The Operations and Maintenance Committee (O&M Committee) was founded over thirty years ago to educate utility carowners 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 coalcars. NCTA members have invested more than four billion dollars in railcars and have a large stake in the handling, maintenance, and repair of their investment.
The O&M Committee is chaired by Harry Mullins of Southern Company. Troy Smith of Consumers Energy serves as Vice-Chairman. The group sponsors an educational conference in June of each year at varied locations. The agenda over the years has included Trucks 101 and 102, Wheels 101, Aluminum 101, ECP Brakes, and many provocative presentations on new technology and policy and procedures. Rail carriers and NCTA members that are rail component manufacturers have taken active roles in education and problem resolution within the activities of the O&M Committee. The Committee follows Association of American Railroads rulemaking processes very closely and provides input to the process.