The revised timetable in the west is due to begin on about April 17th. As expected the gap in the evening service from Peterborough is to be corrected and although last buses will be earlier, at least we can get back to a regular timetable (well that's what I'm hoping !)
I recently had a trip to Norwich on the X1 at the invitation of our old friend Victor Meldrew. I already had a Western Ten trip ticket, so it just meant buying a Dereham to Norwich day return to fill the validity. It did make me wonder how many people actually do this, as the driver seemed very surprised when we went downstairs at Dereham and explained the circumstances. Nevertheless, we had a good day and I took the opportunity to take some photographs from upstairs of passing services. Apparently consideration is being given to abandoning the 5 year rolling replacement programme and the current fleet may be replaced after 4 years. Among the options being discussed are a new fleet of coaches with extra capacity for use on the western section, while existing vehicles may remain on the Norwich - Lowestoft leg. This is all very uncertain though and planning is at an early stage.
MOT's have started on the King's Lynn Enviros although the plans were disrupted when the first candidate, 33803, was away for repairs when it was due, so 33804 took its place. In fact 33803/6 were both away for repairs at Cummins and Full Circle, so this saw the temporary loan of Lowestoft's 33819 to cover the shortfall.
33803 was absent from 29th January to 12th February after sustaining a severe oil leak and 33806 which had been involved in a scrape with an errant car was out of service between January 23rd and February 4th. 33819 arrived to help out on January 28th and returned home after use on 11th February. The MOT on 33804 took place between 7th & 10th February.
Zak Nelson reports that the Lowestoft fleet of Enviros has at last received vinyls stating ' Cared for by the Lowestoft depot team' which is good to hear.
Here are the aforementioned pictures taken on my day trip to Norwich .....
|We were just approaching Walton Highway having left the B198 when we encountered 33806 heading for Peterborough on the 06.45 from Norwich, the first westbound through service of the day.
|On the Pullover Road just west of the roundabout 33809 flew by with the 07.15 ex Norwich
|The new King's Lynn Interchange with 33817 occupying the X1 bay with the 09.35 Peterborough departure (07.45 ex Norwich). Conflicting arrival times mean some services have to use alternative bays as seen here.
|On loan to King's Lynn depot to cover for absentees, Lowestoft allocated 33819 passes through Middleton spot on time on the 08.15 Norwich - Peterborough
|Necton and 33812 with a cheery wave from Wyn arrives on the 09.15 from Norwich. The 08.05 from Peterborough which I was on with 33816 is booked to pass this service at 10.14 here so the timetable was running well to schedule.
|Having just left Easton and rejoined the A47, 33813 passes by on the 10.30 Norwich - Peterborough X1 and another wave from GH, we are doing well !
|Shortly after leaving Norwich 33815 heads for Dereham on the 11.00 Norwich - Peterborough.
|Last one for now and contrasting liveries on former X1 Geminis. 37573 nearest the camera is in new Excel livery with a connecting X1 to Lowestoft, while 37569 in the distance is ready to leave on the direct service X2.