Posts Tagged ‘Short line railroads’

Short Line Overhauls GP30 to Boost Traction

August 18, 2022

Indiana Northeastern is upgrading one of its GP30 locomotives to improve its traction, Trains magazine reported on its website.

The former Reading Lines unit is being given new power assemblies and electrical upgrades.

Railroad officials told the magazine that the work is designed to avoid the wheel slippage that can occur when the locomotive begins pulling a heavy train.

EMD introduced the GP30 in 1961 and gave it a unique “skyline casing” along the cab and car body.

Operating 105 miles of track in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, Indiana Northeastern has two GP30s on its motive power roster.

The overhaul work is being done at the railroad’s shop in Hudson, Indiana. It previously did mechanical work in a one-stall facility in Hillsdale, Michigan.

D&GV Buys 5 Geeps From Defunct Short Line

August 16, 2022

A West Virginia short line railroad has acquired five Geeps from a fellow Mountain State short line.

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad purchased the units from the Elk River Railroad, which is now defunct.

The units include two GP10 rebuilds, two GP9s and a GP8. Two of units are said to need parts and repairs to become operational.

The other three units need more extensive work and may be used as a parts source rather than being restored to operating condition.

The D&GV is part of the West Virginia Central, which operates 132 miles of former Western Maryland Railway.

It moves freight to and from Elkins, and has operated excursion trains from Elkins to Tygart Junction; Elkins to Spruce; and Elkins to the High Falls of Cheat River.

Of those excursions only the High Falls trains are running today. The excursions to Spruce are expected to be revived later.

The GP10 units are of Illinois Central heritage, the two GP9s were built for the Norfolk & Western, and the other two Geeps once worked for the Wabash.

The Elk River was created in 1989 to haul coal from Avoca to an interchange with CSX at Gilmer. That business dried up in 1999.

It shut down shut down operations in March 2022. Since 1999 the Elk River has stored and repaired rolling stock for other railroads.

Eighteen miles of the Elk River right of way is owned by the West Virginia Railroad Authority.

Once part of the Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad, that right of way will be converted to a recreation trail.

2 Pa. Short Lines Receive ASLRRA Awards

August 10, 2022

Two Pennsylvania-based short line railroads have been awarded business development awards by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

In a statement ASLRRA President Chuck Baker said the awards are about honoring carriers that get one more carload or one more customer at a time.

“It’s the first thing they think about in the morning and the last thing they think about going to bed,” he said. “It’s the existential imperative to grow the business, and you can’t do that by just sitting there. You’ve got to conjure up new business.” 

Honored with the 2022 awards were the Allegheny Valley Railroad and the North Shore Railroad’s Union County Industrial Railroad. North Shore previously won the award in 2004 and 2017.

The AVE operates 77 miles of track in the greater Pittsburgh area and was recognized for establishing a Pittsburgh-area transload facility that has served the local steel industry since January 2021.  

The facility is located on four acres in Glenwood Yard and has an overhead gantry crane and a more than 1,000-foot side track. It serves Pittsburgh and surrounding markets in Ohio and West Virginia. 

AVR is owned by Carload Express, which describes itself as seeking to either add business with existing customers by diverting trucks, adding new business through industrial development or providing transload services to reach shippers who aren’t otherwise rail accessible.

“Pittsburgh is known as a steel-producing mecca, but raw steelmaking no longer is a big thing there. Now, there are lots of processing facilities in the area. We saw a demand for a transload facility in the area,” said Mike Filoni, chief marketing officer.

The Union County Industrial Railroad operates over 18.2 miles of track in central Pennsylvania and serves eight customers.

Its marketing efforts enabled it to increase carloads 300 percent over a recent 10-year period with no Federal Railroad Administration-reportable injuries. 

Railroad officials said it achieved this by providing customer service, customizing business processes to meet customers’ needs, fostering trust from shippers and deepening customer relationships.

UCIR was able to land a new customer in Country View Family Farms, which is constructing a $47.3 million, 100-plus-acre feed mill expansion plant in New Columbia, Pennsylvania,

That facility is expected to open in 2024 or 205 and support Country View’s hog production business. 

Patriot Rail to Acquire Pioneer Lines

August 9, 2022

Short line operators Pioneer Lines and Patriot Rail have announced plans to merge.

The announcement said Patriot will acquire Pioneer in a transaction that will give Patriot 31 railroad systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Patriot currently has 16 rail lines, although none of them are located in Ohio or its surrounding states.

