New Bridges Bring New Vantages points for Rail Photographers in Cleveland, Akron

On a recent Sunday, I had the opportunity to head to Wendy Park at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and check out the new foot bridge over the Norfolk Southern tracks at CP Drawbridge.

The foot bridge brings the Towpath Trail to its northern terminus at Lake Erie.

For us railfans it means an elevated vantage point to photograph NS Chicago Line trains. Lighting during the afternoon I spent there was perfect for westbounds coming off the Cuyahoga River lift bridge.

Depending on where the sun is you can get buildings in downtown Cleveland as your backdrop, or, as it was when I was there, FirstEnergy Stadium and the industrial structures on the east bank of the river.

To access the footbridge you park at Wendy Park or on the west bank near the Willow Street lift bridge over the old river bed.

A short walk up the ramp will get you to the best spots for photography. The fence is the large chain link so most camera lenses will fit between the links.

In Akron, the new Evans Avenue overpass over the CSX New Castle Subdivision at the east end of Akron Yard will be opening soon. The new bridge will have a fence on it over the tracks, but we’ll have to see what it looks like from beside the fencing for shots of CSX trains on the former Baltimore & Ohio.

Akron Railroad Club member Ron McElrath visited the bridge site on Sept. 17 and reported the bridge was about to open.

An access road descends toward the former grade crossing, which at the time still had working gates and lights despite the lack of a road.

The new bridge has a sidewalk that is fenced over the tracks. The Freedom Trail, which uses a portion of the former Erie Lackawanna right of way, offers good vantage points, particularly the wood stairs opposite the connection to the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

Article by Marty Surdyk

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