltonn Highway 16 late with 37566. After this the punctuality quickly improved. 37571 had a test run after repairs today and its usual turn, K17, was taken by 37579. The other 'spare' Gemini today was 37569 at Lowestoft. The remainder were all at work on the X1 save accident victim 37577.
On a Saturday, K1 often gets a B7 and today it was 37157, whereas the weekday favourite for a B7, K18, today had 37564.


Friday May 13th 2011 ~ Hunky Dory

The definition of Hunky Dory is 'satisfaction' or 'fine'. Apparently its first use was in an American song in 1862, so now you know !
Yes a perfectly normal X1 day with no failures, major delays or unorthodox vehicles operating, despite the reputation that Friday 13th has. 37568 on K16 was swapped for 37569 at Lowestoft and that was the day's news it would appear. 37574 did not return to traffic after yesterday's MOT, but this could well be because it was not needed. Ros and Neil saw it outside Vancouver Avenue having been washed this afternoon.
Delays were minimal today and reached their peak mid afternoon when passing through Wisbech were K18 eastbound 12 late (37570) and 37573 late by a similar margin westbound on K19.
Mileages. The current mileages for the Geminis are as follows :
37575 : 304
37572 : 302
37574 : 300
37579 : 299
37578 : 292
37570 : 290
37573 : 290
37576 : 288
37567 : 286
37564 : 282
37569 : 281
37577 : 280
37565 : 278
37568 : 276
37563 : 276
37157 : 265
37566 : 261
37156 : 259
37160 : 259
37158 : 248
37159 : 240
37571 : 154

Apologies for the long list of numbers there, but it seemed the best way to illustrate the differences. 37571 actually shows 185,000 on the clock, but this is because, following the Thorney crash, it had a cab fitted off another bus and the mileage was never corrected ! This is why the odometer shows 31,000 more than it should do.


Thursday 12th May 2011 ~ The X1 : A Celeb Bus Service

I suppose in a strange kind of way, I have made the X1 a sort of 'celebrity' bus service and there can't be many of those !
I must stress that this was never my intention, don't forget that if you were here at the start, this began as a blog for a few bus friends and was never intended to attract the attention of the masses. All this publicity in 2011 I find quite astonishing. Anyway, I am told that the splitting of the X1 route appears to have been shelved for the time being - even though I think all the necessary timetables / duties are in existance. This is something I am glad about, but when I was speaking to Colin Booth the other day he assured me that it will still be possible to travel from Lowestoft through to Peterborough, even though a change of bus may be necessary at some point. To be fair, this happens quite often anyway, so the public will probably barely notice. With all the X1 vehicles being required at King's Lynn for servicing etc from June, the variety promises to continue. Who knows, we may even get a coach in reserve that works (unlike 20352).

Today the timetable had barely begun when there was a failure of sorts. 37160 to be precise, which I think was on K16 06.02 from Lynn and which was halted at East Winch with the emergency buzzer sounding. Scania 65532 was sent out to assist and then went forward to Lowestoft where it must have been a rare sight. It in turn worked the 09.55 back to Peterborough as far as Lynn where 37566 had recovered from a brake fault and was able to finish the diagram. 37160 was silenced and checked over at Lynn and was ready in time to work K5.
Malcolm witnessed K1 having 37564 swapped for 37156 at Lowestoft today and Rachel had 37567 on L11 12.05 from Peterborough which was 20 late into Lowestoft. Timekeeping through Wisbech was OK today, but at teatime K19 16.05 from Peterborough (37578) became embroiled in heavy traffic and was 15 late leaving for Lowestoft.


Wednesday 11th May 2011 ~ Get Your Scania Now !

