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Cleveland: Union Terminal (Tower City)

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This is the downtown Cleveland station site proposed for WestShore commuter trains, which can also bring other trains along with them -- "re-unionizing" Cleveland Union Terminal!

 

I like the idea of having all trains stop at Tower City.  But how would you get Amtrak's Lakeshore Limited in and out of Tower City?

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Here is how.....

 

The Lakeshore Limited route (Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Buffalo-Albany-New York/Boston) runs from the upper-right corner of this map to the lower left....

cleveland-existingpassengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed1passengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed2passengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed2-cut-s.jpg

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Cross-posted from the Cleveland Casino thread....

 

 

Feds grant $25M for downtown light rail

Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News

 

Federal officials on Thursday announced a grant agreement has been signed for $25 million toward a proposed light rail project in downtown Detroit.

http://detnews.com/article/20110121/METRO05/101210386/Feds-grant-$25M-for-downtown-light-rail#ixzz1BgDuqf5W

 

That's great news! And note that one of the co-chairs of this rail project is Dan Gilbert, who is building the $600 million casino at Tower City Center. Hey Dan -- include a railroad station in the basement of your casino for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the WestShore Corridor commuter rail and for Amtrak! You'll have up to 20 trains arriving and departing each day AT YOUR CASINO!

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I while back there was a dicussion about the Van Sweringen's suite in the Terminal Tower.  There is a really good article in "Ohio Authority" this month about it, with a few pictures. 

 

If this is the wrong place for it, feel free to move. 

 

The Top Suite

Exploring the Van Sweringens' secret Terminal Tower

 

http://ohioauthority.com/articles/region/the-top-suite/page/1

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Here is how.....

 

The Lakeshore Limited route (Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Buffalo-Albany-New York/Boston) runs from the upper-right corner of this map to the lower left....

cleveland-existingpassengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed1passengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed2passengerrail-s.jpg

 

cleveland-proposed2-cut-s.jpg

 

Have we seen any interest in this from the people that would make it happen?

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Cleveland's former train stations, summer nights on the shore, and polka king Ray Budzilek:

Cleveland Remembers Week in Review

 

Published: Sunday, July 24, 2011, 3:00 PM    Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2011, 5:57 PM

By John Kroll, The Plain Dealer The Plain Dealer

 

The "Terminal" in Terminal Tower comes from its origin, standing atop Union Terminal -- nexus for many rail lines connecting Cleveland to the rest of the country.

 

Anne Karavantas of Cleveland Heights remembered when her father traveled on business, and she and her mother would go with him, down one of the brass-railed stairways to trains with names like the Washingtonian or the DeWitt Clinton. Others remembered, too:

 

Read more at: http://www.cleveland.com/remembers/index.ssf/2011/07/clevelands_former_train_statio.html

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Cross-posted from the West Shore Corridor thread in the public transit section....

 

This is the downtown Cleveland station site proposed for WestShore commuter trains, which can also bring other trains along with them -- "re-unionizing" Cleveland Union Terminal!

 

 

Thanks to Hts121 for taking this picture of the site from the Stokes Courthouse Tower....

 

IMG_20101206_123309.jpg

 

This entire span of riverfront has so much potential. With the Rib Festivals and TC Ampitheater events I've attended the area has been a very good host. With some targeted investment it could become quite a diverse and attractive locale.

 

Does anyone believe that with Phase II casino on the way, that there is any chance for this space to develop for retail and recreation?

 

It could be a fantastic "riverfront door" to the Casino. And the arena. And the ballpark. Plus if Commuter rail is still in the mix, with good planning that could be another tremendous advantage.

 

Or is this just another stretch of valuable waterfront property that's cursed for with surface parking?

 

IMG_20101206_123309.jpg

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Pure specurumor.  That is a double dose of Speculation and Rumor.

 

On my buddy's boat last weekend...one of the marina workers (not a waiter) was telling me how they were going to be tying boats up down there so you could boat in to the casino.

 

not sure how they get tooo many boats in there with having to keep the channel navigable for the shipping traffic......but there you go.

 

he said this was news all through the marinas, from detroit to buffalo.....

