Pennsylvania Railroad Company

Inspection of Physical Property
By Board of Directors
November 10-11-12, 1948
no copyright found on publication

pages 19-26 of 1948 Inspection Book

The Pennsylvania Railroad System is made up of the lines of over 800 separate original corporations, all now either owned outright, controlled through stock ownership, or operated under long term lease; many of them had been merged to form the companies that were subsequently acquired or controlled. And, while the corporate identity of the leased lines is retained, the capital stock of many of them is owned in its entirety. At the present time including bus, motor truck, ferry, real estate and miscellaneous companies there are 94 fully owned and 67 jointly owned corporations representing a total of 161, of which 52 are active wholly owned railroad companies. Of the railroad companies 7 are operated by their own organizations and 45 by lease or agreement. Of the total railroad lines in the System, 6 are included in the route of the inspection trip; a brief description and the early history of the lines involved follow:

The Act incorporating The Pennsylvania Railroad Company was signed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 13, 1846. The history of its main line as it exists at present will be given in geographical sequence instead of chronological order.

The Filbert Street end of Broad Street Station, as well as the tracks leading thereto were placed in service for passenger traffic, December 5, 1881, but was opened for freight traffic eight months previously on April 25, 1881. The station replaced one located about where the office building now stands at 32nd Street, which was built in 1876 for the Centennial and used thereafter as our Philadelphia terminal. It in turn took the place of one built at 30th and Market Streets in 1864 when the use of the bridge over the Schuylkill River and the line down Market Street to a point between 2nd and 3rd Streets was discontinued.

The Pennsylvania Railroad's original entrance into Philadelphia was in 1852 over the double track line of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This line, together with the canal property between Columbia and Pittsburgh, including the Portage Railroad over the Allegheny Mountains, was acquired by purchase from the State by deed on June 25, 1857, for the sum of $7,500,000, which was payable in installments up to 1890, the final cost including interest being approximately $15,500,000.

The Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad was opened into Philadelphia in 1834. Its original location involved the use of an incline plane, 2,805 feet long on a l5% grade adjacent to the Belmont Mansion in Fairmount Park. The line crossed the Schuylkill River at the foot of the incline and followed the identical alignment now used by the City Branch of the Reading Company. In fact that branch is part of the old Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, having been purchased by the Philadelphia & Reading from the State in 1850. It terminated at Broad and Vine Streets.

The unsatisfactory operation over the incline plane resulted in a revision in the alignment of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in which a new double track line was opened in 1850 extending from a point just east of Ardmore Station through what is now known as Narberth, Merion and Overbrook to the Schuylkill River at Market Street. This is the alignment in use today. From Ardmore to 52nd Street it followed the line and utilized the construction work of the West Philadelphia Railroad Company, a private concern incorporated in 1835 to build a railroad to eliminate the plane, which failed after completing a portion of the project, but from 52nd Street to the Schuylkill River at Market Street a different route was adopted and built.

In December, 1850, the Market Street bridge was remodeled to permit of its use by railroad cars. Subsequently the Pennsylvania Railroad cars were hauled by horses from the west side of the Schuylkill River down Market Street to a passenger station at 8th and Market Streets and a freight station at Juniper and Market Streets; and commencing with May 20, 1854, passengers were hauled in this manner to the "Mansion House" station at 11th and Market Streets.

The growth of the freight traffic made it necessary to split the local and through business, so in 1864 the local business was handled at a new station at 15th and Market Streets and the through business retained at Juniper and Market Streets station until 1874 when it was transferred to the Dock Street Station. At that time the station at Juniper and Market Streets was closed and property sold to John Wanamaker, and is now the site of the Wanamaker Store.

From Ardmore westward to Dillerville just west of Lancaster the Main Line was originally the Philadelphia and Columbia R.R., although of the 69 miles of that line acquired between the Schuylkill River and Dillerville only 11 miles of the Main Line as it now exists occupies the original alignment.

From Dillerville to Harrisburg the Main Line was originally the, Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mt. Joy and Lancaster Railroad. Incidentally, James Buchanan, who later became President of the United States, was at one time President of that Road. Initially the P.R.R. used that line under trackage agreement, but on January 1, 1861, it was leased for a period of 999 years. On April 25, 1917, the railroad was absorbed as an owned line. Many changes have been made in the alignment of the original railroad.

