James Toman is a photographer and author who has written two books on the Shaker Rapid system. An authority on the subject, Toman continues to give talks and present slide shows on the Shaker line and owns a vast personal collection of around 2000 photographs that he has taken of the trains since the 1970s. In this interview Toman relates the history of the Shaker Rapid from its origins as a capital venture on the part of the Van Sweringen brothers all the way up to the present, relating stories of proposed transit projects that never came to fruition along with placing the public transportation system of Cleveland into a broader national context.
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These interviews, conducted by students as part of a CSU Provost-funded Undergraduate Summer Research Award project led by Drs. Mark Souther and Mark Tebeau, supported commemoration of the Shaker Heights Centennial in 2012. For more information, please visit: historicshaker.com.