Reina shares her love of operating trains
In 2007, Reina Granados applied to ETS hoping for more financial security and a better work-life balance. She was a single mom to four kids, working two jobs with a mere three-hours rest between shifts.
But, when Reina started her training, she panicked. Realising she had to drive a regular-sized bus, she said to her instructor, “I’ve made a mistake. I'm in the wrong class." He suggested giving it three days to see if she’d change her mind. Reina laughs while recollecting “impeding traffic, because I was driving so slowly. But by the third day, my instructor had to tell me to slow down." Reina hasn’t looked back since. And, she switched from operating a bus to the LRT in 2015.
In the last eight years, she formed a special connection with one of her passengers, David Tsang. David engaged in conversation with Reina while they were on the platform and became quick friends. He sits near her operator enclosure, and Reina will sometimes say his name on the intercom to David’s delight. David spoke at great lengths to his mom and speech therapist about Reina. His conversations prompted him to introduce Reina to his mom. During this conversation, Reina mentioned going to an upcoming Pride and Prejudice ball and David asked if he could join her. She happily agreed, and together, they attended eight classes to learn 18th-century ballroom dances for the event at the Fairmont Hotel. They had a blast. David later volunteered with Reina for Stuff a Bus, the annual collection event for Edmonton's Food Bank.
Reina loves her job and wants to retire with ETS. She said people may be surprised to know there is no auto-pilot to operate the train - everything is done manually. She also wants to dispel the myth that operators can’t use washrooms on shift, noting every LRT station has washrooms for use at any point. And finally, the train is fast, going up to 70 km/hr in some sections!
Reina spends her free-time with ETS, too, volunteering on six different committees, including the ETS Pipes and Drums band. She also volunteers for the Caribbean Women’s Network for Cariwest Festival, where she was photographed with Mayor Sohi. When she finds time for everything she does is phenomenal, but it's in alignment with her ability to keep Edmonton riders on track, on time, safely, conveniently and reliably.