Facebook Page
Fall Railfanning Trip - Sightseeing & Railfanning In Cleveland - October 18th, 2002

Fall 2002 Railfanning Trip:
A Day Of Sightseeing And Railfanning In Cleveland
Friday, October 18th, 2002

   After checking my luggage and umbrella, I left the Amtrak Station and walked over to the RTA North Coast Station on the Waterfront Line to head over to Tower City so I could get some breakfast. I was doing another endurance test on this trip as I had planned on being awake some 24 hours without sleep! As of the time I arrived into Cleveland, I was on my 10th hour. I entered the RTA Station and couldn't find an attendant to pay my $1.50 to in order to ride the train, (in the past, an attendant was paid and you were issued a ticket at the station) I ended up paying a fare box on the train when it arrived. The driver told me they began making some changes on how fares are paid and the fare structure for whatever reason.
   After a quick 10 minute ride that takes you through the Flats (Lots of bars and clubs!) you eventually arrive at Tower City where the Waterfront Line splits into the Green and Blue Lines and meets up with the Red Line. I got off the train here and went into the Tower City Food Court for some much needed breakfast! I headed to McDonald's as several of the restaurants weren't open for breakfast and it was too early for lunch per se, so I settled for 2 Sausage Biscuits and 3 Hash Browns. Because this was the first food I had eaten in over 12 hours, I still wasn't full, so I noticed a Sbarro's Pizza Shop near the McDonald's and appropriately asked one of the servers "Can I get pizza for breakfast?", to which he answered "You sure can!", so I grabbed 1 slice of pizza and was on my way. On the way out, I had to get one of those Auntie Anne's pretzels and I was good for a few hours! (I'm on vacation, I really don't care how much I eat when I'm on a trip!!!)
   I headed back to the ground level at Tower City to get the RTA Train back to the Amtrak Station as now it was time to head to the House That Rock Built, yes, I wanted to get back to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. After paying another $1.50, I boarded the RTA Train and rode back to the North Coast Station and walked over to the Hall Of Fame, which this year had a huge display outside full of oversized guitars. I found out later on, that the guitars had been on display all over the city and were recently moved to the front area around the Hall Of Fame as they would soon be auctioned off. The guitars were part of an event known as "Guitar Mania" on tour to benefit the Rock Hall, The United Way of Cleveland, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A similar program was run in Buffalo a couple years ago using oversized buffalos painted up in different themes. It was appropriately called "Herd About Buffalo". I thought these things were so neat and I along with many others were taking pictures of them and just admiring the creativity!
   As I was walking around these guitars, I took a few slides of the them as they were set up all over the outside of the building. When I walked into the museum, there were several more on display. The museum has a strict policy, no cameras allowed at any time, though for this display, they were willing to make an exception since they did allow the photography of the guitars outside. I took a couple slides of the guitars inside but that would be it. Having known about the no camera rule, I wasted no time in checking my camera at the coat check counter with my jacket.
   I would spend a good 4 hours at the museum checking out the various displays as well as the interactive exhibits. Among the highlights, there is a film depicting the roots of Rock & Roll, films about the artists as well as films depicting each member of the Hall Of Fame in order of the year each was inducted. There is a display about MTV and how it changed the course of Pop Music and Pop Culture forever. One of the neat things I found was a set of kiosks that had headphones and touch screens which allowed you to listen to any song by any member of Hall Of Fame, I of course had to listen to Aerosmith, one of my favorites. This museum is very nicely laid out and will keep you busy for however long your there. There is also a small food area about half-way through the tour as well as a store selling CD's, T-shirts, and lots of other Hall Of Fame souvenirs. There is a section entitled "On The Charts" which profiles pop music over the last couple years and features displays from artists like Eminem, Britney Spears, and Destiny's Child to name a few. This museum has something for everyone, a huge section dedicated to The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, the list goes on, this is a music lover's paradise!
   The museum charges $17.00 for an adult admission which is good for the entire day. They give you a wrist band that will allow you to leave and come back as often as you want. My plan was to spend a good portion of the day at the Hall Of Fame before getting back on the RTA Train to meet my friend Paul Duda and catch an RTA Bus down to Berea and get in some trainwatching at one of the busiest interlockings in the NS and CSX Systems. To view that trainwatching report, please click in the table below.

   Cleveland's Amtrak Station, the blue trim was painted this year and is in Amtrak's new colors. Due to train scheduling, the station was only open from 5:00pm through 8:30am or until the Eastbound Pennsylvanian arrives in the morning.

   The House That Rock Built, proudly located on Cleveland's beautiful lakefront, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum with all the Guitar Mania guitars on display out front. The museum was rather busy today but still great to visit.

   Some more of the guitars on display outside of the museum. The people on the glass tiles you see above the entrance are maintenance workers cleaning the glass. There must have been a dozen of them or more working today, not a job I'd want to be doing in the hot summer!

   One of the only photos I was given permission to take inside the building, of some more of the guitars on display. The Rock Hall has a strict "No Cameras" rule which prevents anyone from photographing anything else inside the museum.

   Part of the beautiful Cleveland Skyline in the background of the guitars on display at the Hall Of Fame.