The Rail Tourism Industry, which includes scenic railroads, rail museums, rail excursion organizations and other rail tourism organizations, is important to Ohio’s tourism industry. It brings tourist dollars and jobs to Ohio communities. Through this Program, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) helps generate economic development for Ohio. The goals of the program are to
1) promote local economic development through rail tourism activities, and
2) support scenic railroads, rail museums, rail excursion organizations and others involved in the rail tourism industry.
Financial Assistance - ORDC staff works with other State of Ohio agencies, Chambers of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and federal and local governments to help provide needed funds to acquire, build and rehabilitate rail infrastructure.
Marketing Assistance - Marketing is an important element in conducting a successful business. ORDC's Ohio Rail Map identifies rail tourism attractions and includes the Rail Tourism Guide, which lists the address, telephone number, and website of each organization. In addition, ORDC's website provides links to rail tourism organizations.
Technical Assistance - ORDC staff can help rail tourism organizations connect with other public sector agencies to obtain needed assistance. ORDC coordinates with other agencies and organizations to link Ohio’s rail tourism organizations to existing public and private resources.
ORDC works to help rail tourism organizations develop and organize appropriate educational programs.
ORDC financial assistance is available through its current funding programs: Rail Rehabilitation, Rail Acquisition and Freight Rail Economic Development.
ORDC Grant and Loan Application