The Red Line

Cleveland has some historic "firsts" concerning its single heavy rail line.   It was the first entirely new post-World War II rapid transit line in the country, with its initial portion opening in 1955.  And an extension to that original line, opened in 1968, marked the first time on this continent that a heavy rail line linked a city's downtown directly to its airport.

But Cleveland is also the smallest metropolitan area in the nation that supports a heavy rail line.  The route, known as the Red Line, is operated by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.  It is about nineteen miles long, and it is rather lightly used. 

This photo shows an Airport-bound train preparing to cross the Cuyahoga River on a massive bridge, originally built for mainline rail traffic.  It is early afternoon on a work day, but the single car operating the run is more than sufficient to carry the passenger load.