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National Coal Transportation Association

2020 Operations and Maintenance Conference

From August 17, 2020 until August 19, 2020

2020 Operations and Maintenance Conference, August 17-19, 2020


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Durango, Colorado

The Strater Hotel

The NCTA O&M began as a group of private railcar owners, meeting in a hotel to discuss car issues they were experiencing.  The NCTA O&M Committee has evolved over the years, but its primary purpose remains the same. NCTA is committed to helping members solve their railcar maintenance issues and to provide necessary technical education.

The O&M consists of a vast range of people from suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, leasing companies, utility representatives, railcar maintenance contractors, and others. Individuals also vary in what they manage within maintenance. While some predominantly work with coal cars, others are also managing the maintenance of limestone, gypsum, ash, or any other car types related to the coal business. Despite each of our unique positions, we all come together in the interest of safe and cost-efficient railcar operations and maintenance. 

The NCTA O&M Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet railcar owners and listen to their concerns as well as their successes.  The speakers, technical papers presented, and discussion topics are determined by the members.  Kevin Johnson, Coal and Rail Logistics Leader of Nebraska Public Power District, is the Program Chairman and is creating a robust agenda.  The traditional NCTA Utility Member Roundtable discussions will take place on Monday morning, and the All Member Roundtable will commence Monday, mid-morning.


Saturday, August 15, 2020, at 12:15 pm or Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 9:00 am
Optional Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Train Ride
The train will depart from the Rockwood station and you will travel to scenic Cascade Canyon.  Shortly after the ride begins the train will go through the cut opening up to the breathtaking highline vista. Train tickets are optional.  You need to sign up for the trip during the registration process.  Tickets are non-refundable.  Train Ticket: $99.00 per person and lap children under four are free.  Due to a recent track washout, the train will no longer travel to Silverton for the rest of the season.


August 17, 2020, Monday
Optional Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Yard and Roundhouse Tour
Don't miss out on an expertly guided tour of the D&SNG yard, machine shop, roundhouse, car shop, rolling stock, and museum.  The knowledgeable tour guides will be able to answer all your vintage railroading questions. Learn the history and see the behind-the-scenes operation of the railroad. Tickets for the tour are $15.00 per person.

August 17, 2020, Monday

9:00  am  Utility Roundtable
11:30  am Lunch by individual arrangement
1:00  pm All NCTA Member Roundtable
3:30  pm  Optional Durango & Silverton Yard Tour
5:00  pm Welcome Cocktail Reception

August 18, 2020, Tuesday

7:00 am Breakfast
8:00 am General Session
6:00 pm Reception


August 19, 2020, Wednesday

9:00 am Optional Train Ride
12:00 pm NCTA Golf Tournament at Hillcrest Golf Club


2020 O&M Conference Confirmed Speakers




Steve Dobies & Chris Tsang

A.Stucki & DTE

Preventative vs. Reactive Wheel Maintenance:  A Case Study for Asymmetrical Wheel Wear & Life Extension

Nichole Fimple and
Ron Hynes


Revisions to AAR Field Manual Rule 4.A

Vincent Moore

New York Air Brake

Brake System Maintenance for Extended Long Haul Service

Tim Armstrong

Tennessee Valley Authority

Condition-Based Maintenance

Randy Quaife


Railcar 101

Pat Whelan


Coupler System & Airbrake COT&S

Steve Morgan


Hand Rolling of Bearings & Measuring Adapters

Joe Gagliardino

Mc Conway & Torley



The NCTA Operations & Maintenance Committee will hold its annual conference on August 17-19, 2020, at the Historic Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado.  Durango is a small city located in southwestern Colorado, about 20 minutes from the border of New Mexico.  Main Avenue is a Nationally Registered Historic District that cuts through downtown Durango and is home to galleries, boutiques, restaurants, bars, and much more. 

Registration is required for each conference attendee.  The Conference fee is $650 for members, $850 for Railroads, Non-Member Sponsors, or Advertisers, and $1,200.00 for Non-Members.  After August 4th, an additional fee of $100 will be added for late registrants. 

All conference attendees will NOT be able to stay at the Strater Hotel.  Additional negotiated hotel options are available.  If you want to secure your room at the conference hotel, please contact Melinda Canter at 720-227-1049 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please do NOT CALL the hotel.  Rooms at the Strater will be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.


One of the West’s iconic hotels, the Strater Hotel, built-in 1887, is the centerpiece of Durango in every way. Located two blocks from the Historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, it is also the heart of fun and entertainment. The interior is adorned with beautiful handcrafted woodwork, period wallpaper, and the most extensive collection of American Victorian walnut antiques. Everywhere you look, high-quality features of the Old West. The world-famous Diamond Belle Saloon features nightly entertainment, including top-rated ragtime piano players.   The hotel prides itself on honoring the past while providing the latest amenities to its guests.

The NCTA negotiated room rate for a Classic Full:  $199++ , Classic Queen:  $199++, Deluxe Queen is $241++, Deluxe King:  251++


The Holiday inn is located .8 of a mile from the Strater.  The Holiday Inn has a shuttle bus that will pick up/drop off at the airport, downtown, or the Strater Hotel.  They are offering a room rate of $150.00++ per night for a standard room and $160.00++ for suites.  Breakfast is not included, but vouchers are available at the front desk for $10.00 for two people.  CLICK HERE to BOOK NOW  Use booking code COA, or you can call to reserve at 970-385-6400.  The last day to make a room reservation at this rate is July 10, 2020.

The annual NCTA O&M Golf Tournament will tee up at noon on Wednesday, August 19th, at Hillcrest Golf Club.  Play will commence via tee times; there will not be a shot-gun start.  The course is located 6 miles from the Strater Hotel atop a grand mesa.  The course features magnificent vistas of the La Plata Mountains and the Animas River Valley. 

Lunch will be provided, and the beverage cart on the course throughout the afternoon will be complimentary. A no-host prize party will follow the event, so start gathering your logo items to donate to the prize pool.  The cost per golfer for this event is $99.00 and $60.00 for rental clubs. 

Have you ever thought about sharing your industry knowledge by participating in the Executive Committee?  Nominations are now being accepted.  You can nominate yourself or someone else.  Please
 download the form below and e-mail to Melinda Canter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CLICK HERE to download the O&M 2020 Nomination Form

Operations & Maintenance Executive Committee 2019-2020


If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Canter 720-227-1049 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.