Wednesday, 10 April 2013

~ SPECIAL ~ X1 Buses Speculation

We at Norwich Bus Page have noticed the high volume of speculation about what will be going where when the current X1 Gemini's are relieved of their heavy duty service thanks to the arrival of 22 new Alexander Dennis Enviro400s, specifically ordered to operate the long distance route.

Semi unbranded Norwich 33003 seen in Yarmouth yesterday.
Could this be a common sight for this busin the near future?

There has been sightings of NorwichNetwork buses being unbranded from their colours recently and to begin with, this encouraged many enthusiasts to wonder whether First were selling up as part of their major shrinking across the country. In fact it came to light only yesterday that First are in fact selling their London services at a total cost £80m. I did get in contact with Stagecoach and Arriva about the rumours that one of them may be taking over in Norwich, but to no avail.

A few days later, it was announced that that the current X1 buses will be allocated on 'shorter' routes. This information erupted into discussions and speculations to levels that I've never experienced in my short time as an enthusiast. We are aware that First are currently updating their fleet in Yarmouth, with the arrival of four 2005 Darts which were transferred from Essex earlier this year. Now, as we know, there are currently a number of step entrance deckers in service in Yarmouth, and even one in Lowestoft. I would suggest that Lowestoft may receive a few to replace their current Northern Counties Palatines, but two ALX400s have recently arrived and are currently undergoing a repaint into the new livery which to me, leaves Norwich and Yarmouth.

37579 - AU58EDK seen in Yarmouth, heading
towards Peterborough
As May draws ever nearer, the most popular belief is that some of the debranded Norwich buses will be transferred to Yarmouth shortly to relieve them of their step entrance Olympians, which will mean that the fleet will be finally free from step entrance buses, only leaving the X1 short coaches. If this happens, it will leave a small gap in the Norwich fleet. We can only assume that this will be filled by the X1 Geminis, a welcome arrival in the city no doubt. This idea brings speculation that Norwich will be receiving the refreshed livery soon as buses running town services with X1 written all over them may be rather confusing! They're going to have to be repainted and I think First would be rather silly to paint them in the current livery. 

Yarmouth have also been rumoured to be shortly receiving the new livery, this could be because of the arrival of some of the X1 Geminis, if they do come to Yarmouth as well as or instead of Norwich. A popular idea is that the 2007 buses will be used in Yarmouth as all but one are already in the standard livery so they can go straight into service, and the 2008 buses will be repainted and sent to Norwich. 

Standard liveried 37158 seen on service in King's Lynn.
Away from all the rumours and speculation, First have stated that they will be 'relaunching' the route and it will feature a fresh new livery. Could it be similar to the one used on the X1 route in Bristol? Click here to see how the South England Bus Scene reported on their new livery when it arrived.

Unfortunately for us, we're going to have to be patient and wait and see what happens. We just don't know what buses will be going where and what livery they will be going into. All we do know is that its going to be a busy and hectic few months for First as they attempt to give the public a smooth changeover to minimise disruption.

Finally, WE WANT YOUR HELP! We would like to publish a special photo report on the lives of the X1 Geminis. Please send your favourite snap to before the end of April for a chance to have your picture featured! Please send details of where and when the photo was taken, and your name as you would like it to appear on the published report.


  1. well at least the Bernie buses should get an update those on that run are really getting a bit old mind you did see an 05 X2 Tuesday morning sat in Beccles having done the morning Bernie which turns into an X2 around 8am

  2. Further to the First sell off having read on another forum about how many buses and employees are being transferred a point was made that First will now have lost a valuable selection of mid life vehicles to cascade out here to us i.e too old for the capital types so it is going to be a big waiting game to see just how many shuffles they can do and where they actually think they are making money and First Ipswich is still being banded about as a potential bye bye due to the age of most of the stock and the competition Can't see that meself at the mo but you never know

  3. Norwich Bus Page11 April 2013 at 08:45

    hmm I'm under the impression that the First London buses are included in the sale of their services, as are the depots and garages so we may not get any more London buses at all

  4. Does this mean when we need more buses, we'll get brand new ones :0

  5. Norwich Bus Page11 April 2013 at 20:52

    hmm hopefully! But I doubt it, its First :L but they'll have £80m to use so its a possibility. Especially now I've been informed that Norwich ARE NOT getting the X1 buses...

  6. I have heard that Ipswich are getting some new deckers for the 66. The X1 Geminis have been mentioned but it would mean rasing the roof at Ipswich depot. But it is another arrow in the quiver of rumour

  7. Manager @ FirstNorwich12 April 2013 at 22:43

    We, FirstNorwich, will be taking on many of the Geminis. The ones which we will take on will replace the 51 plated Presidents. Most of these have been debranded ready for their arrival. Even though they will replace the 51 plated Presidents, they will not necessarily be on the routes which use the 51 plated Presidents. The 07 Geminis will enter service next month and the Excel branded ones entering service from late May - August. Some of the colour brandings will change across the 02/52 Presidents and Geminis. We hope this will help with our excellent time keeping and make our services are reliable as they have ever been. There is some even bigger news; however I am unable to give you details at this present time. Thank you.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.