A Tribute to Douglas Hamilton, President of the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership

by Robert Whitehouse, Chair of the Partnership

It is with regret that I inform you of the death of the Partnership’s President, Douglas Hamilton.

Doug, as he was known to many of us, passed away on Sunday 15th November. He had been unwell for a couple of weeks by all accounts, though lucid and coping, but went into a rapid and unexpected decline.

For those of you who did not know Doug well, I have gleaned a few insights into his varied life. Doug started as a Civil Engineer in the rail industry following his father who was a station master at a number of stations. Following this, he joined Durham County Council Road Construction Unit and led on many national projects including the M62 motorway.  In 1974 he became head of the Public Passenger Transport Unit dealing with both Bus and Rail. He was instrumental in taking a regional approach to rail and he led on this unified approach.

Doug was instrumental in setting up the Friends of the Heritage Line, which was a precursor to Community Rail. When Community rail was formed this then transferred into the Bishop Line Community Rail Partnership. Doug stayed in Durham after his retirement for many years and eventually moved to Cheshire to be closer to his daughter, Rachel.

Doug’s knowledge of rail was immense and extremely helpful to the Partnership and we shall miss him.

Stuart Woods, our Secretary, who was a personal friend of Doug will attend the funeral to represent the North East rail community.