Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad

Pittsburgh And Lake Erie Railroad

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Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad

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The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) , also known as the "Little Giant", was formed on May 11, 1875. Company headquarters were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line connected Pittsburgh in the east with Youngstown, Ohio at nearby Haselton, Ohio in the west and Connellsville, Pennsylvania to the east. It did not reach Lake Erie (at Ashtabula, Ohio) until the formation of Conrail in 1976. The P&LE was known as the "Little Giant" due to the amount of tonnage that it moved was dramatically out of proportion to its actual number of route miles. While it operated around one tenth of one percent of the nation's railroad miles, it hauled around one percent of its tonnage. This was largely because the P&LE served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of material. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel. The eventual closure of the steel mills led to the end of the existence of the P&LE as an independent line in 1992.

Route of the P&LE

The P&LE purchased many smaller railroads that operated in the areas of its main train line extending the line north to Youngstown and south to Connellsvile . This provided a means of transportation from the steel centers of Pittsburgh to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway area.

P&LE Division

The original line ran between Youngstown, Ohio (at Haselton) and 24th...
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