In June of 2013 I helped organized a meeting in Banff of the board of directors for the Railway Engineering Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) where I served as a director. The event was held in coordination with the Canadian Pacific Railway who organized a train ride for the group from Banff back to Calgary at the conclusion of the event. During the last days event it rained unusually hard and it continued into the evening. During dinner the CP representatives got a call and announced there was a track wash out and the train trip the next morning was in doubt. Announcing a track wash out in a room full of railway contractors was interesting enough. Cell phones were out and within minutes the representatives of over 200 companies had all available resources on notice to help. The seriousness of the event only became apparent the next day as we learned all roads leading in and out of Banff were also closed effectively cutting all east/west transportation for the country in half and that Calgary was under siege with flood waters. For our part Loram was operating a ballast unloading train in the vicinity which was critical to the repair effort. The only problem was that the operator was on one side of the wash out and the machine was on the other. Helicopters were organized to make the connection and the gear was put to work. I spent the next 4 days stranded in a hotel with staff and guests who were cut off from family and friends. Everyone made the most out of an unenviable situation. Not once did I witness a complaint or bad word by anyone.
Phil H – Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.