Posts Tagged ‘Belpre Industrial Parkerburg Railroad’

Lake State Named Regional of the Year

November 10, 2021

Lake State Railway of Michigan has been named the 2021 regional railroad of the year by Railway Age magazine.

An Ohio short line, the Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad, was awarded honorable mention in the short line of the year competition, which was won by the Memphis Line of R.J. Corman.

Lake State is a 373-mile Class II carrier serving primarily the northern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

It became a regional carrier in 2019 by acquiring the CSX Saginaw Subdivision between its namesake city and Plymouth.

This year Lake State is expected to handle 65,000 carloads, up from the 30,000 carloads of 2018.

It has won an American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association award for marketing initiatives in three of the past four years.

The 48-mile Class III BIPR is located in far southern Ohio and interchanges with CSX in Parkersburg, West Viginia.

It serves industries in metals, plastics and petrochemicals in the Ohio River Valley.

A relatively new operation, BIPR has upgraded 21 miles of track from excepted to Federal Railroad Administration Class 2 standards.

In its 12 months of operation the railroad has had zero reportable injuries and increased total revenue movements 84 percent compared with the three-year average of the line in previous years.

Other projects undertaken by BIPR have included converting several barge and truck movements to rail for existing customers (coal, residual fuel, asphalt); initiating new product movements for existing customers (ferroalloys, carbon, plastics); adding three new storage-in-transit customers supporting regional industry; and investing more than $2 million into equipment, rail refurbishment and upgrades, and new sidings.

Former Relic of the A&BB in Parkersburg

November 9, 2020

Last Friday I went to Parkersburg West Virginia, in hopes of catching the Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad in operation.

The BIP is a new shortline operating between there and Relief, Ohio. However other than switching a little bit in the yard they weren’t doing anything.

As a consolation I found the Little Kanawah Railroad with its SW1200 No. 1205.

This unit was previously owned by Akron & Barberton Belt. It was ex-Norfolk & Western and originally Illinois Terminal No. 779.

I also found a Seaboard System 40-foot boxcar now used for maintenance of way by CSX.

The Seaboard System only existed for three years between 1982 and 1985 so not very much equipment was painted.

A 40-foot boxcar getting a full repaint in this time period is very unusual.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Short Line Building Traffic on ex-CSX Branch

July 18, 2020

A short line railroad that took over a CSX branch in far southern Ohio this past May is looking to double its traffic over the next year to 18 months.

The Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad is operating the 48-mile line between Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Relief, Ohio, via Marietta.

Casey Cathcart, president of owner Cathcart Rail Holdings, told Trains magazine that it has already managed to convert to rail some traffic that had been moving by truck or barge and is looking to make additional conversions.

The short line has also provided storage for tank cars owned by a refinery along the line and is looking to develop a tank car cleaning service.

The short line has a dozen customers, most of whom are in the business of metals, plastics, and petrochemicals and clustered in a 10-mile corridor along the Ohio side of the Ohio River.

Cathcart believes the Marcellus and Utica shale gas fields are the key to growth in the region.

“We’re all of the opinion that over the next 10 to 20 years there’s going to be a massive manufacturing boom throughout this region as a result of petrochemicals and plastics,” Cathcart said.

That could lead to the development of several parcels along the railroad.

The track on the former 39-mile CSX Marietta Subdivision is welded rail. The line features some street running in Marietta and crosses the Ohio River on substantial 4,300-foot bridge located on the 5.29-mile Parkersburg Running Track.

Whereas CSX served those shippers five days a week, BIPR has increased service to daily.

BIPR employs and leases three GP38-3 locomotives painted gray and black with a gold stripe. A fourth locomotive is expected to arrive shortly.

Cathcart Rail also operates a railcar repair business in Bucyrus.

Short Line to Lease CSX Marietta Subdivision

February 29, 2020

A short line operator has agreed to lease a CSX branch that runs for 39 miles in Ohio and West Virginia.

The Belpre Industrial Parkersburg Railroad will take over operations on the CSX Marietta Subdivision on or about May 2.

The Marietta Sub extends from Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Relief, Ohio, via Marietta.

The transaction also includes the Parkersburg Running Track, which extends for 5.29 miles between High Yard in Parkersburg to Belpre, Ohio.

Owned by Ohio-based Cathcart Rail Holdings, the BIPR is expected to employ eight, including four train service personnel, two maintenance of way workers, a track inspector and a locomotive mechanic.