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Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad

The Michigan Southern Railroad (Doing business as Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad)(Formerly Maumee & Western reporting - MAW) is a freight railroad in the United States operating between Woodburn, Indiana and Napoleon, Ohio and comprises 53 miles of track[1]. The railroad originally extended to Toledo; portions have been converted to a rail trail.

Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad
PREX 3054, an EMD GP20 locomotive.jpg
Pioneer Railcorps' PREX 3054, an EMD GP20 locomotive shortly after being painted in the company's colors.
Reporting markNDW
LocaleOhio, Indiana
Dates of operation2012–
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length53 miles (85 km)
HeadquartersDefiance, Ohio

There is currently railcar storage in Napoleon, Ohio. The line is used Monday through Saturday between Defiance and Napoleon, upon request in Woodburn, and between Woodburn to Defiance where the railroads' main yard is.[2] The track, which runs over the swamp ground for much of its length, is in an extremely poor state of repair, having had no maintenance since the early 1970's.

The railroad was purchased by Pioneer Railcorp on December 28, 2012, which announced the intention to repair and extend it.[3] Pioneer described the line as "in dire need of rehabilitation",[3] and it began extensive rehabilitation in January 2013, replacing decayed cross ties and broken rail.

There are two interchanges:

Current locomotive fleet[4][5]Edit

Manufacturer Model Year of Manufacture Road Number Engine
Electro Motive Division GP9 1957 105 EMD 567C 16 cylinder 1750 hp
Electro Motive Division GP16 1951 1601
Electro Motive Division GP16 "Uceta Rebuild" 1955 1603 EMD 645 16 cylinder 1600 hp
Electro Motive Division GP20 1961 3054 EMD 567D2 16 cylinder 2000 hp

Pioneer also operates trackage in Cecil, Ohio that leads to Lafarge North America (Paulding Plant).

The railroad was originally a main line on the Wabash Railroad 5th District from New Haven, Indiana, to Toledo, Ohio, and was latterly part of the bankrupt Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation. The line between Defiance, Ohio, and Woodburn, was acquired with funding from the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC).[6]


  1. ^ "Pioneer Railcorp - Michigan Southern Railroad Co". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  2. ^ "Case Record For 92-1265-RR-CSS. Entry ordering that Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation suspend all commercial operations over its tract between Defiance and Cecil, Ohio, until such time as the Commissions' staff certifies that all unsafe and hazardous conditions due to excessive growth of weeds and vegetation have been eliminated; and dismissing complaint". The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. February 10, 1994. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  3. ^ a b 2013-01-03. "Pioneer Railcorp Purchases Rail Line from Maumee & Western Railroad". Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  4. ^ " - Napoleon, Defiance & Western". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  5. ^ "Napoleon Defiance & Western roster". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  6. ^ "New Haven to Defiance - Study Area". State of Ohio - Department of Transportation - U.S. 24. Retrieved 2008-10-09.[permanent dead link]