Created 8/4/01

Updated 8/25/01                 

Revised 3/9/11 by Kevin Korell with permission from the Hammonds                  

Revised 8/2/13 by Kevin Korell with permission from Mike Hammond to repair some links                 



August 18, 2001

Cleveland RailFest 2001 was a meet of rail fans who rode various trains in and around the city of Cleveland.




The actual itinerary was as follows:


Greater Cleveland Regional 

Transit Authority

We began our journey on the Red Line at approximately 657AM,from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport following breakfast at Burger King. We had originally planned on starting at Tower City but due to the delay of Amtrak's Lake Shore Ltd, we found that by eating some type of a breakfast, we would have a good start on the day. From the airport through Downtown Cleveland to ride the entire length of the line to the Windermere Rapid Station. We then returned to East 55th Street and transferred to the Green Line where we traveled East to Green Road. We then retraced our steps back to Shaker Square and took the Blue Line to Van Aken. We then traversed back to Tower city and continued on the new Waterfront Line which passed through the Flats, Cleveland's nightlife and Entertainment district, on to Cleveland Stadium, the Amtrak Station and to the South Harbor, which is the terminus of this line. We returned to Tower City where we took alternate transportation to our next adventure. The estimated cost of our RTA travels on Saturday was $4.00 which is the Day Pass that RTA offers for unlimited riding on its system all day. If you are traveling with a child, you can buy a Family Pass for $6.00.


Cuyahoga Valley 

Scenic Railroad

We then ventured to Independence, a short drive from the downtown area to ride the scenic Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, departing Independence at 11:15 AM which was a 1-3/4 hour trip to Peninsula and back. Cost of this was $11.00. We made advance reservations by calling CVSR direct at (800)-468-4070. A short drive from Independence was our next stop of the day...


Trolleyville, U.S.A.

Founded in 1954 by the late Gerald E. Brookins, Trolleyville U.S.A. the Gerald E. Brookins Museum of Electric Railways Inc., was a non-profit educational corporation.

We had unlimited rides on 2 of the Trolleys that they had on display as well as a stop at the rail show that was also there on Saturday. Kevin was even recognized by exhibiters at this railroad show. He actually is a celebrity, although no cameras were following us. We also got to walk through the old B & O depot there with lots of trolley history. The cost of this was actually $4.00 per person.

Following our visit to Trolleyville, U.S.A., we enjoyed a hearty dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, very close to Trolleyville. Estimated cost averaged about $12.00 per person. We all ate well as we were ravenous by the time dinner came due to our lack of sufficient food during the day. Remember we had not eaten since 6AM. Please note that was a change from the Pufferbelly due to their limited menu selection. This also was a very late lunch/dinner, as the the tourist train only offered snack foods-no sandwiches. Following dinner, we arranged transport for those needing to go back to their hotel for the evening.

RTA offered a Sunday morning tour of the E. 55th Street Central Rail facility where we viewed some of RTA's rolling stock of transit cars and also toured their maintenance facility. This tour was scheduled for 10AM Sunday morning 8/19/01. There was a mix up on the communications and RTA actually did not meet us as planned as they had the meeting place and amount of attendees incorrect. They were expecting 13 instead of 4, so that delayed out start by about 25 minutes. We finally did connect however. The tour was very informative and was well enjoyed by all with RTA giving us goodies that included a visitors package as well as tee shirts. RTA required a dress code of long pants and shoes (NO SANDALS) for this tour which we complied with. We took RTA Red Line together as a group from the Baymont Hotel to Tower City and stopped at my office for a short tour and to stow the luggage while we took our tour. Following the conclusion of this tour, we took the Red Line to Tower City for Lunch in their Food Court which has several fast food restaurants, including McDonald's, Sbarro's, Taco Bell, KFC, Arbys, Wall Street Deli, Le Petit Bistro, Master Wok, Great Steak, Sakkio Japan, Cajun Grill. Also in Tower City, but not in the food court area is Original Cookie Company, Dairy Queen, Tower City Drug, Sweet Factory, Fudruckers, and Houlihans, as well as Morton's Steak House (out of my league) and in the attached Ritz Carlton, the 20th Century Restaurant, themed after the 20th Century Ltd, which ran in pre Amtrak days. Kevin and Alan did Sbarro's and Michael and I did KFC. Following lunch, we returned to my office to reclaim luggage and then took the Waterfront Line back to the Amtrak station. We asked for a courtesy stop but the motorwoman forgot. We just got off at North Coast and walked back to the Amtrak Station. We had also previously learned that Kevin and Michael's train was about 40 minutes behind, so we had some down time at the station before their train came, which was at about 135PM. The station agent didn't announce the train until the engine was actually on the platform. We then saw Kevin and Michael off and Alan and I returned to the Baymont where he could retrieve his luggage and relax a little bit before his train would depart at 607PM. At this point the activities of the fest officially concluded and all had a good time. We actually did discuss the next fest which is scheduled for sometime in January which is the Jersey Fest. See Kevin Korell's homepage for this information

