Mark Labbe is the new manager of operating practices.
He is responsible for ensuring rules compliance and overseeing yearly certification rights for employees who operate locomotives.
Labbe recently worked on revising the air brake and train handling manual with Director of Rules and Compliance Harold Kirman.
“Rules always are changing,” he said. “There’s a lot of new stuff, and we want to bring our employees up to speed.”
Labbe has four years of experience at the Belt and was previously a manager of terminal operations. He also has 14 years of field experience, including more than a decade as a locomotive engineer. He started his railroad career in 1996 as a conductor for Canadian Pacific in Chicago and moved on to the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad.
Knowledge transfer is important to him. He believes it’s incumbent upon him to share what experienced railroaders taught him when he was starting out.
“After working with a multitude of people, sharing their experience is important,” Labbe said.
Just as he is motivated to share what he has learned from other railroaders, he also wants to enhance the Belt by learning from other railroads.
“We can pick up best practices that will help us be more efficient,” Labbe said.
As winter continues, one message he has for all employees is to keep a high level of awareness in the field, especially for potential slip, trip and fall hazards. Ice on locomotive stairs and handrails must be accounted for. Ensuring walkways are clean and salted is everyone’s responsibility.