 

I can neither confirm or deny this.....BUT it sure sounds like a pretty decent idea.

 

 

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Pure specurumor.  That is a double dose of Speculation and Rumor.

 

On my buddy's boat last weekend...one of the marina workers (not a waiter) was telling me how they were going to be tying boats up down there so you could boat in to the casino.

 

not sure how they get tooo many boats in there with having to keep the channel navigable for the shipping traffic......but there you go.

 

he said this was news all through the marinas, from detroit to buffalo.....

 

I can neither confirm or deny this.....BUT it sure sounds like a pretty decent idea.

 

 

That sounds promising. I'm sure Rock Gaming will have their eyes on the Rock Hall and their plan to accommodate visiting boats.

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The Jet Express from Lorain and the islands may dock there at Collision Bend. They have been talking with the casino folks of having a "station" facility for boats. But no station for trains since we will put tax dollars into the Army Corps of Engineers to keep the Cuyahoga River dredged and navigable, but not to extend or restore rail lines (CVSR, West Shore Corridor etc) into downtown Cleveland. You get what you pay for and nothing for what you don't.

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Redirected from the RTA thread.....

 

What exactly is the story for these empy rail paths?  There is one along the green line too and it looks like it even has the rapid power lines over it but its clearly abandoned. 

 

Wow, where do I start!

 

OK, how about the beginning? There were two brothers named Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen (simply O.P. and M.J., or more commonly, The Vans) who began developing the land of the North Union Shakers into Shaker Heights just after the turn of the previous century. They wanted to build a high-speed rapid transit line into downtown to make their community accessible. To get access to several miles of right of way, they had to buy the 600-mile Nickel Plate RR system (later became part of Norfolk Southern). That got them into the railroad business, and the Vans kept acquiring railroads using borrowed money.

 

They began to envision a major railroad and transit station on Cleveland's Public Square and got the OK from voters in 1919 to build a grand Union Terminal that united all railroads, interurbans and rapid transit lines. They cleared out numerous city blocks southwest of Public Square all the way to the river and excavated it for a subterranean station, and began building high-speed electric railroad access routes from Collinwood to the east to Linndale on the west. The volume of dirt that was excavated for the station and its 19 miles of approach tracks surpassed that of the Panama Canal.

 

Soon, the Vans decided to add an office tower atop the main building facing Public Square. That tower was named Cleveland Union Terminal Tower, but later shortened to Terminal Tower. Below it and several new streets or extensions of other streets (Huron, Prospect, Second, Sixth, etc) as bridges through the terminal complex were six rapid transit station tracks, 12 railroad station tracks and nine railroad coach yard tracks that could be converted into station tracks to meet the ever-growing need for rail travel, envisioned at that time.

 

Instead of running dirty steam locomotives through the subterranean station, the Vans wanted passenger trains arriving CUT to be hauled by electric locomotives. This required a time-consuming change of locomotives at Collinwood and at Linndale. For trains traveling through Cleveland, this meant they had to change locomotives twice. Some express trains, like New York Central's 100-mph Chicago-New York City "Twentieth Century Limited", bypassed CUT by using the lakefront tracks. Express trains that originated in Cleveland, like New York Central's 90-mph Cleveland-Detroit "Mercury" departed Cleveland under steam power, but the locomotive was parked outside the station, south of Huron Road. In the mid-1940s, more than 100 passenger trains arrived and departed CUT each day.

 

The coming of diesel locomotives meant the end of the electric locomotive fleet in 1953. The overhead wires were removed above the railroad tracks. But the Cleveland Transit System "Rapid" opened for service in 1955, adding to the Shaker Rapid transit services, and keeping the "juice" flowing above its own tracks through CUT. But railroad service declined under the high cost of maintenance, governmental regulation, taxes, usage fees and labor costs at Cleveland Union Terminal. It and other privately owned stations could not compete with the lower cost of government owned and financed highways and airports.

 

The railroads saw the writing on the wall. Yet federal regulator would not let railroads like New York Central and others discontinue trains that were still popular yet lost money. So the railroad companies scheduled trains so they missed connections with other trains, operated them with as few as one car and jammed standees into them, put them into sidings to let slower freight trains pass, and even did not list certain trains on public timetables. So Amtrak was begun to take over the operation of railroads from the private sector. Congresspersons had great influence on what routes would be continued under Amtrak.

