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 Ohio . USA

Cleveland Metro system


Cleveland, is the centre of a metropolitan area with some 2.9 million inhabitants. It lies in northeastern Ohio, on the south shore of Lake Erie. Cleveland's urban rail system includes one rapid transit line and two light rail lines. Between Tower City - Public Square and E 55th stations, all lines share the same tracks (the three shared stations have separate low-level sections for the light rail vehicles). Both the metro line and the light rail lines are operated by Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). Track gauge is 1435 mm, with overhead power supply (600 V):


 Red Line

Construction of Cleveland's only metro line began in the 1950's from its eastern terminus Windermere. In 1968 it reached the airport. The Red Line is 31 km long (only 1 km underground at Airport and Tower City) and has 18 stations, average distance between stations is 1820 m. Since 1990, about two thirds of all Red Line stations have been rebuilt or renovated, and the remaining stations are expected to be rebuilt in the future.

15 Mar 1955 - Windermere - Tower City
14 Aug 1955 - Tower City - 117th-Madison
15 Nov 1958 - 117th-Madison - West Park
15 Nov 1968 - West Park - Airport
20 Apr 1969 - Brookpark station added
01 Mar 1971 - East 34th-Campus station added

University Circle rebuilt and reopened as Cedar-University on 28 Aug 2014.

Red Line Red Line
 Light Rail

The Blue Line and the Green Line are light rail lines (Shaker Heights Line), which share the Red Line tracks through the city centre . After Shaker Square the Green Line follows Shaker Blvd to Green, while the Blue Line runs along Van Aken Blvd to Warrensville. The Waterfront Line is actually an extension of these rapid tram lines from Tower City towards the harbour area and the American football stadium. The light rail lines diverge from the Red Line in totally grade-separated junctions, both west of Tower City (see station layout) and east of E.55th (see station layout).


light rail light rail


In November 1999 an extension from Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Berea was approved by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. This southern extension would require the rebuilding of the Airport terminus of the subway. The new station would be elevated between air terminal and parking lot. The new line would run parallel to the Norfolk Southern rail tracks to the new terminus called Bagley Road. At present this project is not being pursued, though.

North Coast station 2004 © Alexei Beliakov Tower City station 2004 © Alexei Beliakov Tower City © Mark Michalovic 12 W 65th © Mark Michalovic near Windermere © Mark Michalovic E 55th © Mark Michalovic
Photos © Alexei Beliakov (1-2), Mark Michalovic (3-6)

Toman, James A., & Blaine S. Hays: HORSE TRAILS TO REGIONAL RAILS - The Story of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland. - Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio, 1996. - ISBN 0-87338-547-0

Alt-Trans Cleveland Project, Greg Aliberti: CAR-FREE IN CLEVELAND.- 108p, 2000, Ecocity Cleveland, ISBN 0966399919

James A. Toman, a.o.: When Cleveland Had a Subway. A photographic essay of the history of the Detroit-Superior (now Veterans Memorial) Bridge subway. 48 p., 1999, Cleveland Landmarks Pr., ISBN 0936760133

Martin W. Sandler: Straphanging in the U.S.A: Trolleys and Subways in American Life (Transportation in America). - June 2003, 48 pages, 8.50' x 10.25', Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195132297



RTA - Greater Cleveland Regional TransitAuthority - Official Page

Cleveland Rapid Transit on nycsubway.org (inlc. many photos)

Jon Bell's Cleveland Page with many photos

RTA on Wikipedia

LRT in Cleveland


E 55th © Mark Michalovic West 65th © Mark Michalovic Inside Red Line © Mark Michalovic LRT at E 55th Yard © Mark Michalovic
Photos © Mark Michalovic (1-4)

Thanks to Yuri Popov!


2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)