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Cincy on Track Critical Infrastructure Plan

Oct 04, 2023

At the general election on November 7, 2023, Cincinnati voters decided to approve the sale of the Cincinnati Southern Railway system (CSR) for approximately $1.6 billion. With the approved sale, the City’s capacity to fund critical infrastructure maintenance will potentially double compared to current lease proceeds from the railroad.

Previously, the leasing of the City-owned railroad generates about $25 million per year. Estimates show that selling the railroad for approximately $1.6 billion, investing the proceeds, and drawing on annual interest could generate $40–50 million per year. Because the sale proceeds will be placed in a trust, the City government will only be able to spend money generated by investment interest, not deplete the principal amount; additionally, legislation mandates that the money can only be spent on existing infrastructure.

A recent assessment found that the unmet need for existing infrastructure improvements will cost an estimated $500 million. With the sale of the railroad approved, earnings from the trust fund will be used to fix, maintain, and improve existing infrastructure that provides long-term value to all Cincinnatians. These deferred maintenance projects include roads, sidewalks, park and recreation facilities, fire stations, health centers, and more. The sale of the railroad will inject significant funds—tens of millions of dollars per year—into maintaining this critical infrastructure.

Prioritizing Equity

The Administration will prioritize projects to drive increased equity in our City by analyzing the demographics of the beneficiaries most directly affected by each proposed project and identifying those projects that can deliver the most benefit to historically underserved minority and low-income communities. The intent is that this methodology for decision making will create and institutionalize a new approach that will drive consistently equitable infrastructure funding and improve service delivery to our communities in the greatest need moving forward.


Learn More


Historical documents for the Cincy on Track plan can be found here.

Engagement Opportunities

In the Fall of 2023, the City of Cincinnati hosted three community workshops to inform the public about the potential sale of the Cincinnati Southern Railway and learn more about community budget priorities. Attendees were asked to participate in activities to provide feedback about infrastructure needs and what projects are most important to them.

Read the Engagement Report


About the Cincinnati Southern Railway

For more information on the Cincinnati Southern Railway and the CSR Board, including meeting minutes, please visit

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