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Berea, OH

Berea Map Link

Berea is a city on the southwest side of Cleveland reached by either State Route 237, the Berea Freeway, or I-71.   Berea is the home of Baldwin-Wallace College.  For rail fanning, the easiest route to see trains is exit 235, East Bagley Road, from I-71.  Head west to Front Street and go north to Depot Street.  When you see the crossing gates that is the cue to be in the left turn lane (Depot Street runs west only from Front Street).  The other visual clue is The Station Restaurant to the west which is the old depot building now earning a living as an eatery.

Speaking of The Station Restaurant, what a great place to have lunch or dinner.  After all, the parking is on their property.  The owners, Bob and his wife, Tammy, are very generous to the rail fans who come to see the trains.  The food is good and the hospitality warm.  In warm months there is an out door eating area on the old platform.  And the bartender, Beth, is second to none on personality and service.

Park at the west end of the depot parking lot.  Be courteous - it's the restaurant's lot but they graciously allow railroaders to use it. You can also park on the south side of Depot Street about 50 to 75 yards west of the depot lot.

After business hours, you can walk to where Front Street intersects the NS or CSX tracks to photograph the oncoming trains.  Watch out for car traffic and the crossing gates.  The CSX views can be captured from the east restaurant parking lot (but don't park your car there as the restaurant's bar patrons use that lot and it gets full).

Another caution.  Do not even think of driving onto the Norfolk-Southern property by the BE tower for a better view.  Don't even think of walking across the CSX tracks to get there either.  It will likely only get you arrested for trespassing.  And do we even need to mention, its dangerous?

The NS trains are best framed to the west of the tower while the CSX have the better views anywhere west of The Station Restaurant.  Note that in summer months, late day shots from the legal viewing points will render the trains heavily shadowed as the sun is on the inaccessible side of the tracks.

An alternative viewing spot is to travel further west on Bagley road to either Lewis Road or Mapleway Drive in North Olmstead.  These roads cross the NS tracks after the tracks have re-oriented east-west and allow views in late afternoon with plenty of sunlight for photos.