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Wednesday March 25th 2015 ~ Closures and Diversions

Apologies for the long delay in updating the blog. I am currently having my house rewired re-plastered and redecorated throughout, so time has been limited. Fortunately friends have come to my aid with some newsworthy items.
Peter writes "How's the X1 going from the new Portland Street stop in King's Lynn ?"  This of course refers to the temporary stop here while the bus station is partly closed for reconstruction work. The answer appears to be ok , here's a snap from Andy Gibbs of 33817 at the temporary stop on 11th  March :

Photo copyright : Andy Gibbs
Roy Northcott from the excellent East Norfolk Bus Blog ( )
has sent me a picture taken by driver Roger Bellward of a very unusual sight on the X1 taken on 12th March. An A47 closure between Acle and Norwich for three nights from 11th to 13th resulted in the diversionary route via South Walsham being employed and the consequent use of single deck buses. Some of Lowestoft's Jersey Darts were used as was Streetlight 47504 seen below :

Photo copyright : Roger Bellward
Kieran Smith writes "I thought you may wish to point your readers over to my blog for a bit of nostalgia (after reading yours of course!). I've recently put together a rather large archive of previous timetables dating as far back as the 1930s. Among these include the following for any X1 fanatic:
-X94/X95 (2003) and a massive amount of the other Excel services, also the Eastern Counties 34 from 1936, clearly a predecessor of the X1. Interestingly, it took 2hrs and 20mins from Lynn, a connection for a 7  for Great Yarmouth is shown too; the full timetable is also available. Meanwhile, the 2008 Full X1 timetables - featuring the old 'X1 Shorts' and a couple of short runs from Dereham are also online.
These can be found by clicking "Historical Timetables and Route Maps", just below the header. From here it is pretty self explanatory!"
A very interesting site it is too I may say.  Roy sent me another email last week, he says "Thought I would get out during the eclipse to see if I could get a pic of an eclipse during the eclipse! 
Photo copyright : East Norfolk Bus Blog
I got one of a saloon version initially at the roundabout outside Gorleston Parish Church and whilst waiting an E400 passed by at 9:18 on the X1 to Lowestoft :
Photo copyright : East Norfolk Bus Blog
After waiting some time I gave up and was heading home when eclipse 37573 shot past me on the delayed 09:08 from the JPH. I managed to quickly get a going away shot at 09:30 as the clock on Gorleston Parish Church shows 
Photo copyright : East Norfolk Bus Blog
Gordon Bruce was among hoards of enthusiasts at the Norwich Bus Running Day last weekend, unfortunately I was unable to attend as I was filming for my music convention in a couple of weeks time. GB says " Don't know if AU53 HJF ever worked the X1 or its predecessor, but here it is at County Hall on today's Norwich Classic Bus Running Day making out that it did!"
Photo copyright : Gordon Bruce
Thanks guys for all that info, made putting the blog together a lot easier I can tell  you ! At the western end of the X1 route, the Enviro 400s continue to visit Cummins at Wellingborough for attention. 33803/4/13 have now been dealt with and 33805 is there presently. 33806 is currently undergoing its MOT. On 16th 33807 failed at Necton at 19.30 but repairs to a pipe saw the vehicle able to continue to Norwich. Two days earlier a puncture on 33816 saw it replaced by 33808 at Wisbech before departure as the 10.14 to Peterborough.
Timekeeping by and large has been excellent. I will try and bring you another report including sightings from Lowestoft in the next week  or so.


Monday March 9th 2015 ~ Blog Demands

33810 and 33803 await cleaning having completed their days work on Tuesday 3rd March. The hour between 19.00 & 20.00 is quite a busy one in relation to the number of staff with arrivals at King's Lynn garage at 19.17, 19.27, 19.39 & 19.49.
Thanks to all those of you who have encouraged me to continue with this blog. Charlie says "Don't be put off by those who want to gag you - reporting the facts has always been the mainstay of your blog " and Steve L  writes " Come on Gerard, carry on doing what you enjoy doing  - giving us a good blog to read". Well thanks guys and I will do my best, juggling a full time job with all my other commitments can be a bit of a trial at times, but hopefully reports will be more frequent in future.

