My work as an operations supervisor consists of a number of tasks. But I was really put to the test on 22 January 2018. I would like to tell you what happened that day in this article.
We had had to deal with heavy snowfall all day and then, during the course of the day, various stretches had to be closed for safety reasons. We did everything in our power to keep the sections Chur – St. Moritz and Chur – Landquart – Davos open, not least because the WEF in Davos was already in full swing that day.
At around 6:30 pm, I received a very special request by telephone. A guest who wanted to travel to the WEF in Davos that night was not going to be able to do so as planned by helicopter because of the bad weather.
The guest, who was being represented by the manager of the hotel he was staying in, actually had a very special request: he wanted to book an extra Rhaetian Railway train to take him directly from Zurich Airport to Davos. Well – that was a bit of a problem. Not only because it is simply not possible because of the gauge of the tracks, but also for a number of other reasons. The gauge would certainly have meant a change of train at some point. I then contacted a colleague at SBB to see whether that would be possible for them. Ah yes, I forgot to mention before that the guest would be arriving in Zurich at around 7 pm.
Obviously, it was not possible for SBB to organise an extra train in such an incredibly short time. So I rang the hotel manager back and explained the problem. I said we were doing our best and that we could provide a special train from Landquart, but he would have to get himself that far by car. Having been informed of the situation by the hotel manager, the guest felt this solution was a good one. He would travel by private limousine to Landquart where he would arrive at around 9 pm.
Together with the people responsible for planning coaches, the engine and the staff, we looked for a suitable vehicle, a coach and of course a driver as well as a train guard. The lucky thing was we had had to cancel some services because of the poor weather and thus had resources available. And there was actually a train driver in Landquart on standby duty. He was supposed to be off duty at 10 pm, but who wouldn't want to work a little longer for such a special mission?
So, we organised an engine and a saloon car so that the passenger would enjoy a safe and comfortable journey with RhB. In the meantime, we had been asked whether we could transport the guest's luggage from the car to the train. But I soon quickly found a volunteer for that. My boss was still in the office, so I sent him down to welcome the guest and his entourage.
The big moment came at 9:05 pm: the train was ready waiting, the changes of track had all been implemented for the other trains and the convoy arrived in Landquart.
Everything worked out as planned, we took a snapshot as a souvenir and then the train set off – non-stop to Davos.