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Wednesday December 28th 2011 ~ Last Post of the Year

I'm off to Bonnie Edinburgh for the Hogmanay celebrations after a break of a few years. My regular contacts have kindly agreed to stand in for me in my absence, so I will do a combined blog when I return. If I get time, I might also do a review of 2011, similar to that for 2010.
Today was at least sunny after yesterday's gloom. Delays didn't seem to be as bad as yesterday and it was back to a weekday service. 37579 travelled back to King's Lynn for screen repair and 20115 was then taken back to Yarmouth. 37572 on K14 was swapped at 12.15 for 37566 off repairs. It is always a bit of a challenge for Richard & Co at this time of year as the fortnightly safety services still have to be carried out, despite the loss of regular working days. At least with Christmas Day being on a Sunday things weren't quite as bad as some years past.
About the most interesting vehicle working into Wisbech today was this B10M coach on Emblings 380 service from March. If it looks a little familiar, it is because it is none other than R841DVF, now re-registered as TIL 7772. This coach was 20141 in the First fleet and was an X1 regular for many years. Its last working on the X1 was on October 22nd 2008.
The MaX1 zone details

Tuesday 27th December 2011 ~ Sales Rush

As is customary, more than a few people were reported awaiting buses which never ran on Boxing Day. After a fruitless wait, one couple spent time in the pub at Terrington before taking a taxi in to town according to Bruce. Today buses seemed heavily loaded and with an hourly service this was not unexpected. 37576 with the 14.22 Wisbech to Peterborough was seen departing along South Brink 30 minutes late and the 13.00 Wisbech to Lowestoft was around 20 late.  It was late afternoon before punctuality improved.
Coach 20115 spent the day in Vancouver Avenue along with an assortment of Geminis. One swap occurred when 37577 was taken out of service for cleaning after a passenger mishap and 37157 took its place.
Des was in Gorleston High Street this morning and espied 37572 on L10 09.48 from Lowestoft. It was already 11 late and nearly full, 37 passengers boarded and nine were left behind. This first westbound service is always very busy, but from Jamuary 8th this problem may be alleviated with the implementation of buses at 07.08, 08.08 & 09.08 from the JPH westbound. As things stand, Yarmouth garage doesn't open until 07.00, so this could be interesting !


I hope you all have a grand old time and thankfully we have not had any conflagrations like this one :

Cheers Gerard

Saturday December 24th 2011 ~ The Ghost of Christmas Past

These days the only chance of an unusual working on the X1 seems to rely on a mishap taking place at the eastern end of the route. This afternoon 37579 arrived in Lowestoft to work 13.55 K5 to Peterborough with a huge crack across its windscreen. The only option was to call 20115 out of Yarmouth to work forward at 14.42. I'd done all my Christmas 'stuff' so thought I'd pop out to get a picture of it. I went over on 37565 on K18 (yes twice I've travelled on it in less than 24 hours !) and 20115 arrived bang on time. With passengers boarded on 'Cinderella', the driver was just about to depart at 17.15 when the evil stepmother 37157 appeared ("It's behind you !!"and as much to our driver's surprise as anyones) we were all required to disembark and board the cold Gemini. What a pantomime ! As it turned out, with 37566/8 both stopped at Vancouver Avenue for an adblue fault and an injector sleeve , this was the only spare Gemini available. Not sure why 20115 was taken off so suddenly, even if it did have its usual screeching fanbelt when started.
The services seemed to run within about 10 minutes of time today and by mid afternoon, everything appeared to be on time.
I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and thank those of you who have contributed in any way this month.  G

Thursday 22nd December & Friday 23rd December 2011 ~ Christmas Countdown

As the Christmas rush nears its conclusion, the queues in and out of the towns served by the X1 grow ever longer, as shown by the increasing delays related here.

