Wednesday 9 July 2014

X1 Analysis

I have just been looking at the new timetable for the X1 commencing at the end of the month and I'm confused. First are saying that the reason for splitting the route at Norwich is to help punctuality during the roadworks on the A47 at Postwick. OK so taking that into account here a few comparisons between the old timetable and new timetable.

1.  Currently along the affected section the X1 is allowed 38 mins off peak 40 mins peak to get from Yarmouth to Norwich. After the new timetable starts taking into account the possible delays the X1 will be allowed erm 38 mins off peak and 46 peak to get from Yarmouth to Norwich.

2. Currently the vehicles operating the X1 shorts get 22 mins turn round time at Norwich. Taking into account the possible delays caused by the roadworks it seems that in the new timetable the vehicles operating the Lowestoft - Norwich section of the route will be allowed erm 8 mins turn round time.

3. Currently the journey time between Lowestoft and Yarmouth is 42 mins operating limited stop.  once the new timetable comes into operation and all stops will be observed the new time allowed for the journey will be 44 mins - just 2 mins extra.

It looks like the off peak vehicle requirement for the Norwich - Lowestoft section will be 10 vehicles, unless I have got the layover at Norwich wrong and in fact it will be 28 mins to allow for the roadworks in which case it will be 11 vehicles. I've forgotten if 7 or 8 E400's are coming over to Yarmouth from Kings Lynn but either way including the 4 vehicles normally on the X1 shorts it shouldn't leave Yarmouth short of vehicles unless there are serious shortages due to maintainace etc.

I guess time will tell how successful this split will be, but since the connections at Norwich are not guaranteed I still think that this decision may not have been taken with the passenger's best interests at heart, but with half an eye on Anglian instead. If the maximum extra delay First envisage is only 6 mins, if the timetableis to be believed, was that really sufficient reason to split the route? It will be interesting to see what happens in 18 months when the roadworks are complete.


  1. Thanks for this Steve - I meant to do the sums on the Eastern section myself, but got distracted by the new gap between King's Lynn and Norwich on the Western section.

    Anyway, a couple of points:

    1. As I understand it, 7 E400s are coming over from King's Lynn to Yarmouth, unless anything's going the other way, as King's Lynn will effectively need to be self sufficient after the split.

    2. 44 minutes journey time between Lowestoft and Yarmouth? Just 2 minutes extra? That's not going to be pretty. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Anglian's 61 takes 45 minutes between Lowestoft and Yarmouth (according to it's current timetable).

    3. Half an eye on Anglian? You're more generous than I am, the second I saw the 'connections not guaranteed' my first thought was 'ah, Anglian'. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm missing something.

    4. "If the maximum extra delay First envisage is only 6 mins, if the timetable is to be believed, was that really sufficient reason to split the route?" well, after reading my points above, I'm sure you can guess what I think.

  2. Cheers, Tinker! I wondered if anyone would comment on this one, and it's good to see we cynics sticking together.

    1. You're very welcome :) First do make it so easy for us at times don't they?

  3. Seriously would you expect anything else from ANY commercial operator? That's not my grouse with First, it's their habit of trying to slit their own throat by abandoning their customers.

    1. Would I expect anything else - not particularly, no.

      The point I'm getting at is... well... I might need to bullet point this:

      1. First apparently don't have any money, which explains all the robbing Peter (most of FEC) to pay Paul (Ipswich).

      2. That in mind, it seems a bit off that they're chopping up what is apparently their most profitable route just so they can (try and) overbus Anglian out of existence.

      3. "it's their habit of trying to slit their own throat by abandoning their customers" Indeed, it's sort of like grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. A shame that that is just what they're doing here if you don't live within a corridor/patch reasonably well served by Anglian (like Lowestoft and all it's new liveried vehicles).

  4. Well if I was Julian Patterson I would seriously be considering linking Anglian's 7 and Konect's 8 together, even extending to Kings Lynn. In fact if I was Go-Ahead themselves I would be in there to plug that gap like a shot.

    1. Quite. Getting in before Stagecoach do, seeing as they're in King's Lynn now, might be a wise idea.