Rise from cleaner to chief engineer

An Arbroath man has spoken of his rise through the ranks of bus operator Stagecoach Bluebird, from cleaner to the company’s chief engineer.

Mark Dowie
Friday, 26th November 2021, 7:00am
Rise from cleaner to chief engineer
Sam McWalter started work in 2002 and has worked his way up to be the company’s chief engineer, in overall charge of a fleet of 200 vehicles.

To mark the recent International Men’s Day, Sam McWalter spoke of his career with the company, which began in 2002.

Originally working as a cleaner on part-time evening shifts, after school, Sam quickly realised he wanted to progress in the engineering team and, at the age of 16, started his apprenticeship at the Stagecoach Dundee Seagate depot.

On completing his apprenticeship, he held a number of roles, including a series of depot foreman roles, before becoming an engineering manager at Stagecoach Strathtay in 2013.

Sam joined Stagecoach Bluebird in December 2019 and now holds the post of chief engineer, responsible for the overall maintenance and presentation of a fleet of more than 200 buses and coaches operating from eight depots in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

He works closely with the fleet engineers at each of the depots to continually improve the presentation and reliability of the fleet.

Sam said: “My passion has always been in the presentation of the vehicles and the impression this leaves with our customers when they choose to travel with us.

"In the two years I’ve worked at Stagecoach Bluebird I’ve been lucky to have a fantastic team in the depots and we’re now performing to the same standards as some of the best Engineering teams across the UK.”

Sam added that joining the company at the start of the pandemic was challenging he is proud of how the depots have supported each other with the required changes that had to be put in place.

There is currently a transition being made to the company using more electric vehicles.

He continued: “The teams have delivered a range of improvements from enhanced cleaning to different signage for customers on our buses and in our bus stations and depots.

“We’re all really excited at the depot for the new zero emissions buses. We’ve started work preparing the depot with charging facilities and we’ll be making sure our team of Engineers are ready to maintain the vehicles as fully-electric buses will be a first for our team in Aberdeen.”

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