RAIL PIONEER : (from l-r: Network Rail (Scotland) chief engineer Duncan Sooman, ICE regional chairman Alan Simpson and Argyll & Bute councillor Duncan MacIntyre).
As part of a continuing programme celebrating distinguished civil engineers who worked in the area, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Region last week unveiled a plaque in Oban to former ICE vice-president John Strain. The plaque was unveiled by regional chairman Alan Simpson and Network Rail (Scotland) chief engineer Duncan Sooman.
Strain was instrumental in extending the railway into Oban from Dalmally, a difficult section of line that included a stretch along the edge of Loch Awe below Ben Cruachan. He pioneered the use of concrete in railway works and was the first to gain permission from the Board of Trade to use steel in railway bridge construction.
He was an ICE vice-president from 1911 to 1916.