Posts Tagged ‘public transit cars’

At the End of the Loop

September 1, 2021

Shaker Heights Rapid Transit car 72 is in the Van Aken loop at the end of the Van Aken line in Shaker Heights in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Today this is the Greater Cleveland RTA Blue Line and the loop used to turn cars is gone.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Two for Tuesday: Just Before the Rush Hour

May 11, 2021

It’s early 1973 in Cleveland and Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC cars have been staged at the Van Aken Loop to await rush hour use. In the bottom photograph, SHRT No. 65 sits with other cars inside the Van Aken turn back loop in in the late 1960’s.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Buffalo Set to Finish Rail Transit Car Overhauls

May 11, 2021

The Buffalo transit agency said it has about completed rebuilding its light rail car fleet.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s rebuilding project is nearing completion more than five years after the program was supposed to have been completed.

Work is under way on the last vehicle in the 27-car fleet, which will conclude a $45 million program that has had workers stripping  the cars down to the shell in a rebuild process.

The program began in 2004, but the original contractor went bankrupt, leading to delays and ownership disputes.

The rebuilds passed through several companies before completion by Hitachi Rail. The cars, had been built by Japan’s Tokyu Car Company in 1984. Once overhauled, they are expected to operate for another 15 years.

Cleveland RTA Eyes Standardized Rail Car Fleet

February 5, 2021
Two Greater Cleveland RTA Blue Line trains pass in June 2013.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is eyeing a standardized type of light-rail car for use on all rail lines of its network.

The move, which was reported by rail passenger advocacy group All Aboard Ohio on its website, is part of a request for proposals for replacement cars.

Cleveland RTA is looking to spend $350 million to buy 40 to 45 cars to replace its aging fleet, a process that is expected to be done in two phases.

Currently, RTA uses cars built by Tokyu on the Red Line between East Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins Airport via downtown.

Those cars, which were delivered in 1984-1985 would be replaced first because they have substantially deteriorated.

The Green, Blue and Waterfront lines use cars built by Breda that were delivered in 1980-81.

Although those cars are older, they have held up better than the Red Line cars.

RTA is reportedly seeking a type of car that serves both low and high-level platforms.

The Red Line has high-level platforms whereas all other rail lines have low-level platforms.

Stations at East 34th, East 55th and Tower City have both types of platforms.

Americans With Disabilities Act standards require transit platforms to be the same height or within 2 inches of a train car’s floor. Rail car doorways must be no farther than 4 inches from the edge of the platform.

This means whatever type of car RTA buys must be adaptable in use to varying platform heights or all of the agency’s station platforms must be modified to be a uniform height.

The two types of rail cars used by RTA have different specifications for floor height and doorway width.

There are transit rail cars in use today in the United States that are capable of adapting to varying platform sizes.

AAO’s report, which cited unnamed RTA officials, said it isn’t clear if the agency will move to standardize platform dimensions or seek rail cars that can adapt to platforms of varying heights.

The report said RTA’s may make that decision based on the responses it gets from its request for proposals. Cost may be the deciding issue.

One advantage of a standardized rail car fleet would be the ability to run direct service from the Blue and Green lines to Hopkins Airport.

Currently, passengers originating on the Blue or Green lines must change cars at either 55th Street or Tower City to get to Hopkins.

How You Used to go Downtown on Black Friday

November 27, 2020

Today is Black Friday, the name given to the day after Thanksgiving when merchants do so much business that they go “into the black” for the calendar year.

But in the midst of a pandemic Black Friday, like so many other traditions, has been upended.

Merchants continue to bombard the public with Black Friday advertising and even before the pandemic there was so much of it that it seemed as though the entire month of November was being transformed into Black Friday.

Let’s go back in time, though, when people on the east side of Cleveland would ride the Shaker Rapid downtown on Black Friday to visit Higbee’s for a day of shopping that included lunch at the famed Silver Grille.

You would step off the car at Cleveland Union Terminal and made the short walk to the department store located in the Terminal Tower complex on Public Square.

Shown above is Shaker Heights Rapid No. 90 cruising past the high-rise apartment buildings just off Shaker Square along what is known today as the Green Line of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

This image was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Highbee’s was still much an institution in downtown Cleveland then as was its rival Halle Brothers further down Euclid Avenue.

Then again, maybe you rode Car 90 to go to Hallee’s to visit Mr. Jingeling on the seventh floor where he served as Santa’s keeper of the keys.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Trolleyville Two for Tuesday

October 27, 2020

This week’s two for Tuesday is a look back at Shaker Heights Rapid Transit car No.303 during its time at Trolleyville USA in Olmsted Township on Cleveland’s suburban west side.

No. 303 was originally an Aurora Elgin & Fox River car. It is shown taking passengers around Trolleyville in the 1960s/early 1970s.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

End of the Line at Green Road

May 22, 2020

At one time rapid transit cars on what is today’s Green Line of Greater Cleveland RTA turned at Green Road in Shaker Heights on this loop.

Now that’s no longer the case. Green Line cars now move east of the station platform a short distance and switch tracks. It is a back and forth move, not a turning move.

But turning was the norm when this former Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC was photographed rounding the the turn back loop in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Photograph by Robert Farkas