Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland’

Lolly the Trolley Rolls Out of Cleveland

May 19, 2022

An era in Cleveland ended this week when Lolly the Trolley rolled out of town.

To be accurate, Lolley was never a trolley in the traditional sense. It was a motor vehicle on rubber wheels designed to have the appearance of a trolley car.

Trolley Tours of Cleveland sent eight of the iconic Lolly vehicles to Clearwater, Florida, on Tuesday, thus ending Lolly’s 37-year time in Northeast Ohio.

Owners Sherrill Paul Witt and Peter Paul said a variety of factors led to Lolly leaving town, not the least of which was the COVID-19 pandemic.

But other factors included insurance issues and what the owners termed burdensome city regulations.

The Lolly trolleys have not plied Cleveland streets for more than a year. The first trolley ran on April 15, 1985.

Over the years Lolly ventured as far away as Kent, Canton, Ashtabula, Geneva and Sandusky.

No matter where the rolling ambassadors for Cleveland would go, they would bring a smile to the faces of passersby and passengers alike.

Lolly took passengers to museums, on sightseeing tours, to sporting events and even on short rides as part of weddings.

Witt said Lolly was involved in more than 4,000 weddings and carried wedding parties of some of the children of people who were married and sat aboard the trolley.

“It’s a memory you don’t forget,” Witt said. “And I think our ability to highlight Cleveland, to change people’s minds and to really, at the end of a tour, say ‘I never knew Cleveland was like this.’”

The operation once had 15 vehicles but the fleet size fell to eight in recent years, each of which could hold 38 passengers.

Lolly the Trolley employed about 150 people over the years and covered 3.1 million miles.

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Cleveland

February 26, 2022

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 pulls a westbound excursion through the Flats in Cleveland in early August 1985. The train is on former Nickel Plate Road tracks on a bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River Valley. The 611 pulled two round trips between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bellevue on Aug. 3 and 4 that year.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Showing its Heritage

February 11, 2022

Penn Central Alco RS11C No. 7603 has its PC roster number but its heritage is bleeding through. The image was made in Cleveland around 1968. The unit was built in July 1957.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Former Conrail VP Who Once Worked in Cleveland for the NYC Dies

December 7, 2021

A former key executive of Conrail who once was assigned to a management post for the New York Central in Cleveland had died.

Richard B. “Dick” Hasselman, 95, served as senior vice president of operations during the first 11 years of Conrail.

He began his railroad career on the NYC in New York City and after holding various jobs and positions with the company was named regional superintendent-transportation at Cleveland.

A tribute written by former Trains editor Kevin Keefe that was posted on the magazine’s website credited Hasselman with helping Conrail to become “the model of a profitable, efficient, customer-oriented railroad.”

During his time as a Conrail vice president, Hasselman worked closely with Chairman Stanley Crane.

He died Sunday in Oceanside, California. The tribute can be read at

Cleveland From Atop Terminal Tower

November 26, 2021

In March 1969 and again in early 1973 the late Joe Farkas, made a series of photographs of railroad operations in Cleveland from atop Terminal Tower.

He most likely was using a 50mm lens because he did not have a zoom at that time.

Consequently all the railroads are small, but they are there.

He also captured a Great Lakes freighter and, of course, some of the many bridges over the Cuyahoga River.

You can see such detail as where the wires once had been for Cleveland Union Terminal electrics and the rapid transit line out to the airport.

There is much to see here including much that is no longer. Cities are in a constant state of evolving even if the pace of change seems glacial at times.

Photographs by Joe Farkas

South End of Collinwood

November 12, 2021

It is 1968 or 1969 in Cleveland and we are looking at the south end of Penn Central’s Collinwood diesel shop where stored locomotives were serviced and repainted. Many a former New York Central unit came in here with the mighty oval but left with the PC mating worms herald.  But look beyond these and see what used to be and now is not.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: Iron Horses in the Night

October 30, 2021

On Friday, July 13, 1984, Dan Pluta was on the fire up crew at the West Third Street Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland with ex-Grand Trunk Western No. 4070.

It was being readied for its weekend trips on the Cuyahoga Valley Line. I along with Marty Surdyk and his two brothers ventured down to the roundhouse that night for a night photo shoot that extended way after midnight.

The next day we drove to Logansport, Indiana to capture ex Buffalo Creek & Gauley No. 13 dressed as a Pennsylvania Railroad engine. It was running for that city’s annual Iron Horse Days. This was a regular July event in Logansport in the 1980s and early  1990s.

The locomotive owned locally was dressed as Logansport & Eel River No. 1.

We captured the locomotive simmering prior to the Sunday excursions. This obviously was before the locomotive was purchased by Jerry Jacobson.

This was a typical weekend of rail enthusiasts enjoying nightlife. Then it was back to work on Monday morning.

The first three images were made at the B&O roundhouse in Cleveland while the next three were made in Logansport.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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

October 3, 2021

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

Locomotive Finds at Collinwood Yard

September 30, 2021

It is late in the New York Central era or perhaps early in Penn Central Days. New York Central Alco RS3s No. 5344 and No. 5287 are joined by two EMD switchers, an ALCO FB, and an EMD E7A. all of them sitting in Collinwood Yard in Cleveland. Some of these locomotives might be used for parts or scrapped, others might be rebuilt or repaired, and still others might be repainted into PC paint.

Photography by Robert Farkas

One Day at the Cleveland Steel Mills

September 22, 2021

At the time this photo was made, there was a public road that ran in front of this scene. Republic Steel 345, River Terminal 92, and Republic Steel 200 are in Cleveland on Oct. 10, 1983.

Photograph by Robert Farkas