G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

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G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby 937TrainFan » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:34 pm

An STB filing was forward to me at work yesterday saying G&W (acting through the Mahoning Valley Railway) was in the process of purchasing Ohi-Rail Corp. Anyone have any other info on any intent or future plans with the line? I haven't been paying much attention to Ohio's rail scene in a while so I'm interested to hear thoughts on whether this is a good move or not.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe G&W currently maintains trackage rights on the southern end of the Piney Fork line from the CUOH connection at Carmen up to Apex. According to the filing, the state of Ohio owns the majority of the Piney Fork as well as the Wolf Run branch. OHIC owns the track around Minerva (including Minerva yard) and the line connecting to NS at Bayard siding.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby trainjunkie47 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:44 am

Ohi-Rail's website is down. I also had trouble finding any news articles on the matter.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby 937TrainFan » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:25 am

Here is a link to the STB filing on the Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... -rail-corp
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:54 am

I suspect this will mean the end for a substantial portion of the locomotives on the railroad. #47 has bounced around since it left the Detroit and Toledo Shoreline where it began its career, but has never ventured outside of the Michigan, Indiana, Ohio area under ownership. The only time it may have left this region would have been during a move for one its owning companies.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby DT&I » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:24 pm

chapmaja wrote:I suspect this will mean the end for a substantial portion of the locomotives on the railroad. #47 has bounced around since it left the Detroit and Toledo Shoreline where it began its career, but has never ventured outside of the Michigan, Indiana, Ohio area under ownership. The only time it may have left this region would have been during a move for one its owning companies.

The 47 has been gone for some time now, along with all the other cool stuff they had. At the end they only rostered 2 or 3 ex-NS highhood GP38-2's.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:22 pm

Any idea where 47 went?
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:18 pm

So apparently the #47 went to Byesville. There was a Byesville Scenic railroad in town, but they have not operated in about 8 years. Google images still show equipment in Byesville, but the line south of town looks unused and in poor condition. North of town is the Columbus and Ohio River, a G&W railroad.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby mowingman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:37 pm

I think No. 47 went to the Indiana Northeastern. The operation at Byesville has been shut down for years, and never had a GP7 that I know of.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:09 pm

mowingman wrote:I think No. 47 went to the Indiana Northeastern. The operation at Byesville has been shut down for years, and never had a GP7 that I know of.


Unless it went back to the INER, I think that is very unlikely. It was property of the INER before being sold to Indiana Boxcar, where it sat in Hillsdale for several years in the INER yard. It later went to Ohi-Rail, but has apparently been shipped to Byesville.

I agree about the operation in Byesville not operating in years. Maybe someone new is trying to restart it?
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:45 pm

mowingman wrote:I think No. 47 went to the Indiana Northeastern. The operation at Byesville has been shut down for years, and never had a GP7 that I know of.


I did get confirmation from someone on the "Mayor of Byesville" facebook page that the unit did in fact go to Byesville and has been moved about 3 miles south of Byesville, along with a red locomotive.

One thing I did find was the Byesville Scenic did make an apparently 1 off freight move, possible to a location in Derwent, Ohio. This went to Basic Systems, inc in 2007. It appears that it was run over the Byesville Scenic's track, but was operated by the Columbus and Ohio River Railroad, itself then part of the Ohio Central System.

There at one time was a connection between the Ohio Central and their previous ownership and the organization that owned the tracks from Byesville south. This allowed the Ohio Central to use 1293 on the tracks for a few events.

There is also a question regarding the ownership of the tracks from Byesville south and who actually controls the line.

I suspect the reason the Byesville Scenic stopped running was due to insurance costs either pushed directly on the organization or pushed onto the organization by the track owners (whoever that is).
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby 937TrainFan » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:11 pm

According to ORDC's web map, the line from Byseville to Derwent is owned by a "Zemba Bros Rail Services". According to their website, Zemba is an earth moving company based out of Zanseville. It looks like they have a decent sized earth material transload out of Derwent on the eastern side of the line. From the pictures on their website (here is a link: http://www.zembainc.com/Grading-Hauling ... -Services/), they are offloading some pretty large quantities of what looks like sand. Someone with more knowledge will have to tell me if those locomotives in the pictures are theirs or the CUOH's.