From its connection with the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mt. Joy and Lancaster Railroad at Harrisburg westward to Altoona, the Main Line was located and built by the P.R.R. Construction was started July 7, 1847, and completed October 1, 1850. It was opened for service in the Spring of 1851. As the P.R.R. line over the Allegheny Mountains had not yet been started, a branch was built from Altoona to the foot of the State owned Allegheny Portage Railroad in Hollidaysburg. This was completed and joined to the tracks of that railroad on September 16, 1850.

During this period work was progressing on various sections of the P.R.R. line between Pittsburgh and Johnstown. At the close of 1851 The Pennsylvania Railroad was able to provide through service between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, all of which was??? rail except a gap of 2.7 miles between Beatty's and Turtle Creek about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, in which stage coaches and wagons were used on the highways. This gap was finally closed and on December 10, 1852, an all-rail route was established as follows:

Philadelphia to Dillerville over the Philadelphia and Columbia R.R.
Dillerville to Harrisburg over the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mt. Joy and Lancaster R.R.
Harrisburg to Hollidaysburg over the Pennsylvania R.R.
Hollidaysburg to Viaduct bridge west of South Fork over the Allegheny Portage R.R.
Viaduct bridge to Pittsburgh over the Pennsylvania R.R.

Operation over the Allegheny Portage Railroad involved the use of its inclined planes, but the State had eliminated planes Nos. 2 and 3 by the construction of the new Portage Railroad which used the Pennsylvania Railroad new line from Viaduct bridge to Johnstown to avoid plane No. 1. However, the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its own railroad over the summit of the Allegheny Mountains from Altoona to connect with its line already built to Viaduct bridge and opened it for service on February 15, 1854. Service over the Allegheny Portage R.R. route was thereafter discontinued.

At Cassandra station on the Pittsburgh Division two of the lines formerly used by the Pennsylvania Railroad cross the existing Main Line and plane No. 3 of the Allegheny Portage Railroad parallels it a few hundred feet to the south. The lines represented are:

Pennsylvania Railroad, existing main line
Pennsylvania Railroad, original location
New Portage Railroad, use until 1854 by the PRR Allegheny Portage Railroad

All of these lines occupied identical locations over the high stone arch bridge known as the "Viaduct" west of South Fork. A map showing the location of the various lines is inserted.

The Pennsylvania Railroad's original entry into Pittsburgh was on the center of Ferguson Street, then located between Liberty Avenue and the hillside, thence diagonally to the center of Liberty Avenue at 17th Street. It extended down the center of Liberty Avenue to the Point where Pittsburgh's first freight ht station was located. The original passenger station was located in a white lead warehouse at the corner of Liberty Avenue and O'Hara now 12th Street; this temporary arrangement endured until the construction of Pittsburgh's first Union Station built in 1854. The latter was a one-story frame structure located on a plot of ground paralleling the west side of Grant Street at Liberty Avenue. The station building occupied the site on which the present "Gulf" building is located.

The Pennsylvania tracks were arranged along both sides of a platform extending westward from the ????? and connected by switch with the track extending down Liberty Avenue to the Point. When the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad was extended across the Allegheny River and came into the station in 1858, its track crossed the Pennsylvania tracks in Liberty Avenue to reach the station tracks.

In 1863 work was started on a stone retaining wall along the south curb of Liberty Avenue between 11th and 17th Streets in order to remove the railroad tracks from the street between those limits. At the same time the buildings located between Liberty Avenue and the hillside were torn down to make way for a new Union Station. St. Patricks church was one of the buildings torn down. It was rebuilt at the corner of 17th Street and Liberty Avenue. A Methodist burial ground was located between the church and the old canal basin which was located on the site now occupied by the new post-office building.

The new Union Station was thrown into service in 1865. It was a long four-story brick structure, the upper floors of which were used as a hotel. The building was destroyed by fire on July 21, 1877, during the riots. The present structure was opened for service on October 1, 1901, and replaced a two-story brick station built in place of the one lost in the fire. The tracks were elevated overhead of Liberty Avenue, 11th Street and Penn Avenue in connection with the station improvement.

A sketch plan is inserted to show the initial Union Station situation in Pittsburgh, on which is also shown subsequent original termini of the various lines which now comprise the system in the area, together with the dates on which subsequent additions and changes were made in our railroad facilities

The route inspected between Pittsburgh and Chicago is over the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway, a leased line incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1860 and in Indiana and Illinois in 1862, which under reorganization proceedings, acquired the property and franchises of The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad in 1862. The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway is not incorporated in the State of Ohio but operates under that State's general law conferring such right to railroads which are foreign to the State.