Thursday December 22nd

Mid afternoon saw the heaviest delays in the west. Most services had run within 10 minutes of time, but K14 came back from Peterborough 24 late with 37158 to work the 14.26 Wisbech to Lowestoft, K15 was 15 late with 36180 and K16 with 37157 had lost 27 minutes for the 15.26 departure.
37569 on K3 was swapped for 37575 which was seen at Walsoken 23 late heading west. 37575 had earlier worked Y13 to Lynn for 37574 forward at 11.45.
Once again the old girls were in service on the X2, 34158 on the 12.08 Lowestoft to Norwich and 34156 on the following 12.38.
Dale gives 37160 a bath at King's Lynn
Friday December 23rd

Not surprisingly, the timetable unravelled again today. Late morning delays of 15 minutes were standard, but 37158 on L11 was 16 late westbound and 31 late returning. 37565 with L12 was -12/-20 respectively. After Y13, services from Peterborough then passed Wisbech as follows : K14 37573 27 late, K15 36180 38 late and K16 37160 37 late. At least by this time passengers were being inconvenienced less as the delay had become over 30 minutes !
Eventually things got back on course with 37564 on K4 seen departing Quensgate at 18.22. Cheryl and myself were post Christmas party passengers on L12 tonight with 37565. My first trip with this one which was not as cold as some. At Wisbech everyone left apart from myself and we were joined by two drunks who were en route to Walton Highway and King's Lynn. They were of very limited vocabulary and it reminded me of what our late night drivers have to endure at times. Our driver handled them very well and I was back to Walpole on time.
Des had an interesting day, taking 37159 on Y9 06.45 James Paget Hospital - King's Lynn on time. En route he saw an Eddie Stobart had left the road at Little Fransham. It had been heading east and had ploughed into a lamp post bringing down power lines. Temporary traffic lights had been set up and for the Eddie watchers, it was H5616 Alison Jean.
 Later taking 37570 on L8 15.25 ex Lowestoft, 37159 was seen in Gorleston Magdalen Estate with passengers, but 'not in service' 35 late. My relieving driver was still on his break when I rolled into Yarmouth due to the heavy traffic.


Friday 16th December 2011 - Wednesday 21st December 2011 ~ The Megablogs Continue

Well you all know what it's like at this time of the year, the days flash past and before you know it, Christmas has arrived. Cheryl says "Emblings bus called 'Kim' is decorated with tinsel, why can't 'First' do the same ?" Well I guess it might cost them a lot of money dear ! Let's have a quick look at recent events, oh and apologies for the large posting again.
Especially for Cheryl, here is another smaller operator's B10M decorated for the Festive season !
Friday 16th December : The mystery of 37160 and its MOT continues - I am told it has not taken place yet, so we will see what happens ! Today 37576 was seen on K5 passing me 6 late at 09.56 only to reappear on L12 21 late at 12.11. It has been having adblue problems of late. 37572 had been taken off L12 and K5 had gone forward with 37160, itself having started out on K4 but 37157 replaced it after attention to its heating system. This evening L8 had 37571 swapped for 37578 off Y7.
For a Friday near Christmas, punctuality was fair - apart from 37576 mentioned above, all other turns were reasonably near time. 37566 on K17 15.05 ex Peterborough was the poorest performer being 15 late.
Des says "Wellington Road in Dereham has been closed since Wednesday with roadworks due to finish today. Here's a nice little map (click to enlarge)

Saturday 17th December : I had a trip to Cambridge today and used the X1 to get me to Lynn. Bruce kindly agreed to give me a lift to and from Walpole Highway as beer drinking was involved.
I took Y7 with 37579 which was reasonably loaded, it is such a shame that the lack of air conditioning on these buses inevitably means windows are covered in condensation spoiling the good views which are affordable. Despite this handicap I was able to clear the window to look out for L11 going the other way - I needn't have bothered as it didn't run and 37574 was viewed lurking in Vancouver Avenue as we passed. We'd seen L12 on Nar Ouse Way with 37158. So in the end I was glad I was travelling east rather than a 30 minute wait going west.