Can't have a fest without a quiz. A quiz was handed out to all participants and is included below. I will post the answers in about a week or so. This was just for fun, no prizes, and no pressure to participate.

The list of participants were as follows:

Kevin Korell, Howell, NJ

Michael Korell*, Howell, NJ

Alan Burden, New York City, NY

Mike Hammond, Cleveland, OH

Lynn Hammond,*** Cleveland, OH

Bruce Hotz,*** Broadview Heights, OH

Lynne Hotz,*** Broadview Heights, OH


* - Child

*** - Part Time participant-Did not participate entire fest

Also, a big THANK YOU goes out to LYNN HAMMOND for her help with the development of this page and also for supplying all of the participants with very essential ground transportation in the points where we were not accessible to public transportation.

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RTA Day Pass: $4.00/Adult (Family Day Pass 1 Adult and up to 3 children ages 6-15  $6.00)

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway: $11.00/Adult; $7.00/Child (age limitation not specified - I will call for details and update)

Trolleyville: $4.00/Adult - $3.50/Child age 3-11

Dinner following: Approximately $10-$20.00 per person

Total Estimated per person:  $32-$42.00 for the day.


RTA Fare: $3.00-Round trip to E. 55th and back to Tower City. Another Day Pass may be beneficial depending on the number of rides and the amount of time spent between each ride.

Additional for accommodations and incidentals

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Test Your RTA IQ

 1.       What was the name of RTA before it was named RTA?  

Answer CTS-Cleveland Transit System

2.       How can one reach Six Flags Worlds of Adventure using RTA services?

Answer: From Tower City you take the Blue Line to Van Aken and then catch the #441 bus from Van Aken to Six Flags. Be sure to ask for a transfer when boarding the rapid at Tower City.

3.       Name the 5 city bus lines that signed an agreement to be brought under RTA’s service area, thus making service being provided by one transit provider?

Answer: Maple Heights, North Olmsted, Brecksville, Garfield Heights, and Euclid. The way the question was worded I would also accept a 6th answer--Cleveland, as I did not specify the word "suburban" instead of city in my question

4.       What is the last name of the 2 brothers, when in 1913, Cleveland’s Rapid transit system began by them ultimately developing a private rail connection from Shaker Heights to their Terminal Tower project?  

Answer: Swearingen

5.       Including the Waterfront Line, how many stations do the Blue/Green Line service?  

Answer: 34 Stations

6.       In 1968, Cleveland made Rapid transit history by being the first city in the Western Hemisphere to accomplish what?  

Answer: First city to have a Rapid Transit System directly connected to its major airport

7.       How many stations does the Red Line serve and how many miles of one-way track does it include?  

Answer: 18 stations and 19 miles of one way track

8.       What happens to the Red Line service at night?  

Answer: Due to ongoing construction on the Red Line, shuttle busses connect Cleveland Hopkins Airport and downtown between the hours of 10PM and 1AM

9.       What is the special benefit you receive after paying your fare on the Waterfront Line?  

Answer: When paying your fare at a Waterfront Station, you receive a pass good for 4 hours of unlimited riding on the Waterfront Line. You may also use that pass to transfer between the Waterfront Line and another RTA service within that time period.

10.   Does RTA service the Cleveland Amtrak Station and how does one reach the Amtrak Station?  

Answer: This answer was on your itinerary  or further up on this page. You would take any rapid or bus to Tower City and transfer to the Waterfront Line. If on the Blue or Green Line coming from the east, you would remain on board. You would ask the motorman on the Waterfront Line to give you a courtesy stop at the Amtrak Station or you would detrain at North Coast and walk down to the Amtrak Station--about a 2 minute walk.

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Please feel free to e-mail Mike Hammond with any questions.