Cincinnati Tourist RR Faces Uncertain Future

A Cincinnati area tourist railroad faces an uncertain future due infrastructure work that could reach $2.5 million over the next decade.

Much of that involves replacing bridges along the route.

The Lebanon, Mason & Monroe Railroad is operated by the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, which also sponsors excursions in western Ohio operating as The Ohio Rail Experience.

The LM&M uses track owned by the city of Lebanon, which helps fund the tourist train’s operations.

The current operating agreement will expire on Jan. 1, 2023, and the CSR is negotiating a new agreement with the city. The costs of replacing bridges has become a sticking point in the talks.

An LM&M spokesman said the tourist railroad is “aggressively pursuing” grant opportunities to help fund the repairs.

However, some fear that the LM&M will cease operations at the end of 2022.

City manager Scott Brunka said negotiations over the new agreement are in their early stages. He characterized supporting for the railroad as “a sound investment in Lebanon’s future, as well as the right thing to do.”

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