37579 departs King's Lynn as the 11.32 to Lowestoft today. It is unique in the X1 fleet in retaining the small font destination display.
 I returned on Y10 with 37157 which was lovely and warm upstairs and with Blondie Karen in charge as far as the Southgates. After the obligatory 5 minute changeover, we set off again and our driver did his best to make up the lost time. 37569, 37572 & 37160 were not seen on the route today, although it is quite possible that one of them replaced 37574 on L11.

37579 still looks remarkably clean despite the wet conditions today.
Des writes "Icy roads off the main A47 made me 8 late into Lynn with 37579 on Y7 06.22 ex Yarmouth this morning. Later I was 4 late departing Lowestoft on the 13.55 (K5) westbound with 37571 after I had to take it to Gasworks Road for cleaning after some passenger illness. The roadworks in Dereham had not finished as expected and it was not until early afternoon that the road reopened and K3 was able to use the normal route".
On the X2 the new arrivals seem to be fairly reliable. Malcolm saw 32652/4/6 all in action today.

Sunday 18th December : The usual quiet Sunday with the only notable occurrence being the use of loan Gemini 36180 on K4 which ends up at Yarmouth (tut tut !). 37574 was parked front end in at Vancouver Avenue which is most unusual - perhaps after it was taken off L11 yesterday. Peter sent a text : " On a filthy (well outside anyway) 37567 on the 14.10 ex Peterborough. The driver got out at the bus station to wipe his mirrors and also came round to our front nearside window and wiped a clean square. He said "There you go mate, now you can see where you are going" ! Excellent ! He must have realised I was a friend of the X1 blogmeister". Des explains the current problems with 37576 which he drove again today "It is something to do with the adblue sensor being in a different position.This means 'Fill tank, Adblue system error, No Data etc' messages flag up on the dashboard and because the sensor thinks the emissions are high, the computer derates the engine performance".

Monday 19th December : Funny old world isn't it - not so long ago we had a fleet of X1s travelling about advertising the film 'Iron Man', now they have begun to appear with 'The Iron Lady' on the side ! I was otherwise engaged today at our Christmas work party so didn't see much, however, our loyal band of corespondents covered every turn. 37160 wasn't out - having an MOT maybe ??!!
36180 came back from its Great Yarmouth overnight on Y9.  Malcolm says Palatine 34157 was being used on the X2, although 32651 was spare in the bus station. Clive on EAB Group reports the sad news that former X1 vehicles 20112 & 20116 have been withdrawn by First Scotland.

Tuesday 20th December : One of those days ! The troubles began with a collapsed manhole cover between Thorney Toll and Guyhirn causing queues early this morning. These were then added to when a lorry and a car decided to have a shunt in the affected area. K2 and 37563 on the 07.30 from Peterborough passed me just 9 late with Calvin trying to make up time, but then things worsened. K3 with 37157 was 16 late into Wisbech, I missed seeing 37566 on K4, but K5 with 37569 - back in traffic at last - was 25 late. After this 37577 on Y6 was 11 down, 37574 on Y7 likewise and I missed 37567 on L8 which had been 7 late going west.
Y9 10.18 Wisbech - Peterborough with 37579 was 12 late departing and no less than 34 late coming back. 37565 was on L10 with Peter on board, he says "On the 10.48 ex Wisbech (4 late) and now the A47 is closed at Guyhirn to recover a lorry, so I'm enjoying my first ever X1 via Whittlesey - looks like it could take a while by the volume of traffic". He was not wrong, and it arrived at Peterborough bus station at 11.44.
 The delays continued into the afternoon and I saw 36180 on K15 14.05 ex Peterborough 25 late, K16 with 37571 15 late, K17 37568 23 late and K18 37159 17 late.
Des says " I had 37579 again today from the James Paget on Y9, the windscreen washer jets became blocked en route so we popped in to Vancouver Avenue for them to be cleared. Returning east on Y6, this bus had damage to a mirror, so another garage visit was required. The bus (37577) was lightly loaded and we got away at 11.27, about 20 late. Just 5 late into Norwich where K5 with 37569 was still loading. A quick call to control to suggest me running light to Lowestoft to takeover K5 at 13.55 was sanctioned and I was into Lowestoft at 13.47. 37569 then became Y6. Due to the Thorney Toll disruption, my next turn, L8 with 37567 was 18 late departing".
Cheryl was waiting for K2 at Thorney at 17.30, only to see 37563 as expected turn up, but going west instead of east. It was closely followed by 37157 on K3 and in the end 37563 went light from Peterborough to Lynn and poor Cheryl had to await the return of 37157 !

