DEFIANCE- The Pioneer Railcorp (Pioneer) will receive $4.1 million to invest in the infrastructure of the Napoleon, Defiance, & Western Railway Co. (NDW).

Senator Rob Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced the award of $4,112,452 to the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) to fund the Napoleon, Defiance, & Western Critical Safety Upgrade project. This funding is awarded as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) fiscal year 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant round.

The CRISI award will fund 50% of project costs, with $3,862,452 (47%) matched by the NDW and $250,000 (3%) by ORDC. The project will replace 10 miles of steel rail and replace 29,000 ties on 29 miles of rail line. The line runs from Woodburn to Napoleon.

“The majority of these granted funds will be spent in the 16 miles of track that runs the full east to west length of Paulding County,” stated Paulding County Economic Development Director Tim Copsey. “Our Paulding County office was approached about this grant early this summer and was in full support in working with Pioneer Railcorp. This additional $4.1 million dollar investment into this rail line is both welcome and needed. This is another victory for our county, those businesses that currently use this line, and those that intend to use it in the future. We can and will build on this. Everything we gain right now in building our county infrastructure at any level is setting us up for future growth,” continued Copsey.

BRX Transportation Holdings acquired NDW and its parent company, Pioneer, in 2019. Since that time, Pioneer, NDW and ORDC have worked to improve tie condition and the safety and efficiency of the line. But the line remains in need of substantial investment to provide the service necessary to grow traffic and attract new industry.

The Napoleon, Defiance, & Western is strategically located for U.S. manufacturers in a key logistics corridor in Ohio and Indiana with tremendous growth potential, but has been hamstrung for years by poor tie and rail conditions,” Pioneer Railcorp CEO Alex Yeros said in a response to the news. “The CRISI grant, combined with funding from ORDC and NDW, will dramatically improve safety and efficiency on NDW. We are proud to partner on this project with U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Senators Portman and Brown, Rep Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory, and the honorable Commissioners and staff of ORDC and thank them for the leadership to grow rail service in northwestern Ohio. Their dedication to safe, efficient, and modern railroad infrastructure are directly supporting jobs and the economy in Ohio, Indiana, and across the U.S.”

Headquartered in Denver, CO, Pioneer owns and operates 16 short-line railroads and several other railroad related businesses. Pioneer operates in 12 states and safely and effectively serves 100+ customers transporting a variety of commodities including: agriculture commodities, food trucks, iron and steel, plastics, chemicals, and building and forest products, operating over 600 miles of track.