 

No Cleveland routes were urged by Ohio's Congressional delegation before Amtrak started operations on May 1, 1971. On that day, Cleveland lost trains to Columbus, Chicago, Indianapolis, Buffalo, New York City and cities in between. For a brief time, Amtrak used CUT for a Chicago-New York train that Ohio and New York state promised to financially support. New York did not support it so the train was withdrawn after less than a year of service.

 

The only train left at CUT was Erie-Lackawanna's remaining passenger train west of Port Jervis, NY -- the Cleveland-Youngstown commuter train. The reason it survived? E-L's corporate headquarters were in Terminal Tower, and many of E-L's executives and office workers used the train to get to/from work. It lasted until Jan. 14, 1977, shortly after Conrail absorbed E-L and relocated office workers to Philadelphia. That was the last railroad train to Cleveland Union Terminal.

 

After that, the Cleveland Union Terminal railroad tracks alongside the Rapid lines were pulled up and scrapped. Most of the overhead power line systems for the pre-1953 electric trains had been removed years earlier, except those shared by or otherwise still needed for the Rapid. And slowly the CUT rights of way and station has been gobbled up for other things.

 

Cleveland Union Terminal track layout at its peak:

 

cuttrack.jpg

 

 

Looking at the "guts" of CUT:

 

CUTcutaway1s.jpg

 

 

A CUT electric hauling a passenger train westbound across the Cuyahoga Valley viaduct to someplace like Chicago, St. Louis or Cincinnati. The photographer is standing where CTS will finish building its rapid transit tracks in 1955 (the work actually started in the 1920s):

 

cut16.jpg

 

 

One of the few steam-powered trains that served CUT -- New York Central's 90 mph Cleveland-Detroit streamliner called the "Mercury". It would reach Detroit's Michigan Central Station in about 2 hours and 45 minutes:

 

rrsteam092b.jpg

 

 

One of dozens of daily trains that paused at the west-side suburban station in Linndale to pick up passengers and drop off the electric locomotive for a steam-powered one:

 

NYC_RNC_RVN10354.jpg

 

 

In December 1967, a few months after I was born, New York Central's Chicagoan departed Cleveland on its run from New York to Chicago. There were more than 20 passenger trains a day between Chicago and East Coast in the 1950s, but was cut back by half by the mid-1960s. In December 1967, only six were left, plus trains to Columbus, Indianapolis, and Youngstown:

 

The%20Chicagoan%20leaving%20Cleveland%2012_67c.jpg

 

The%20Chicagoan%20leaving%20Cleveland%2012_67d.jpg

 

 

In 1971, this was one of the last pre-Amtrak trains to depart Cleveland Union Terminal, with the main post office at right. But a former airline executive took over the postal service in the mid-1960s and took all the mail contracts away from the railroads and gave them to the airlines by 1967:

 

pc4082.jpg

 

 

Amtrak briefly used CUT for its "Lake Shore" which operated for less than one year, ending in 1972. This is the New York-Chicago train coming westbound across the CUT/CTS viaduct in the summer of 1971 and passing CTS's West 25th Station which was on the north side of Lorain Avenue at that time (see platform at left), photographed by Joseph D. Korman:

 

AmtrakLakeShore-Cleveland1971-JosephDKorman1s.jpg

 

 

Erie-Lackawanna continued to run its weekdays-only Cleveland-Youngstown commuter train until 1977 (we have entire thread in the railroad section about this train and its route). This is the train picking up speed next to Broadway Avenue in 1971, where the main Post Office would relocate to from CUT in 1982:

 

E-L_Commuter_skyline_May1971s.jpg

 

 

This is the commuter train "mowing the lawn" on the east side of CUT in 1974:

 

E-L_commuter_CUT-1974.jpg

 

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I believe our local leaders sometime in the near future need to have a plan on how to best leverage the the IMO inevitable return of passenger rail to clevelland which is a logical gateway to the east coast. 

