|Excerpt from LoC|
I learned of the Cincinnati Southern Railway while studying a railroad lift bridge in Chattanooga:
Line is owned by and was built for the Cincinnati Southern Railway which is owned by the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Line was leased to Southern Railroad, now part of Norfolk Southern. [Bridge Hunter]I've read of many towns that built their own railroad in the 1800s. But that was normally to access the nearest navigable water (river or canal). This is the first time I have seen the movers and shakers in a town on a river instigate the construction of a railroad. And such a long railroad (337 miles). And the city owned it. And it still owns it: "Cincinnati still owns the Cincinnati Southern Railway and leases its use to Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern." [CSR]
The construction of this line had to be expensive. They had to build at least two big bridges --- Ohio River and Tennessee River. (I just learned that Bridge Hunters will list all of the bridges for a railroad.) They also had to build across some very hilly, if not mountainous, country.
Update: they used to have some repair shops and a roundhouse in Ferguson, KY.