The relatives of a train driver killed in a derailment said they have “lost a wonderful husband, father, and son in the most awful of circumstances”.
Father-of-three Brett McCullough, 45, died alongside conductor Donald Dinnie and a passenger when a train crashed near Stonehaven on Wednesday morning amid heavy rain and flooding.
Six others were also injured on board the 6.38am Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street service.
Mr McCullough, who was a former gas engineer before deciding to switch careers after servicing the boiler of a railway worker, leaves behind wife Stephanie and three children, two girls and a boy.
‘Brett was the most decent and loving human being we have ever known and his passing leaves a huge void in all our lives.’Family statement
In a statement, his family said: “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.”
Family members praised the emergency services for their “heroic efforts” and thanked all those who have sent messages of support and condolence.
They also asked for privacy to “grieve without intrusion”.
Mr McCullough, who was originally from Bromley in Kent but moved to Aberdeenshire to marry his wife, worked out of the Aberdeen depot.
He had been employed by ScotRail since December 2013.
Kevin Lindsay, Scotland organiser for the train drivers union Aslef, paid tribute to Mr McCullough.
He said: “The tragic accident at Stonehaven has affected everyone in the railway family, but especially the family and friends of the three people who died, and the six people who were injured.
“Brett 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. Brett thought the world of his family, and we all thought the world of him.
“As train drivers, our thoughts are not only with Brett’s family, but also with the family and friends of the conductor who died, Donald Dinnie, and the passenger on the service out of Aberdeen.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured and taken to hospital.”