Norfolk Southern to Buy Cincinnati Rail Line for $1.62 Billion

A Norfolk Southern Corp. freight locomotive
A Norfolk Southern Corp. freight locomotive is parked while conductors swap out during a crew change in Burnside, Ky. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)

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Norfolk Southern Corp. agreed to acquire Cincinnati Southern Railway, tightening the company’s grip on a critical 337-mile line it already operates under a lease agreement.

Norfolk Southern will pay the city of Cincinnati, which owns the line, $1.62 billion in cash, according to a statement Nov. 21. The city plans to use the proceeds for an infrastructure fund focused on updating and replacing local streets, bridges, municipal buildings, parks and green space.

The deal gives Norfolk Southern about 9,500 acres of land under the line, which runs from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, Tenn., and is one of the company’s highest-density segments of track. CSR is operated by a Norfolk Southern subsidiary under a lease agreement expiring in 2026.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

Norfolk Southern shares were unchanged in late trading after closing up 1% during the regular session. The stock has declined 16% this year.

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