Operations and Maintenance

The Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Committee was founded over 30 years ago to educate utility car owners regarding the technology, design, maintenance, operations, and repair of railcars in unit train service. Technology and design have changed considerably over the last three decades with the advent of aluminum cars; improved bearing, truck, brake, and draft gear design; and increased lading in coal cars. NCTA members have invested more than $4 billion in railcars and have a large stake in handling, maintaining, and repairing their investment.

The O&M Committee is chaired by Kevin H. Johnson of Nebraska Public Power District. The group sponsors an educational conference each year at various locations. Over the years, the agenda has included Trucks 101 and 102, Wheels 101, Aluminum Metallurgy, ECP Brakes, four-port testing, longer trains, controlling motion, air brake valves, wheel wear, and presentations on new technologies as well as policy and procedures. Rail carriers and NCTA members that are rail component manufacturers have taken active roles in education and problem resolution within the O&M Committee’s activities. The Committee follows the Association of American Railroads’ rulemaking processes very closely and provides input to the process.

For more information or to participate in O&M Committee activities, please contact Committee Chairperson Kevin Johnson at (308) 530-7115 or khjohns@nppd.com

Operations and Maintenance Committee Guidelines »

UMLER Waiver Agreement »


Kevin Johnson, NPPD, Chairperson

Eastern Logistics and Planning

The Eastern Logistics and Planning Committee (Eastern L&P) brings stakeholders together to beneficially resolve challenges and problem-solving opportunities. The group is open to all interested parties with a stake in eastern coal transportation and a desire to improve the infrastructure.

Transportation entities such as rail carriers, barge companies, river terminal operators, and export terminal operators are active participants. Coal producers, electric utilities, industrial consumers of coal, and railcar owners also participate with the shared goal of continuously improving coal transportation and coal handling systems.

Eastern railroad and waterborne carriers provide reports and data on performance at each meeting. These reports become a basis for discussion and suggestions for group initiatives. Gatherings and initiatives are undertaken with due consideration to avoid all anti-competitive activities.

To learn more about the NCTA Eastern Logistics and Planning Committee, please contact Edwin Fisher, Chairperson, at efisher@archrsc.com or call John Ward at 801-560-9801.

Western Logistics and Planning

The Western Logistics and Planning Committee (Western L&P) provides relevant education and historical and current context of industry challenges. This important mission is accomplished by providing a legal forum for discussion and communication among all industry stakeholders. Historically, NCTA is pleased to have successfully fostered discussion and resolution during periods of growth, disruption, and challenge for the entire industry. The Western L&P Committee continues this important work to improve efficiencies and communication among transportation entities, producers, and consumers.

The participation of the Western Class I railroads and other transportation entities is integral to these meetings. Their reporting on rail performance and maintenance-of-way plans is greatly appreciated at every meeting.

To learn more about participating in the NCTA Western Logistics and Planning Committee, please contact Chairperson Mark Adkins, TUCO/NexGen, at madkins@nexgencoalservices.com.


Sharon Robinson, Blackhawk Mining: Chairperson
Barbara Porter, Arch Resources

The Education Committee oversees the NCTA scholarship program, which awards four annual scholarships of $1,500 each.

NCTA awards two non-renewable one-year college scholarships and two non-renewable one-year vocational or associate degree program scholarships annually to dependent sons and daughters of full-time employees of NCTA member companies in good standing. Please see the Scholarships page for more information or to download an application.