Cleveland Officials Want to ‘Hide’ Amtrak Station

The Cleveland Amtrak station in a view taken in October 2011. The RTA's Waterfront Line cuts through the station's "front yard." (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

The Cleveland Amtrak station in a view taken in October 2011. The RTA’s Waterfront Line cuts through the station’s “front yard.” (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

Heaven forbid that those attending events at the Cleveland convention center would have to look at the Amtrak station or the Norfolk Southern tracks next door.

Cuyahoga County officials are planning to pay to install landscaping that would block the “unsightly” station as visitors gaze at the Lake Erie vista from the convention center’s floor to ceiling ballroom windows. The center will open this summer.

The $465 million convention center sits on a bluff in downtown Cleveland above two major railroad lines, the NS Cleveland Line to Pittsburgh and the CSX Lakefront Line to Buffalo. The two lines converge at the Cuyahoga River and form the NS Chicago Line.

Primarily the tracks are used by NS trains because nearly all CSX traffic uses a route that bypasses downtown Cleveland.

Also in the view from the convention center are the stadium used by the Cleveland Browns, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and various industrial type buildings. The Greater Cleveland RTA’s Waterfront Line also moseys through the view.

County officials hired an architect last August to draw up designs that would mask the 36-year-old Amtrak station. County officials also want to remove some taller trees that are currently blocking part of the view of the football stadium, the Science Center and the Rock Hall.

The landscaping plans need approval of the City of Cleveland because it owns the land on which the Amtrak station sits.

County officials say they plan to proceed this spring with the landscaping plans to “hide” the station.

The Amtrak station was built in the 1970s and used what was then a standard architecture plan for new stations that put a premium on functionality and low cost. In the minds of many, that architectural concept has not aged well.

The Amtrak station is a squat-looking dark brown structure with blue trim that is primarily used during the nighttime hours when the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited come calling.

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One Response to “Cleveland Officials Want to ‘Hide’ Amtrak Station”

  1. betty Says:

    Did anyone even THINK to uprade how the Amtrak station looks so its not such an ‘eyesore’. One would think that if the trains stop right in the middle of everything, that they would use the station as a way to reduce traffic and promote the rest of the sights to and from the station! Just sayin

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