Richard McLachlan was born in Belfast; the maternity hospital was beside the GNRI. Several of his class-mates at RBAI (Inst) were keen on railways and encouraged him to visit Adelaide shed, and also to join the railway Society. His first encounter with the IRRS was aged 14 when a family friend gave him a complete set of Journals. He gained industrial sponsorship from PO Telephones and studied Applied Physics and Electronics at Durham University where he discovered colliery railways and the NER, becoming President of the Railway Society in his final year. Part of his industrial training was a spell in Switzerland and he quickly grew to like the local railways. He joined the IRRS and RPSI once he was earning a salary.
His early years at were in the Research department, and subsequently network economic and network planning positions which included large scale trials of optical fibre to the home, and a spell in Germany. He has been an enthusiastic finescale modeller in P4 for 40 years, specialising in carriages.
After early retirement he had time to become active in the London Area, and subsequently became a member of the Board in Dublin. He has spent the last 10 years digitising the drawings collection in Dublin. The more he does, the more donations of new material seem to arrive. He is also Manager of the annual Transport Collectors’ Market in Chiswick.