An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway

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P&WVlogo The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway (P&WV) was a railroad centered in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia areas, with a main line extending west into Ohio, where it connected to the Wheeling & Lake Erie , and southwesr to Connellsville, Pennsylvania where It connected to the Pittsburgh and Lak Erie and the Western Marylamd. Originally built as the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway, a
P&WV 1931
Pittsburgh & West Virginia
Pittsburgh extension of George J. Gould's Wabash Railroad, the venture entered receivership in 1908 and the line was cut loose.
An extension completed in 1931 connected it to the Western Maryland Railway at Connellsville, Pennsylvania, forming the Alphabet Route, an independent line between the Northeastern U.S. and the Midwest.
In 1931 the P&WV ran a few passenger trains west out of Pittsburgh to points along it's west main to Pittsburgh Jct, Ohio, 60 miles, but passenger service to Connellsville and the east did not exist. In the last half of the 1930's and until 1940 the passenger service had diminished to one train a day between Avella and Mingo, a distance of ten miles, and by 1943 all passenger service
was gone, as was the dream of a fifth main line east to west. The P&WV was leased by the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1964 in conjunction with the N&W acquiring several other sections of the former Alphabet Route, but was leased to the new spinoff Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway in 1990, just months before the N&W was merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway.
History of the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad Company (P&WV)
c 1900 - George J. Gould was assembling railroads to create a transcontinental system. The Western Pacific Railway, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and Missouri Pacific Railroad formed the line from the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco to the Mississippi River at St. Louis (completed in 1909).
1901 - To get east past St. Louis, Gould acquired the Wabash Railroad to Toledo, Ohio on February 1, 1901.
1901 - In March the Gould syndicate bought the Pittsburgh and Mansfield Railroad, an unbuilt line with a charter to build into downtown Pittsburgh.
1901 - By May 1 the syndicate gained control of the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, extending the system from Toledo southeast to Zanesville, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.
. 1900-01 - The Pittsburgh extension was chartered in three parts. (1) Cross Creek Railroad in Ohio, April 1900; (2) Pittsburgh Toledo and Western in West Virginia on April 3, 1901, and (3) Pittsburgh Carnegie & Western in Pennsylvania July 17, 1901.
1901 - Work begins June 14.
1904 - The three extension charters are consolidated as the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway on May 7.
1904 - On June 4 the first train passed through the Wabash Tunnel and crossed the Wabash Bridge over the Monongahela River into Pittsburgh on June 1, and passenger service into the new Wabash Terminal began July 2, with through service over the W&LE and Wabash to Toledo, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City.
c 1905-06 - Gould's plan to link to railroads to the east coast at Baltimore or Philadelphia, including Western Maryland failed to materialize.
1907-8 - Panic of 1907 hits Gould hard and Western Maryland fails.
1908 - WPT in receivership and traffic between W&LE, WPT and Wabash end.
1916 - WPT sold at foreclosure August 1916 and reorganized November as the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway.
1916-28 - Hopes of a fifth major east west system to challenge the Pennsy, NYC, B&O and Erie still depended on the missing eastern connection to the Western Maryland.
1928 - P&WV permitted to buy the West Side Belt Railway giving it access south and southeast to Clairton on the Monongahela River.
1928 - Reques to buy WM is turned down.
1931 - On February 11, 1931 the extension to Connellsville, Pennsylvania opened, where the Western Maryland continued east, splitting from the West Side Belt at Pierce. This formed what came to be known as the Alphabet Route, following roughly the same plan as Gould's system, but using the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate) rather than the Wabash, reaching both St. Louis and Chicago.
1931 - The P&WV operates passenger train service from Pittsburgh west to Avilla, Pennsylvania. 3 trains 31 miles, to Mingo, West Virginia, 2 trains 40 miles and one train to Pittsburgh Jct. Ohio, 60 miles. No through service west is noted Passenger service to Connellsville not available.
1936-40 - Only one short 10 mile passenger run remains across the West Virginia panhandle . 10 miles from Avella, Pennsylvania to Mingo, West Virginia.
1943 - P&WV is freight only, and the dream of a fifth main east-west route is dead.
1949 - The Nickel Plate leased the Wheeling and Lake Erie on December 1.
1964 - On October 16, 1964 the Norfolk and Western Railway ( later Norfolk Southern) merged the Nickel Plate.
1964 - The P&WV railroad is leased to Norfolk Southern, formerly Norfolk and Western Railway Company, by the Company's predecessor for 99 years with the right of unlimited renewal.
1967 - The Western Maryland Railway went to the competing Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in 1967.
1967 - The P&WV Railroad was organized as a real estate investment trust to own the property leased to the N&W. This trust is publicly traded on the American Exchange (PW).. The leased properties consist of a railroad line 112 miles in length, extending from Connellsville, Washington, and Allegheny Counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Brooke County in the State of West Virginia, and Jefferson and Harrison Counties in Ohio. There are also branch lines that total 20 miles in length located in Washington County and Allegheny County in Pennsylvania and Brooke County, West Virginia.
1990 - P&WV leased to the new Wheeling and Lake Erie>

Pittsburgh & West Virginia - 1931

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- 1931-1840

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Copyright Richard Parks, April 30, 2009, revised Oct. 3, 2011