If, as is expected, all 22 town buses are transferred away from King's Lynn when the NG takeover occurs next month, there will be no repeat of today's fun when two Lynn Scanias were deputising on the X1. This is a bit ironic as coach 20352 was sent to cover for the absent 37577 and still hasn't turned a wheel in service since its arrival.
Today saw in effect a repeat of the events of April 27th, also a Wednesday. This morning 37572 was - as expected - unavailable to begin with,  as it required a new front windscreen, so with 37574 on MOT preparation, Scania 65540 was sent out to Peterborough on K3 at 06.45. On arrival back at Lynn at 09.24 it was replaced by 37578 which had come in from Lowestoft on L8 at 09.07. L8 itself left for Peterborough at 09.15 with 65532. So somewhere in the vicinity of the Southgates, the two Scanias must have passed each other ! Two weeks ago I pondered as to why the same Scania hadn't been used, not realising that this wasn't possible at the same time as keeping to timetable. Doh !
You'll probably have already guessed that the screen on 37572 was fitted in time for it to work L8 forward from Lynn to Lowestoft at 12.02. Malcolm reports one other change today which saw 37567 on K2 changed for 37158 at Lowestoft.
Punctuality was average today, Des says "My day started with 37579 at 10.12 from Yarmouth to King's Lynn on K15. We departed 8 late (10.20) - Arrival at  Lynn was 4 late (12.41). After a break I had
37571 on K17 13.45 Lynn to Peterborough on which I left 7 late (13.51) - in Wisbech the traffic was queueing from Mount Pleasant, so arrival at Peterborough rail station was 12 late at 15.11. This meant the 15.05 departure eastbound was 7 late at 15.12, but quick work at Queensgate saw me get away at 15.16. Back into Lynn at 16.28,  4 late. Finally my last turn today was with 37565 on K1 18.02 Lynn to Yarmouth, on time throughout".

It appears that King's Lynn garage will only lose three cleaning and no engineering staff from next month, one reason being that it is planned to allocate all X1 servicing requirements here, presumably meaning all the Geminis will be based here.

Blogger Goes Down

I'm sorry for the lack of posts since Monday. Tuesday's blog did appear .... and then disappeared .... and is now back again !! The reason, Blogger has been down, so lots of people have a lot of catching up to do. I'll try and catch up a bit this evening (Friday). Gerard


Tuesday 10th May 2011 ~ 1% Inaccurate !

Well basking in the glow of the kind words from 'First', it would appear that I have been letting things slip. Cheryl picks me up on yesterday's quote : "Today 37566 had another day off - something which is quite commonplace and accounts for it being the lowest mileage of the B9 fleet at less than 260,000 miles."
"Oh No it Didn't !! Ian and myself were just off to the pub at 18.00 and saw 566 leaving for Lynn on K2, come on G keep up !".  Well really ! It must have done a maintenance swap at Lowestoft, as K2 had been 567 in the morning.
Des says, re your Saturday comments : ""L12 with 37569 which is supposed to go light to Yarmouth on arrival at Lowestoft at 17.10, was held over and took over Y13 at 17.48 enabling 20115 to return light to Yarmouth." In fact, the 17.10 arrival at Lowestoft normally does the 17.25 'short' to Yarmouth and doesn't return empty". Oh Dear, I really must be more careful.
37565 had an interesting day and managed to end up working three different turns which is rare. It started the day on K1 which is into Lowestoft at 11.40, however, it was replaced by 37157 for the 11.55 back to Peterborough. 37565 was next in action on L11 16.55 to King's Lynn replacing 37160, finally it was called upon to take Y13 21.50 Lynn to Peterborough as 37156 was unable to continue.

Des brings 37571 into Wisbech on its usual turn, the 15.05 from Peterborough today. It has accumulated over 83,000 miles since returning to service on September 2nd 2010.
 The timetable was pretty much kept to today, with morning delays of about 3 minutes and afternoon services largely on time.
Mr. Speed reports on tonight's reception for the victorious Norwich City team : "37157 was my bus on K1 18.02 King's Lynn - Great Yarmouth and we were on time. This bus departs Norwich at 19.45.  I had already spoken to my manager regarding the possibility that this service should run through to Lowestoft,  to clear the passengers from the Norwich City Celebrations and thus give less of a burden to the 20.15 Norwich to Lowestoft. I was given permission to operate whatever I thought best. I approached the bus station with Yarmouth on the destination, but upon seeing many hundreds of passengers, most in yellow and green, I quickly changed the destination to Lowestoft. Most of the passengers were waiting for the Park & Ride services, passengers queued the width of the main foot crossing right across the road. Like the dead sea parting, a gap just big enough for the bus to squeeze through was cleared". Well done that man !
Tonight 37572 on K5 arrived back at King's Lynn depot with a large crack down the driver's windscreen, this has potential to disrupt services in the morning I reckon, as there are no Excel vehicles spare at this end.
Tomorrow staff at Lynn will be told details of any redundancies being made following the loss of the local services.
A petrol price update provided by eagle eyed Des shows : 132.9 Tesco Lowestoft, 135.9 Sainsburys Norwich, 136.9 Sainsburys Easton, 135.9 Tesco Lynn. Makes a change for Lynn not to be the most expensive.


