Evansville Western Railway
|Evansville Western Railway|
|Locale||Southern Indiana, Illinois|
|Dates of operation||2006–|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
|Length||124.5 mi (200.4 km)|
|Headquarters||Mount Vernon, Indiana|
The Evansville Western Railway (reporting mark EVWR) is a Class III common carrier shortline railroad operating in the Southern Illinois and Indiana region. It is one of three regional railroad subsidiaries owned and operated by Four Rivers Transportation Inc.
Founded in August 2005, the railroad commenced its first operations on January 1, 2006, when Four Rivers Transportation, the parent company of both the Evansville Western and Paducah & Louisville railroads, purchased 124.5 miles (200.4 km) of mainline track, ties and track equipment between CSX's Howell Yard in Evansville, Indiana and the end-of-track at Okawville, Illinois from CSX Transportation. This line was once part of the Louisville & Nashville's former Saint Louis Subdivision route that previously terminated in the metro-area of East St. Louis, Illinois before being embargoed and slightly shortened under CSX ownership during the fall of 1993. CSX Transportation retains title to the real estate comprising the right of way on which the railroad operates, but has leased it to EVWR for an initial period of 20 years.
More than 55,000 to 60,000 carloads per year are shipped on the Evansville Western railway, all of which are currently interchanged with three different Class I railroad carriers. These are CSX Transportation at Howell Yard in Evansville, BNSF Railway at the Woodlawn, Illinois junction, and the Union Pacific at Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Construction has been completed on a new connection line east of Mt. Vernon, IL that permits interchange with the Norfolk Southern Railway, a 4th Class I railroad.
A new 14.6 mi (23.5 km) railroad line, known as the "Savatran Rail Spur", has been completed from Delafield (near McLeansboro) through Macedonia, Illinois before terminating with a loading loop north of the Akin Junction on CN's existing Edgewood Cutoff line, thus giving the Evansville Western railroad interchange access to the Canadian National. Construction on this new line commenced during March 2009 and was originally scheduled to conclude by the following December. When the new spur connector was finished in January 2011 it allowed commodities traffic via connection with the CN and it began serving the new Sugar Camp Energy coal mine north of Akin that was developed by Williamson Energy Development, a subsidiary of West Virginia-based Cline Group, on reserves leased from Natural Resource Partners, L.P.
Additionally, EVWR constructed an interconnection line approximately 1.8 mi (2.9 km) in length just east of Mt. Vernon, IL that enabled interchange with the Norfolk Southern (NS). The new line runs north from the EVWR mainline (about 0.25 mi (0.40 km) east of Liebengood Rd.) and connects with the NS across from and just southwest of the Mt. Vernon, IL Airport (MVN). EVWR also expanded its siding northwest of Opdyke to a total length of approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) from Interstate 64 to near the new connection allowing direct delivery of unit coal trains from the Sugar Camp Mine near Akin, IL to the Gibson Generating Station in Indiana across the Wabash River from Mt. Carmel, IL.
Most of the railroad's revenue freight services come from rail-barge transfer facilities, merchandise freight from bulk terminals, unit coal trains from coal mines & a riverside coal terminal, and grain & agriculture products from numerous grain elevator shippers.
The Evansville Western Railway's locomotive fleet primarily consists of rebuilt EMD hood units purchased from other railroads. They are all painted to match its parent company Four Rivers Transportation's traditional green, white, & black color scheme with the classic diamond herald. In addition to the company-owned roster, the railroad is also leasing a few more units from GATX Corporation.
|EMD GP38-2||3||2006||GMTX 2622, 2651, & 2655|
- Four Rivers Transportation Subsidiaries
- Surface Transportation Board Filing Evansville Western Railway, Inc. Acquisition and Operation Exemption
- Evansville Courier & Press Article New Railway Shaping Up
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District Savatran Rail Spur Project, August 2008
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - Notice of Intent Permit for Savatran Railroad Project, Construction Site Information - p. 1, February 2009
- "The Diesel Shop". Active EVWR Locomotive Roster
- Evansville Western Railway – Official Website
- Railroad Picture Archives – Photographs of the Evansville Western