Cleveland Rapid Transit

From Academic Kids

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Waterfront Line of Cleveland Rapid Transit

Cleveland Rapid Transit (generally known as The Rapid) is the name of the rail rapid-transit system in Cleveland, Ohio, owned by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The system consists of three lines: Red, Blue and Green.

The Red Line is an urban heavy rail metro that runs from Hopkins International Airport to the southwest of downtown to Windermere in East Cleveland to the northeast. When the Red Line was extended to the airport in 1968, it was the first direct airport-to-mass transit link in North America. The Red Line draws its power from an overhead caternary rather than a third rail.

The Blue and Green Lines are light rail lines that run from downtown Cleveland to Shaker Heights, a suburb on the near east side. They are all that remains of Cleveland's once-extensive streetcar system, though the lines currently run modern light rail equipment rather than PCC cars.

The Blue and Green Lines were recently extended along Cleveland's burgeoning downtown lakeside district; the extension is generally referred to as the Waterfront Line, though it is not run as a separate line in the system. Stations on the Waterfront line offer access to Cleveland Browns Stadium and to Cleveland's Amtrak station. Plans have been drawn up to loop the Waterfront Line back through downtown to Tower City Center along city streets, but it seems unlikely to move forward in the near future.

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Waterfront Line station (circular structure in foreground) at Cleveland Browns Stadium

The Blue and Green lines travel the same route from the waterfront's South Harbor to Shaker Square, where they branch off into separate routes. From Tower City to E. 55th Street, the two light rail lines also share a route with the Red Line. The sharing of one route between light and heavy rail is quite unusual, and the shared stations have platforms of varying heights to accommodate the two kinds of trains.

For years, the system was supposedly the only major rail transit system in the world with only a single downtown stop - Terminal Tower - shared by all three lines. Whether this remains true, however, with the creation of the Waterfront Line extension, is debatable.

See Also: List of Cleveland Rapid Transit stations

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