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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018

Derailed in B.C.

0 da227By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Heavy recovery specialist Gord Boyd of Quiring Towing in British Columbia, Canada, has been doing heavy rescue for nearly two decades, almost half of that as heavy recovery legend Al Quiring's right-hand man. He loves what he does and when he's not out working the mountain highways in his 50-ton heavy, he's taking his Harley out for a ride.

Both Quiring and Boyd have made names for themselves as heavy-rescue operators on Canada's infamous Coquihalla Highway featured on TV's "Highway Thru Hell." Al earned the nickname "King of the Coq" by rescuing thousands of drivers on the Coquihalla Highway.

On July 18, Boyd was on his way to a much-needed vacation when the call to duty came in and he just had to answer the call.

"I know I was supposed to be on vacation," Boyd said, "but I couldn't pass this one up. A loaded railcar in a lake up in the same place I was riding the bike just the week before."

The freight train derailment occurred a week before about 30 miles north of Pemberton, British Columbia, on Canadian National's Squamish subdivision. Two boxcars fell into tiny Gates Lake.

Thankfully the boxcars were carrying wood pulp and not hazardous materials; no injuries were reported. CN clean-up crews responded to the scene the next morning.

Quiring Towing was called in by Rick Hunter, president of Hunter John Co. Ltd., to help. Hunter John is a construction company with many pieces of heavy equipment.

"Rick has been doing these jobs for years and is very good at it," Boyd said. "He is the guy that CN calls when they have a derailment."

Quiring responded in his 2007 Kenworth/Vulcan V-100 50-ton heavy and Boyd in his 2017 Kenworth T800/Vulcan V-100 50-ton heavy. Also joining in was Chris Mervyn from Aggressive Towing in a Kenworth/Vulcan 950 50-ton rotator.

"Al, myself and Chris Mervyn went north of Pemberton about 30 miles and helped the crews get the derailed car out of the lake," Boyd said. "It was loaded with wood pulp which made things difficult but not impossible. The rigging was done by the salvage crew under Al's supervision."

The heavies were staged on the roadway above the tracks that ran alongside of Gates Lake to secure the equipment and help with the salvage work below. Both of Quiring's V-100s flanked Aggressive's 50-ton rotator, with Hunter's excavators on the tracks.

All men and equipment worked as a unit pulling the railcar from the lake. The casualty was dismantled by a power shear as it cleared the water and the load was removed by excavator and vacuum trucks.

"Incredible experience working with these two," Mervyn said. "Thanks for the invite, Al and Gord."

"Congratulations buddy, you passed the audition," Boyd said to Mervyn. "Your truck's a KW, it's almost green and you have an epic beard. You're now officially Plan C; thanks for volunteering."

"All in all, a good team effort in a remote location made for a successful recovery," Boyd said.

Editor's note
As of this writing, Boyd said that there is another railcar completely submerged in the lake. He wasn't sure if they were going to help with that one, but he wouldn't be surprised. Stayed tuned!

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman Magazine!
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