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The Story…

This service started with a fatal crash just outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada in the month of April 1992. Since then, thousands of people have attended these presentations and have come away with an appreciation for their personal safety.

Locomotive Engineer Tom Armstrong experienced a ten-year period of his career where he crashed into vehicles ranging from a parked automobile to a road grader and has lived to tell about it. It was not until Tom had been personally affected by that 1992 crash that he had become driven with a purpose. In a fraction of a second that day, Tom’s engine tore through a small vehicle. It continued to tear through people’s lives, families and continues to tear right through Tom’s own life to this day. He felt for the driver, and her family as they sat and waited with their lives on hold for 3 months while she slowly withdrew from a coma. He also felt for the other family that had their dreams and hopes torn away. He could have bottled it up inside and never spoke of it again as some railroaders do. Instead he decided to do something about it. He knows he did nothing wrong that day, but still he suffers from “Survivors Guilt” and says to his dying breath, he’ll keeping talking and presenting until people start to listen. He can only hope to educate others in preventing such incidents by changing attitudes about safety.

Tom’s concern is for people’s safety and he is not afraid to express his honest and sometimes emotional views. There has never been a presentation where his emotions have not gripped the audience. It’s the “silent wave” that sweeps across the room soon after he begins to speak that will catch your undivided attention.

You may now experience his feelings and “story” as a railway engineer. His hopes are that the public learns from other’s mistakes. He does not believe in scaring people with inappropriate material. He has never shown distasteful pictures of anyone that has been killed or injured by a train, nor will he ever. This presentation is very effective in changing people’s attitudes towards safety not only around trains, but in their every day lives as well.

The North American Railway Foundation sponsors Tom’s project in part. The foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation, which was formed on October 22, 1996. It’s purpose is to explore, nurture and support railway safety, efficiency and technology and to educate about and preserve the history of railroads in the United States and Canada. The goals of the Foundation are achieved by providing direct and active financial support to deserving institutions and projects, which exemplify the Foundation's purpose. You may apply for funding from the Foundation by visiting their Web Site.




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