Trivia: When 'X' doesn't stand for 'Xpress

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Dai Corner

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Although the A467 directly connects the two places the Stagecoach South Wales X15 Brynmawr - Newport takes almost every conceivable diversion off the main road, ignoring nearly all the 'A467 Newport' signs and even at one point following one saying 'A467 Brynmawr'!

The only 'express' part of the route is where it bypasses Rogerstone on the outskirts of Newport and that only saves 3 min compared with other routes between Risca and Newport.

Google maps gives a driving time of 42 mins for the 25 miles but the X15 takes a leisurely 101 mins, squeezing through village streets and around housing estates. I enjoyed the ride though.

Does anyone have any other examples?
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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Although the A467 directly connects the two places the Stagecoach South Wales X15 Newport - Brynmawr takes almost every conceivable diversion off the main road, ignoring nearly all the 'A467 Newport' signs and even at one point following one saying 'A467 Brynmawr'!

The only 'express' part of the route is where it bypasses Rogerstone on the outskirts of Newport and that only saves 3 min compared with other routes between Risca and Newport.

Google maps gives a driving time of 42 mins for the 25 miles but the X15 takes a leisurely 101 mins, squeezing through village streets and around housing estates. I enjoyed the ride though.

Does anyone have any other examples?

Go South Coast services where the X stands for Cross (X) Country.

X usually means an express version (I.e. Quicker than a historic or current version) not necessarily an end to end or even predominantly express service.

However, the First/NSC/TravelWest initiative saw the X1 Express Yourself branding (for the fast Weston to Bristol service) extended into routes with no express credentials
 
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Dai Corner

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X usually means an express version (I.e. Quicker than a historic or current version) not necessarily an end to end or even predominantly express service.

Though in this case the Stagecoach 15 is a completely different route (Newport-Cwmbran-Pontypool-Trevethin). Confusing for passengers not aware that historically the two routes were run by different companies.
 

Bletchleyite

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Logically to me part of the idea of the X is to separate interurban services from the town services so there isn't confusion between them. So Milton Keynes has a 5, Bedford has a 5, Oxford has a 5, Cambridge has a 5, etc. These don't cause confusion because they aren't in the same place. The X5 joins all of them. That way the wider interurban operators only need to consider other interurban routes when choosing numbering. (Of course, there are other X5s, but they are a long way away and so no concern).

NatEx's use of high numbers (most are over 500 I think?) similarly avoids collisions with local numbering, though that's less of a problem as the difference between a bus and a coach is fairly obvious. Megabus achieve the same thing with M prefixes, though originally they didn't have public-facing numbers at all.
 

ValleyLines142

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The X1 in Cardiff (Culverhouse Cross - Ely - Canton - Cardiff City Centre - Albany Road - Llanedyrn - Pontprennau) operated by New Adventure Travel is numbered X1 because it's a CrossCity route.

By contrast, the X11, which runs from Cardiff City Centre - Newport Road - A48 - Llanedyrn - Pentwyn is correctly numbered as it uses the flyover from Newport Road.
 

TC60054

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The X78 in South Yorkshire is one I can think of - which stops at every stop, and also diverts off the main road between Rotherham and Doncaster to serve Conisbrough.
 

Bletchleyite

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In the end, there's no formal definition of these things, just loose conventions - when registering a route the bus company can choose whatever number they like, AIUI, or even not use one at all.
 

Dai Corner

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Wandering a little off topic, the Bristol Omnibus Company had a nice logical numbering system.

xx for Bristol City services
1xx Weston-super-Mare
2xx Bath
3xx Bristol Country
4xx Gloucester / Cheltenham

I don't think they used the X prefix before the Cityline / Badgerline era?

Avon County Council tendered services were 5xx (City) and 6xx (Country).
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Wandering a little off topic, the Bristol Omnibus Company had a nice logical numbering system.

xx for Bristol City services
1xx Weston-super-Mare
2xx Bath
3xx Bristol Country
4xx Gloucester / Cheltenham

I don't think they used the X prefix before the Cityline / Badgerline era?

