Tributes paid to driver and conductor killed in Aberdeenshire train crash

Tributes have been paid to the train driver and conductor killed in the Aberdeenshire train crash.

The family of driver Brett McCullough, 45, said he was “the most decent and loving human being we have ever known”.

A union official said conductor Donald Dinnie was “an amazing person”.

The two men were killed along with a passenger after the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail service left the tracks south of Stonehaven on Wednesday.

Mr McCullough leaves behind wife Stephanie and three children.

His family said in a statement: “Words cannot describe the utterly devastating effect of Brett’s death on his family and friends.

“We have lost a wonderful husband, father and son in the most awful of circumstances.

“Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.

“We would like to thank the emergency services for their heroic efforts in helping everyone affected by this tragedy and for all the messages of support and condolence we have received.”

Train derailed at Stonehaven
Train derailed at Stonehaven

Mr McCullough, who worked in ScotRail’s Aberdeen depot and lived near the crash site, was a former gas engineer who had been a train driver for seven years.

Originally from Bromley, Kent, he moved to Aberdeenshire to marry his wife.

Kevin Lindsay, Aslef’s organiser in Scotland said Mr McCullough was servicing the gas boiler of an Aberdeen train driver when they started chatting about the job and he decided to join the railways.

He said: “He was a dedicated train driver, who loved his job, and was very popular at the depot with his colleagues.

“He was also a devoted family man who loved his wife and children – two girls and a boy. Brett thought the world of his family, and we all thought the world of him.”

Mr Lindsay said the thoughts of his colleagues are with the families of Mr McCullough and Mr Dinnie, as did RMT senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch.

Mr Lynch said: “On behalf of the union I want to send condolences, support and solidarity to Donald Dinnie’s family‎, friends and colleagues.

“It is absolutely clear that he was much loved and highly respected by all who knew him and his death is a tragedy that has shocked our entire industry.”

He added: “Donald’s branch, Aberdeen 1, have told me that ‎he was an amazing person. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheery banter and stories.

“Many knew Donald for most of his railway career as a driver and a guard. He was very much a family man and a valued, active and proud member of the RMT.‎ “