Posts Tagged ‘Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Lines’

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

In the Loop

July 2, 2021

 Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC cars are inside the Van Aken loop in Shaker Heights in May 1973. Today most of these tracks are gone and Greater Cleveland RTA Blue Line cars do not turn around at the Van Aken station.

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

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

How You Go Downtown Now

November 27, 2020

By the time I moved to Cleveland in August 1993 the yellow PCC cars used on the Shaker Rapid Transit lines were long gone, having been replaced by Breda cars built by an Italian manufacturer.

Also long gone by then was Higbee’s and the Silver Grille, and Hallee’s and Mr. Jingeling, all of them venerable Cleveland traditions referenced in the post above of a Shaker Heights PCC car photographed by Robert Farkas.

Seeing Bob’s photo reminded me of how I used to think it was a thrill to ride the Rapid.

Riding the Rapid and passing the high-rise apartment buildings near Shaker Square that can be seen behind the PCC car in Bob’s photograph both made me feel like I lived in a “big city.”

Sure I had lived in Indianapolis for a few years in the late 1980s and early 1990s but it didn’t and still doesn’t have a light rail line. All of the other places I’ve lived were too small to have such a mode of transportation.

None of them had a row of high-rise apartment buildings either.

The town where I grew up didn’t even have public transportation. You either walked or drove everywhere.

Bob’s photo also reminded me of how much I didn’t photograph the Cleveland RTA rail lines during my time living there.

The closest I came to photographing a Rapid car passing those high-rise apartment buildings was getting a car chartered by the Akron Railroad Club passing the Coventry Station during a photo runby.

Coventry station is located at the far east end of that line of apartment buildings that has an “urban” feeling.

Even if there wasn’t a pandemic doing on, I doubt that many people would be riding the Rapid to downtown Cleveland for Black Friday.

If they are going to get out on Black Friday they will drive to their favorite big box store that is more than likely located somewhere in a suburb.

If they have lunch that day it will probably be from a fast food chain outlet.

People continue to ride the Rapid to downtown Cleveland although they are far less likely to do it on Black Friday to go shopping.

Downtown department stores are a thing of the past and the retail that is left is a shadow of what it used to be.

I even wondered if the day after Thanksgiving was known as Black Friday back in the era when Bob made his photograph.

The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the start of the U.S. Christmas shopping season since 1952 with the “Black Friday” term dating to at least 1961.

However, one of the earliest known uses of the term in advertising didn’t occur until 1975. Even a decade later the term wasn’ that commonly used by merchants.

But the term has gained widespread currency in more recent decades and has been expanded to refer to marketing efforts that transcend the day after Thanksgiving. There are even “Black Friday” sales in October.

In writing the article that accompanies Bob’s photograph I was trying to capture a holiday tradition even if might be a greatly diminished one.

Some day there will no longer be people around who remember riding the Rapid to downtown to visit Higbee’s or Hallee’s.

There will be others, though, who can associate riding the Rapid to go downtown for other traditions.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

 

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

One Snowy Day in Shaker Heights

June 19, 2020

You can feel the cold as you view Shaker Heights Rapid Transit car 51 running over what appear to be snow-covered rails. There also appears to be snow falling in the car’s headlight.

It is shown one stop west of the turning loop at the end of the Van Aken line in the winter of 1969/1970.

This is today Cleveland RTA’s Blue Line and the turning loop is long gone.

This car is bound for Terminal Tower, now better known as Tower City.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

ARRC Gets Shout Out in Summer Classic Trains

June 19, 2020

The Akron Railroad Club was mentioned in a short piece published in the Summer 2020 issue of Classic Trains magazine.

The short article on Page 6 accompanied two photographs made during a June 26, 1960, ARRC outing on the former Shaker Heights Rapid Transit system.

Participants are shown riding in a pair of side dump cars on what today is the Green Line along Shaker Boulevard in Shaker Heights. Another photograph shows the special near Cleveland Union Terminal.

The photographs were made by Jim Kreuzberger and today are in the collection of the Minnesota Streetcar Museum.

The 1960s outing was one of several that the ARRC made in the 1950s and early 1960s.

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

How We Used to Get Around Cleveland

May 1, 2020

It’s the early 1970s or maybe late 1960s and the wayback machine has deposited us near Shaker Square in Cleveland.

Our ride around town today will be Shaker Heights Rapid Transit car No. 59.

It is one of several cars painted yellow with gray roofs that operated on the Shaker Rapid rapid between the 1950s to the 1970s.

Car 59 was built in 1946 by the St. Louis Car Company and acquired by the Shaker Rapid in 1954.

It would be involved in a head-on collision with Car 68 on July 8, 1977, near 92nd and Holton streets in Cleveland that injured 60 people.

Photograph by Robert Farkas