On November 17, 2021, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a grant of up to $687,622.50 to replace rail on a portion of the Napoleon Defiance and Western Railway’s (NDW) line east of Defiance, Ohio.
NDW’s line runs from Woodburn, Indiana to Napoleon, Ohio with interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Woodburn and CSX in Defiance. The railroad suffered from many years of deferred maintenance, which led to frequent derailments and reduced efficiency by limiting the height and weight of loaded railcars and lengths of trains. In recent years, however, new ownership and funding opportunities have led to increased investment in the line. This project involves replacement of approximately three miles of rail between MP 40 and MP 43 east of Defiance and surfacing following replacement work. Pioneer Lines, NDW’s parent company, will provide good-quality, 112-pound relay rail and materials (tie plates and joint bars) from a Pioneer-owned railroad in another state. Utilizing this rail represents cost-savings over acquiring similar relay rail from suppliers.