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November 2002
Viking Invasion Volvos in Aberdeen

In days of old, bus companies were run by former engineers and drivers.   Nowadays the oily rag has been replaced by the Armani suit and the leather briefcase – yes - accountants are in charge.   New buzzwords abound, and one of those is “outsourcing”.   It’s happening everywhere, so why not in the bus industry ?   Thus First Aberdeen hit on the bright idea of outsourcing all its maintenance to Volvo Bus, late in 2000.   There was only one snag – what to do with the sizeable fleet of Mercedes buses that already plied the streets of the granite city.   The solution was simple – swap over 100 vehicles south and west (the North Sea is in the east and the north) so Aberdeen ended up with a fleet of only Volvos.   Not since Noggin the Nog was last in town has Aberdeen seen so many Scandinavians.   It is a true viking invasion.

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Volvo/Wright 648 (X692ADK), one of 28 such vehicles transferred from First Manchester to First Aberdeen, seen in cold and grey Aberdeen in March 2002. Most of First Aberdeen's Mercedes found a new home with First Manchester.   Seen leaving Oldham's new bus station is 926 (N526VSA) in August 2002.
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The changing face of Park and Ride.   When the Mercedes were delivered to Grampian (as it was then), they set a new standard with their air-conditioning and route branding.   One such vehicle - L503KSA - is seen above right in Aberdeen in September 1995.   Above left: These vehicles have been replaced by the likes of 805 (W582RFS) - one of 40 Alexander/Volvos from First Glasgow - seen in Aberdeen in March 2002. The Aberdeen city fleet has not received any new double deckers for over a decade until a small batch of B7TLs was delivered in 1999.  135 (X104NSS) is seen sporting a Coors advert in Aberdeen in March 2002.
For many years the streets of Aberdeen used to hum with the sounds of Leyland Atlanteans.   Two fine examples are seen here in cold and sunny Aberdeen in October 1987 - 303 (NRS303W) and 264 (HRS264V)
Viking Invasion
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