Lake Region - Cleveland Division Lakefront
This section covers greater Cleveland, Ohio, area.
Main Line Buffalo to Chicago
The former New York Central "Water Level Route" main line followed the south shore of Lake Erie between Buffalo and Toledo and was an important through route for the Penn Central. Here is a look at the line through the Cleveland metropolitan area, going from west to east:
Berea (BE) Tower, Berea, Ohio
Ex-NYC U30B and mates rush past BE tower in Berea, OH, November, 1972. Berea was (and is still) a very busy place. In the Penn Central era, the Buffalo-Chicago main line, the CUT Branch, and the ex-Big Four main to Indianapolis all met here. Photo by Ron Kuczynski. (331 K)
On a dreary day, U30C 6537 leads a westbound train past the yard office for Brookpark Yard. Brookpark Yard is next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and serves a Ford Motor Company casting plant. Photo by Dick Ross, 1970.
Every day about dinnertime the east bound mail train would pass through Brookpark on it's way to the Lakefront post office, A few hours later it would head back west. Al Mixter shot this eastbound passing the Brookpark Ford plant in the summer of 1972, powered by 2 E8A's spliced by two E7A's. On rare occasions an E7B unit would be in the consist. The cars were New York Central Flexivan cars with containers.
GP30's could be found in the lead on rare occasions. The 2198 leads a westbound PC train past the Brookpark Ford plant in June of 1972, this being in the days before scanners train symbols were hard to come by. Actually, a lot of trains didn't have radios then either. Photo by Al Mixter.
Rockport Yard was located between the main line at CP 190 and the Short Line/CUT line at SHORT interlocking in Cleveland, Ohio. Today it is Norfolk Southern's primary yard for the Cleveland area.
An A-B-A, lashup, but not the type you would expect! In the early 1970's on the Penn Central in the Cleveland terminal, it was common to see two F7As with a GP9B in between. This set of power rests at the east end of Rockport in 1975. Photo by Al Mixter.
Penn Central's yard office at the east end of Rockport Yard, next to West 150th Street, as it was in September 1974. Norfolk Southern demolished the brick section of the structure in 2003 and built a new, larger structure, but kept the yard control tower intact. Photo by Al Mixter.
West Park Yard
West Park Yard was located about a mile north of Rockport Yard along the ex-NYC main. It served as a base for locals which switched customers along the main line on the west side of downtown. The yard office was located at West 150th Street. The yard still exists today with far fewer tracks, and the yard office is gone.
Just north of West Park Yard, the main line passes over Puritas Avenue, which is where this picture was taken of a westbound PC freight on October 13, 1975. Check out the price of a new Chevette! The highway in the background is Interstate 71. Photo by Al Mixter.
Whiskey Island, between the west bank of the Cuyahoga River, the old Cuyahoga riverbed, and Lake Erie in the "Flats" area of Cleveland, is the location of the C&P (Cleveland & Pittsburgh, a former PRR subsidiary) ore dock and its famous Hulett iron ore unloaders, which were used up until a few years ago to unload iron ore from ships. Whiskey Island pictures have been moved to their own separate page.
Collinwood Yard is on the east side of Cleveland along the NYC main line. It once was home to large locomotive and car repair shops. Today, the shops are gone, but the yard is very busy, as it is the primary CSX yard in the Cleveland area and a crew change point on its Buffalo-Chicago main line.
The sign on the Collinwood Diesel Shop as it was in February 1976. The diesel shop was originally built as a locomotive shop for the Cleveland Union Terminal class P1a electric locomotives. The facility is still called the "P1a" to this day. Photo by Al Mixter.
A view of the Collinwood backshop, with some PC trucks and a switcher in the foreground. Notice the oil slick in the lower right corner of the picture. This picture was obviously taken in the days before the EPA... Photo by Al Mixter.
An ex-NYC GP40 3093 mates with a PC SD45 at Collinwood Yard in March 1970. The Eaton smokestack in the background still stands today, although the plant that it was part of has since been closed. Photographer unknown, contributed by J.L. Hunt.
A GP40 and an F7 sit outside of the west end of the "P1a shed", the diesel shop at Collinwood Yard which was originally built to service the Cleveland Union Terminal P1a electric locomotives. Photo by Gary Morris, December 1976.