The spare bus pool was a bit depleted today with 37572 having an engine fault and 37576 stopped again with adblue problems. 37571 on Y13 was taken off at 11.40 and the 11.45 to Peterborough left Lynn with 37160. 37575 on K16 then needed replacing and 37571 was off again westbound at 13.15.

There were further problems in the evening peak after another A47 accident on the western Norwich bypass at 18.20. Y9 with 37579 got through OK, but L10 with 37565 and L11 with 37578 both became trapped in the ensuing chaos. L12 managed to avoid this and 37564 was seen arriving at Lynn on time at 20.40, however, the two delayed buses didn't arrive until after 21.00. 37574 was used to work L10 19.50 Lynn to Peterborough having come in on Y7. The A47 reopened at Longwater at 22.25.
In Lowestoft Malcolm saw 32652 having a sortie on the 101 town service to Hollow Grove while President 32210 worked the 11.38 X2 to Norwich.

Wednesday 21st December
A better day thank goodness, but the temporary lights near Thorney Toll were still in operation. Peter writes " 17 late into Peterborough on K4 with a very cold 37575 (due 08.29), but right time tonight on a sweltering 37157 on K5 18.40 eastbound. There's no happy medium with X1 heating !"
K4 was the exception though and morning services were little affected, however,  after lunch there was a dip in punctuality. Y13 with 37569 arrived into Wisbech 29 late for the 13.56 to Lowestoft and K14 didn't do much better, it was 20 late with 37160. K15 was a different story though and 36180 was 5 minutes going west and hadn't dropped any further time when it returned. Mind it did have a driver noted for punctual running at the wheel !
A couple of swaps took place this afternoon, 37567 on L8 was changed for 37572 at 12.02 and later the 17.02 Lynn to Lowestoft (K18) had 37574 swapped for a repaired 37576. Meanwhile 37573 had a day off for servicing.
The X2 continues to provide a variety of buses, thanks to Malcolm Hicks for his regular reports. Today 32656 was on the 11.38 to Norwich, 32210 was on the following 12.08 departure and later this afternoon 32652 arrived 24 late on the 12.40 ex Norwich meaning 34157 had to be found to work the 14.08 which departed 15 late.
The Fenland Citizen newspaper reports today that Nene Quay in Wisbech is to be closed eastbound from January 23rd until June 29th for the remainder of the flood defence work to be carried out. This will entail Lowestoft bound X1s taking a diversionary route, either via the A47 bypass and A1101 or via Weasenham Lane.
Thanks to all who have supplied information and photographs recently, much appreciated.


Monday 12th December - Thursday 15th December 2011 ~ No News Is Good News

Monday 12th December : The service seemed to cope well with the busy roads today. 37575 on the 15.15 Lynn to Peterborough (K1) was 10 late through Wisbech, but all other diagrams were just a few minutes behind time. 36180 was on K17 and 37158/574 were out of service along with 37569.
The A47 was closed between Wisbech & Guyhirn again after an accident this evening. L10 was noted passing through Walton Highway around 22.25 (15 late) on the 21.10 ex Peterborough. The X2 still sees Palatine workings and today Malcolm saw 34157 on the 13.40 ex Norwich. President 32210 was spare in Lowestoft bus station.

