Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

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Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby dominique » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:12 pm

It sounds like things could get interesting around Defiance and Van Wert in the future. If Pioneer is serious about running trains all the way from Napoleon to fort Wayne, plus the new grain elevator along csx on the west side of defiance. And now I was reading that the VW supersite is moving forward. If what I read is correct, the CFE plans to use the northern portion of the former CCincinnati Northern line to reach the industrial park.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby midland sub » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:08 pm

Van Wert Port Authority is building the line out to the super site as a hedge to draw someone to the site. Good idea with the money there to do it. They caught a lot of flack for pulling up the former Erie main to help pay for it. We'll have to see how good G&W's marketing people are in helping draw industry to it.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:52 am

The Van Wert Port Authority is living under the economic development principle of "If you build it, they will come" in terms of industrial development. The era of industrial parks is over. Van Wert didn't listen at the meetings in which we discussed this (and we had data to show it). In fact, there is very little empirical data to show that industrial site development really pulls in industry. It's been an assumed fact that it does work. Yet, I know of several sites that remain empty to this day.

To say they "caught flack" for ripping out the former Erie is an understatement...the agreement as I understand it, that was made with the Allen County Port Authority who owns the SPEG between Lima and the Allen/Van Wert County Line, was that the line was to remain in place. At least one track.

Sadly, the village of Ohio City is the primary victim here...they have an industrial site that is now cut off from any rail service. Unfortunately, before anything could be done to stop it, most of the track was up.

FWIW, Van Wert will now have two industrial sites served by rail, one on the south side off the former Cincinnati Northern, and now this new one north of town...well, and for that matter, a third site to the west of Van Wert that could have G&W service. Not sure how much more they can do...you can only divide the pie so many times. But, apparently Van Wert feels the pie is big enough.

This may sound like I am anti-Van Wert growth, that is not the case. In fact, I hope it works well as it will then serve members of our communities in western Allen and Putnam Counties, Paulding County and Mercer County. I am simply saying that I am fearful that, in our current era, this may not have been the best idea.

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby midland sub » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:56 pm

These are the same people that were misled by developers that Van Wert had a serious chance with landing the Honda assembly plant back in 2006. I had a better chance of flying by flapping my arms together ...... Is the site actually ready utility wise, or do they still need to make the improvements too?

Can the same argument be made for the Leispic project to connect the I&O?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:14 pm

Here is the site: http://www.whyvanwert.org/mega-site/#!prettyPhoto

As you can see, the former Cincinnati Northern line is to be used north of the US 30 overpass then swings to the east to go to the megasite.

Well, the "developers" in these cases are simply the economic development folks, county commissioners and the like...there isn't really one company that goes around and does this. Site consultants, which industries use to find sites, typically are the road warriors that go around visiting locations to determine feasibility.

The Leipsic site is completely different...at least they have industries present and infrastructure in place. There is plenty of room for more growth and supposedly that may still happen.

E at CG

P.S.- Incidentally, download their brochure on that site...I found a few typos...sorry, I know I am being a jerk, but, really?



midland sub wrote:These are the same people that were misled by developers that Van Wert had a serious chance with landing the Honda assembly plant back in 2006. I had a better chance of flying by flapping my arms together ...... Is the site actually ready utility wise, or do they still need to make the improvements too?

Can the same argument be made for the Leispic project to connect the I&O?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby DT&I » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:22 pm

midland sub wrote:These are the same people that were misled by developers that Van Wert had a serious chance with landing the Honda assembly plant back in 2006. I had a better chance of flying by flapping my arms together ...... Is the site actually ready utility wise, or do they still need to make the improvements too?

Can the same argument be made for the Leispic project to connect the I&O?

