Lake Erie Terminal Railroad

The Lake Erie Terminal Railroad Company was incorporated in 1903 with a capital stock of $10,000 for the purpose of building a line from Cleveland to Akron, Ohio, a distance of about 35 miles. A portion of the right of way was graded and some of the rails laid, but after building as far as a point known as Pullman road, near Cleveland, Ohio, a distance of between 3 and 4 miles, the promoter discovered clay deposits and decided to build a plant for the manufacture of hollow tile and fireproofing . He subsequently organized the Camp Conduit Company, and this company acquired the plant and the railroad tracks which connect the plant with the Cleveland Short Line, the tracks of which were 2.5 miles distant from the plant.

The traffic consists entirely of inbound coal for the plant and the outbound manufactured products of the plant. This amounts to about 20 cars of coal and 60 cars of manufactured products per month..2

The brick works made "camp conduit", used in the electrical and telephone industry to run wiring. The railroad ran from a connection with the Cleveland Short Line (LS&MS/NYC) at W16th Street to the Camp Conduit works on Rockside Road near the present Oak Tree Blvd. It is shown on the 1914 Hopkins Cuyahoga County Atlas Volume 3 plate 15. The line connected to the NYC Cleveland Short Line near "L.E.&.T. Junction" shown on Map 14 of ICC Valuation Section 205. "Camp Conduit" was made by the H. B. Camp Company at a plant in Greentown (Aultman), Ohio along the Cleveland Terminal and Valley Railway (B&O) in the 1890's.

Harry Christiansen's revised Northern Ohio Interurbans book mentions that the graded, but never built, right-of-way of the Cleveland, Richfield & Akron Interurban was used by the LET.

The railroad owned property to Daisy Avenue in Independence, but the railroad was not built that far based on the 1914 Hopkins Map (courtesy of Cleveland Public Library).

Hopkins1914

Cleveland Stone

An undated Cram Cuyahoga County map with a librarian referenced date of 1944/45 shows the railroad built as far as Daisy Avenue. (courtesy CSU Special Collections)
Cram

The 1953 USGS Topographic map clearly shows a few cuts/fills, but no reference to track or abandoned right-of-way. The purple line indicated my best guess as to the route of the Lake Erie Terminal RR. Based on the new information in the Hopkins 1914 Atlas and the interurban right-of-way history, it may not have been built to Daisy Avenue.
Topo

These two maps illustrate additional GIS information that is useful in tracking the exact location of long abandoned right-of-ways. The first example is current parcel boundaries as provided by Cuyahoga County. Long narrow parcels could have been left from railroad right-of-ways. Parcels may also have been divided by right-of-ways.
Parcel

The second example displays 3 meter digital elevation data with 2 foot vertical accuracy made in 2006. This data was derived from LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data collected from an aircraft using a near-infrared laser. Raw LiDAR data can be processed to accurately see the "bare-earth" terrain under vegetation. It can be colored based on elevation and shaded to bring out slopes. Remnants of long abandoned right-of-ways often stand out from the surrounding terrain. There is not much left of the Terminal RR, but the elevation change of the railroad can be easily seen.
DEM

References

1. ICC Reports Jan-Mar 1914 page 237, Industrial Railways Case: Mentions the plant railway:
"Lake Erie Terminal 'Railroad Company, controlled by the Camp Conduit Company"

2. ICC Reports Jan-Mar 1914 p438-9.

The Lake Erie Terminal Railroad Company was incorporated in 1903 with a capital stock of $10,000 for the purpose of building a line from Cleveland to Akron, Ohio, a distance of about 35 miles . A portion of the right of way was graded and some of the rails laid, but after building as far as a point known as Pullman road, near Cleveland, Ohio, a distance of between 3 and 4 miles, the promoter discovered clay deposits and decided to build a plant for the manufacture of hollow tile and fireproofing . He subsequently organized the Camp Conduit Company, and this company acquired the plant and the railroad tracks which connect the plant with the Cleveland Short Line, the tracks of which were 2.5 miles distant from the plant.

It is stated of record that the cost of constructing the existing tracks approximated $150,000. It is operated by the Camp Conduit Company as a bureau or department of the industry and the equipment used in the operation is owned by the conduit company.

The traffic consists entirely of inbound coal for the plant and the outbound manufactured products of the plant. This amounts to about 20 cars of coal and 60 cars of manufactured products per month . No allowance is received from the trunk lines for the switching service between the plant and the interchange point . It is stated that in December , 1910 , a request was made to the Cleveland Lorain Freight Committee for an allowance of $ 2 per car for the switching performed over the tracks of the industrial railroad , but this application was denied . It is stated that the operations of the Lake Erie Terminal Railroad are not included in the operations of the Camp Conduit Company, separate books being kept for the two concerns.

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