John Cameron has risen to the top not only in the world of preservation, but in the professional rail industry, too. In this concluding part of his life story, the owner of Union of South Africa and The Great Marquess tells The RM how he rose from humble enthusiast to become chairman of ScotRail and a member of the BR Board.
Scotland’s UNION MAN: Part 2
Adorned with the Royal Train headcode and standards, John’s Pacific looks the part as he proudly poses at Tweedbank station on September 9 last year. He had driven the Queen part of the way from Edinburgh Waverley on the opening day of the Borders Railway, an occasion covered in Part 1 last month. STUART SELLAR
HAVING just bought ‘A4’ Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa from British Railways, John Cameron was making plans to transport it from Thornton depot to his remote Scottish farm for preservation when, out of the blue, came a call from BR asking him if they could hire the engine back for a Scottish Region ‘farewell to main line steam’ special.
He was delighted to agree, especially as the deal allowed him to ride on the footplate, and the trip was a huge success.
Once that unexpected bonus was over, a BR 350hp diesel shunter hauled the loco in April 1967 from Thornton to the Fife coast outpost of Crail, from where it was taken by low-loader along six miles of narrow winding lanes.
Read more in July’s edition of The RM