The IORY is connected to POET as of the last time I was in town. Before that there was a yellow buffer but it has been replaced with a switch. Does the I&O have plans to get into POET?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby Y@ » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:35 pm

Owen, the I&O installed the switch over the summer so yes they are connected, but they have not gone there yet. There is some sort of a plan in place, but I'm sure G&W will have their own plan. That's probably a good thing, because most of the I&O management sucks.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby bnsf8000 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Midland, the Van Wert supersite doesn't have the utilities in there. The city managed :lol: to get I believe the State of Ohio to let Van Wert hold off on the natural gas line. It's just farm ground now of around 1600 acres. Would be built when some company wants the site. :oops: Not the way it should have been done. But, hey it's Van Wert and I live here! As far as I'm concerned we do alot of things ass backwards. I think the gas line was $4 or 5 million dollars to construct. I don't know how you can have a job ready site when it's not ready. Like I said it's Van Wert.

Eric, what industry could G&W service west of Van Wert? Existing one like Eaton or Federal Mogul or a possible new one?

It's going to be interesting to see what G&W can bring to the table for the CF&E. I hope some way G&W can get a better lease worked with CSX. If not, I guess we'll see.

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:28 pm

No idea what, if anything they would or could serve on the west side, I just know there is a small industrial park (Vision I think its called), that could easily tie into the G&W main...in fact, the Van Wert tornado crossed the former PRR very near the industrial park. I'd say this would be more of an option to build a rail spur there (and much cheaper) then to create this Megasite, far removed from about everything.

If you think about it, looking at the Van Wert properties, there are several good sized facilities available.

"JobReady" is a bit of a misnomer, sites really are "ShovelReady" in other words, start building today. The problem with all of this not the structures or the gas lines or the rail lines, its man power, the number one costs of expanding or building new. And when you compare the time it takes to build a building, versus train a work force, buildings pop up overnight..where as man power takes months comparatively speaking.

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bnsf8000 wrote:Midland, the Van Wert supersite doesn't have the utilities in there. The city managed :lol: to get I believe the State of Ohio to let Van Wert hold off on the natural gas line. It's just farm ground now of around 1600 acres. Would be built when some company wants the site. :oops: Not the way it should have been done. But, hey it's Van Wert and I live here! As far as I'm concerned we do alot of things ass backwards. I think the gas line was $4 or 5 million dollars to construct. I don't know how you can have a job ready site when it's not ready. Like I said it's Van Wert.

Eric, what industry could G&W service west of Van Wert? Existing one like Eaton or Federal Mogul or a possible new one?

It's going to be interesting to see what G&W can bring to the table for the CF&E. I hope some way G&W can get a better lease worked with CSX. If not, I guess we'll see.

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby DT&I » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:01 pm

Y@ wrote:Owen, the I&O installed the switch over the summer so yes they are connected, but they have not gone there yet. There is some sort of a plan in place, but I'm sure G&W will have their own plan. That's probably a good thing, because most of the I&O management sucks.

Thank you, I wasn't sure when it was installed but I assumed there was some sort of business the I&O had with POET.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby AC60CW » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:27 pm

Just a thought. But it would seem that they are waiting to develop the land in terms of infrastructure because they realize that it might not take off right away. I have seen a number of city develop similar sites only to have land with roads, sewer, water and electric and no one shows interest. They then are stuck with the land the way it is. If you don't develop it more than the current level (which lock to be they have water and sewer lines run to the southwest edge only) you can still rezone it and sell it off for commercial or even residential. The location is a very good logistical location. Offering rail and a major interstate access. The commitment to the city to build to suit is also a plus. Even if a major company were to commit to placing a factory there. It would take them a short while to get things rolling on construction. Paving roads and running sewer/water line and electric can be done relatively quickly to accommodated the company wishing to build. You wouldn't need to extend much further than the place going in. When the next company shows interest, the willingness is already proven that the city means business in the desire to please customers.

In the end, it boils down to economic growth, not only in the region, but nation and world wide. As well as the incentives offered to companies to build there.

