In the Waning Days of P&LE Commuter Service

The former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie route north of Pittsburgh was a once a busy passenger artery.

Baltimore & Ohio passenger trains between Chicago and Pittsburgh used the route as did the the Erie Railroad and New York Central.

Some of those Erie trains operated between Pittsburgh and Cleveland while the Central used the P&LE for its trains to Youngstown and Ashtabula.

The P&LE had its own network of passenger trains including commuter trains that operated between College Hill station in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and downtown Pittsburgh.

By the time P&LE GP7 No. 1501 and its largely unseen commuter train were photographed in Beaver Falls on April 23, 1983, that service was in its twilight years.

The commuter service had diminished to one roundtrip by the late 1960s although between 1979 and 1980 when a second roundtrip was ended on a reverse commute schedule.

The College Hill station was named after nearby Geneva College.

The P&LE commuter trains lasted for two more years after this image was made before being discontinued in July 1985.

There is footnote to the history of No. 1501. During the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976 it was painted into a bicentennial livery.

That lasted for a while before it was repainted black and gold as seen here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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One Response to “In the Waning Days of P&LE Commuter Service”

  1. Jon Says:

    I’m modeling this train in Ho scale does anyone know the coach numbers? I am making 3 coaches.

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