Monday 9th May 2011 ~ The X1 Blog comes of age

Following protracted negotiations over the last 4 months, the X1 blog finally reached the TV screens of ITV Anglia region viewers today. Stuart Leithes who conducted the interview greeted me with the words "Ah you are Gerard. the man who has been so hard to track down". The reason being, that I have been incredibly busy since the original 'story' broke in the 'EDP', 'Sun' and 'Mail'.
I met Stuart at King's Lynn bus station this morning and thanks to him was introduced to Colin Booth, First's operations director and local supremo Rosemary Parry. It was great to know that the blog is being read, not only by enthusiasts but also by the company themselves and that your observations can be helpful to them too. The interview went well and if you missed it, I am reliably informed that it can be seen at :

Today 37566 had another day off - something which is quite commonplace and accounts for it being the lowest mileage of the B9 fleet at less than 260,000 miles. Other than accident victim 37577, the only other absent B9 was 37572 which was being attended to by Mr. Volvo man in King's Lynn garage. The urgency was so that 37574 can be stopped for MOT tomorrow if 572 is back.
Some morning services were slightly late coming in to Lynn from Lowestoft, but otherwise it was a good day. Two new advertising campaigns began for BT Spring Watch Offers and Milk, see below...

37564 with new BT advert about to depart from King's Lynn bus station at 11.15 on L12 today.

37568 near Walpole Highway on L8 10.35 from Peterborough with new advertising for Milk.


Sunday May 8th 2011 ~ R!P 20107

The Lowestoft fitters kindly took a picture of the moment when 'The Beast' was killed and was about to be transported off to the scrapyard, thanks to Syd and James here it is.....

The only B10M coaches left in East Anglia now are 20102 at Ipswich, 20115/126 at Yarmouth and the driver trainers. Today was a dignified procession of Geminis including B7 37157 out of Yarmouth.
King's Lynn will have to improvise in the morning and MOT prep on 37574 is now expected to be delayed following the failure of 37572 yesterday. 37570 off a safety service should do K5.


Saturday 7th May 2011 ~ Fleeting Appearance

How long before scenes like this become just a memory ? 20115, now with a newly stencilled rear fleet number heads out of Walton Highway on the 13.05 from Peterborough today.
 For some reason 37571 was unavailable at Yarmouth first thing and as a result, Y13 was sent out with B10M coach 20115. This did the short trip to Lowestoft and then the 08.15 to Peterborough and 13.05 return.
On a Saturday this turn is then supposed to work the 17.48 back to Peterborough. With an arrival time in Lowestoft at 17.40, this gives one of the weeks shortest turn rounds of just 8 minutes. L12 with 37569 which is supposed to go light to Yarmouth on arrival at Lowestoft at 17.10, was held over and took over Y13 at 17.48 enabling 20115 to return light to Yarmouth.
37572 was in trouble this afternoon, (it passed the 300,000 mile landmark on Wednesday). It worked the 11.25 from Lowestoft with its No. 3 injector failed and came off at King's Lynn for (I believe) 37579 to work forward.
Timekeeping was very good today with lighter traffic than of late.
With the Campbells tower on the left 20115 negotiates a roundabout on Nar Ouse Way this afternoon.

Friday 6th May 2011 ~ Dyscalculia

What I hear you ask ? Dyscalculia ? Well I have to confess, I didn't know what it meant, but the definition  is someone who has difficulty in understanding numbers/maths. I hadn't realised I was a sufferer until today when I mistook 37159 for 37156. Incredible though, Syd sent me an email in which he did exactly the same thing ! He emailed me the correction later, see his picture below.
37159 was on L10 today and 37156 did half a shift as Malcolm explains "I saw 37156 in Gordon Road and a few minutes later it came into the bus station, followed by 37566 on K16, 37156 worked K16 from Lowestoft and 37566 went to the garage. Later 37567 brought Rachel home from college on Y9 arriving 10 late".

37159 seen at Gorleston (Library) stop this afternoon with Des at the helm. (Syd Eade).
K18 10.55 from Lowestoft failed at Dereham this afternoon with 37160 overheating. It required a radiator flush and 37571 took over the turn after servicing during the morning. As a result the entire Gemini fleet were in use on the X1 today, apart from the missing accident damaged 37577. Timekeeping was pretty good for a Friday, worst offender seen was 37157 on L11 which was 17 late returning from Peterborough.

