Monday 24 November 2014

Enthusiast finally 'drives' train

Published 22/11/2012 | 11:54

Albert McLean who visited Scotrail's train simulator at Central Station in Glasgow.

A train enthusiast has fulfilled his boyhood dream of "driving" a diesel engine - at the age of 86.

Albert McLean took to the controls of a class 170 train at ScotRail's simulator centre beneath Glasgow Central Station.

The trip was organised by Mr McLean's daughter Shirley who wanted her dad to enjoy a special day out.

He negotiated fog, snow and rain during a simulation in one of the replica train cabs at the centre.

The former coalman from Garelochhead said: "I can't believe how realistic it was. I've always wanted to drive a train or ride in the driver's cab and I can imagine it was as close to driving the real thing as I could get."

Shirley said of her father: "He helps care for my mum and I try to arrange some unusual days out to give him a break. This was perfect."

The class 170 diesel train is often seen on the busy Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley route.

The simulator is used to train drivers, helping them hone coasting, acceleration and deceleration skills.

Albert has now returned to his "day job": part-time work showing houses for a local estate agent.

Simulator centre manager Malcolm Cook said: "Albert was brilliant. He picked everything up really quickly and had no problem handling all the scenarios we gave him. We were delighted to help in making his boyhood dream come true."

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