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Flats Industrial Railroad

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Flats Industrial Railroad

Flats Industrial Railroad
Reporting mark FIR
Locale Cleveland,
Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Dates of operation 1996[1]
Predecessor Conrail[1]
Track gauge (standard gauge)
Length 4 miles (6 km)[1][2]
Headquarters 1757 Columbus Road, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 44113

The Flats Industrial Railroad (reporting mark FIR) is a Class III railroad that provides short-line commercial/industrial switching service in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, primarily with CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.


Trains have run in the Cuyahoga Valley since the 1880s. In 1880, the Valley Railway began operations, transporting coal to Cleveland, Akron, and Canton from the Tuscarawas River Valley and providing passenger service along the way. After a decade of operation, the Valley Railway became part of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. In the 20th century, competition from automobiles, trucks, and buses caused the decline of both freight and passenger service.

Right-of-way ownership shifted over the years from Valley Railway to Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad (CT&V), to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to the Chessie System.


Flats Industrial Railroad acquired its rails and right-of-way within the Flats District (Cleveland) from former ConRail. As of 2009, the Class III Short Line railroad operates as the Flats Industrial Railroad Company (FIR/FIRS).

FIR has one employee: a locomotive engineer.[3]


Flats Industrial Railroad initially operated one switching locomotive, later adding a second locomotive.B[›]


Flats Industrial Railroad - Locomotives
12 EMD SW1001 Diesel-Electric Switcher
1222 EMD SW1001 Diesel-Electric Switcher

Images and media


Flats Industrial Railroad
vertical lift bridge
Flats Industrial Railroad vertical lift bridge
Carries Flats Industrial Railroad
Crosses Cuyahoga River
Locale Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Maintained by Flats Industrial Railroad
Design Metal Riveted Warren Through Truss, Stationary, Vertical lift bridge
Material Steel
Total length 260 feet (79.2 m)
Longest span 260 feet (79.2 m)
Number of spans 1
Piers in water 0
Opened 1953

41°29′31.5″N 81°41′59.25″W / 41.492083°N 81.6997917°W / 41.492083; -81.6997917 (FIR vertical lift bridge)

All locations are in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio:

Clark branch and DK yard
Type Industrial Freight Short-line railroad
System Flats Industrial Railroad
Locale Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Termini CP Knob switch connection with CSX/NS
1. Train Avenue and Willey Road
2. Carter and Scranton road
3. Carter and Old River road
4. FIR siding, Fall and French street
5. FIR siding, Fall and French street
6. FIR siding, Fall and French street
7. flour mill, Merwin street
8. flour mill, Merwin street
9. flour mill, Cuyahoga River
10. flour mill, Cuyahoga River
Opening 1996
Owner Flats Industrial Railroad
Operator(s) Flats Industrial Railroad
Character Class III railroad
Line length 4 miles (6.4 km)[1]
Track length 4 miles (6.4 km)[1]
No. of tracks 1 to 3
Track gauge
Highest elevation 571 feet (174.0 m)

Flats Industrial Railroad - Facilities
41°29′30.75″N 81°42′0.5″W / 41.4918750°N 81.700139°W / 41.4918750; -81.700139 (FIR HQ)Coordinates: 41°29′30.75″N 81°42′0.5″W / 41.4918750°N 81.700139°W / 41.4918750; -81.700139 (FIR HQ) || Head || Quarters || 1757 Columbus Road, 44113 ||

41°29′31.5″N 81°41′59.25″W / 41.492083°N 81.6997917°W / 41.492083; -81.6997917 (FIR lift bridge) || Vertical Lift || bridge || over Cuyahoga River ||

41°29′31″N 81°42′1″W / 41.49194°N 81.70028°W / 41.49194; -81.70028 (FIR locomotive parking) || Locomotive || parking || 1757 Columbus Road, 44113 || model ?

41°29′30.75″N 81°42′1.25″W / 41.4918750°N 81.7003472°W / 41.4918750; -81.7003472 (FIR W switch) || W || Switch || 1757 Columbus Road, 44113 ||

41°29′27″N 81°41′45″W / 41.49083°N 81.69583°W / 41.49083; -81.69583 (FIR E switch) || E || Switch || Carter Road, Scranton Road ||

41°29′25.5″N 81°41′44.25″W / 41.490417°N 81.6956250°W / 41.490417; -81.6956250 (FIR EE switch) || EE || Switch || Carter Road, Scranton Road ||

41°29′20.25″N 81°41′42.75″W / 41.4889583°N 81.6952083°W / 41.4889583; -81.6952083 (FIR EEE switch) || EEE || Switch || Lorain-Carnegie, Scranton Road ||

41°29′25.5″N 81°41′43.75″W / 41.490417°N 81.6954861°W / 41.490417; -81.6954861 (FIR EEEN switch) || EEEN || Switch || Carter Road, Scranton Road ||

41°29′28.75″N 81°41′45″W / 41.4913194°N 81.69583°W / 41.4913194; -81.69583 (FIR EEENW EOL) || EEENW || EOL || Carter Road and Old River Road || ruins to former Old River Road rail lift bridge and GCRTA W.10th tracks

41°29′34.5″N 81°41′42.75″W / 41.492917°N 81.6952083°W / 41.492917; -81.6952083 (FIR EEENE EOL) || EEENE || EOL || Carter Road and Scranton Road || rear of Carter and Scranton Road businesses

41°29′15.25″N 81°41′42.25″W / 41.4875694°N 81.6950694°W / 41.4875694; -81.6950694 (FIR ES switch) || ES || Switch || Scranton Road, University Road ||