Tuesday 13th December : Chris rang this morning to say that 37577 had expired at Wisbech Cromwell Road Tesco lights at around 09.30. It was at the head of a queue of traffic with its hazards on and with its driver on the phone. The problem was trivial though as a few minutes later it was on the move again and was seen returning just 9 late.
37563 arrives at Wisbech this morning on K3 08.05 Peterborough - Lowestoft
37578 was stopped at Lynn today receiving attention to some minor collision damage. 37576 on L10 10.15 Lynn to Peterborough was 16 late from Wisbech, but after this delays were slight until K15 with 36180 which passed Wisbech 16 late westbound and 20 late returning to Lowestoft.
Des says " I was driving 37160 on the 08.15 Lowestoft - Peterborough (Y13), however, a problem occurred on departing the James Paget Hospital as the exit was blocked by a low loader - in the end had to monitor the traffic light seqence and make a safe exit via the entrance road ! Returning east from Lynn with L10, 37576 had a variety of Adblu errors showing, but then the display would totally clear for a few miles before reappearing. President 32211 which has a reconditioned engine was considered reliable enough to work the 13.40 Norwich to Lowestoft X2 today, but 32210 was still in the bus station spare.
Wednesday 14th December : Timekeeping was pretty good until late afternoon, though maybe it was roadworks at Fransham which caused K19, K1 & K2 15.18/15.48/16.18 departures from Wisbech westbound all to run 10 late. 37160 was due MOT prep this week, but it continued in service until the day of its test (believed to be today) so must have been in prime condition. Today it started out on K3, but was replaced by 36180 off servicing for the 09.33 to Lowestoft. Y6 had 37574 taken off the duty today, but why is unclear. 37563 replaced it. On the X2, 32210 had been relegated to a Bernard Matthews contract (seen by Malcolm) while Michael Bryant saw no less than three Palatines working on the X2 itself.

Thursday 15th December : A large number of swaps occurred today. As early as 08.00 it looks like 37565 came off K19 for servicing to be replaced by 37574. Y9 with 37563 had an adblu problem and 37576 took over for the 09.45 Lynn to Peterborough. Next change was on Y6 where 37570 was off at 11.00 for 37565 to work forward. 570 was pronounced OK soon afterwards and when 37157 on Y13 meeded attention, 570 took over its turn as the 11.45 to Peterborough. It just did a return trip to the city before a repaired 37563 replaced it as the 14.32 to Lowestoft. As a consequence, 37569 - still undergoing bodywork repairs (+ the absent 37156) were the only X1 buses off the road today.


Thursday December 8th 2011 - Sunday December 11th 2011 ~ Catching Up

I seem to have got well behind with the blog again (Christmas preparations and visitors being the main reasons), so here is a quick look at what's been going on of late :

Thursday 8th : K18 apparently began with 37564 and K19 with 37576, but by this afternoon they had become the other way around. An overtaking manouevre by 37576 perhaps ? Everything else was fairly normal today, 37569 is back at King's Lynn following its wheely at Acle on Saturday. It requires repairs to some panels before it can re-enter traffic. K4 had 37568 changed for 37574 at some point to facilitate booked safety services. All services noted managed to keep within 10 minutes of time except K17 with 36180. This was 6 late on the 14.18 Wisbech - Peterborough and 14 late returning.

Friday 9th : I worked a half day as I had impending visitors. An average lateness of around 10 minutes was evident in the morning, due to the extra traffic/passengers. L8 with 37570 was 14 late westbound through Wisbech and L11 with 37563 was 12 late. Bruce took over observations at lunchtime viewing 37577 on K15 running 14 late as was 37572 on K17.
37157 at Walton Highway this afternoon on K14 12.15 King's Lynn to Peterborough.
 I set out to drive to March at 15.30 and I nearly drove off the road with surprise when I met 37160 on K16 bang on time - yes and this on a Friday when it is so often the worst performer of the week ! 37579 & 36180 both had a day off at Lynn today, along with 37569. 32651/2/4 were all noted on the X2.