Pioneer has 15 rail lines including Elkhart & Western (Indiana), Gettysburg & Northern (Pennsylvania), Indiana Southwestern (Indiana), Kendallville Terminal Railway (Indiana), Michigan Southern (Michigan), and Napoleon Defiance & Western (Ohio and Indiana).

Aside from its short line properties, Patriot operates tank car clearing, transloading, contract switching, and railcar storage, among other services.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

G&W Says Shippers Invested $1.5B in 2021

March 24, 2022

Genesee & Wyoming said this week in a news release that its shippers had invested $1.5 billion in industrial development along its 103 U.S. railroads last year.

Those investments involved 69 projects that G&W said will generate more than 1,000 new jobs.

One of those projects is located in Delta, Ohio, which will receive from the Indiana & Ohio Railway inbound coils to make pipe.

G&W said it is the fourth steel customer to expand business along the I&O since 2015.

Another project includes a wind-turbine trans-loading site in Remington, Indiana, served by Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway.

G&W said it maintains a database of more than 600 potential industrial development properties across its U.S. railroads.

Pioneer Reports Injury Free Year

March 4, 2022

Short line operator Pioneer Line said this week it has achieved one year of operation without injuries at any of its 15 short lines.

In a news release, the company said its injury frequency rate is below the industry average of 2.18 per 200,000 employee on-duty hours.

In 2018 Pioneer companies had an injury rate of 15.96 in 2018. Railroad officials said changes in safety policies were made under new management that came onboard in 2019.

Pioneer Lines owns the Decatur Junction Railroad Elkhart & Western Railroad, Garden City Western Railway, Fort Smith Railroad, Georgia Southern Railroad, Gettysburg & Northern Railroad, Indiana Southwestern Railway, Kendallville Terminal Railway, Keokuk Junction Railway, Michigan Southern Railroad, Mississippi Central Railroad, Napoleon, Defiance and Western Railroad, Pioneer Industrial Railway Co., Ripley & New Albany Railroad, and Vandalia Railroad.

Watco to Take Over CN lines Jan. 29

January 26, 2022

Watco Company said it plans to assume control of several Canadian National branches in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario on Jan. 29.

Many of the branches were formerly operated by the Wisconsin Central, which CN acquired on Jan. 30, 2001.

All of the 142 miles of tackage in Michigan is located in the state’s upper peninsula and will be operated by Grand Elk Railroad, which already operates lines in the lower peninsula.

Grand Elk will base its operations in Newberry, Michigan, and use two GP38 locomotives. It will employ five workers.

In Wisconsin, the Fox Valley & Lake Superior will operate 329 miles of track, employ 27 and use eight locomotives, six SD40-2s and two GP40-3s.

In Ontario, Watco will operate on former Algoma Central track between Sault Ste. Marie and Oba.

Passengers excursion trains through the Agawa Canyon will be reinstated, the short line holding company said.

OmniTRAX Affiliates Help Local Food Banks

January 13, 2022

The Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway was one of 14 OmniTRAX short line railroads that provided 1 million meals to local food banks in 2021.

Also participating was the Northern Ohio & Western. The carriers were part of the short line holding company’s Good Neighbor Program that provided food bank donations and local employee volunteers to support community meal pledges.

The Broe Group, which is the parent company of OmniTRAX, matched each food bank commitment.

P&L Names New CEO

December 29, 2021

P&L Transportation, which operates regional and short line railroads in Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, has named a new CEO.

Tom Garrett will replace the retiring Tony Reck on Jan. 1, 2022. Reck will continue to serve as chairman of the company and its subsidiaries.

Garrett is currently P&L’s president, a role he will continue to serve, the company said in a news release.

Reck joined P&L in 1986 as vice president of marketing and sales. He became its president and CEO in 1988.

Garrett has been with P&L since 1987 and held a number of management positions. He was named president in 2010.

P&L’s subsidiary railroads are the Paducah & Louisville; Evansville Western Railway; Appalachian & Ohio Railroad; and Midway Southern.

Crew Shortages Affect Short Lines, Too

November 24, 2021

Crew shortages spurred by employees leaving for other jobs and a dearth of applicants for the openings they leave behind have spread to short line railroads.

As reported by Trains magazine on its website, executives from a number of short line holding companies told an industry conference that in some instances short lines have been able to hire former Class 1 railroad workers despite the lower pay and benefits offered by short lines.

Short lines also offer more predictable working hours with operating personnel often able to return home at night once they complete their shift.

A Genesee & Wyoming executive told the conference the number of workers leaving G&W railroads doubled during the third quarter.

The article can be read at: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/train-crew-shortage-spreads-to-short-lines/