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  • Railway Age Magazine Honors New Orleans Public Belt Railroad's Tomeka Watson Bryant With "20 Under 40" Award

Railway Age Magazine Honors New Orleans Public Belt Railroad's Tomeka Watson Bryant With "20 Under 40" Award

Tomeka Watson Bryant Headshot

NEW ORLEANS– January 26, 2020 Railway Age Magazine recently named Tomeka Watson Bryant, Marketing and Sales Manager for the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission (NOPB), to its prestigious Fast Trackers "20 Under 40" list.

Railway Age's "20 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 by demonstrating great leadership and people skills as well as industry and specialist subject knowledge.

“We applaud Tomeka for this well-deserved recognition by Railway Age magazine,” said Brandy D. Christian, CEO of NOPB and President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. “She is a rising star in the railroad industry, and we look forward to her continued contributions to NOPB’s overall safety, productivity and business development.”

Watson Bryant oversees business development and customer service as Manager, Marketing and Sales for NOPB. She is also a former Trainmaster for both CSX and NOPB and she has both operation and commercial experience in the railroad industry. NOPB and its connection to six Class I railroads makes New Orleans one of four transcontinental freight gateways in North America.

Watson Bryant is credited with pioneering a successful safety program for NOPB. In her previous role as Manager, Operating Practices, Watson Bryant changed the safety culture and training practices at the short line railroad. Her focus and dedication contributed to a 100% reduction in personal injuries, reportable derailments and crossing accidents.

“Tomeka has been instrumental in the creation and advancement of safe and efficient operating practices at the New Orleans Public Belt, and she always leads by example,” said General Manager of NOPB M.D. (Mike) Stolzman. “She created a sustainable model for short line safety, which we are so proud to use in our daily operations.”

Daily interchange with six Class I railroads offers a unique set of challenges that Watson Bryant navigates in her role every day. She has worked to increase railcar storage volumes for NOPB, while assisting the operations team in keeping fluidity strong for all railcar traffic. She also worked closely with NOPB’s Class I partners to help ensure interchange traffic continues to grow in the New Orleans gateway.

Watson Bryant, who was a runner-up in Railway Age’s “10 under 40” in 2020, serves as Vice President of the National Contract Management Association Mardi Gras Chapter. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Elon University and an MBA from Pfeiffer University.

Railway Age will recognize all the "20 Under 40" winners in the February 2021 issue of the magazine.