On an unknown date, Cleveland Electric Illuminating GP38-2s 101, 106, and 107 share the spotlight at the Collinwood engine terminal with other PC motive power. CEI leased nine GP38-2s, numbered 100-108, for use on coal trains to their power plants, similar to Detroit Edison, as Penn Central could not always provide reliable motive power. The colorful locomotives were frequently seen around Cleveland during the PC and Conrail eras. They were finally returned to their lessor in 1997, who sent their to VMV and had them rebuilt. They now work for Union Pacific today.
PC 1863 and six other F units lead a train at E 222 St. in Euclid, OH, over the ex-NYC Lakefront Main in November 1974. The grassy area to the left of the locomotives today is Interstate 90, and the water tower in the right background is part of Lincoln Electric. Photographer unknown, from the collection of J.L. Hunt.
Cleveland Union Terminal
Ex-NYC E8A 4082 westbound w/ train #63 at Cleveland, OH, departing old Cleveland Union Terminal in March, 1971. Photo by Ron Kuczynski.
A westbound passenger train, led by a pair of E8s, pulls out of Cleveland Union Terminal in spring of 1971. In another month or two, intercity passenger trains will depart CUT forever as Amtrak takes over passenger train operation and relocates to a new station along the lakefront. The area to the right of the train is now occupied by a federal courthouse office tower. There has to be a good story behind the passenger car truck lying amongst the ties and rails... Photo by John Swift, Jr., from the collection of Jerry Jordak.
The Clark Branch was originally part of the Big Four main line into downtown Cleveland. It began at a junction with the ex-NYC Buffalo-Chicago main line near the Cuyahoga River drawbridge, went along the east side of the Flats, crossed the Cuyahoga River on its own drawbridge at OX (later Flats) Tower, and ended at a junction with the CUT Branch near W. 65 Street.
East side of the Flats, downtown Cleveland
PC 1681 (ex-NYC) F7A is southbound on the Clark Branch on the east bank of the Flats in Cleveland, Ohio, April, 1972. Today, this area is part of the booming Flats entertainment district, and the RTA Waterfront Rapid line runs on the Clark Branch right-of-way. Photo by Ron Kuczynski.
DK Yard on the Clark Branch was located on the west side of the Cuyahoga River between the river and Wiley Avenue. An industrial lead branched off of the Clark Branch at the north end of the yard and crossed the river to server a group of customers. Today, DK Yard is mostly gone, along with the Clark Branch north of the former yard. The remaining trackage in the area, including the industrial lead, is operated by the Flats Industrial Railroad.
At the north end of DK Yard, PC SW900 8630 gets refueled from a PC fuel truck, while ex-NYC GP7 5607 looks on. The building to the left is part of the Republic Steel Bolt and Nut Division plant. Today the plant is gone; click here to see what this location looks like now. Photo by Dick Ross, 1970.
A little bit south of the previous photo's location, we see "red P" GP35 2383 leading a westbound train past the Republic Steel plant. I don't think I'd park my car that close to the tracks! Photo by Dick Ross, 1970.
In a dramatic photo on a cloudy day, ex-NYC SW9 shoves back a cut of cars at the south end of DK Yard on the Clark Branch. On the bridge above the Clark Branch is the Erie Lackawanna main line to their docks on the riverbed, where the hoppers are. Above both railroads is the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, and the Terminal Tower of Cleveland Union Terminal consists of the sole skyscraper in the Cleveland skyline at the time. Today, the EL line and bridge is gone, and there are a few less tracks in the yard, along two other skyscrapers on the skyline--click here to see this scene today. Photo by Dick Ross, 1970.
From the Willey Avenue grade crossing, a couple hundred yards south of the previous picture and looking in the other direction, we find an eastbound train led by GP40 3010 and two F7s entering DK Yard on March 16, 1977. The West 25th Street bridge is in the background. Notice the lack of "worms" on the long hood of the lead locomotive. Click here to see this same vantage point today. Photo by Thomas Seiler, from the collection of Jerry Jordak.
Coming up the Clark Branch, next to the old CUT main line, is an 82-car ore drag led by C630 6322 and three C628s. A trio of F-units are pushing on the rear. Above the train on the bridge is the Norfolk & Western's former Nickel Plate main line. This location is along Train Avenue, west of West 25th Street. The Nickel Plate called this location Cloggsville. Photo by Dennis Bydash, April 4, 1976.
The former PRR Cleveland & Pittsburgh mainline entered Cleveland from the southeast and ended at the Cuyahoga River drawbridge, where is joined the former NYC Buffalo-Chicago main line and crossed the river to access the Pennsy's Whiskey Island dock facility. The Valley Main has been moved to its own separate page.