Will it work...no one knows for sure. But, I am sure we all would love to see it prosper and succeed.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby MSchwiebert » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:38 pm

So what made it such a stretch for Honda to end up there? the site not being ready, workforce issues? Or was Honda just using it as a decoy to milk more out of Indiana all along?

midland sub wrote:These are the same people that were misled by developers that Van Wert had a serious chance with landing the Honda assembly plant back in 2006. I had a better chance of flying by flapping my arms together ...... Is the site actually ready utility wise, or do they still need to make the improvements too?

Can the same argument be made for the Leispic project to connect the I&O?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby bnsf8000 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:40 pm

Eric, I realized after I posted that you were probably talking about Vision Industrial Park. There were rumours way back about a rail spur to Vision. Most likely just rumours at the time. Does make sense though.

It will be interesting this year to see the railroad built to nowhere . Supposed to be a siding built for PR Tech out north while they're building the rail line. I wonder if Carter Lumber will consider using rail again since the rail line will be built right behind them. They may not be big enough to need rail.

Question for all, can a supersite/megasite be broken down into smaller parcels of land for more than one industry? Or, is that why it's a supersite for 1 big company?

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:45 pm

Its a good though and one most city planners HOPE will happen...and yes, these things take time, but, what Van Wert has done was to sacrifice one community for another. Ripping out the former Erie in southern Van Wert County and isolating Ohio City.

While US30 is in place, (its not an Interstate by definition), the rail spur is not, it needs built.

Again, lets consider the costs here...sure, build a factory, but you still need people to work...and while people are looking for jobs, will it be the jobs they want? This is the costs no one discusses. Plus, training a workfoce takes ALOT of time...much more then building a building...but we only want to discuss the pretty buildinds.

My insight is based on my work, which is workforce and economic development.

Eric at CG Tower

AC60CW wrote:Just a thought. But it would seem that they are waiting to develop the land in terms of infrastructure because they realize that it might not take off right away. I have seen a number of city develop similar sites only to have land with roads, sewer, water and electric and no one shows interest. They then are stuck with the land the way it is. If you don't develop it more than the current level (which lock to be they have water and sewer lines run to the southwest edge only) you can still rezone it and sell it off for commercial or even residential. The location is a very good logistical location. Offering rail and a major interstate access. The commitment to the city to build to suit is also a plus. Even if a major company were to commit to placing a factory there. It would take them a short while to get things rolling on construction. Paving roads and running sewer/water line and electric can be done relatively quickly to accommodated the company wishing to build. You wouldn't need to extend much further than the place going in. When the next company shows interest, the willingness is already proven that the city means business in the desire to please customers.

In the end, it boils down to economic growth, not only in the region, but nation and world wide. As well as the incentives offered to companies to build there.

Will it work...no one knows for sure. But, I am sure we all would love to see it prosper and succeed.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby bnsf8000 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:47 pm

I believe that down around Greensburg, IN there were 3 different parcels of land to use possibly. I remember when I saw that back then that Van Wert probably was 4th on the list at least. Honda did say Van Wert did a good job on short notice. I think the land at that time was a different parcel than what is being used now. But, I don't think we ever stood a chance with Honda at the time. Plus, Ohio was losing business to Indiana and other states at the time.

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:50 pm

Indiana has an Economic Development process in place that really tailors to what companies want, both in terms of tax credits and other incentives. It comes back down to dollars in this case...plus, loose lips sink ships...its happened before to Wapakoneta. I am not sure what the workforce issue dynamic was in southern Indiana, but, with the close proximity to Cincy/Lawrenceburg...that may have been a pull.

Indiana still is rolling along pulling in industry...they've adapted...we've not (Ohio) as a state.

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MSchwiebert wrote:So what made it such a stretch for Honda to end up there? the site not being ready, workforce issues? Or was Honda just using it as a decoy to milk more out of Indiana all along?

midland sub wrote:These are the same people that were misled by developers that Van Wert had a serious chance with landing the Honda assembly plant back in 2006. I had a better chance of flying by flapping my arms together ...... Is the site actually ready utility wise, or do they still need to make the improvements too?

