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
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.