Thursday 5th May 2011 ~ Referendum Day

We don't have a referendum very often in this country and then when we do, it is pretty much guaranteed to have a predictable result. Is it me, or am I wrong in thinking that as we get older, we become less receptive to change (a bit like Bruce & Co who hate to see the coaches go)?  Surely then, when the vast majority of people who vote are aged between 45 & 80, the likelihood of them voting for a change to something they've always been used to is bound to fail ? Anyway, me being at the polling station all day meant Bruce was our observer today with help from the usual quarters.
A crafty swap overnight resulted in 20126 being kept at Yarmouth and 37565 replacing it. The latter was not in the best of health though and after working to King's Lynn on Y13, retired to the garage for attention. Bruce saw Richard & Co. poring over the engine. The malady could not have been too bad though, as it ran light to Wisbech and resumed its duty on the 13.56 to Lowestoft.
Last night 37156 on Y6 was taken off at Lynn and the 20.35 to Lowestoft proceeded with 37567 which had come in on L11. Today 37156 did the first part of K18 and was changed at Lowestoft for 37564. Rachel travelled on L11 today with a revived 37569.
Y9 was also the subject of a bus change with 37158 being swapped for 37578  at Lynn at 09.45. All this meant that the day was entirely low floor for a change.

37578 working Y9 back to King's Lynn this afternoon, photographed at Hopton at 16.15 by Grahame Bessey.


Wednesday May 4th 2011 ~ Star Wars Day........

.....or so says Peter "May the Fourth Be With You ". Groans all round I think. I had a surprise this morning when Y6 which is fairly solid B9 had 37156 and even more unusual was L8 - the longest X1 turn - which turned up at Wisbech with 20126.

20126 seen here in the Magdalen Estate in Gorleston at 14.45 today. Photo : Syd Eade
  Des says "37569 did start the day as the first bus from Lowestoft but was changed at Acle for 20126 due to oil pressure problems with the B9". A visit to Gasworks Road for remedial work followed. Malcolm says "37569 then came in empty from the garage and worked the 15.03 X2 service to Norwich, however, it returned to the bus station at 15.11 and was declared a failure. It was replaced by 42458 which departed at 1523, 20 minutes late". More repairs required me thinks.
X1 punctuality was much better today and heaviest delay involved 20126 which had obviously lost time due to replacing 37569. It was 10 late from Wisbech but had recouped 5 minutes of this on its return.

37157 with the tell tale 'Sorry' in the side  window

There was a hiccup this afternoon though, when K15 with 37578 was 6 late from Wisbech at 13.24 heading west. There was then a gap until 37571 on K17 just a minute late at 14.19. K16 DID appear however, just a minute behind K17, running 'not in service'.
37157 (seen here) was the delayed vehicle. I was unable to monitor workings later, but would imagine it turned round at Thorney.

Interesting vehicles used on the X1 shuttles this afternoon were 37565 on the 16.40 Norwich to Gorleston followed an hour later at 17.40 by 20115. Thanks to Des for this info.

Syd photographed former X1 regular, Royale 34108 in Gorleston today. "Shame about the position of the sun" says Syd, " but having an X1 connection, thought you'd like it just the same". Certainly do Syd, thanks again.


Tuesday May 3rd 2011 ~ Back To School, Back To Work

After a good holiday it was back to  the work schedule today. As quite often happens after a Bank Holiday, congestion into Wisbech in the morning rush was quite bad. Queues were back to the 'Locomotive' pub from Freebridge Roundabout and a new set of traffic lights have been installed at St. Augustines Road / De Havilland Road junction, which seems to make matters worse. Y6 with 37576 is due off Wisbech for Peterborough at 08.48 and this was delayed because of this, K3 with 37160 was 6 late from Peterborough and sounded quite noisy - another fan victim ?

37576 at Caister Road before its early morning departure to work Y6. Photo DS
 Morning services to and from Peterborough passed me as follows :
Y7 37567 7 x 7 late

and here is 37567 before departure from King's Lynn to Peterborough on Y7. DS
L8 37566 1 early x 5 late
Y9 37568 3 x 6 late
L10 37563 1 x 11 late
L11 37157 9 x 16 late

Things improved after this, but other delayed services from Peterborough were K14 with coach 20126 13 late, 37579 on K16 12 late and 37571 on K17 10 late. K18 with 37156 was only 2 late on the 14.48 to Peterborough, but was 16 late returning.
At the Lowestoft end, Paul reports 37565 on the 17.30 Beccles to Lowestoft X2 and Malcolm had seen it earlier departing on the 15.08 Lowestoft to Norwich

37563 and 37157 await forwarding to  Vancouver Avenue garage after arrival at Lynn tonight on L10 and L11 - what worked L10 to Peterborough at 19.50 is unknown, possibly 37568 off Y9. DS

 An A47 accident this evening may have beeen why L8 swapped 37566 for 37567 off Y7 and as reported above 37563 also looks to have been replaced after arriving late.


