Red Line (Cleveland)
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Red Line Cleveland

Red Line
Cleveland August 2015 01 (RTA Red Line).jpg
A Red Line train at Hopkins Airport
TypeRapid transit
SystemRTA Rapid Transit
LocaleCleveland and East Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
TerminiHopkins International Airport
Louis Stokes Station at Windermere
ServicesRed (66: Airport-Windermere)[1]
Daily ridership26,500 (weekday)
OpenedMarch 15, 1955[3]
OwnerCleveland Transit System (1955–1975)
GCRTA (1975–present)
Operator(s)Cleveland Transit System (1955–1975)
GCRTA (1975–present)
Rolling stock60[]
Line length19 miles (31 km)[5]
Track length19 miles (31 km)[5]
Number of tracks2
Track gauge
ElectrificationOverhead catenary,
600 volts DC[4]
Operating speed60 miles per hour (97 km/h)

The Red Line (formerly and internally known as Route 66, also known as the Airport-Windermere Line) is a rapid transit line of the RTA Rapid Transit system in Cleveland, Ohio, running from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport northeast to Tower City in downtown Cleveland, then east and northeast to Windermere. 2.6 miles (4.2 km) of track, including two stations (Tri-C-Campus District and East 55th), are shared with the light rail Blue and Green Lines; the stations have high platforms for the Red Line and low platforms for the Blue and Green Lines. The whole Red Line is built next to former freight railroads. It follows former intercity passenger rail as well, using the pre-1930 right-of-way of the New York Central from Brookpark to West 117th, the Nickel Plate from West 98th to West 65th, and the post-1930 NYC right-of-way from West 25th to Windermere. The Red Line uses overhead lines and pantographs to draw power.


The corridor along which the Red Line runs had been planned for use since before 1930, when the Cleveland Union Terminal opened. The first short section, between East 34th and East 55th Streets, was in use by the Cleveland Interurban Railroad in 1920, and in 1930 the line between East 34th and the Union Terminal was completed. It was not until March 15, 1955 that the eastern half of the Red Line opened, from the existing line near East 55th northeast next to the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road) to Windermere. The line from downtown southwest to West 117th Street opened August 15, 1955. This line ran next to the Nickel Plate to the crossing of the New York Central Railroad near West 101st Street, and then next to the New York Central. On November 15, 1958, an extension to West Park opened, and the final section, continuing to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, opened in 1968, the first airport rail link in North America.

Fare collection

Since August 14, 2016, the one-way cash fare on the RTA Rapid Transit is $2.50. A 5-trip fare card can be purchased for $12.50. An All-Day/Cleveland 1-Day pass, allowing unlimited riding on the rapid transit as well as on RTA buses is $5.50 ($2.75 for children 6-17, seniors at least 65 & disabled). Weekly and monthly passes are also available, and there are discounted fares for seniors and disabled. No fare to kids under 6 with fare-paying rider; limit 3.

Many of the stations formerly had a secure turnstile system as well as staffed agent booths, but RTA removed them in 2009 at all but two stations in favor of a proof-of-payment system.

A Red Line train at West 117th-Madison station.

Before boarding, passengers must either purchase (and thereby activate) an All Day Pass, 1-ride ticket, or 5 ride pass or swipe and activate their pre-purchased farecard/pass at a ticket vending machine (TVM). Downtown's Tower City Station also has a customer service center where passengers may purchase a full range of RTA fare media. Once their pass/farecard has been activated, passengers are permitted to enter the station's "fare paid zone" which is clearly marked by signage at each station. While in the fare paid zone, as well as while on the train, passengers are subject to random fare inspections by RTA Transit Police to ensure that each person has paid a fare. Violators are subject to criminal prosecution.[6]

At downtown's Tower City Station, the sole remaining station on the line where passengers consistently pass through secure turnstiles, departing riders must swipe their pass/farecard at the gate to gain access to the platform and arriving passengers must swipe their proof of payment card to exit the station.[6]

Schedule and headways

The Red Line runs from approximately 3:15 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. daily. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes during rush hours and approximately every 15 during all other times.[1] (Service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is provided by # 22 Lorain buses between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.)

Rolling stock

Red Line cars at the West Park station in 1968

The Red Line uses a fleet of 60 stainless-steel subway-type cars manufactured by Tokyu Car Corporation and delivered to RTA between 1984 and September 1985.[7] The cars have three sets of doors on each side, one in the center and one at each end adjacent to the operator cab. The cars' exteriors originally had orange and red stripes along the sides, but these stripes were removed when RTA changed to a red, white and blue color scheme. Twenty of the cars are operable in single units, and they are numbered as 181-200. The other 40 cars are operable in pairs, and they are numbered as 301-340.

The current fleet of Red Line cars underwent an in-house rehabilitation under the direction of former director of rail Michael Couse. The cars were overhauled over the course of five years using federal grant money. Cars received pantographs and controllers, along with rebuilt trucks, traction motors, resistor banks, new flame-retardant flooring, LED lighting, new seat frames, revised interior paneling, and additional open space for improved ADA compliance. The first of the rebuilt cars was unveiled to the public on December 10, 2013.[8][9]

The current cars represent the third generation of cars that have been used on the line. The line opened using a fleet of shorter cars manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company in 1954 and 1955. The cars were feet (14.8 m) long with blue and gray exteriors and are often referred to as "Blue Birds." They were virtually identical to the cars built by St. Louis Car at the same time for what is now the MBTA's Blue Line. Twelve cars were operable as single units with cabs at each end, and 56 cars operable as pairs. The single units were numbered as 101-112, and the paired units as 201-256. Additional cars in this fleet were purchased in 1958 when the line was extended to West Park. These comprised six additional single unit cars (numbers 113-118) and 14 additional double unit cars (numbers 257-270).