 

Cleveland is the X on the rail map

Chicago hub

map_integrated_network.gif

 

Ohio hub system

 

mapsh11.jpg

 

Cleveland will be the HSR 150 MPH+ connection between Chicago and Pittsburgh and the most used node of the Ohio hub system. being a major transfer point on the future passenger network requires that Cleveland focuses on leveraging the 6.8 million trips that a 220mph link between Chicago and Cleveland, the 2.5 million trips A 110mph system between Cleveland and Cincinnati, and the 860,000 trips between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

 

that is roughly 10.4 million trips beginning or ending in a passenger rail station in Cleveland.  the question is how can the region best leverage this traffic into economic growth.

 

I will tell you dumping 10.4 million people into a  lake front station away from the Core of our Region transit hub at tower city does not offer the bang for the buck that a new passenger Rail station at tower city. 

 

building a new passenger rial corridor From Chicago that a 220mph connection will require easily 3-4 billion dollars to connect the rural line to a hypothetical station on the Cleveland lakefront. it could cost 1 -2 billion more to Redirect that connection into tower city and integrate the 220mph line with the Ohio hub network connections to Pittsburgh, buffalo, and Columbus. 

 

some way somehow, we have to unify all passenger rail plans into plan most beneficial to the region, and get our local leaders and stakeholders behind it. 

 

Cleveland needs a Vision just like Chicago's Union station master plan here .

 

the first step could be the lakefront inter-modal center,  and Amtrak improving service to it's existing station, either way it is back to the future with a new union station project.

 

Source

 

http://www.midwesthsr.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Midwest_Network_Benefits_Study_2012.pdf

 

http://www2.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Ohio%20Hub/Website/ordc/Ohio_Hub_Final_Docs/Final_Document_Rev_12_06_07/Executive_Summary_Full_Report.pdf

 

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Celebrating Terminal Tower's 85th train anniversary

rexnerCleveland[/member].com

 

Thursday marked the 85th anniversary of the first passenger train rolling into the Union Terminal on Cleveland's Public Square.

 

Here are seven facts and figures about the station, which hasn't served cross-country trains in years but remains the hub of the area's commuter rail service.

 

85:On Oct. 23, 1929 — 85 years ago — the first passenger train rolled into the Union Terminal beneath the Terminal Tower complex, which was still under construction.

 

Brothers O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen boarded for a short ride with presidents of the Nickel Plate, Chesapeake & Ohio and Erie railroads. The front-page headline in the next day's Plain Dealer added emphasis with an exclamation point: ''Passenger Train Enters Terminal!''

 

READ MORE AT:

http://plaindealer.oh.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=079bbe416

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Responding to a question from the North Coast Transportation Center thread....

 

It's a shame that access connections for Amtrak were not maintained over the course of the various renovations of the Tower City complex over the past 20-30 years.  The Tower City connection clearly has the most transformational potential.  Did the previous studies include any of the following alternatives:

 

Amtrak renovating or retrofitting  the excess track space on the Red line bridge that they are currently considering for a walking-bike trail?

Amtrak taking over the Red line bridge and re-routing The Red line down West 25th and into Tower City via the old streetcar right-of-way access on the lower level of the Detroit Superior bridge? 

 

Could either of these options trigger more funding if they were tied into redevelopment of the north end of Ohio City (west 25th, Detroit road, and a restored Franklin Circle) which has seen a lot of interest over the past couple of years?

 

Thanks in advance for your input!

 

Amtrak in 1984 studied routing its trains through Cleveland Union Terminal and found it would dramatically increase its costs from having to maintain a more elaborate station and several miles of access track, which it be would the only user. The longer, slower routing vs the lakefront tracks would also mean adding 25 minutes of run time to the Lake Shore Limited, then the only Amtrak train serving Cleveland.

 

Shortly after that report came out, Forest City Enterprises bought the Cleveland Union Terminal Co. which owned much of what is today Tower City Center as well as 17 miles of now-trackless railroad rights of way into the station. At least, FCE referred to that Amtrak report when deciding what to do with the railroad station track level of CUT/Tower City Center and the 17 miles of rights of way. At most, FCE may have requested the study. I have the study but can't find it in the foot-tall stack I have of all other studies done since the 1970s. Either way, it influenced FCE's decision to turn the entire track level of the station into parking and insert another level of parking in there, cutting the 25-foot overhead clearance for trains in half. FCE acquired the Tower City portion of the Cleveland Union Terminal Co. properties whereas GCRTA acquired the 17 miles of railroad rights of way, much of which has since been sold to other parties (the exceptions are the rights of way closest to Tower City).

