Cleveland Union Terminal in 1987. The Lake Shore was the last long-distance train to use the facility.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS OHIO,18-CLEV,45-1)


Amtrak Classic logo.


The Lake Shore was a long-distance passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago and New York via Cleveland, Ohio. The Lake Shore's route paralleled that of the New York Central's famed Lake Shore Limited. Amtrak introduced the Lake Shore on May 10, 1971, nine days after Amtrak had assumed control of most private-sector passenger train operations in the United States of America. The Lake Shore was the only train to serve Cleveland, which had been the largest city left out of the original system. Amtrak introduced the route on the understanding that Ohio and New York would assume two-thirds of the cost of the train. The initial plan included a Toledo, Ohio—Detroit, Michigan connection (to be supported by the state of Michigan); Amtrak dropped the planned connection because of poor track conditions between the two cities.

The Lake Shore was the last long-haul train to use Cleveland's Union Terminal, with the last departure occurring on December 31, 1971. For the last week of the Lake Shore's runs Amtrak used a temporary platform near the Detroit–Superior Bridge, west of the terminal, to avoid incurring a year's fees ($250,000) for a week's use. Amtrak discontinued the train in January 1972, after New York failed to meet its obligations. Amtrak would later introduce the Lake Shore Limited over the same route.


Route of the Lake Shore.

(Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; via Wikimedia Commons)


Lake Shore Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Midwest United States
Predecessor: New England States
First service: May 10, 1971
Last service: January 6, 1972
Successor: Lake Shore Limited
Former operator: Amtrak
Route Termini: Chicago, Illinois / New York City
Distance traveled: 960 miles (1,540 km)
Average journey time: 17 hours 30 minutes
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 60/61
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Timetable number: 60–61