Can the same argument be made for the Leispic project to connect the I&O?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby CG Tower » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:53 pm

That depends, if there was any sort of federal grant monies used that specified the location as a "Megasite" then it may be locked into that use...I've not seen the application or the details..

E


bnsf8000 wrote:Eric, I realized after I posted that you were probably talking about Vision Industrial Park. There were rumours way back about a rail spur to Vision. Most likely just rumours at the time. Does make sense though.

It will be interesting this year to see the railroad built to nowhere . Supposed to be a siding built for PR Tech out north while they're building the rail line. I wonder if Carter Lumber will consider using rail again since the rail line will be built right behind them. They may not be big enough to need rail.

Question for all, can a supersite/megasite be broken down into smaller parcels of land for more than one industry? Or, is that why it's a supersite for 1 big company?

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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby ns8401 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:54 am

CG Tower wrote:Its a good though and one most city planners HOPE will happen...and yes, these things take time, but, what Van Wert has done was to sacrifice one community for another. Ripping out the former Erie in southern Van Wert County and isolating Ohio City.

While US30 is in place, (its not an Interstate by definition), the rail spur is not, it needs built.

Again, lets consider the costs here...sure, build a factory, but you still need people to work...and while people are looking for jobs, will it be the jobs they want? This is the costs no one discusses. Plus, training a workfoce takes ALOT of time...much more then building a building...but we only want to discuss the pretty buildinds.

My insight is based on my work, which is workforce and economic development.

Eric at CG Tower

AC60CW wrote:Just a thought. But it would seem that they are waiting to develop the land in terms of infrastructure because they realize that it might not take off right away. I have seen a number of city develop similar sites only to have land with roads, sewer, water and electric and no one shows interest. They then are stuck with the land the way it is. If you don't develop it more than the current level (which lock to be they have water and sewer lines run to the southwest edge only) you can still rezone it and sell it off for commercial or even residential. The location is a very good logistical location. Offering rail and a major interstate access. The commitment to the city to build to suit is also a plus. Even if a major company were to commit to placing a factory there. It would take them a short while to get things rolling on construction. Paving roads and running sewer/water line and electric can be done relatively quickly to accommodated the company wishing to build. You wouldn't need to extend much further than the place going in. When the next company shows interest, the willingness is already proven that the city means business in the desire to please customers.

In the end, it boils down to economic growth, not only in the region, but nation and world wide. As well as the incentives offered to companies to build there.

Will it work...no one knows for sure. But, I am sure we all would love to see it prosper and succeed.


Ohio city is one sad town, 3 lines all gone and ripping out the Erie most recently was probably saddest of all. Is there really much happening there these days?
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby bdconrail29 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:36 am

Up until not too long ago, the diamond was still there at Ohio City, just sitting in the grass field, all by itself (well, ONE of the diamonds at least). Really bizarre. I got some photos of it in 2001. Up until the late 1990's both mains on the EL were still in through Ohio City, though obviously abandoned. And yes, to your point, very sad. If you can find a copy and are an EL fan, The West End by Larry DeYoung is amazing.
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Re: Defiance/Van Wert rail operations

Unread postby midland sub » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:34 am

Honda wanted Jeffersonville over Greensburg. The tax incentives and what not weren't the issue. It came down to available workforce. Jeffersonville fit better into Honda's supply chain. Logistics for both locations were about the same. It simply came down to Greensburg at the time had a more available workforce. At the time of the decision DHL was still using Wilmington as their US hub. Which used about 10,000 people to run. Honda sometimes struggles with filing production positions at Marysville and East Liberty during strong economic times. So with DHL 20 miles awhile Honda was worried about filling production positions with quality applicants. So Gree
nsburg got the plant..
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