X1 CHANGES UPDATE
Various blogs have announced details of the split of the X1 at Norwich, and the disruption for through passengers this willl cause, with a 30 min frequency between Norwich and Peterborough, and a reduced 20 min frequncy between Norwich and Yarmouth, although now all journeys will extend to Lowestoft. However what I can reveal is that between Yarmouth and Lowestoft the X1 will observe ALL stops on the route. That will mean that, as now, there is very little difference between the various routes between Lowestoft and Yarmouth, with the X1/1/1A and 7 all taking roughly the same time. It will also mean that vehicles other than E400's will be on the X1 as 7 E400's is nowhere near what a 20 min frequency between Lowestoft and Norwich will need.
Now are you all sitting down? Sure? Not holding a drink? Good. I travelled on an X1 E400 today. It was 33803, the one that has given First a lot of grief since it arrived. Well no more. Apart from an annoying creak by the front nearside top deck window - definitely a creak not a rattle - it was by far the quitest ride I've ever had on one of them. No rattles. I repeat NO RATTLES. Even the driver seemed gobsmacked. I have no idea what First have done to it but if they are doing it to all the fleet no one will be happier than me to shout it from the rooftops. Well done - for the moment 33803 is a great bus.
|A gloriously rattle free 33803 leaves Yarmouth for Peterborough today|
That's the good news about First. What I saw earlier in Lowestoft today did them no favours whatsoever. First staff were literally pulling customers away from Anglian's stop, thrusting timetables into their hand and "encouraging" them to get on the 99. They sounded like market traders flogging bowls of lemons. Anglian responded this afternoon with a tweet advising customers not to "accept any inferior imitations" to the 61, which I thought was quite restrained. I can't believe for a second senior management at First sanctioned what I saw today, but if they did they should note I heard the word "unprofessional" muttered by many customers while queueing for the X1.
GOOD TO MEET YOU ROB
Before that I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Collins, who has contributed to this site in the past, and who I took a pic of last week in the rain at Pakefield driving the 99's. Unbeknown to me it was not the first pic I had taken of Rob as he told me about his claim to fame while driving for Anglian. He was the one and only driver to ever take a gas bus on the 164's in its 6 months of operation, and I just happened to be walking to the church for a funeral when he pulled in at Wickham Market,and very annoyed I was as I couldn't jump on it to go to Sax! Really good to meet you and the perfect opportunity to post that pic I took of you and the gas bus in Wickham Market last year.
|Rob driving Anglian's then 607 now 106, the only gas bus to ever visit Wickham Market on the 164|