See something, say something
Interview with Greg Flug, CP Conductor
“It comes down to a simple awareness of your surroundings. That, and your work ethic and morale are what make up your overall personal standards.” This is how Greg Flug, a Conductor of 14 years on the St. Paul Soo line, describes his approach to his everyday work on the railroad.
It was November 7, 2017, and Greg was working assignment G76 on the CP Main 1 at Chemolite when he noticed something a little ways up the track. Unable to walk away from something that appeared to be out of the ordinary, he went to get a closer look. As he approached, he saw that three of the four connecting bolts on the main line frog had broken off.
“I was standing two engine lengths away and I called to my engineer, because I couldn’t believe it,” said Greg. “At first I thought it must just be one, then two. When I got up close, there were three bolts that had been completely sheared off. I didn’t want to shut down the railroad on a false alarm, but I told myself that I could not justify walking away from this. It was something that needed to be reported.”
Greg called the dispatch centre to tell them about the situation and trains were stopped immediately. He said it wasn’t more than twenty minutes before a team showed up and began preparing to fix the track. The two affected tracks are run by another railroad, but the trackage itself is owned by CP. While it took about five hours to fix, the prevention of a potential derailment was a small price to pay.
“We all have families and people that we care for. Being a CP employee means looking out for yourself and your loved ones by being safe on the job.”
Railroading isn’t Greg’s first career. He began his professional life working for the United States Postal Service. Through both his words and his actions, it is no secret that Greg takes his duty in providing a public service very seriously. While he acknowledges it is an obvious part of the job description, he also reflects on his upbringing in a family with three sisters. He recalls learning from his father at a young age that if something needs fixing in order to protect someone’s safety, it becomes the number one priority.
See something, say something are four words that CP railroaders do not take lightly. There is a shared understanding that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep themselves, fellow railroaders and the railroad itself, safe. A philosophy stressed in CP’s newly formed safety initiative, CP Home Safe, which emphasizes our employees’ commitment to be vigilant about personal safety and the safety of co-workers by speaking up when hazardous conditions or risks to safety arise. Greg practices Home Safe every day and believes positive actions are contagious, which is why he likes to think of himself as a coach who leads by example out on the railroad. “We have a great class of employees at CP,” he said. “Everyone is doing their very best at their jobs and takes pride in the work they do.”
Greg’s actions to prevent a potential derailment did not go unnoticed. Chris Lestina, an Assistant Road Foreman out of St. Paul praised Greg for his sense of awareness and willingness to do the right thing. “We all have families, and people that we care for. Being a CP employee means looking out for yourself and your loved ones by being safe on the job,” said Chris. “It’s people like Greg that show that CP employees are actually looking out, and trying to make CP a safer railroad.”