The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Company was incorporated under the general laws of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and by special act of Pennsylvania, to effect the consolidation of:

Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad Company
Ohio and Indiana Railroad Company
Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Company
Articles of consolidation dated May 6, 1856

A brief history of each of the original railroads follows:

Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania and Ohio in 1848. Construction work was started on July 4, 1849, and on October 6, 1851, regular passenger service was inaugurated between its initial terminal station on the west side of Federal Street, Northside Pittsburgh to New Brighton. The railroad was built to Crestline, Ohio, by the spring of 1853 and opened for service to that point, its western terminus, on April 11th of that year.

The original bridge spanning the Allegheny River, a wooden structure, was not built until 1857, in which year service was extended on September 22nd to a temporary station on the west side of Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh. Consent could not be obtained from the City Council to cross Penn and Liberty Avenues with its tracks. This was finally secured and the tracks extended to Pittsburgh's first Union Station. Service was inaugurated into that station on March 10, 1858.

Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad. The first locomotive operated on the Ohio and Pennsylvania, in fact the first one used in Pittsburgh, was brought there by canal boat on the old Pennsylvania canal. The first accident in Pittsburgh in connection with railroads occurred in the receipt of this locomotive. It was being unloaded from the canal boat in the canal basin located on the south side of the tracks adjacent to Federal Street station when, through the failure of the unloading device, the locomotive was dropped into the canal. A holiday was declared in the old City of Allegheny, now Northside, Pittsburgh, and through the aid of all available men and boys and the use of hemp lines the locomotive was dragged from its watery resting place.

The Ohio & Pennsylvania was built as a double track line to New Brighton which was subsequently extended through Beaver Falls to the deep rock cut, known as Summit cut, from which point westward it was a single track railroad and remained so for practically its entire length until just prior to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. Many changes have been made in the line as originally located.

Ohio & Indiana Railroad. Next en route westward was the Ohio and Indiana Railroad Company. It was incorporated in Ohio, March 20, 1860, and in Indiana, January 15, 1851. The organization of the company was perfected July 4, 1850.

Surveys were begun in 1850 and construction work started February, 1852. The railroad was opened for service November 1, 1854.

At the time. of its consolidation to form The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Company the line extended from a junction with the Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad at the crossing of what is now the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway at Crestline, Ohio, westward to a junction with the Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad at Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, a distance of 131.6 miles.

There is very little of historical interest associated with this railroad. The alignment remains on??? a route originally laid down for practically its entire length. It was ???t built as a single track railroad.

Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad. The final link in the connection to Chicago was the Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Company. It was incorporated under the general laws of Indiana, May 11, 1852, and the special act of Illinois Legislature in February 5, 1853. The organization of the Company was perfected September 14, 1852.

The survey for the line was begun in 1852 and construction work started in the summer of 1853. The railroad was finished to Columbia City, 19 miles west of its junction with the Ohio end Indiana Railroad at Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne, and opened for service in February, 1856. This constituted its completed construction work at the time it was consolidated with the other railroads, previously named, to form the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company. The latter company completed the extension to Van Buren Street, Chicago, Illinois, on January 1, 1859. It was then possible to make an all-rail journey from Philadelphia to Chicago, but it involved changing cars at Pittsburgh.

A portion of the extension from Plymouth to Chicago was laid with iron rail removed from the New Portage Railroad over the Allegheny, which had been abandoned upon completion of the Pennsylvania Railroad line. P.F.W. & C. R.R. bonds in the face value of $650,000 was received by the P.R.R. for this rail.

The first Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station in Chicago was built for the P.F.W.& C. It was a low, rakish, part brick and frame building which stood on the station property between Madison and Van Buren streets, east of Canal street. It was from this station on Christmas Day, 1858, that the first train left Chicago for Philadelphia. However, January 1, 1859, is the date usually associated with the actual opening of this line.

The P.F.W.& C. station also was used by the P.C.C.& St.L. from 1861; by the Chicago & Alton from 1863 to 1881, and by the Milwaukee Road from 1872 to 1881. The Chicago & North Western also used the station for a number of years following its construction.

The red brick Chicago Union Passenger Station at Adams and Canal Streets was built by the Pennsylvania Company and was opened for service on April 4, 1881. The P.C.C.&St.L., Chicago & Alton, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul also used the station as tenants, under 99-year lease. With the completion of the Chicago Union Passenger Station, the old P.F.W.& C. station was converted into a freight terminal and was used as such until completion of the Polk St. Freight Terminal.

