NS To Buy The Rathole

Hardcoaler Nov 22, 2022

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    The 337 mile rail line that runs between Cincinnati and Chattanooga has been owned by the City of Cincinnati since its opening in 1880 and continually leased by Southern Railway predecessors and today's Norfolk Southern ever since. Technically, it's the Cincinnati Southern, operated by NS subsidiary CNO&TP and is known as The Rathole. The current lease agreement expires in 2026.

    It was announced today that NS will purchase the line outright for $1.62 Billion if Cincinnati voters and the STB approve. It's a friendly offer that city government welcomes and it will be a boon to city finances.
  2. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    Maybe change this to read NS Wants to Buy the Rathole.
  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    STB still needs to OK this, right?
    Kurt Moose, Hardcoaler and BoxcabE50 like this.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    They will just need to remember this income IS a one time deal. It is only the size of their current annual budget. Sounds great, in reality, it won't go all that far. :rolleyes:
    Rip Track likes this.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm with Hardcoaler, this is a win win deal. Considering this line has been operated by only the Southern and then NS for it's 140+ years, the approvals by the STB will probably be a formality. If I remember reading about it correctly, the lease on the line is surprisingly low as it takes into consideration maintenance and repair cost along with associated property taxes. So, that price tag (approximately 81 years worth of lease payments?) would would probably do a lot more for the city that another long term lease. Not sure this will even make Les Nesman's news report on WKRP.

    Speaking of the Rat Hole. Here's a shot from September 1993 of the #4000 southbound at rr location Camp Austin as it nears the end of the Rathole's 2nd district. This train would change crews at Oakdale TN and continue south to Chattanooga. Probably been 25 years since I was up that way last. Wish I could find a few days to go see what all has changed.
    Sepp K, Kurt Moose, BoxcabE50 and 2 others like this.
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    My wife and I were last up that way in 2017 and a lot has changed at Oakdale. I took this shot there on 09/21/1997 and the crew dormitory (as seen) has been erased, as have crew changes there. A pork-barrel-project overpass at Oakdale has eliminated the um, "busy", highway crossing seen here. :rolleyes: The new bridge might provide a photo perch; we didn't wait around. The line is as busy as ever though.

    1997-09-21 001 Oakdale TN - for upload.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
    Sepp K, Kurt Moose, Hytec and 3 others like this.
  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Didn't want to start a new thread on Saluda news, so added it here. This just in that NS has agreed to sell 31 miles of line including and surrounding the Saluda Grade to trail conservancy organizations. It includes 16 miles in SC and 15 in NC. Not shocking news. Knowing this area well, I'm waiting to see how many hikers have the stamina to take on miles of relentless 4.7% to 5.1% grade. :oops: Even hiking downhill on a grade like that is hard on toes and ankles.
    Sepp K, BNSF FAN, Hytec and 1 other person like this.
  8. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Wow, atleast it'll be a trail for others to enjoy, but we'll never hear those screaming locos in notch 8 or full dynamics coming down.:(:unsure:
    BNSF FAN likes this.

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