Saturday 10th : Gave Jamie a lift to Walpole Highway to catch Y7 09.03 to Peterborough which was 37566 spot on time. I waited to view K3 which was Blondie Karen driving 36180. Didn't see much else myself, but 37160 was 8 late on L9 11.56 Wisbech to Lowestoft after its exertions yesterday. The only swap today was 37577 for 37159 on K2, presumably because the former required attention from the cleaners.

Sunday 11th : 37574 on K6 10.10 Peterborough - Lowestoft was changed at Lynn for 37566, reasons unknown. All ten diagrams were B9s as booked.


Wednesday December 7th 2011 ~ Dim the Lights

Today it was the turn of 36180 to have a headlight problem, it was taken off K15 this afternoon and 37160 replaced it. Earlier 37160 had come in on K16 and 37573 had gone out in its place. Another A47 accident, this time between Wisbech and Guyhirn resulted in two services becoming stranded in the resulting traffic this afternoon, K2 16.18 from Wisbech with 37564 and K18 15.35 from Peterborough with 37157 were the services affected. In the end 37157 went through to the coast, but probably light for at least part of the way. 37564 was replaced at Lynn by 37567 and on arrival, 564 went to berth in the garage. K3 with 37158 reached the Cromwell Road roundabout before turning back and was seen by Cheryl taking the Town Bridge to gain access to the Wisbech St. Mary road via Old Market.
The road was closed for some hours, but despite this L8 20.10 from Peterborough passed through Walpole 2 early with 37579, while ironically, coming the other way at this time was 37568 on L12 which was 8 late. services from Lynn which hitherto had been good for punctuality in the evenings, now inevitably run at least 5 late because of the Southgates driver changeovers.
Stuart Leader writes "Didn't know if you'd seen the Suffolk CC website, but there are upcoming changes to the evening X1s from January 3rd. The X1 will fill in for the service 1 between Yarmouth and Lowestoft".


Tuesday December 6th 2011 ~ Headlight Headline

Ransomes were called in to work on some of the fleet today and 37157/8 & 37574 were swapped around accordingly. 37574 was kept in first thing with 37158 doing K4 until 09.57, after which it retired to Vancouver Avenue and 37574 which had been attended to, took over. In the end, 37157 was not used on the X1 today. Loan vehicle 36180 was used on K15, it was 13 late into Lowestoft this morning and Malcom reports 37578 on K16 having lost 16 minutes, meaning it was 7 late departing on the 09.55 to Peterborough. This had been cut to just 3 minutes when it passed Wisbech, 37158 was 10 late through on k4 this morning and K1 with 37566 was 13 late this afternoon. 37160 on L11 suffered a heavier delay though and it was 18 late leaving Wisbech on the 11.18 to Peterborough.
I've left the best till last today, 37564 had a headlight problem first thing and with nothing spare, 20126 was borrowed working through to Peterborough on L12 07.45 ex Lowestoft, it then worked the 12.35 from Peterborough throughout to Lowestoft (unless you know different !!).
20126 seems a bit lost these days  amongst all the elephants ! Last time it was out it was blinded for Lowestoft via Beccles, today it was only going as far as Great Yarmouth (may be 37564 took over there ?). No excuse for it being on the 1X though !
37564 was fit to resume its turn at 17.48 but in the event was 23 late into Lynn after yet another A47 accident at North Burlingham. The relieving driver stood at the Southgates at 21.02 only to see 564 pass by on its way into Lynn, rather than coming out westbound !
Nevertheless his spell waiting in the cold must have given him some incentive to make up time and Bruce reports 564 passing just a couple late on the 22.10 ex Peterborough.