So it is almost a month since we had the last proper update, a look at the other local blogs has seen the X1 get a few mentions. Cameron reports 33821 in operation with an incomplete rear ad since a window breakage in February and 37576 has been away for a while receiving repairs at Full Circle for minor collision damage. It is back at Yarmouth now. Early February saw some substitutions on the eastern section of the X1 due to a vehicle shortage. On Sunday 8th 32058 and 32629 were employed on the route, the latter seen arriving at Lowestoft on the 09.10 ex Norwich. Next day 32629 was deputising again on diagram 7045 and was viewed on the 10.20 Lowestoft - Norwich. On 23rd February it was 32629 again this time on the 15.30 from Lowestoft (turn 7050). Otherwise despite the continued absence of 33818 on loan to King's Lynn, the service has managed quite well. Roy & Grahame report a very unusual working on 20th February when 37578 suffered a bird strike and 43864 was used instead on the 08.05 Yarmouth - Lowestoft.

33423 at Norwich on 9th February. It was running nearly 15 minutes late for the 11.00 departure due to roadworks and on this date, its destination screen was not operational.

33423 continues to work its regular diagram when available, this is turn 7047 which works the following services :
07.46 James Paget Hospital - Norwich
09.20 Norwich - Lowestoft & 11.00 return
12.40 Norwich - Lowestoft & 14.30 return
16.25 Norwich - Lowestoft, empty to Yarmouth
The turn starts and finishes at Yarmouth garage.

33423 did the above turn on March 3rd but was taken out of traffic on arrival with the 09.20 service and the 11.00 return was cancelled. It was probably nothing too major as 33423 was out again next day, although this time on turn 7042 commencing with the 07.16 from JPH.

Repainted 37573 was first noted at Lowestoft by Malcolm working an X1 on February 13th. 66112 has been a frequent sight amongst the Geminis on the X2 in the last month and the only other departure from the Gemini domination seen has been 62143 which operated the 09.10 X2 from Norwich - Lowestoft on 12th February, the following day however, it was involved in an accident near Norwich bus station and has not reappeared as yet.
12th February was quite a remarkable day at Lowestoft with more single deckers being seen than for sometime on country services. 62143 was on the X2, 66112 also did the 14.20 X2 to Norwich, 66344 turned up on the 14.40 to Martham with 66334 working the 15.40 to the same destination. In fact 66334/341/344 have been regulars on the Martham services since the last update.
Other sightings on this route have been 60622 on the 15.10 ex Lowestoft on 23rd, 60618 on the 13.59 on March 3rd when it was joined by old faithful 65588 on the 15.10 departure. 60622 was viewed by Malcolm on March 7th on the 11.10 Lowestoft - Martham. Best day of late was February 28th when 34108 rolled up on the 09.21 from Martham and 34114 went the other way on the 10.40 service.

Seen occasionally until recent times as a substitute on the X1, 60807 is now a brightly coloured driver trainer, seen here in St. Stephens on February 9th. The man with the watering can is attending 33163 in the background !

Over in the west, there has been a slight improvement in the performance of the Enviro 400s. 33811 as reported last time was in trouble and taken to Cummins at Wellingborough for modifications and is now back in traffic. A programme of remedial work is taking place on the other Enviros with 33812 the first to be treated and this is now back and 33804 has gone away in its place. The work is expected to take about a week on each vehicle. I won't enlarge on the detail here for reasons stated previously.
33805 has been operating recently without passenger side advertising giving a area chance to see what these buses should look like ! MOT's have restarted and 33803/4 have now been dealt with. 33810 has had a new air con pump. 33809 failed at Swaffham westbound , mid afternoon Monday 23rd February with an entrance door fault and was replaced by 33803. No other failures have been reported though.
Changing of vehicles on the western section is fairly infrequent, although turn 6 is the one which tends to see a maintenance swap as required. The services are as follows

07.15 Swaffham - Peterborough (09.28)
09.35 Peterborough - Norwich (12.40)
13.00 Norwich - Peterborough (16.08)
16.15 Peterborough - Norwich (19.19)
19.40 Norwich - King's Lynn (21.07)

The maintenance swap tends to occur at King's Lynn at 10.56 with the fresh bus going forward at 11.01.
33818 remains on loan at King's Lynn and is seen at Norwich on 9th February working the 15.30 to Peterborough.
Des Speed brings us news of another ex X1 regular, 37562 which is now based in Norwich, Des was driving her on 25th February and took this picture of her at the University Terminus :