Avon County Council tendered services were 5xx (City) and 6xx (Country).

In BOC days, 5** were Gloucester area e.g. Gloucester to Bristol 561/2, Gloucester to Hereford 538

Also, Avon CC were essentially split along the same lines at the current local authorities with 5** (BCC) 6** (SGC) 7** (BaNES) and 8** (NSC)
 
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Colly405

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First Bristol X7 Severn Express (Bristol - Chepstow - Newport/Magor) must rank as one of the most complicated?

Leaving Central Bristol, it has
  • some journeys that are very express (non stop to Chepstow via M32/M4/M48)
  • one that is slightly less express (non stop to Aust Interchange via M32/M4/M48, then via M48 to Chepstow)
  • most are slightly slower again (non stop to Cribbs Causeway via M32/M4/M5, and then to Chepstow via M5/M4/M48)
  • and one that is all stops via the A38 to reach Cribbs Causeway, then M5/M4/M48 to Aust, then M48 to Chepstow.
And once at Chepstow, most journeys are then express via M48/M4 to Newport, but one avoids the motorway and instead serves all stops via the A48, through Caldicot, terminating at Magor instead.

This used to be the X10 and X11 and X14...
 

Ianno87

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Stagecoach Warwickshire have a number of 'X' routes into Coventry from Leamington/Warwick/Stratford-on-Avon etc.

Some, like the X15 and X18 (relatively recently introduced) are indeed express, operating via the A46.

However, historically, the X17 (and previously the X12/X14 to University of Warwick - which became the U1/U2 Unibus in 2005) is only numbered as such to avoid confusion with the Travel Coventry/National Express Coventry routes of the same number* (although the 17 was withdrawn in 2006 with extra 27 journeys to compensate).

If you've been on the X17, it is certainly in no way deserving of its 'X' status for the route it takes around Kenilworth!

*Technicall, all National Express Coventry routes are in fact registered with 'C' prefixes to their number, to avoid confusion internally with same-numbered West Midlands routes
 

JamesRowden

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In some cases I think that an 'X' within a route number stands for 'extra' rather than express. I think that 'X' is also used to mean Oxford.
 

Statto

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Arriva X30 Chester-Warrington stops at all stops on the route, used to be numbered C30 in the Crosville era, weirdly Arriva have a short version of the X30 numbered 21 which covers most of the Chester-Runcorn section of the X30.

In Wilts & Dorset land, X means Cross County[Country] service
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Logically to me part of the idea of the X is to separate interurban services from the town services so there isn't confusion between them. So Milton Keynes has a 5, Bedford has a 5, Oxford has a 5, Cambridge has a 5, etc. These don't cause confusion because they aren't in the same place. The X5 joins all of them. That way the wider interurban operators only need to consider other interurban routes when choosing numbering. (Of course, there are other X5s, but they are a long way away and so no concern).

NatEx's use of high numbers (most are over 500 I think?) similarly avoids collisions with local numbering, though that's less of a problem as the difference between a bus and a coach is fairly obvious. Megabus achieve the same thing with M prefixes, though originally they didn't have public-facing numbers at all.


Some NatEx's routes use numbers like 0** like 060
 

Deerfold

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NatEx's use of high numbers (most are over 500 I think?) similarly avoids collisions with local numbering, though that's less of a problem as the difference between a bus and a coach is fairly obvious. Megabus achieve the same thing with M prefixes, though originally they didn't have public-facing numbers at all.

You say that, but I used to change from the 564 London - Sheffield - Huddersfield - Halifax to the 564 Halifax - Mill Bank - Ripponden service (now subsumed into a very roundabout 561/562 circular).

