Juan Alanis recently moved from switchman to safety trainmaster.
His primary responsibility will now be ensuring the safety of the people he has worked alongside during the first three years of his career.
He hopes to build on the strong relationships he developed to have a positive influence on safety. Alanis says his experience helps him empathize with the challenges conductors, locomotive engineers and switchmen can face and see things from their perspective.
“I have a lot of respect for them,” he said. “They know me and that I take my old job seriously and will take my new job seriously.”
The familiarity will make it easier to communicate, and Alanis is aware of how crucial that is to success in any endeavor, especially safety. He said trust is an important element of communication and that time helps build it.
Alanis believes culture is a function of adhering to shared values.
“We all have to hold ourselves to a certain standard,” he said.
Alanis shadowed Trainmaster Bill Peck and was advised by Manager of Operating Practices Mark Labbe. He credited them both with helping him prepare for his new role.
“I really like working with my fellow trainmasters,” he said.
Alanis’ grandfather, Miguel, retired from the Belt after working for B&B. His uncle is Director of Agency Operations Mike Martinez.
“I grew up attending Belt functions,” Alanis said, noting that he’s proud to be a third-generation railroader. “I enjoy how much you learn every day.”
Alanis will welcome his first child, a boy, in January. He’s always been focused on safety, but the experience of becoming a new father has offered a new perspective on the importance of making sure everyone goes home safe.
“A lot of our people have families at home and that’s something that’s important to me,” he said.
Alanis looks to engage employees and help eliminate complacency. He also hopes his teammates reach out to him and let him know how he can help ensure safety.