Posts Tagged ‘P&LE GP7’

In the Waning Days of P&LE Commuter Service

April 12, 2020

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

When the P&LE Served Youngstown

April 12, 2020

We’re taking another look today inside the collection of images made by the late Mike Ondecker.

In today’s series we’ve gone back to mid 1968 to take a look at Pittsburgh & Lake Erie diesels in Youngstown.

In the top image is GP7 No. 5727, which was built for the P&LE in April 1953.

It later served the Illinois Central Railroad, where it was rebuilt into a GP8 and given roster number 7965.

In the bottom image we see a pair of SW9 switchers, Nos. 8939 and 8938.

Notice how the last three numbers on the cab are at an angle.

Both units were built in March 1951. No. 8938 would spend all of its career on the P&LE, but the 8939 would move off the property to enjoy a second life on various other short line railroads.

Photographs by Mike Ondecker