Monday December 5th 2011 ~ The Christmas Rush

With the Christmas shoppers in full flow now, it is not surprising that the X1 has begun to encounter delays due to the additional traffic. Timekeeping today was OK, but most ran a few minutes late. Surprise of the day on this score was loan vehicle 36180 which somehow manged to be 3 late going west, but a few seconds early returning into Wisbech to form the 15.56 to Lowestoft (K17). I would hazard a guess that this is probably only the second time this year that I have seen this service running before time.
New advertising schemes seen for the first time today include one for Alvin & The Chipmunks in Chipwrecked (groans all round !) and a new rear advert for Wisbech Grammar School. 37157, 37567 & 37571 were noted with these today and I expect further vehicles to acquire them when the adman gets round to King's Lynn.
Diagrams 4, 6 & 12 all had swaps today. K4 operated for most of the day with 37565, but at 16.45 this was changed for 37573. The latter had come across this morning on L12 as far as Lynn where 37578 had taken its place. Finally 37572 on Y6 was changed for 37577 for the 20.35 Lynn to Lowestoft this evening, 577 had already done a full turn having arrived on Y9.
That nice man Grahame Bessey was out with his camera today, so high time we featured some more pictures :
37160 departing Norwich on K16 11.25 to Peterborough today. [G Bessey]

37574 with the 09.25 from Lowestoft negotiates Norwich bus station [G Bessey]
Smile your on Candid Camera ! 37576 loads at Norwich today with K1 the 13.25 departure westbound. [G Bessey]

37565 on its way to Lowestoft with K4 at 11.50 (08.35 ex Peterborough). [G Bessey]
... and to finish from Grahame, a look at what you will  be likely to find on the X2 until further notice. One of the new girls is captured at Norwich bus station today.

 Malcolm also reports seeing 32656 (above) arriving in Lowestoft with the 10.10 X2 from Norwich and in addition, 32652 on the 10.08 to the City. 


Sunday December 4th 2011 ~ No Parking !

I made my return from Scotland today and with my train scheduled to arrive in Peterborough at 15.48, this seemed a reasonable connection into the 16.10 Peterborough - Lowestoft X1. In the event, a signal failure at Arksey and a very slow approach into Peterborough on the slow line due to engineering work meant I emerged from the station at 16.06.
In the normal X1 bus stop were two rail link coaches, but no sign of a Gemini. A lady already waiting asked me if I was waiting for the King's Lynn bus and a glance at my watch confirmed it was now 16.08. I replied that I was indeed doing just that and that I'd expected it to have arrived by now. She said that a white double decker had been departing just as she came out of the station, so realising that this was our bus, I suggested she followed me to Queensgate on foot where we might just catch it. This was hardly satisfactory as we both had cases and the rain was pouring down. On arrival at Queensgate, there sat 37564 with its driver, a Lowestoft man I believe, already loaded, but with its engine switched off awaiting departure time. I didn't tackle the driver about his early departure from the rail station - it must have been at least five minutes early - as I appreciate that if he had parked on the road, there would have been a huge queue of traffic behind him by the time it was 16.10. Nevertheless, this is a problem which must be fairly regularly encountered when there are rail link buses or cars abandoned in the bus stop and which appears to remain unresolved. Time for this to be attended to I think !
The journey on 37564 was uneventful but comfortable and the bus was well patronised. Expecting to pass a westbound service near Thorney I was surprised when we passed 37576 at Guyhirn around 17 minutes late.
The full X1 compliment today was 37563/4/5/8, 37572/4/5/6/7/9. After last nights incident with 37569, it was decided to send 37157 light to Yarmouth to provide cover for Monday.


Wednesday 30th November 2011 - Saturday 3rd December 2011 : On The X1

Wednesday : 37577 had an unusual day out today, it was spotted at The Forum in Norwich at an event for 'Bus Users UK' - thanks to Malcolm for the information. Punctuality was pretty poor today, although most services were only between 5 - 10 minutes late through Wisbech. 37158 on Y9 was 11 late and 37157 on K18 13 late. The new bus (36180) was given a safety service, so didn't appear and the same applied to 37160. On a day out to King's Lynn, Malcolm also saw 20126 on the 09.10 Norwich - Yarmouth short.

