Canadian Pacific Rail
The Canadian Pacific Railway is the primary reason Banff is what it is today. Their goal of bringing the people to the mountains caused a cascade of effects: hotels, shops, services, tourism operators, and many others. Once the town was kick started, various other institutions were necessary to both keep the town prosperous and to grow. Their quest for anthracite (coal) brought in hundreds of miners to Bankhead and Anthracite. Without the railway, Banff would not be what it is today.
These days CP Rail is just a transportation company which happens to run through Banff, which is inconvenient at times, especially when they kill wildlife as their 22 plus trains run through the park every day. Ironically, the company that started it all discontinued passenger rail service years ago, and has long since divested itself of their hotels in Banff.
For some reason, the sound of a train is somewhat romantic. But freight trains are big, powerful, heavy, long, and loud. Being near one as it thunders by is an intimidating experience. They are impressive in their own right, keeping thousands of trucks off the road each day. They are essential to our society, but I sometimes wonder what Banff would be like if the CP Rail company confined it's business model to just transportation of goods.