Posts Tagged ‘Cincinnati Scenic Railway’

Cincinnati Tourist RR Faces Uncertain Future

August 27, 2021

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.”

It Only Looks Like Conrail

July 20, 2021

I shot a newly painted Conrail GP10 Monday morning in Cleveland.  Well, actually, it is a former Illinois Central Geep painted to look like a Conrail engine.

It was painted at the West Third Street  roundhouse of the Midwest Preservation Society and will go to the Cincinnati Scenic Railway.

That group operates dinner trains, excursion trains and the Ohio Rail Experience.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

GP10 Repainted Into Conrail Livery

June 30, 2021

The Cincinnati Scenic Railway has repainted an EMD GP10 into a Conrail livery and plans to use the unit in tourist train revenue service starting in August.

The locomotive was built as a GP9 for the Illinois Central before being rebuilt in 1974 as a GP10 by Illinois Central Gulf.

The unit then was sold to the Paducah & Louisville. It later wound up at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum in Nashville.

CSR President Ray Kammer Jr. said his company acquired the 9037 from the Tennessee museum.

Mechanical work on the unit was done by Silcott Railway Equipment of Worthington, Ohio, and included a new main generator, new injectors, traction motor work, and minor running repairs.

The unit was painted in Cleveland by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

In the restoration process the GP10 received roster number 7644, a number never used by Conrail for its fleet of 75 GP10 locomotives.

 “Even though the locomotive itself is not historic to the Cincinnati area, the paint scheme was chosen because it represents a scene that was common in the region during the 1980s,” Kammer told Trains magazine.

The 7544 differs from Conrail’s low-hood units with its nose-mounted headlight, which was not a feature of the Conrail units.

CSR operates 12-mile round-trip tourist trains over the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad and also operates the Ohio Rail Experience.

Group Seeking to Save ex-B&O GP30

September 19, 2020

A Cincinnati group is seeking to raise $35,000 to save from scrapping a former Chessie System GP30.

The Cincinnati Scenic Railway is up against an Oct. 31 deadline to raise the funds and has established a GoFundMe page that has thus far raised $1,260 in the past month with donations from 34 people.

No. 6955 was built for the Baltimore & Ohio in November 1962 and is now sitting at National Railway Equipment in Silvis, Illinois.

CSR, which operates the Ohio Rail Experience and the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad, said raising the $35,000 will enable it to buy the locomotive.

It will then need to raise additional funds to bring it back to Ohio and rebuild it to operating condition.

If all goes to plan, CSR said the 6955 could be hauling excursion trains by fall 2022, but that is contingent upon meeting fundraising goals.

Sides Differ in Explaining Why GOP Train was Cancelled

September 21, 2019

The scrapping of a fundraising train ride near Cincinnati for a Republican Party group has led to different explanations as to why the train won’t operate.

The fundraiser trip had been set for Oct. 5 by the Republican Women of Warren County and dubbed the Trump Train.

The host railroad, the Lebanon, Mason & Monroe, said it canceled the trip because operating it would have conflicted with its non-profit status.

The LM&M released a statement saying its 501c(3) status prohibits it from being connected to an event supporting any political candidate or politician.

However, the GOP group countered in a statement on Facebook that the cancellation occurred after the railroad was subject to a great deal of negative attention, threats and harassment.

The train ride had been billed as a family-friend event with music and entertainment. It had a capacity of 300 passengers per trip.

The LM&M, which is operated by the Cincinnati Scenic Railroad, also sponsors the Ohio Rail Experience.

GP7 Restored to Original C&O Appearance

September 10, 2018

An Ohio tourist railroad has restored a GP7 into the livery of the Chesapeake & Ohio.

The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in southwest Ohio repainted No. 5704 into its

as-delivered blue-and-gold paint appearance in May 1950.

The unit is owned by the Cincinnati Scenic Railway, which got it from the Indiana & Ohio.

The I&O in turn bought No. 5704 from a scrap dealer after it was retired by C&O in the mid 1980s.

No. 5704 will be used on the Lebanon Mason Monroe and excursion trains elsewhere in Ohio.

Cincinnati Group Offering Rare Mileage Trips

March 28, 2018

Cincinnati Scenic Railway has announced a series of rare mileage excursions that will operate in southwest Ohio through its new Ohio Rail Experience operation.

On May 19, the group will offer a trip over the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton from Springfield to Lima.

Additional trips will run over former Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad trackage now operated by various Genesee & Wyoming properties on May 20 and Sept. 2-3.

Cincinnati Scenic Railway also operates the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in Lebanon.

“In our part of the country, passenger trains are slipping further into the history books and that’s a shame. It can be difficult to properly interpret this kind of history in a static museum,” said General Manager Will Gawin says. “For that reason, our team honestly believes what we are doing is important for historic preservation. Our goal is to deliver an experience worth remembering to communities that might have forgotten how enjoyable a train ride can be.”