The website also claims they are doing car storage but I am not sure how much track they have to work with. Rails are still in place south of Derwent but who knows if it is still serviceable or not.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby AARR » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:29 pm

I followed the Ohi-Rail line by satellite image and saw just a couple customers in Minerva. Does anyone know if they service any other customers? There were a bunch of sand cars staged someplace south but it didn't look open at the time of the picture.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby mowingman » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:03 pm

Ok, my info was pretty old. So, maybe the lines owner is using it, or has plans to use it. I will have to check that trackage out when I go up there later this summer.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:08 am

937TrainFan wrote:According to ORDC's web map, the line from Byseville to Derwent is owned by a "Zemba Bros Rail Services". According to their website, Zemba is an earth moving company based out of Zanseville. It looks like they have a decent sized earth material transload out of Derwent on the eastern side of the line. From the pictures on their website (here is a link: http://www.zembainc.com/Grading-Hauling ... -Services/), they are offloading some pretty large quantities of what looks like sand. Someone with more knowledge will have to tell me if those locomotives in the pictures are theirs or the CUOH's.

The website also claims they are doing car storage but I am not sure how much track they have to work with. Rails are still in place south of Derwent but who knows if it is still serviceable or not.


So know we are getting somewhere.

Per the Facebook contact down there I have determined that not one but two former Ohi-Rail locomotives are now down that way. One is the #47 GP7, the other is the GP9 #221. The GP-9 is a former Mid-South and IC locomotive (9360 IIRC).

The contact says it is a Shelly and Sands property, but they are located on the opposite side of the expressway from where the tracks are.

I suspect things have changed significantly since the last Google images were taken of the area.



I wonder if this is a newer operation and thus is not showing up on the Google Images I'm seeing online.

Looking at a couple company pictures it does appear that the some of the background features do fit what I see on Google Earth.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:30 am

937TrainFan wrote:According to ORDC's web map, the line from Byseville to Derwent is owned by a "Zemba Bros Rail Services". According to their website, Zemba is an earth moving company based out of Zanseville. It looks like they have a decent sized earth material transload out of Derwent on the eastern side of the line. From the pictures on their website (here is a link: http://www.zembainc.com/Grading-Hauling ... -Services/), they are offloading some pretty large quantities of what looks like sand. Someone with more knowledge will have to tell me if those locomotives in the pictures are theirs or the CUOH's.

The website also claims they are doing car storage but I am not sure how much track they have to work with. Rails are still in place south of Derwent but who knows if it is still serviceable or not.


The locomotives in those pictures, 3305 and 3308 are showing up in the all time roster of the Ohio Central System. 3324 also appears in the pictures (unless I can't read and the number is different). This locomotive appears to be ex-UP, but does not show up in the Ohio Central system locomotive roster.

I wonder if the Ohio Central was charging more than the company was willing to pay for locomotive usage, and as a result they have purchased their own well used power for the operation.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby 937TrainFan » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:32 pm

Unfortunately the most recent Google Imagery doesn't show the new operation in Derwent, but the imagery base map on the ORDC web map does albeit a little more grainy.

AARR wrote:I followed the Ohi-Rail line by satellite image and saw just a couple customers in Minerva. Does anyone know if they service any other customers? There were a bunch of sand cars staged someplace south but it didn't look open at the time of the picture.


I believe the majority of their customer base is frac material transloading at their Minerva yard facilities. There is the large Apex Landfill on the southern half of the Piney Fork line, but I think that's mostly served by the CUOH via trackage rights. I am unsure of any other large customer's outside of Minerva. Hope someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

The Ohi-Rail website is down now. I hope some local rail fans can document the new changes happening.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby midland sub » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:10 am

The line has zero customers other than car storage. Fracking sand transload went away, the line is just far enough out of the fracking area the extra distance killed the business. Other than access to Apex, which they already had, really doesn't make sense G&W bought the company. The 2 GP38-2 were part of the sale.

As for the 2 former locos at Byesville, they get a stone train once a week or so.
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby 937TrainFan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:01 am

midland sub wrote:The line has zero customers other than car storage. Fracking sand transload went away, the line is just far enough out of the fracking area the extra distance killed the business. Other than access to Apex, which they already had, really doesn't make sense G&W bought the company. The 2 GP38-2 were part of the sale.

As for the 2 former locos at Byesville, they get a stone train once a week or so.


Thanks for the info midland sub.That's unfortunate about the frac business going away. Maybe G&W will use the line as a giant parking lot?
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Re: G&W to Purchase Ohi-Rail

Unread postby AARR » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:10 pm

Thank you midland sub
937TrainFan wrote:
midland sub wrote:The line has zero customers other than car storage. Fracking sand transload went away, the line is just far enough out of the fracking area the extra distance killed the business. Other than access to Apex, which they already had, really doesn't make sense G&W bought the company. The 2 GP38-2 were part of the sale.

As for the 2 former locos at Byesville, they get a stone train once a week or so.


Thanks for the info midland sub.That's unfortunate about the frac business going away. Maybe G&W will use the line as a giant parking lot?
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