Gallery: Caithness calling

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Hundreds of buses made their way to Caithness once their London service life came to an end. John Sinclair captured a range of examples owned by Highland Omnibuses

Highland Omnibuses, the most northern company in the Scottish Bus Group, was formed in 1952, and for much of its existence before privatisation survived by acquiring second-hand vehicles to operate its mainly unremunerative services.

This was particularly true in Caithness, where a large fleet of buses was required to transport staff to the nuclear reactor at Dounreay, which at its peak involved over 40 vehicles arriving daily from all over the county.

Guy Arabs were the main choice during the ‘50s and early ‘60s, and seven originated from London Transport. There were also single-deckers which were constructed from former London Transport Guys, where the chassis was extended to 30 feet by parent company Scottish Omnibuses in Edinburgh and fitted with a new body of similar design to the then-current Alexander single-deck version.

There were also a pair of former London Transport Daimler Fleetlines which, because they were highbridge, ended up in the far north of Highland Omnibuses’ far flung territory.

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