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April 2001
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Fife FRA46 (UFS879R) is seen on a moody day in Kirkcaldy town bus station in September 1978.   This company had been the first to operate Ailsas in Scotland. Highland only ever operated one of the 50 Ailsas - a former Midland example.   G311 (YMS714R) waits for a workers journey at Dounreay power station in July 1990. Midland originally allocated their Ailsas to Perth for city services.   MRA12 (YMS712R), sporting a broadside advert for Drybroughs beer, is seen in Perth in July 1979.
50ailsa-cover.JPG (39664 bytes) Volvo Ailsas were once common place in Scottish bus fleets, but now only a few remain in service.   Perhaps the most famous Ailsas were the 50 ordered by Fife in 1977.   In the end, only six were delivered to them with the rest being spread amongst other Scottish Bus Group fleets.  Midland took 14, with Central, Eastern and Western taking 10 each.   Over time, Highland acquired one from Midland, and Eastern gave a final few years' service to the Central and Western examples.   Some even made it into Kelvin and Strathtay colours.   These 50 vehicles may be long gone but their heyday is captured in this feature.
Left: Crew-operated Central SMT AH4 (BGG254S) in Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow when new in June 1978
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Eastern Scottish VV778 (CSG778S) is seen in St. Andrews Square Bus Station, Edinburgh in June 1978 Western SMT PA2689 (TSJ592S), at Glasgow's Larkfield Depot for the open day in April 1978. KCB 1978 (YMS713R), wearing  Kelvin's third livery at Kirkintilloch Depot on a typically wet day in July 1990.
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For a complete chronological history of the Volvo Ailsa click here.
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