• So, what happened to the CQPA?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in the American Midwest, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. For questions specific to a railroad company, please seek the appropriate forum.

Moderator: railohio

  by Sir Ray
In the Feb 2005 Railpace, page 39, there's a short article on the Central Columbiana & Pennsylvania RR (CQPA) being taken over by the Ohio Central (I thought they were controlled by the OC already?) as the Ohio & Pennsylvania. In Railpace's usual maddening way, they give you half the story, and then randomly focus on other stuff (such as the 200 cars of scrap head held near Gateway yard).
OK, I think I remember various obstacles in getting this line started over 3 years ago (particularly, preventing a park from blocking access to a spur serving a brick/building material facility), but it sounds like this line went from starting up well (I recall people posting lists and rosters of the trains that traversed the line in the early days) to falling on it's face into bankruptcy last year (late 2004, according to the article).
Soooo, anyone able to fill in the blanks that Railpace left as to what happened and why?
  by wle1768
Let's see, as someone who lives about 5 miles from Negley and has followed the line for the last couple of years, I will try and answer your questions.

First off, the CQPA was a subsidy of the Arkansas shortline, Dardanelle & Russellville. When the Port authority bought the line back in 2000, the D&R was the winning bidder and started operating the line as the CQPA.

As traffic started to build, the CQPA was able to use the state of Ohio money to replace many ties on the line. They built a new siding in Negley to unload construction debris and they also started to unload the same stuff on the old wye at Signal, which is just west of Rogers.

The CQPA started out with one ex-CN GMD1, from the D&R and soon after starting operations, another ex-CN GMD1 came up from the D&R. Later the CQPA purchased 5 ex-FEC GP9's.

As traffic started to build, the road started to have problems with derailments. Which is not surprising, as the track had sat dead for over 5 years.

Also, from personal observations, the CQPA had lots of trouble keeping the Geeps running. It seemed they couldn't keep more then 2 running at one time. One of the Geeps has never run and has sat at the old Y&S Negley shops, as a parts supply.

In 2004, the road suffered a couple of costly derailments, which caused it to default on an almost half million dollar loan from the Port Authority. This forced the CQPA into bankruptcy in the summer of 2004.

The Port Authority, in trying to recoupt some of it's money, decided to try and bring in a new operator, which is how the OC entered the picture. Way back in 1995 and 1996, the OC leased the line and operated it as the OH & PA. After the CQPA came in and started to haul the trash, the OC has wanted it back. I won't try and cover what happened between 1996 and 2000, as that is a story all to itself!

In the middle of Dec. 2004, the CQPA finally quit and the OC took over. This happened around the middle of the month. But, before the OC decided to run any trains, they decided to fix up the track. For the last, almost 2 months, the OC has been very busy replacing ties on the entire line. Something along the lines of 25,000 ties! With more to come. The OC has plans to get the track up to FRA Class 2 status sometime in the future.

With the tracks finally starting to get into shape, the OC is just about ready to start running trains. Sometime this week, the OC delivered its first trash cars to the unloader at Signal.

I hope this gives some idea of what is happening. What Railpace didn't make clear was, when the CQPA shut down in Dec., CSX still had many trash cars on the way to the CQPA and just kept delivering to the CQPA/OH&PA interchange at the old P&LE Gateway yard. Since the cars were destined for both Signal and Negley and the OC wasn't running down there yet, the cars built up fast. I'm not sure how many cars where sitting there, but it sure seemed like about 150 or 200 cars! With so many cars, I think the OC was forced to unload some of them on their other lines in the Youngstown area, until the OH&PA can get started.

From my understanding, there are big plans for the line. Today, in Negley, there were 5 car loads of ballast. The plan is to build another track at the unloader, so they can unload more cars. From the looks of things, that has started to happen. I also understand, they want to run two trains a day, one south out of Youngstown and one north out of Darlington. The trains would meet at Signal and swap trains. Pretty amazing stuff for a line that was left for dead.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, I will try to answer them. Thanks

  by Sir Ray
Well, I am glad there are big plans afoot for this line, but history does repeat, and there were big plans back in 2000 also (google cache)
From Youngstown to Darlington, Pa., 11 companies that would use the Youngstown & Southern Railroad have petitioned for repair work on the line to begin while Railroad Ventures Inc. still holds title.
A directed service order by the federal agency would allow the Central Columbiana & Pennsylvania Railroad, which will buy the line from the port authority once it gains title from Railroad Ventures Inc. of Boardman, to begin repairs of the Y&S. It would replace rails, ties and ballast that have been removed, uncover track that has been paved over at 49 railroad crossings between Youngstown and Darlington and replace the track at two others where it has been removed, says Tim Robbins. Robbins is vice president of the Central Columbiana & Pennsylvania Railroad (CQPA) and its parent, Arkansas-based R&R Railroad.
Robbins notes the D&R Railroad sought to have the Central Columbiana & Pennsylvania abbreviated CC&PA so its initials would be identical to the port authority's. CC&PA was taken, he reports, leading the STB to issue an abbreviation of CQPA.
Among the companies that signed the petition in support of the directed service order are Penn-Ohio Recycling Inc., American Farms Produce Inc., and Wester Fuel & Supply Co., all of Youngstown; Boardman Supply Co. and R.L. Lipton Distributors, Boardman; 84 Lumber Co., Add Iron Corp., and Crouse True Value, all of North Lima; Insul Co., East Palestine; and Donahue Railroad Equipment Service and General Shale Products, both of Darlington, Pa.
Heh, wonder how those companies are doing today.
I think the 'brick' company I mentioned in my OP was Broadman, as they mentioned in the article putting in a siding 8 years ago to ship brick (i.e. 1992), which of course was the time rail service was discontinued by Railroad Ventures. All the remaining companies listed above had someone supply a quote, which pretty much indicated rail service would be a boon to them, and the fact that the Y&S stopped running was frustrating.
  by wle1768
History has repeated itself. Today, the OH&PA has awaked! Today, OHCR GP35 2913 and leased CQPA GP9 673 took 10 loads of trash south to Signal. At Signal, the dropped the loads and picked up 10 empty trash cars, which had been there for some time. The only trouble was the CQPA unit, which had MU problems with the OHCR unit on the climb out of Youngstown. They ended up doubleheading the units up the hill, under a huge cloud of smoke from the CQPA 673! Let's hope this is the start of big things! Even with the problems, it still only took them 7 hours to run from Youngstown to Signal and return. Pretty impresive!
  by Y&S 70,71
From the way it sounds the Ohio Central is really planning on moving lots of traffic on the old Y&S. Right now there are two SD40-2s in Youngstown that will be used to haul the trains once the track work is complete. The two that are here now are ex-MP/UP units without the dymanic brakes.

  by eotd
I know some of the drama that's unfolded with the CQPA over the past 5 years. But I'm more interested in the roughly 20 former D&H boxcars that they had leased several years back. These are the all-white cars that once boasted "I Love NY" on the upper right, and are naturally of interest to D&H and NY railfans.

Does anyone know where these cars went? It seems that the rumor was they were being used by Darlington Brick for a while, and prior to that I had heard they were being scrapped in Youngstown.

Any pictures would be highly appreciated!