There's plenty of National Express services stating with a 2 (Airport services, usually formerly Jetlink and being long distance to the London airports) and a 3 (usually services which don't serve London) and a 4 (cant find anything these share) and a 7 (Airport services within the South East).

National Express renumbered many services into the 5xx range as they upgraded them to "Rapide" standard in the 90s - then I think they realised they were going to run out as they upgraded the network and started upgrading services without changing the number - as many services serving London were first to be upgraded, many London services are in this range..
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Some NatEx's routes use numbers like 0** like 060

These were mostly "high" frequency "shuttle" services such as the 060 and 061 Leeds and Bradford to Manchester (each hourly) and the 070 Leeds - Sheffield (filled in gaps in the 31x and 32x series to give an overall half-hourly service), 010 hourly London to Cambridge, 025 hourly London to Brighton.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Before deregulation, West Yorkshire services were split as:
<100 - Leeds services.
1xx - Wakefield services.
2×× - Dewsbury, Heavy Woollen district, and cross-boundary services into South Yorkshire.
3xx - Huddersfield services.
4xx - Miscellaneous services.
5xx - Halifax and Calderdale services.
6xx - Bradford and Airedale services.

Inter-urban services usually took the numbers based on the operating depot. There numbers stayed fairly static after deregulation with a few exceptions, but X prefixes were always limited stop. Its only in recent years that numbers have lost this pattern, and X-- numbers have been used for longer distance peak-only services that weren't express such as X19 Overton (Wakefield) to Leeds and the X41 Holmfirth-Denby Dale-Wakefield-Leeds service which was ridiculously slow. This no longer runs I believe, though it was curtailed to start from Wakefield which rather defeated the point.
 

SCH117X

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When it stands for Connexions where there
X1 competes with Transdev Harrogates route 1 services (the 1A in particular)
X6 and X6a compete with Transdev Harrogates 6 and X6 - the latter being an express service on a slightly different route to the all stops Connexions X6 just to completely confuse the unknowledgeable.
X52 now competes with Transdev Keighleys extended 762 for part of the 762 route
X70 competes with Transdev Harrogate 770 and 771 for part of their route
X4 and X12 compete with a taxi, these being routes that they ran for NYCC as 104 and 112 until NYCC pulled the plug as being unviable in a round of spending cuts and they have taken on commercially.
 

Class 33

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Wandering a little off topic, the Bristol Omnibus Company had a nice logical numbering system.

xx for Bristol City services
1xx Weston-super-Mare
2xx Bath
3xx Bristol Country
4xx Gloucester / Cheltenham

I don't think they used the X prefix before the Cityline / Badgerline era?

Avon County Council tendered services were 5xx (City) and 6xx (Country).

Services with an X prefix in the Bristol region which were limited stop actually started a few years before the City Line & Badger Line era, back in 1981.

The following services were introduced then...


X10 Bristol-Cardiff. Via Westbury and Newport.
X27 Centre-Frampton Cotterell via M32
X61 Patchway-Centre (not certain of the route this service actually took. Does anyone here know? )
X62 Mangotsfield-Clifton. Via M32 and Centre
X65 Patchway-Centre via Little Stoke, Parkway Station, Polytechnic, Park Road, and M32
X66 Lawrence Weston-Broadmead via Shirehampton and Portway
X67 North Common-Centre via Hanham
X68 Stockwood-Centre via Whitchurch and Wells Road

And then a couple of other services which were primarily for Patchway Shadow Factory workers. And probably only ran at very limited times during the mornings and evenings.

X63 Sturminster Road-Patchway Shadow Factory
X64 Withywood-Patchway Shadow Factory

Source http://bvbg.org.uk/Routes 1981.htm
 
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Ianno87

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Greater Manchester Transport used to use 'X' as a suffix to denote short workings on a route e.g. 582x
 

GrimsbyPacer

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In the past there was a:
51X which was the same as the 51 but had extentions to Skegness and Cleethorpes.
And the X1 which ran local 12 bus routes in Grimsby all stops.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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You say that, but I used to change from the 564 London - Sheffield - Huddersfield - Halifax to the 564 Halifax - Mill Bank - Ripponden service (now subsumed into a very roundabout 561/562 circular).

