trains

“Now it’s a mighty long way down the dusty trail… and the sun burns hot on the cold steel rails…”










“All the Way From Memphis” – Mott the Hoople (1973)

Abandoned trains at the rail yard outside of the ArcelorMittal steel mill along Quigley Road in Cleveland’s industrial flats.

Photos taken January 7, 2016


“…East 55th and Euclid Avenue was real… precious…”


 
“Precious” – Pretenders (1980)

The intersection of East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue, in Cleveland, appears to the daily passer-by as the average, run-of-the-mill busy city intersection. But like many things in life–there is so much more than what initially “meets the eye.”

In 1852, the The Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad line (which eventually became The Pennsylvania Railroad) was built, connecting Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line crossed Cleveland’s grand Euclid Avenue at what was at that time the city’s eastern most “developed” area– the north/south road known as Willson Street. In 1906, when the city adopted a numerical system for north/south city streets, Willson Street would become East 55th Street.

During the building of the railroad through Cleveland, Jared V. Willson, the property owner of the land where tracks were to cross Euclid Avenue, saw the likelihood of an economic windfall, and negotiated the building of the first train station at the site.

On April 28th, only thirteen years later, a train making its way to Springfield, Illinois made a Cleveland stop and the flag draped casket of President Abraham Lincoln was solemnly unloaded at the station and placed on a horse drawn hearse. Heading west on Euclid Avenue, the procession made its way to Public Square, where the only outdoor public viewing of the dead President took place, among the stops that were made on the long journey home.

In July of 1881, The Euclid Avenue Station was once again utilized as the Cleveland train stop to unload the casket and allow for the public mourning of another President. James A. Garfield, “Cleveland’s President,” like Lincoln, made the same slow, venerable trip up Euclid Avenue from the station, to Public Square.

From the same vantage point as the picture above, a photograph taken in the early 1900’s showing the Pennsylvania Railroad Euclid Avenue Station at East 55th Street. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery Collection.

During the later-half of the 1800’s, as the city grew eastward toward the University Circle area, the Euclid Avenue Train Station contributed to a massive, ever increasing traffic problem at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Willson Street. The combination of horse drawn, and eventually motorized vehicles, electric street cars, and train tracks that crossed both thoroughfares at the intersection made Euclid and Willson one of most congested, and dangerous cross streets in the country. It was partially because of this situation that the tracks were reconstructed and run above street level in 1912. With this improvement, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company built a new, independent passenger station to accommodate the new alignment. Steel girder bridges and supports were used all throughout the heavy industrial areas to the North and South of Euclid Avenue along the newly raised Pennsylvania Railroad line in Cleveland.


 
The passenger station was closed in 1965 and it’s entrance-ways were bricked-up. Today you would never know that a heavily used, historic train station ever existed at this spot for over 100 years. But remnants of the turn-of-the-century station are still there– hidden secrets of the past, behind the brick.
 












A photo taken in 1939 of westbound Euclid Avenue traffic under the Pennsylvania Railroad overpass at East 55th Street. Photo courtesy the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery Collection.

The last four photos below were taken February 22, 2016 at the Cleveland Greenhouse. Exterior decor from the Euclid Avenue Train Station, preserved and on display.





 

Photos (unless otherwise noted) taken July 21, 2015


“You had your time, you had the power…”
























































“Radio Ga Ga” – Queen (1984)

(55 photos)

At the corner of Cedar Ave. and Ashland Avenue, on Cleveland’s east side, sits a relic– today in defiance to the demolition wrecking ball — a remnant of Cleveland’s booming industrial past.

Created to power the electric rail streetcars of the day, the Cedar Avenue powerhouse of the Cleveland Electric Railway Company was opened on December 18, 1888, as perhaps the most modern, state of the art facilities of it’s kind.

Long since closed, gutted and used as a make-shift storage area, after being sold, traded, handed down, through the years–and finally abandoned, like so many old buildings…  The building seems structurally sound–it’s interiors, a labyrinth of passageways and tunnels– and left behind pieces of history. Detailed information and photos of the massive interiors showing the generators and other equipment as it looked in it’s hey-day were recorded in an article in the April 1, 1902 edition of The Engineer, entitled “The Evolution of Electric Railway Power Plant Apparatus, as Illustrated by the Cedar Avenue Station of the Cleveland Electric Railway Co.” (link to article).

Photos taken June 29, August 5, and  October 27, 2015


“The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track… it’s at the moment bound for nowhere…”

“A Town Called Malice” – The Jam (1982)

The Collinwood Rail Yards from East 152nd Street.
Established in 1874 by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Company.

Located in the northeast Collinwood neighborhood in the City of Cleveland.

Photo taken September 1, 2015


“…as railhead towns feel the steel mills rust… water froze in the generation…”




“Straight to Hell” – The Clash (1982)

Four photos of The ArcelorMittal Cleveland Steel mill yards in the industrial flats along the Cuyahoga River, and the adjoining rail yards where cars await unloading. Steel has been produced at this site since the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller and has been the source of employment for generations of Cleveland families.

Photos taken May 9, 2014


“…they think that I got no respect, but… everything means less than zero…”

“Less Than Zero” – Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1977)

Found in the old steel yards down in the industrial flats of Cleveland.

Photo taken January 16, 2014


“…and it’s on that lonesome railroad track… I’m gonna lay my burden down.”

“Boxcars” – Joe Ely (2008, live)

At address 1262 E. 49th Street just north of St. Clair Avenue, in an old, light-industrial area of Cleveland’s east side is where you can find these long since abandoned “lonesome” railroad tracks…

Photo taken October 28, 2013


“When the train come in the station… I looked her in the eye…”


“Love in Vain” – The Rolling Stones (1969)

Indigo Lake Station
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Peninsula, Ohio
Photos taken May 11, 2012


“I hear the train a comin’… It’s rolling round the bend.. and I ain’t seen the sunshine since.. I don’t know when…”

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash (1959)

Cleveland, Ohio
Industrial Flats

Photo taken December 10, 2012


“…’cause I’m a Fool for the City…”

“Fool For the City” – Foghat (1975)

Like the subway systems in other larger cities, Cleveland, Ohio has an above ground public transit system that transports passengers in all directions throughout the Greater Cleveland area. The “Rapid Transit” or “Rapid” is a fun alternative to driving, particularly if you are headed into downtown. On this trip we took my 10 year old niece for an adventure into downtown Cleveland. The train shoots along the rails directly into the Terminal Tower where visitors are within footsteps of all that this metropolitan focal point offers. In this picture, taken from the train, we are cruising beside the Cuyahoga River, over the scenic “Flats,” and moments from our destination.

Photo taken April 12, 2012.


“Jumping Someone Else’s Train”

“Jumping Someone Else’s Train” – The Cure (1979)

Along the Cuyahoga Valley Rail Line
Near Brecksville, Ohio

Photo taken March 16, 2012