Railway Age Adds Damien Cantrell to its 25 Under 40 List

February 2022 – For the second consecutive year, a Watco team member made the Railway Age’s Fast Trackers awards program.

Damien Cantrell, assistant vice president of rail and liquids, along with 24 other railroad professionals under the age of 40, was recently honored by this trade publication. Award recipients represent the best in the industry this year and are selected based on their industry knowledge and experience, leadership and contributions, as well as community service involvement.

“I am humbled to receive this award,” Cantrell said. “It’s been an honor to be a part of this great team and to help Watco, its team members, customers, and the industry achieve its goals.”

Cantrell started at Watco in 2010 as an engineer at the Birmingham Terminal Railway (BHRR). Since then, he’s gone on to lead teams at the Louisiana Southern Railroad (LAS) and the Grand Elk Railroad (GDLK) as general manager. In 2019, he was promoted to assistant vice president of rail and liquids at Watco’s Greens Port facility in Houston, Texas.

“Damien is always trying to identify new solutions. He truly seeks to improve our business and make this industry a great place to work,” Cantrell’s mentor and Senior Vice President of Operations Steve Coomes said.

The success of Greens Port is in part due to Cantrell’s valuable leadership. His efforts resulted in the revitalization of the site’s track that was previously used primarily for railcar storage. Although railcar storage is still a service, the track has now transformed to a high-output rail operation used to move, load, and unload freight for customers.

Cantrell said, “This transition offered a solution for many customers that needed a multifaceted deep-water terminal with the ability to offload vessels, store product, and load to railcar.”

As a result, this operation has grown from handling 15,000 carloads for customers to 45,000 carloads a year.

Coomes commended Cantrell’s dedicated efforts and said, “Regardless of the task, he always tackles it with a zest for knowledge and a contagious enthusiasm that makes things better wherever he goes.”

Read about others like Damien who are making a difference at Watco and beyond. See more stories