Railroader Emphasizes Safety to Team and Community

MAY 2023 — Behind every successful team are leaders dedicated to helping others. That’s true of Daniel Rowden at the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL).

Rowden’s a conductor/engineer and also oversees the Team Safety & Improvement Committee (TSIC). He excels at both roles according to SKOL Assistant General Manager Greg Ferguson. He said: “Daniel’s an exceptional railroader. The TSIC is stronger than it’s ever been. That’s in large part because of him.”

Safety is a top priority for Rowden. He recently spoke up after noticing conductors/engineers not using brake sticks on the job.

A brake stick allows team members to operate hand brakes, retainer valves, and knuckles on a railcar from the ground. Without it, conductors/engineers must climb onto railcars to perform these operations.

Ferguson said, “Daniel does an excellent job of looking after his teammates. I didn’t know that we were running short on brake sticks. He told me, and I gave him the OK to order more.”

Community service is also very important to Rowden. Leading up to last year’s holiday season, Rowden and members of the TSIC organized a canned food drive. Team members on the SKOL as well as at Watco’s headquarters in Pittsburg, Kansas, participated.

Rowden also regularly visits area schools and participates in community events to educate people of all ages on rail safety.

SKOL Trainmaster Dustin Coester said, “Rowden does what he does best, which is teaching people how to be safe around railroad tracks. He represents the SKOL well.”

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