Railway Age Magazine Names New Orleans Public Belt Railroad's, Tomeka Watson Bryant as Runner-Up and Honorable Mention For Its "10 Under 40" Award

Tomeka Watson Headshot

February 12, 2020 - Railway Age Magazine recently named New Orleans Public Belt Railroad's (NOPB) former Manager, Operating Practices, Tomeka Watson Bryant as Runner-Up/Honorable Mention for its "10 Under 40" Award. Recently, Tomeka took on her new role as Manager, Sales and Marketing, however, in her previously awarded role, she changed the safety culture and training practices at the New Orleans Public Belt. Tomeka's focus on teamwork contributed to an over 200% increase in workforce productivity and a standard rail dwell time of less than 15 hours. She sets the example and believes that together, we work better.

Tomeka has been instrumental in the creation and advancement of safe and efficient operating practices at the New Orleans Public Belt. Daily interchange with six different Class One railroads offers a unique set of challenges that Tomeka navigated in her role every day. She has pioneered the safety program for NOPB, one of the four transcontinental freight gateways in North America. Tomeka effected the companywide implementation of railroad operating rules, policies, and procedures through appropriate training and employee development programs. She was responsible for the oversight of union employees to ensure 100% compliance with operating rules, company policies, and regulatory mandates of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). She doubled the number of stop tests and locomotive downloads. Tomeka increased the rules and operations testing for agreement employees and created an online platform to ensure ease of testing execution and maximized reach for employees at NOPB.

Tomeka has greatly contributed to the betterment of NOPB’s safety culture through active listening and engagement with NOPB’s employees, providing constructive coaching and feedback on a consistent basis. She created a sustainable model for short line safety.

Railway Age's "10 Under 40" winners are considered up-and-coming leaders in the railroad industry. Honorees represent the "best of the best," and are making an impact in the railroad industry and by demonstrating great leadership and people skills as well as industry and specialist subject knowledge.