Monday May 2nd 2011 ~ Canaries On The Rampage

When the B12 Paragons for the X94 (as it was then) were brand new, I am told on good authority, that several were used to ferry fans of Norwich City football club to Cardiff,  for the play off final at the Millennium Stadium against Birmingham City. Unfortunately, on that occasion, on 12th May 2002, all us canary fans returned as sick as parrots to East Anglia after we lost the game. I know you see, cuz I was there.
Something else happened today which also involved Cardiff and Norwich, but I expect, even if you are not a fan of footie, you will have, by now, heard about it. Just a note for Brucie, on April 9th 2005 - the last time Norwich played Manchester United at Carrow Road, we won 2-0.
Anyway (you can tell nothing much happened on the X1 today can't you ?), many daytime services ran fairly late and in the case of the 14.10 from Peterborough (supposedly 37572) it hadn't appeared  20 minutes after its booked time through Walpole. Derek viewed an elephant at South Lynn at 14.10 'not in service', so may be this was 572 ? The 13.10 from Peterborough had 37573 taken off at King's Lynn for cleaning after a passenger was unwell and the service proceeded eastbound with 37574 departing only 5 late.

37575 in more Bank Holiday sunshine taking the 09.00 Wisbech - Lowestoft past Bruce's today.
All B9 Geminis again today, Malcolm popped down to Lowestoft bus station and says "Saw 37567 work K5 and 37576 arrived on K6, already with 1a Martham on the destination blind".
Jamie Vendy writes "Hey G, I was just having thoughts about the recent arrival of four Gemini 2s to the Coastliner operated by Transdev and wonder why First never really tried to make a more iconic branding  for the X1 Corridor. It would surely attract more people into using the X1 and even though Coastliner battles against the train service, it does well because of the way it is branded". 
Now who says we are never controversial ? Here's a picture from JV of one of the Coastliner Geminis ..

Sunday May 1st 2011 ~ Low (Floor) Sunday

The other day I put out a plea for confirmation of the whereabouts of 20102. Syd comes to the rescue and says "James and myself  had a ‘Grand Day Out’ yesterday using an Anglia Day Ranger but as usual it all went haywire. The highlight was getting a run from Norwich to Cambridge and back behind 47 712 ( now not Lady Diana Spencer ) on hauled stock and with an operating buffet!!!!  We eventually got to Ipswich however and found 20102 lurking in the Bus Station with 179 on its destination, this being an infrequent service to Woodbridge via country lanes. Being a Saturday this wasn’t a school requirement, and the display may have been left over from Friday of course.  At least it confirms that she is there". Well thanks for that Syd and he sends us a picture too :

20102's flirtation with the X1 was a brief one therefore and it appeared on six days between 18th and 24th April.
Syd also adds in a later email for those interested in trains : "...just to show I wasnt joking about the 47 on Norwich-Cambridge, I have found a bit of video of it on starts at 3 minutes in.

Apparently the 47 was used because of a bridge between Norwich and Ipswich being struck by a lorry, causing chaos.

Now what about the X1 today ? Malcolm says "This afternoon I saw 37573 in Lowestoft bus station which worked K5, 37566 arrived 10 minutes late working K6 & had 1A Martham on its destination blind". K6 is  booked to continue its work on the Martham service in the Sunday timetable.
Des adds "37575 on Y9 from Yarmouth to Lynn at 09.30, I was on time until traffic at Hardwick and a diversion via Tennyson Avenue, arriving Lynn 24 late (12.08). This was because of today's Bespak Grand East Anglia Run. Des went back east with 37572 on Y7 12.35 from Lynn as far as Norwich and was on time throughout. His taxi back to Yarmouth was, cue fanfare........... a resuscitated 20115 and he finishes "37565 spotted going into Norwich on X2 approx 14.30".
The use of Geminis on weekend X2s is definitely becoming more commonplace these days. 37160 worked K1 yesterday which is due to finish at Yarmouth, but  it also did the last leg of K2 which ends up at Lynn, instead of 37575, hence the latter being at Yarmouth this morning.
The X1 was completely B9 Geminis today and B7 Profile coach 20352 remains at King's Lynn, keeping up the types reputation for idleness. It is awaiting parts before a safety service can proceed.

37571 in today's lovely sunshine seen approaching Walpole with a generous splattering of squashed insects on the front ! It was en route to Peterborough on K4 13.48 from Lowestoft.