When the extension to Hopkins Airport was being built in 1967, a fleet of 20 longer cars was purchased to supplement and replace the Blue Birds. These second generation cars, numbered as 151-170, were 72 feet (22 m) long and were built by Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company. The cars, which had a stainless steel exterior with red and white trim and featured interior luggage racks, were promoted as "Airporters." The Airporters supplanted the Blue Birds, except during rush hour when extra cars were needed. In 1970, ten additional Airporters were purchased, numbered as 171-180. With the purchase of the Tokyu cars in 1985, all Airporters and Blue Birds were retired.


Station[1] Date opened Date rebuilt Transfers Location Connections / notes[2][1]
Handicapped/disabled access
November 15, 1968[3] May 1994[3] Riverside RTA Bus: 22 (late nights)
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
April 20, 1969[3] April 10, 2017 Riverside /
Brook Park
RTA Bus: 22 (late nights), 54, 78, 86
Puritas-West 150th
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
November 15, 1968[3] May 17, 2011[3] Kamm's Corners /
RTA Bus: 78
Formerly Puritas
West Park
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
May 1996[3] Jefferson RTA Bus: 22, 49, 75, 83, 86
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
August 15, 2000[3] Kamm's Corners
West 117th-Madison
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
August 14, 1955[3] October 16, 2007[3] Edgewater / Cudell /
RTA Bus: 25, 78
West Boulevard-Cudell
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
April 1999[3] Edgewater RTA Bus: 25, 26, 81
Formerly West 98th-Detroit
West 65th-Lorain
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
September 21, 2004[3] Detroit-Shoreway RTA Bus: 22
Formerly West 65th-Madison
West 25th-Ohio City
Handicapped/disabled access
September 1992[3] Ohio City /
RTA Bus: 22, 45, 51, 51A, 51B, 51C, 79, 79A (rush hours), 81
Formerly West 25th-Lorain
Tower City
Handicapped/disabled access
March 15, 1955[3] December 17, 1990[3]      Blue Line
     Green Line
     Waterfront Line
Downtown RTA Rapid Transit: HealthLine (Public Square)
RTA Bus: B-Line, C-Line and E-Line Trolleys; 1, 3, 8, 11, 14, 15, 19, 22, 26, 38, 39 / 39F, 45, 51, 51A, 51B, 51C, 53F, 55 A-B-C, 76, 77F, 79A-B, 81, 90F, 246, 251, 263
PARTA: 100
Laketran: 10, 11, 12, 13
Tri-C-Campus District
Handicapped/disabled access
March 1, 1971 August 18, 2003
September 24, 2018
     Blue Line
     Green Line
Central RTA Bus: 15, 19, 76 (weekdays)
Formerly East 34th-Campus
East 55th
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
March 15, 1955[3] October 11, 2011[10] North Broadway RTA Bus: 16
East 79th Kinsman RTA Bus: 2 (weekdays)
East 105th-Quincy
Handicapped/disabled access
November 4, 2005[3] Fairfax RTA Bus: 10, 11
Handicapped/disabled access
August 28, 2014[11] University Circle RTA Bus: 7, 8, 32, 48 / 48A (weekdays)
Formerly University Circle
Little Italy-University Circle
Handicapped/disabled access
August 11, 2015[12] RTA Bus: 9
Replaced Euclid-East 120th, which closed on August 11, 2015[12]
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
March 15, 1955[3] September 1996[3] East Cleveland RTA Rapid Transit: HealthLine (Euclid Avenue)
RTA Bus: 3, 40
Louis Stokes-Windermere
Handicapped/disabled access Parking available
June 22, 1997[3]      HealthLine RTA Bus: 3, 28, 28A (weekdays), 30, 37, 41, 41F (weekdays)
Formerly Windermere

In popular culture

The Red Line is prominently featured in the final scenes of the film Proximity, starring Rob Lowe and James Coburn. The finale involves a hostage on a Red Line train and a gunfight and chase scene through the Tower City station.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Red Line (Airport-Stokes/Windermere" (PDF). Cleveland, Ohio: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ a b "RTA Rapid Transit & Connecting Bus Routes - System Map" (PDF). Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "History of public transit in Greater Cleveland". Cleveland, Ohio: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Catalog of "Common Use" Rail Corridors" (PDF). Office of Research and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Transportation. April 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority 2014 Annual Report". Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Red Line upgrades fare collection system". Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ About RTA: History of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland. RTA Website. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.
  8. ^ RTA unveils new Red Line cars. RTA Website. Retrieved on 2017-01-22.
  9. ^ Grant, Alison (December 10, 2013). "RTA Red Line rail car decked out with new interior". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "New E. 55th Rapid Station official grand opening". Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (via October 7, 2011. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "Aug. 28: RTA plans ribbon-cutting ceremony at Cedar-University Station". Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. August 18, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ a b Little Italy - University Circle / Euclid - E 120 Station. RTA Website. Retrieved on August 13, 2015.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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