There's plenty of National Express services stating with a 2 (Airport services, usually formerly Jetlink and being long distance to the London airports) and a 3 (usually services which don't serve London) and a 4 (cant find anything these share) and a 7 (Airport services within the South East).

National Express renumbered many services into the 5xx range as they upgraded them to "Rapide" standard in the 90s - then I think they realised they were going to run out as they upgraded the network and started upgrading services without changing the number - as many services serving London were first to be upgraded, many London services are in this range..
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


These were mostly "high" frequency "shuttle" services such as the 060 and 061 Leeds and Bradford to Manchester (each hourly) and the 070 Leeds - Sheffield (filled in gaps in the 31x and 32x series to give an overall half-hourly service), 010 hourly London to Cambridge, 025 hourly London to Brighton.

Not quite

The 0** series referred to the "local" expresses. Routes like Kent, Sussex and Essex into London were in this range. Only when Shuttle was developed with the 011 Cambridge and 025 Brighton was it then used on a renumbered 360/1 for the Liverpool to Leeds corridor.

The 2** were allocated to Airlink (Jetlink being the 747) until the purchase of Flight's "Flightlink" services after which that identity was adopted in place of Airlink https://www.flickr.com/photos/tcd481j/15171505967/in/photolist-p7DWa6-nrtVd2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/quick...P5j-8jtFkT-o1MjN4-BBRgog-jGVG1W-CbccqS-nR7LjJ

The latter picture shows a relivered version with an original Flights Bova

3** were provincial services (non Rapide)

4** were longer distance services to London (non Rapide) including night time variants of Rapide services

5** were Rapide services to London

6** were seasonal services (esp to Butlins camps) e.g. 683 Manchester to Skegness

7** were provincial Rapide services e.g. 738 Glasgow to Manchester, 709-11 NE to SW

9** were Eurolines/Ulsterbus routes

Rapide came out earlier c.1983/4. At that time, routes like the 201-4 North East to London were replaced by the 525/6, for instance.
 

ChathillMan

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X18 Newcastle to Berwick ...4 HOURS give or take a couple of mins with the only limited stop section in the first 20mins of the journey

It's a bit of naughty choice as it takes nearly twice as long as the more direct X15 because it goes round the coast



Sent from my ONE A2003 using Tapatalk
 
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ian1944

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X18 Newcastle to Berwick ...4 HOURS give or take a couple of mins with the only limited stop section in the first 20mins of the journey

It's a bit of naughty choice as it takes nearly twice as long as the more direct X15 because it goes round the coast

The X15 may be more direct but is no more "express" - the only reason it has long non-stop stretches is because Northumberland has a lot of gaps between towns/villages. A year or so ago I "treated" myself to an Arriva day ticket after driving to Berwick, taking the X15 to Newcastle then local buses to Blyth, Ashington and Widdrington, then the X18 for a scenic tour of the coast (with a nip inland to Alnwick then out again).
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The X15 may be more direct but is no more "express" - the only reason it has long non-stop stretches is because Northumberland has a lot of gaps between towns/villages. A year or so ago I "treated" myself to an Arriva day ticket after driving to Berwick, taking the X15 to Newcastle then local buses to Blyth, Ashington and Widdrington, then the X18 for a scenic tour of the coast (with a nip inland to Alnwick then out again).

IIRC X18 was historically the 418, becoming the X18 in the early 1980s as between Newcastle and Morpeth it was faster than the 414/5 via Wideopen. It then had a spell as the 518
 

CatfordCat

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Reading Buses' current X4 service (Reading - Bracknell) is not express or limited stop - it just takes a more direct route at the Bracknell end than the 4 (which shares the Reading - Wokingham section of route and then serves a number of residential areas in south Bracknell.

