I’ve concluded that more times than not, when I’ve visited Canada there is always an element of the trip that makes it an adventure. The recipe is simple, great people and interesting locations. One such trip that comes to mind happened around 2002 when I had the opportunity to visit The Pas.
How could one not be intrigued by just the name, “The Pas”? Then you add the location and it had me working on a plan to visit. My opportunity took shape when one of the Loram rail grinders had this town in Manitoba, known as “The Gateway to the North”, on the schedule to work through. The Canadian National Railway was the source of our path that we followed through a very isolated but scenic Manitoba journey. The trip became even more memorable when we discovered at the final entry into the rail yard in The Pas, that a couple of wheels on the Loram Rail grinder had developed flat spots. These were not just ordinary flat spots, but ones that stopped us in our tracks…literally. Typically flat spots are removed within a wheel shop, however these were so severe the railway would not allow any further travel, leaving the crew in an interesting predicament.
Fortunately, the capable Loram Superintendent Michael Brownfield, used his renowned creative juices and enlisted some local Canadian talent with a nice blend of “can do” spirt to find a remedy. This included using hand held grinders to smooth off the sharp edges on the running surface of the large rail wheel. After, days of grinding….well, maybe just hours, the wheel morphed back into the round shape that has given the wheel its good reputation. Unfortunately, this meant our trip in The Pas was over and it was time to turn the machine and head south, ending one Canadian adventure but beginning another.
Justin C – Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.