Todd's Railfan and Signal Guide to

In General
How to Get Here
the Tower
the Depot
the Signals
Front St, Before and After




In General

The photo at the top of the page is what every Berea goer strives to capture.... Two eastbound freights at speed, one on CSX, and one on the Norfolk Southern.... Many wait years to get this shot, I was lucky to get mine on my second visit after about 20 minutes of waiting.  8APR2001... the rest of the photos are from 19SEP2007 unless noted.

Berea is also as much about signals as it is of trains.  Because of the interlocking, signals are all over the place.  On the far side of the tower from where most pictures are taken, old New York Central "tri-light" style color-light signals were recently replaced by Norfolk Southern.

With the opening of the new Front Street overpass, it gives the railfan a new perspective to shoot from, although because of the distance involved from one track to the other, you'll have to be an excellent sprinter to go between NS and CSX trains if they're coming at you fast.... take a friend and share the photos! :-)

Thanks to Denver Todd for his help with my railfan guides and suggesting welcome changes to help all ya'll.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted, once in a great while maybe MapQuest.  The screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

My RSUS philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! Contact info is here

How to Get Here

Once in the Cleveland area, perhaps the easiest way to get here is off of I-71, exit 235, Bagley St.  Take Bagley St west to Front St and take a right.  Hang a left onto Depot St before you go over the tracks on the "new" overpass.

If you're coming to Berea from the downtown area, or off I-480, it's probably quicker to take the Berea Freeway, 237, south past the airport, and then take a left onto Front St, crossing the tracks on the overpass and taking an immediate right onto Depot St.  The Norfolk Southern tracks will be on your left as you're southbound on 237.

For those of you who enjoy taking transit and/or the bus, the #86 comes right by here, altho it is a local Berea bus.  It connects with the Red #66 (airport) rail line at the West Park and Brookpark stations.

  As you get to the traffic light at the bottom of the overpass, take a right onto Depot St








   More RTA info at:  http://www.riderta.com/





The above map comes from Google maps

    1      The Tower

GPS Coordinates: 41.38034,-81.856551

            A few shots of BE Tower

Above is from Bing Maps Feb2014, they still have not caught up with new aerials yet.  This shows the tower, station, and Front Street.

A close-up shot of the tower and the old signals.

  Monday 10/3/2011

Overhead shot of the tower and station area.

BE tower, and the two signals that are slated for replaced.

A shot of the tower and station.

Another good place for pictures is at the end of this warehouse type building, a half mile down Depot St.

A couple of nice bridges just a little past Rocky River Dr, not sure if there are any good vantage points for them.

    2      The Depot

GPS Coordinates: 41.381026,-81.854526

The Berea Depot was a great place to eat.  Due to the construction of the overpass, it closed and has not re-opened.



    3      The Dave McKay Memorial

GPS Coordinates: 41.379161,-81.85756



   An Eastbound CSX Freight

      An Eastbound NS Freight... just got done passing BE Tower

     Another eastbound NS Freight, nicknamed the John Deere Freight

     Another eastbound NS Freight

   Westbound CSX freight at Front.   4OCT2004

   Two passing CSX freights at the station.  Also 4OCT2004

  Waiting and waiting and waiting pays off with this "colorful" NS Freight with BNSF engines

    From 7/27/2009, the week of the big Owosso 4449 weekend....

        On a rainy Monday morning Oct 3rd, 2011


Most of the signals at Berea used to be US&S color lights arranged in a triangular fashion, some fans call them tri-lights because of this arrangement, but signal maintainers just call them color light signals.

I believe in 2010, many of the older signals were replaced with new colorlight signals by NS.  The signals replaced were at locations 1 and 2, the bracket post and the cantilever signal bridge.  Maintainers had said that the poles were in such bad shape, that they were afraid to climb up on the signals.



This signal was replaced along with the one below, both sets of signals are now on one cantilever signal bridge






In the middle

  The new signal bridge is in place, but at 90 degrees, waiting for the cutover  7/27/2009
















Front Street, Before and After


  CSX Grade Crossing, looking northish on Front  all of these before shots, 9/19/2007

  NS Grade Crossing, looking northish on Front

   Both Grade Crossings, looking south on Front

During construction

    One of the new piers has been poured  7/27/2009



As of Feb 2014, only Google has pictures of the "new" Front St bridge, Bing does not.



  9/19/2007   10/3/2011  RTA buses zooming by.

     New signal and bases ready and waiting to be installed

     Equipment cabinets for the signals

Three head signal for westbound CSX freights on Track 1.  The bottom head, in contrast to all of the other signals at this locale, appears to have only two aspects and is not a "tri-light" with one position blanked out.

NEW 9/30/2007
Last Modified on 28-Feb-2014