Nickel Plate Road [Norfolk & Western]
August 28, 1970
Cleveland's Terminal Tower looms in the right background in this view looking east from the Independence Boulevard bridge (now gone). At the very top right is the Nickel Plate's "BD" Yard, with a connecting track crossing over the multiple tracks below to connect to the Nickel Plate main line. Next from the right are the Cleveland Rapid Transit tracks and the rather weed-grown rails of the Cleveland Union Terminal, its catenary towers long gone here (the catenary was removed in 1955). The busy tracks of the Nickel Plate Road are next, which in the distance curve off to the left and begin their crossing of the Cleveland Flats on a long viaduct, visible at the far left below the Interstate 90 highway bridge. Below left is the Baltimore & Ohio's line leading to the old passenger station, the Columbus Road freight house, and connections with the Pennsylvania and New York Central at the lakefront. The overgrown connecting track running between the Nickel Plate and the B&O tracks was known as the B&O Transfer, by which B&O passenger trains accessed Cleveland Union Terminal via a backup move to the Nickel Plate mainline, then reached CUT trackage from there via a series of slip switches.
(Special thanks to members of the Cleveland Rails Yahoo Group for an explanation of how this worked.)
This page posted 10/1/2017; revised 7/1/2018. Text and photo ©2017 Lamont Downs.