CSX Using Corman Line Out of Warwick

An empty CSX pipe train rumbles into Clinton on the R.J. Corman Cleveland Subdivision.

An empty CSX pipe train rumbles into Clinton on the R.J. Corman Cleveland Subdivision.

One Sunday morning last month I was watching trains on the CSX New Castle Subdivision in Warwick Park in Clinton when I heard the IO dispatcher make reference to a train on the R.J. Corman that had everything tied up near Warwick.

I didn’t think much of it, thinking it was a train in Warwick Yard. But about 10 minutes later I heard a locomotive horn that did not belong to a train on the New Castle Sub.

With the dispatcher’s comments fresh in mind, I hurried over to a crossing of the Corman in Clinton where I spotted a train coming north with two CSX locomotives and a long string of flat cars behind them.

Both were six-axle units, which is not the type of motive power that you typically see on the Corman. For that matter, I’ve never seen a CSX train coming into Clinton from the south on the Corman.

My initial thought is that it was a work train, but why would a CSX work train be on the Corman’s Cleveland Subdivision? There are no connections between the Corman line and any CSX line south of Clinton.

I would later learn that what I had seen was an empty pipe train. It originates in Dothan, Alabama, and brings 36-inch pipe to a storage yard in Massillon at the site of the former Republic Steel complex.

I posted a story on the ARRC blog in late January about how two Massillon area entrepreneurs were developing that site and planned to offer rail service.

They were rehabbing a 3.5-mile rail line that would offer connections to the Corman and to Norfolk Southern. The article mentioned that the site would be storing pipe for a 600-mile project in Ohio, Michigan and Canada.

That might be a proposed pipeline that has generated a great deal of controversy in Akron after several homeowners refused to allow surveyors from Nexus Gas Transmission Company to come onto their property.

The homeowners object to locating a pipeline in what they term a densely populated area with some wanting it to be built farther south.

Several property owners appeared in a Summit County courtroom earlier this week during a hearing to determine if Nexus would be granted a temporary restraining order that forces homeowners to allow Nexus survey crews onto their property.

On Thursday, Summit Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands denied Nexus the temporary restraining order and questioned whether the Texas-based company has the authority that it claims under Ohio law to go onto private property to conduct surveys.

However, Judge Rowlands set an Oct. 26 hearing on the company’s request for a declaratory judgement and permanent injunction. Courts in Medina and Wayne County have also been considering legal actions over the access to property issue.

The pipeline still needs approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before it can be built. Nexus hopes to begin construction in 2017 and begin using the pipeline late that year.

The pipeline would originate in Ohio’s Utica Shale region and go westward to Defiance where it would then veer north to Detroit and join other pipelines leading into Ontario.

The developers of the site where the pipes are being stored, had indicated in January that the first shipments of pipe were expected by Feb. 1.

Apparently, pipe trains have been running steadily to and from Massillon via CSX and the Corman. On CSX, the trains operate as K565 and K566.

Each flatcar can hold five to six pipes. Each train typically has 50 to 60 cars. CSX motive power has remained on the trains as they travel over the Corman’s Cleveland Subdivision to and from Warwick.

The CSX traffic has added traffic to a line that has had less than daily service in recent years. Ohio Central used to use the Corman line to Warwick to interchange with CSX, but has switched that interchange to Columbus.

The pipe trains are limited to 20 mph while on Corman property, thus making them easy to chase.

The Corman continues to interchange at Warwick, but there has been talk that Corman might move its interchange elsewhere, raising doubts about the future of the route north of Massillon.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

A long string of flatcars stretched out behind the motive power.

A long string of flatcars stretched out behind the motive power.

A lone boxcar was the only car in the consist that wasn't a flat car.

A lone boxcar was the only car in the consist that wasn’t a flat car.

It turns out that the term "Pennsy" on this flat car refers to a railcar component and parts company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and not to the railroad that once owned one of the tracks between Warwick and Mace Tower in Massillon.

It turns out that the term “Pennsy” on this flat car refers to the Pennsylvania Rail Car Company, a maker of components and parts based in Mercer, Pennsylvania, and not to the railroad that once owned one of the tracks between Warwick and Mace Tower in Massillon.

 

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