 

In 1992, interest in 3C intercity rail, Cleveland-Pittsburgh and a possible commuter rail system grew, led by then-GCRTA GM Ron Tober. GCRTA requested a study of turning the former CUT coach yards (between Huron and Canal roads) into a station. That resulted in RL Banks conducting a study of a railroad station at Tower City as well as a walkway to the under-construction Gateway sports complex plus a Flats Trolley (using historic replica rail trolleys). RL Banks estimated the cost of railroad construction at $42 million (less property acquisition) and construction of station facilities at $11 million. The reason why this cost was so low was because the station was to be part of the Riverview Phase of Tower City to be built along and above the former CUT coach yards. Thus many accessways and support infrastructure would be funded by FCE for the Riverview development.

 

The RL Banks study was revisited in 1996 when GCRTA's plans for commuter rail got more serious and would require more significant track infrastructure to access the station from more directions. Also the Riverview phase was canceled shortly thereafter, so the costs of the station and pedestrian accessways would be solely attributed to the station project. The projected costs of a Tower City railroad station ballooned to $125 million. After that report came out, the only sites considered for a downtown station were along the lakefront.

 

Here's some graphics from the 1992 study....

 

16262831280_b4f659e92a_b.jpg

 

15830176363_59938c49a5_b.jpg

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Ron Tober was progressive in his views toward rail transit expansion... It's a shame that the powers that be took that to mean "extravagant" and ran him out of town in favor of the anti-rail Calabrese who better fits their paradigm. 

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All Aboard Ohio ‏@AllAboardOhio  Jun 5

New York Central Train 322 to Columbus & Cincinnati departs WB over the Cleveland Union Terminal viaduct, June 1960.

CGx-ouLVIAImPwf.jpg:large

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Also posted these two pics in the Vintage Cleveland thread in the photo section....

 

Here's an evening shot from about 1950 of railroad passengers queuing at the top of stairs in Cleveland Union Terminal (or as my dad called it, simply "The Terminal") for one of two trains shown on the departure boards atop this stairwell (there were six stairwells leading to six platforms and 12 tracks). One train shown on the departure board for Track 20 (the track numbering included tracks below the rapid transit concourse) is the 5:55 p.m. eastbound departure of New York Central RR's "Interstate Express" to Boston via Buffalo where it exchanged rail cars with the Fifth Avenue Special to New York City. This was one of 15 passenger trains a day in each direction through Cleveland and Buffalo at speeds of 85 mph (thanks to automatic train stop signals, long since removed). The other station track had posted the 6:10 p.m. eastbound departure of the Erie Railroad's "Steel King" to Pittsburgh via Aurora, Warren and Youngstown. In 1950, there were six daily round trips between Cleveland and Youngstown, and most trains continued beyond. Most went to Pittsburgh but one went to Jersey City, NJ via the New York's Southern Tier "Scenic Route." Despite an incredible amount of steel-related rail traffic within and through Warren, Niles, Youngstown, Struthers, New Castle, Aliquippa and McKee's Rocks into the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Station (today's Station Square), this train managed to travel to Pittsburgh in 2 hours and 40 minutes.

 

21175391485_b551f4d420_b.jpgCUT-concourse-c1950-2 by Ken Prendergast, on Flickr

 

 

This 24-hour food counter in Cleveland Union Terminal was quick, cheap, convenient and friendly for passengers connecting between trains or riding trains without a diner, lounge, buffet car or automat like Erie Railroad's commuter train departing at 5:20 p.m. Monday-Friday to Youngstown and all stations in between. That was the last railroad service to Union Terminal, ending on Jan. 14, 1977 as a Conrail train. Five years later, the middle of the Cleveland-Youngstown was removed and the rest has rusted away.

 

20988554989_953a108138_b.jpgCUT-lunchcounter-c1950 by Ken Prendergast, on Flickr

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