The present Chicago Union Station was opened for service on May 15, 1925. The formal opening, however, took place on July 23, 1925, when the station was dedicated to public use in ceremonies participated in by the Mayor of Chicago, his cabinet, civic leaders, and the heads of the three railroads owning the station - Pennsylvania Railroad (owning one-half), Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (one-quarter), and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & pacific (one-quarter). The Chicago Union Station Company was incorporated in 1913 by these three roads???? Effective May 15, 1925, all of these lines, as well as the Chicago &. Alton, (a??? tenant road) started operating passenger and out of the new??? ???station.

Chicago to Columbus via. P.C.C.& St.L.R.R. The route of the inspection from Chicago to Columbus eastbound is over lines which are leased by the Pennsylvania Railroad from the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway Company, the South Chicago & Southern Railroad Company, and the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company.

The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad Company, generally known as the "Panhandle", is made up of 62 former corporations, 50 of which each constructed a part of the property. The line from Chicago to La Crosse was opened in 1865 by the Chicago & Great Eastern Railway; from La, Crosse to Logansport in 1861 by the Chicago & Cincinnati Railroad; from Logansport to Union City in 1868 by the Union & Logansport Railroad; from Union City to Bradford in 1863 by the Richmond & Covington Railroad, and from Bradford to Columbus in 1856 by the Columbus, Piqua & Indiana Railroad, which, by successive mergers, were consolidated in 1868 as the Columbus, Chicago & Indiana Central Railway and leased in 1869 for 99 years to the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway Company. This lease was subjected to prolonged litigation. In 1883 the Columbus, Chicago & Indiana Central Railway was sold under foreclosure and reorganized as the Chicago , St. Louis & Pittsburgh Railroad Company. In 1890 it was merged with the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway Company, the Cincinnati & Richmond Company and the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis Railroad Company to form the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company. The latter company was consolidated with other affiliated companies as of January 1, 1917, forming the present Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis 'Railroad Company, which, effective January 1, 1921, was leased to the Pennsylvania. Railroad Company for 999 years.

In 1872 the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway Company (now P. R. R.) and the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway Company (now N. Y. C.) formed the Union Depot Company for the purpose of building a union station and union railway at Columbus, Ohio, the capital stock being held jointly by the two companies. This corporation built a station which was used by all the railroads then entering Columbus. In 1897 a new station was built and tracks were extensively rearranged. This building was remodeled in 1931 to include a new concourse, platforms with shelter sheds replacing the large train shed. The present occupants are the P. R. R., N. Y. C., B. & O., C. & O. and the N. & W.

Columbus to Pittsburgh. The railroad from Columbus to Newark, Ohio, is owned and operated jointly with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. To eliminate duplicate construction between Columbus and Newark an agreement was entered into on April 17, 1857, between the Steubenville & Indiana Railroad Company (P. R. R.) and the Central Ohio Railroad Company (B. & O.) for the joint use of the Central Ohio's line between these two points. As the two companies could not come to terms with respect to leasing the line for joint use by the Steubenville & Indiana Railroad Company an agreement was negotiated by the two interested companies under date of March 14, 1864, providing for the sale of an undivided one-half interest to the Steubenville & Indiana Railroad Company, which was consummated by deed August 31, 1864. The price agreed to be paid by the latter for such interest was $775,000. In 1882 the B. & O., lessee of the Central Ohio, obtained a court decree placing the operation and maintenance in the B. & O.

Between Newark, Ohio, and Pittsburgh the railroad is owned by the P.C.C.& St.L.R.R.Co. From Newark to Steubenville it was built by the Steubenville and Indiana Railroad Company and opened for traffic in 1855. At Gould's tunnel a new line was built in 1864, shortening the line 2.18 miles. The Steubenville bridge across the Ohio River was built by the Holliday's Cove Railroad Company in 1865. The first line across the "Panhandle" of Virginia (later to become a part of West Virginia) was built by the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad Company in 1854. This line terminated at a ferry landing on the Ohio River bank. In 1864 it was necessary to rebuild most of it on a different line and grade in order to connect with the Ohio River bridge. It was from this short piece of track that the "Panhandle" Railroad got its nickname. From the Pennsylvania-Virginia state line to Birmingham on the south bank of the Monongahela River opposite Pittsburgh the road was built in l858 by the Pittsburgh and Steubenville Railroad Company. The Monongahela River bridge and connection with the Pennsylvania Railroad at Pittsburgh were built by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as the "Steubenville Extension" in 1863.

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