Red Line S-curve

CLEVELAND -- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has completed a $7 million restoration and improvement of the "S-Curve" Red Line rail track. Work began April 21, 2013, and was finished on May 25, 2013.

During construction, this area of track was closed. RTA operated bus service between two stations -- West 117th and West Boulevard.  Buses replaced rail in both directions with a 5-minute trip between the two stations. RTA operated 3-car Red Line trains every 15 minutes during the work.

Project background

As the name implies, the track curves first in one direction, then the other, as it ascends from the West 98th Street Rapid Station to the West 117th Street Rapid Station. The S-Curve, part of the Windermere-to-Airport Red Line built in 1955, extends more than 3,000 feet.

Design work was done by TranSystems Cleveland office. On May 12, 2009, the RTA Board of Trustees awarded TranSystems a $400,000 design contract, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Areas of concern

  • Track drainage system is not working properly.
  • Portions of the track are constantly wet, and water flows from one section of track to another.


  • Clean the entire drainage system.
  • Replace portions of it.
  • Replace a slab that supports track at the west end of the curve will also be replaced.
  • Repair and strengthen the retaining walls and a bridge abutment.
  • Install new rails, ties and ballast (the stones that support the ties) to ensure that the track is maintained, with periodic maintenance that does not interrupt service.
  • Adjust the overhead power system to best align with the new tracks.