Lake Erie Terminal Railroad

The Lake Erie Terminal Railroad Company was controlled by the Camp Conduit Company.1 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 railroad owned property to Daisy Avenue in Independence, but the railroad was not built that far based on this map. (courtesy of Cleveland Public Library). Harry Christiansen's newer 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. This would explain the LET property north of the CSL and south of the brick works. Cleveland Stone Company owned property just north of Daisy Avenue and it is possible LET was built to that area.


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)

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.

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.

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.

Thanks go to NOARS members for some of the information included on this page.


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

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