Someone mentioned Greater Manchester - yes, the addition of X to a route number was a Manchester Corporation Transport tradition to show a short working (or in some cases a deviation off a route, e.g. to serve a works.)

Further back in time, some London Tram routes had an additional service with X or EX after the (to use LCC tram language) service number to show it was an 'Extra' - these tended to run in peak hours, either to serve only part of the main route, or diverted off the main route. Often, just 'EX' was shown in place of a service number.
 

DunsBus

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You can also have First Borders' X62 and X95 which are only limited-stop within Edinburgh.
 

David Goddard

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Reading Buses' current X4 service (Reading - Bracknell) is not express or limited stop - it just takes a more direct route at the Bracknell end than the 4 (which shares the Reading - Wokingham section of route and then serves a number of residential areas in south Bracknell.

And is some fifteen minutes faster. The 4 and X4 leave Bracknell bus station within minutes of each other but the X4's route gets it 15 mins in front by the time it gets to Wokingham, so in this case is highlights the faster journey.
 

Statto

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You say that, but I used to change from the 564 London - Sheffield - Huddersfield - Halifax to the 564 Halifax - Mill Bank - Ripponden service (now subsumed into a very roundabout 561/562 circular).

There's plenty of National Express services stating with a 2 (Airport services, usually formerly Jetlink and being long distance to the London airports) and a 3 (usually services which don't serve London) and a 4 (cant find anything these share) and a 7 (Airport services within the South East).

National Express renumbered many services into the 5xx range as they upgraded them to "Rapide" standard in the 90s - then I think they realised they were going to run out as they upgraded the network and started upgrading services without changing the number - as many services serving London were first to be upgraded, many London services are in this range..

I'm sure NatEx numbered some Rapidride routes in the 7xx range as they ran out of 5xx numbers. 4xx was NetEx non Rapidride routes, although 4xx numbers are still around like 421 Blackpool-London & 422 Burnley-London.
 

Deerfold

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Before deregulation, West Yorkshire services were split as:
<100 - Leeds services.
1xx - Wakefield services.
2×× - Dewsbury, Heavy Woollen district, and cross-boundary services into South Yorkshire.
3xx - Huddersfield services.
4xx - Miscellaneous services.
5xx - Halifax and Calderdale services.
6xx - Bradford and Airedale

Most Keighley-based services were 7xx.
Minibus hopper services were 8xx.
Night routes were 9xx and Nxx.
 

lejog

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Before deregulation, West Yorkshire services were split as:
<100 - Leeds services.
1xx - Wakefield services.
2×× - Dewsbury, Heavy Woollen district, and cross-boundary services into South Yorkshire.
3xx - Huddersfield services.
4xx - Miscellaneous services.
5xx - Halifax and Calderdale services.
6xx - Bradford and Airedale services.

Inter-urban services usually took the numbers based on the operating depot. There numbers stayed fairly static after deregulation with a few exceptions, but X prefixes were always limited stop. Its only in recent years that numbers have lost this pattern, and X-- numbers have been used for longer distance peak-only services that weren't express such as X19 Overton (Wakefield) to Leeds and the X41 Holmfirth-Denby Dale-Wakefield-Leeds service which was ridiculously slow. This no longer runs I believe, though it was curtailed to start from Wakefield which rather defeated the point.

When the buses were reorganized in Hebden Bridge in 2013, WYMetro insisted that all local services were renamed from the non-standard A,B etc to the standard 59x. Mind you Todmorden local services are still called T1, T2 etc, presumably because there isn't a suitable spare range of 5xx numbers.
 
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Deerfold

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Rapide came out earlier c.1983/4. At that time, routes like the 201-4 North East to London were replaced by the 525/6, for instance.

Indeed, but it was a slow process. I didn't catch an NX coach until 1992 and routes were still being upgraded.
 
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