Posts Tagged ‘Napolean Definance & Western’

PUCO OKs 4 Grade Crossing Projects

December 23, 2022

Four grade crossing projects received approval recently by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

CSX will install flashing lights and gates at the CR 48 crossing in Logan County by Dec. 14, 2023. Federal funds will provide $358,920 toward the project cost.

Norfolk Southern will install flashing lights and gates at the Oakwood Avenue crossing in Crawford County by Sept. 14, 2023. Federal funds will provide $403,179 for the project.

The Indiana & Ohio will install flashing lights and gates at Dayton Avenue in Fayette County. That project also involves rebuilding the crossing surface.

The work is to be completed by Dec. 14, 2023, and federal funding will pay for $371,120 of the project cost.

Michigan Southern and the Napolean, Defiance & Western will install flashing lights and gates at the West High Street crossing in Defiance County by Dec. 14, 2023.

PUCO will provide funding for 80 percent of the project cost with NDWR paying the other 20 percent.

Ohio Short Line Gets ORDC Grant for Track Work

November 20, 2021

The Napoleon Defiance & Western will receive a grant of $687,623 from the Ohio Rail Development Commission to be used for rail replacement.

The track to be replaced is located east of Defiance, where the short line owned by Pioneer Lines interchanges with CSX and Norfolk Southern.

In announcing the grant the ORDC noted that derailments on the 45-mile line that operates between Napolean and Woodburn, Indiana, have been frequent due to years of deferred maintenance.

The track work is expected to enable longer trains carrying heavy loaded rail cars.

The work will involve replacing and resurfacing three miles of track with 112-pound rail. Workers will also install tie plates and joint bars salvaged from another Pioneer-owned railroad in another state.

Ohio Short Line Debuts Pioneer’s New Look

October 7, 2021

An Ohio short line has debuted the new locomotive livery of parent company Pioneer Lines, which earlier this year changed its name from Pioneer Railcorp.

The Napoleon Defiance & Western in western Ohio has given GP20 No. 3001 a new look featuring yellow, gray and black.

The previous Pioneer locomotive livery was black with yellow lettering and chevron nose stripes.

Pioneer also gave the new look to a GP9 on the Kansas-based Garden City Western Railway.

 “Along with the new name, Pioneer Lines redesigned its company logo and will unveil logos for each of its railroads throughout the year, which will pay homage to their history and connection to the local community,” the railroad said in a statement. “While the name has changed, the personalized and flexible service that customers have come to trust and expect remains the cornerstone of Pioneer’s business.”

ND&W 3001 is currently based in Napoleon where it serves shippers on the east end of its 58-mile system that stretches between Liberty Center, Ohio, and Woodburn, Indiana.

It also has a GP9 (105) and a two other GP20s (3054 and 2026) on its motive power roster that wear various liveries of previous operators.

Pioneer is based in Denver and operates 15 short lines in 12 states. Major commodities handled include agricultural and food products, iron and steel, plastics, chemicals, building materials and forest products.

Among the Pioneer holdings are three Indiana short lines, Elkhart & Western, Indiana Southwestern and Kendallville Terminal; and one Michigan property, Michigan Southern.

It’s Western Ohio, Not Kansas

April 10, 2020

On Wednesday I chased the Napoleon, Defiance & Western in Western Ohio. This is a short line that runs a former Wabash line between Woodburn, Indiana, and Napoleon, Ohio.

They roster about a half dozen engines including two GP20s still lettered for the Santa Fe.

We chased it from Okalona, Ohio, to Napoleon where it switched a Campbell’s food warehouse and then returned to Defiance.

In the top photography the train is leaving Okalona. Then it is shown leaving Napolean after switching and passing the elevator at Okalona.

The next set shows the train crossing the Maumee River at Defiance, a pair of the GP20s in  Defiance and the return trip at Okalona.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Rehabilitation of Ohio Branch Line Completed

November 1, 2013

The Napoleon, Defiance & Western hardly looked like a viable railroad when this image was made in July 2013 in Napoleon, Ohio. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

The Napoleon, Defiance & Western hardly looked like a viable railroad when this image was made in July 2013 in Napoleon, Ohio. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Rehabilitation of the woebegone Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railway in western Ohio was recently completed by Pioneer Railcorp.

The 51-mile former Wabash Railroad branch line connects with Norfolk Southern at its western terminus in Woodburn, Ind., and with CSX at Defiance, Ohio. The eastern end of the line is in Liberty Center, Ohio.

Crews did brush cutting, tie replacement, ballasting, and track lining.

Pioneer acquired the former Maumee & Western in December 2012. At the time, it was FRA excepted track and experienced nearly constant derailments.

The NS interchange was out of service and stored cars blocked the line between Woodburn and Defiance.


Hope For Ohio’s Worst Maintained Railroad

January 7, 2013

A crew on the newly-formed Napoleon, Definance & Western does some work in the second of its namesake cities on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.

For my first trip of 2013, I headed to Northwestern Ohio to check out the Maumee & Western shortline – MAW for short – which is now operating under new ownership.

Pioneer Rail Corp. took over operations on the first of the year and changed the name to Napoleon, Defiance & Western. The new owners want to aggressively fix up the plant and turn it into a first-class operation.

The previous owners did practically zero maintenance on the line. Just search “world’s worst maintained railroad” on or Google and you’ll see what I mean.

We headed west to Defiance on Interstate 80 and the newly opened U.S. 24 west of Toledo.

We quickly passed through Maumee where Norfolk Southern serves an Anderson grain facility. There was not much activity here so we continued west.

There are several miles of an old Wabash Railroad branch, which is the same trackage that makes up the former MAW further west. This was filled with stored unit coal hoppers due to lowered coal use.

Arriving at Defiance yard we found idling the No. 5, a former Santa Fe GP7. We took this to be a positive sign.

We checked the other end by the CSX diamonds and found work crews busily replacing ties. There was a PREX No. 3054, A GP20, also an ex-Santa Fe, working the interchange. We watched the crews work for about an hour and got many good pictures.

We then continued west toward Ft Wayne, Ind., following the line. There was not much activity although we did see No. 7, a former Illinois Central Paducah rebuilt geep. The tracks are in really bad shape so Pioneer has its work cut out in fixing them.

At Ft Wayne we checked out the local NS yard and saw little activity. A local was tied up east of the yard and another train was waiting on a crew but little else. We did photograph a freshly-painted caboose and an old N&W snowplow.

On the way home, we did some nighttime photography. At Clyde, Ohio, we caught an NS unit grain train north of town. This is a remnant of the Big Four’s Sandusky-Bellfontaine line.

Next we tried some pictures of the Ohio Route 4 bridge at Bellevue. These turned out OK.

As a bonus, the Conrail heritage was up front here. Night photography is something I never really mastered with film cameras but with a digital camera I can take hand-held night shots.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

The tie gang takes a break. Wonder who Jim and Joe are.

Doing interchange work is a common assignment on short line railroads.

Still wearing with pride its Santa Fe markings.

Does this show you why the MAW was known as the world’s worst maintained railroad?

This Paducah rebuilt geep was still wearing its Illinois Central colors.

A freshly-painted Norfolk Southern caboose in Fort Wayne, Ind.

A freshly-painted Norfolk Southern caboose in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Conrail heritage locomotive was front and center in Bellevue Yard.

The Conrail heritage locomotive was front and center in Bellevue Yard.