scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Transport specialist joins the committee

Way back in the mid-seventies I embarked on a career as a salesman in the Highlands selling forklift trucks. I decided to enlist the help of the Donald MacCuish, Transport Officer of the Highlands and Islands Development Board. Imagine my delight to be re-acquainted with Donald as a fellow committee member, and I decided share with you Donald's career.

Donald was born in Arrochar and educated at Tarbet Primary School on Lochlomondside and at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh. In 1954 he began his transport career in Glasgow with the British Transport Commission, who then owned both British Rail and British Road Services. During the Beeching era, at a conference at Inverness Town House, a special committee was set up and Donald was persuaded to serve on this Committee although still based in Glasgow. This Committee was formed to fight rail closures and was instrumental in establishing the highly successful "MacPuff" campaign.

Having had a keen interest in all modes of transport, Donald pursued a course of transport studies under various professional bodies and has risen through the grading system to become the only person ever to hold 5 Fellowships in the transport profession. Donald serves on the National Council of the Freight Transport Association, the Council of Inverness & District Chamber of Commerce and several other transport related bodies and still finds time to be the Chairman of Westhill Community Council.

In the early 60s Donald was largely responsible for bringing the Freightliner service into existence when it was found more economical to move overnight BRS trunk load services from Glasgow to various rail terminals in England then by onward delivery again by BRS to final destinations.

Donald was chosen from 150 applicants for the post of Transport Officer in the HIDB in 1967 and during his 25 years served for a time under the able Divisional leadership of Frank Spaven.

After much persuasion and arm twisting from John Moore, another old HIDB colleague Donald eventually joined the Friends of the Far North Line committee. Another major milestone in his transport career was to be unanimously elected President of the Institute of Transport Administration, the first ever Scot to be considered for this high honour.

Roger Piercy