Search WWW

Railroad History, Pittsburgh Plan, 1923

Previous Page   --   Page 4 of 5   --   Next Page


General Description

The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad is a part of the New York Central System. From Youngstown, Ohio, on the north, its tracks extend through Pittsburgh to Fairmont, W. Va., in the Monongahela Valley, and to Connellsville, Pa., in the Youghiogheny valley. Connected as it is to the Erie and the New York Central Railroads, on the north, and to the Western Maryland Railroad at Connellsville on the southeast, it forms an artery of commerce very important to the Pittsburgh District.


Although by far the greater part of the traffic of this railroad originates within the Pittsburgh District, all the traffic may be said to pass through Pittsburgh as a gateway.

As indicated by the diagram (see page 30), freight traffic over the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad is comparatively heavy.

Existing Conditions: Trackage

The main line of this Company north of the Pittsburgh Passenger Terminal and to Youngstown is practically four tracked with maximum gradients of three-tenths of one per cent. Upon this portion of the system there are no serious grade crossing conditions. It is, therefore, well equipped to handle even a greater volume of traffic than now offered it.

The lines south of the Pittsburgh Terminal are fully double tracked to Brownsville and to Connellsville, with a section of four tracks between 34th Street (Pittsburgh) and Homestead. In the mill district within the city there is considerable congestion owing to a lack of space between the industries served and the Monongahela River front. This situation could be partially remedied by cooperation between the City and the railroad authorities. As in the case of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, there is room for vast improvement in the elimination of grade crossings, particularly through Homestead, Braddock and McKeesport.


McKees Rocks Yard is the principal yard in the Pittsburgh District. Extensive locomotive and car shops are located here. The westbound receiving yard has 350 cars capacity, the westbound classification yard 1000 cars, the eastbound receiving yard 400, and the eastbound classification yard 850 cars. The cars are passed through these yards rapidly, the daily capacity of the yard being many times the car capacity of the individual yards. The yard has two humps and is well laid out. This yard is used in taking care of the requirements of the Pittsburgh District and also in assembling and classifying cars in train loads for destinations east and west.

(Hump: A technical term indicating an elevation which permits a movement of carnegie by gravity.)

Additional yards used for storage and as yards (or reservoirs) to serve local industries are suitably located to serve this purpose. Among these are the following:

A yard located just east of the Monongahela Connecting Railroad bridge.

A yard located just east of the city limits.

A yard located at West Homestead.

A yard located at Rankin, some of the tracks being stub-ended.

A yard located just east of Port Perry. Additional yard tracks here would be of advantage to the industries of this section and in the interchange of cars with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

The principal need for additional yard space is found in the vicinity of the large industries (especially those south of Smithfield Street) whose service is now handicapped by lack of room to store cars destined to and received from them.

In obtaining sufficient new ground for the very extensive improvements which are necessary in order to afford the industries and the railroad an adequate outlet and passageway on the South Side, the recovery of river front land by the construction of a quay wall and back filling play an essential part. It is urged that a liberal policy be adopted by the City in granting permanent trackage rights upon this recovered land so that both the railroads and industries will be justified in making the great expenditures required to accomplish those improvements so vital to their welfare.

Freight Stations: Team Tracks: Warehouses

See Section X, pages 70 to 72 inclusive.

Previous Page   --   Page 4 of 5   --   Next Page

Submit info or inquiry - share some facts or ask a question.

Page created:
Last modified: 14-Oct-2001

Source document: Citizens Committee on City Plan of Pittsburgh. "Railroads of the Pittsburgh district : a part of the Pittsburgh plan." p. 19-34. Pittsburgh, Pa : Citizens Committee on City Plan of Pittsburgh, [1923], c1924.