Thursday : A slightly better day for timekeeping. 36180 was back on K17 and this meant 37573, 37576 & 37160 were all kept in at King's Lynn for attention. Tonight 37578 on L8 was replaced by 37567 off Y7.
Palatines seen by Malcolm today were 34158 on the 10.10 Norwich - Lowestoft X2, 34186 on the 10.10 Norwich - Yarmouth X1 short and 34157 on the 14.08 X2 from Lowestoft.

Friday : Time for me to have an X1 experience. I was at Walpole Highway this morning for Y6 08.33 to Peterborough. 37577 arrived with a smiling Mr. Parry at the wheel, he seems to be my regular chauffeur on my X1 outings. Heavy congestion into Wisbech saw us depart 9 late, but the journey was very pleasant.  I was on my way to Scotland, so had to rely on Bruce and Dale for the rest of the days workings. 37563 on Y7 was swapped for 37565, but everything else stuck to diagram including 36180 which was used on K15 today. 37571/8 were spare at Lynn. 32212 appearing on the X2 13.40 Norwich - Lowestoft was to prove notable !
37566 on Y9 was 12 late past Bruce this morning, but by the time Roy spotted it at Yarmouth this afternoon, it was waiting time. Photo : East Norfolk Bus Blog.

Saturday : Thanks to Richard, Des and Malcolm for keeping me in touch with events. Firstly the appearance of 32656 on the 10.38 Lowestoft - Norwich X2 and 32651 09.40 ex Norwich announced the types arrival on the route. Syd says "The ex London B7s have proven to be unreliable on longer distance work, so the Lowestoft ones used mainly on X2 work are being exchanged for ALX400s.  32212/3/4 are being swopped with 32651/2/4 at Norwich whilst 32207/8 should transfer to Gt Yarmouth over the weekend, releasing 32100/101 to go to Norwich (Caister Roads only short length pair) and 32655/6 then to Lowestoft. The first moves occurred Friday evening,but its not yet confirmed which buses were involved".
On the X1 a fairly unremarkable day with 37158 and 36180 spare at King's Lynn. Tonight, 37569 was in trouble at Acle on K18. It sustained some body and wheelarch damage. This may leave Yarmouth short when the full timetable resumes on Monday.


Tuesday 29th November 2011 ~ New Technology

Today 36180 entered into service on the X1. It worked K17 as we half expected and was spotted by several of our regulars.  Richard kindly sent me a picture of it on his mobile phone yesterday afternoon, but while writing a blog is up to my capabilities, transferring a picture from mobile phone to PC is a bit beyond them. I must read the manual and see what it is I have to do !
36180 heads up to the A47 flyover at Walpole bang on time on the 13.45 King's Lynn to Peterborough (10.25 ex Lowestoft) this afternoon
Syd says "I am sure you will be inundated with photos of this newcomer, but anyway you can't beat a first day shot.
James Race was on hand to get a couple of shots prior to 36180 departing on the 2040 from Lowestoft this evening, and there is something about a decent night picture as well.
Thanks to James Race for these photographs.
With the new vehicle out on the road, in theory this gave three other vehicles a day off. 37159 was given scheduled maintenance, while the other two were used as maintenance swaps. 37567 on K19 was changed for a repaired 37565 - its injector sleeves had been drawing in air causing its recent failure. L10 had 37579 changed for 37563 and K14 had 37568 taken off for 37579 to work forward.
An A47 accident at Blofield at breakfast time had a knock on effect on a couple of services. Y9 10.18 Wisbech - Peterborough with 37575 had lost just 7 minutes, but L10 (37579) was 16 late going west, reduced to just 7 late going back east. Earlier Rob Brooks reports 37564 on K2 08.21 Wisbech - Lowestoft being slightly delayed departing while the driver "rebuilt his ticket machine".