41°29′13″N 81°41′41.75″W / 41.48694°N 81.6949306°W / 41.48694; -81.6949306 (FIR ESS switch) || ESS || Switch || Scranton Road and University Road ||

41°29′3.5″N 81°41′45.25″W / 41.484306°N 81.6959028°W / 41.484306; -81.6959028 (FIR ESSS switch) || ESSS || Switch || Scranton Road, Abbey Avenue ||

41°28′53.25″N 81°41′52″W / 41.4814583°N 81.69778°W / 41.4814583; -81.69778 (FIR ESSSE EOL) || ESSSE || EOL || Willey Road, Train Avenue ||

41°28′53″N 81°41′53″W / 41.48139°N 81.69806°W / 41.48139; -81.69806 (FIR Willey Crossing) || Willey || Switch || Willey Road, Train Avenue ||

41°28′37.75″N 81°42′13″W / 41.4771528°N 81.70361°W / 41.4771528; -81.70361 (FIR ESSSS switch) || ESSSS || Switch || Train Avenue, West 30th. Street ||

41°28′37″N 81°42′14.5″W / 41.47694°N 81.704028°W / 41.47694; -81.704028 (FIR ESSSSN switch) || ESSSSN || Switch || Train Avenue, Richner Avenue ||

41°28′26″N 81°42′42.25″W / 41.47389°N 81.7117361°W / 41.47389; -81.7117361 (FIR ESSSSNS switch) || ESSSSNS || Switch || Train Avenue and Richner Avenue ||

41°28′25.25″N 81°42′44.25″W / 41.4736806°N 81.7122917°W / 41.4736806; -81.7122917 (FIR ESSSSS switch) || ESSSSS || Switch || Train Avenue and Richner Avenue ||

41°28′23.5″N 81°42′47.75″W / 41.473194°N 81.7132639°W / 41.473194; -81.7132639 (FIR ESSSSSM switch) || ESSSSSM || Switch || Train Avenue, Richner Avenue || CP Knob connection to (NS/NSR?) main line

41°29′32″N 81°42′5.75″W / 41.49222°N 81.7015972°W / 41.49222; -81.7015972 (FIR WN switch) || WN || Switch || Fall Street and Leonard Street ||

41°29′33.5″N 81°42′8″W / 41.492639°N 81.70222°W / 41.492639; -81.70222 (FIR WNN switch) || WNN || Switch || Fall Street and Leonard Street ||

41°29′35.5″N 81°42′12.5″W / 41.493194°N 81.703472°W / 41.493194; -81.703472 (FIR WNNN EOL) || WNNN || EOL || Cuyahoga River || flour mill

41°29′35.25″N 81°42′12.5″W / 41.4931250°N 81.703472°W / 41.4931250; -81.703472 (FIR WNNS EOL) || WNNS || EOL || Cuyahoga River || flour mill

41°29′32.75″N 81°42′9.25″W / 41.4924306°N 81.7025694°W / 41.4924306; -81.7025694 (FIR WNS switch) || WNS || Switch || Fall Street ||

41°29′33.25″N 81°42′11″W / 41.4925694°N 81.70306°W / 41.4925694; -81.70306 (FIR WNSN EOL) || WNSN || EOL || Merwin Street || flour mill

41°29′33″N 81°42′11″W / 41.49250°N 81.70306°W / 41.49250; -81.70306 (FIR WNSS EOL) || WNSS || EOL || Merwin Street || flour mill

41°29′29.75″N 81°42′3.75″W / 41.4915972°N 81.7010417°W / 41.4915972; -81.7010417 (FIR WS switch) || WS || Switch || French Street and Columbus Road ||

41°29′29.25″N 81°42′5.5″W / 41.4914583°N 81.701528°W / 41.4914583; -81.701528 (FIR WSN switch) || WSN || Switch || Fall Street and French Street ||

41°29′27″N 81°42′8.5″W / 41.49083°N 81.702361°W / 41.49083; -81.702361 (FIR WSNN EOL) || WSNN || EOL || Fall Street and French Street || FIR siding

41°29′26.75″N 81°42′8.5″W / 41.4907639°N 81.702361°W / 41.4907639; -81.702361 (FIR WSNS EOL) || WSNS || EOL || Fall Street and French Street || FIR siding

41°29′27.25″N 81°42′7.25″W / 41.4909028°N 81.7020139°W / 41.4909028; -81.7020139 (FIR WSS EOL) || WSS || EOL || Fall Street and French Street || ? spare parts locomotive ?


In 2005, FIR reported a single Highway-Rail Crossing incident, no other accidents, and no one killed or injured.[4] In 2004, FIR did not report any accidents (train, highway-rail crossing, other incidents).[5]

See also


^ A: Switch names are HQ-relative, should be Main-line relative.
^ B: Both locomotives are visible on Google Earth and Maps imagery, there are many (copyrighted) pictures of each posted on other web sites.
^ C: CP as in CP Knob refers to "control point". FIR operates on what used to be the Clark Branch and the DK Yard. The other bridge across the Cuyahoga River (OX/Flats Tower/Carter-Old River) in no longer used. FIR's interchange connection at CP Knob is to the CUT branch/main line.[6]
^ D: Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation Board, STB Finance Docket No. 33044
Flats Industrial Railroad Company--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--Consolidated Rail Corporation
Flats Industrial Railroad Company, a noncarrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.31 to acquire by purchase, and to operate, approximately 4 miles (6 km) of rail lines owned by Consolidated Rail Corporation between M.P. 14 at Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH, and M.P. 10 at Carter Road, Cuyahoga County, OH, including the industrial lead to Cereal Food Processors, Inc. The proposed transaction was to have been consummated on or after October 1, 1996.
Decided: October 3, 1996.[7]


General References

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