The Three Rivers Railway was a railroad that was owned by CSX Transportation.
CSX Transportation is a Class I railroad operating in the eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates approximately 21,000 route miles (34,000 km) of track. The company operates as a subsidiary of CSX Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
CSX created the Three River Railway to take control of lines that the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad were selling. The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie sold lines to the Three Rivers Railway and the P&LE eventually changed its name to Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Properties. The P&LE is still in existence while the Three Rivers Railway was merged into CSX Transportation.
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 until the formation of Conrail in 1976. The P&LE was known as the "Little Giant" since the tonnage that it moved was out of proportion to its route mileage. 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 materials. 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 P&LE as an independent line in 1992.
The railway's name refers to three critical rivers in Ohio:
The Allegheny River is a 325-mile (523 km) long headwater stream of the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania and New York, United States. The Allegheny River runs from its headwaters just below the middle of Pennsylvania's northern border northwesterly into New York then in a zigzag southwesterly across the border and through Western Pennsylvania to join the Monongahela River at the Forks of the Ohio on the "Point" of Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Allegheny River is, by volume, the main headstream of both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Historically, the Allegheny was considered to be the upper Ohio River by both Native Americans and European settlers.
The Monongahela River — often referred to locally as the Mon — is a 130-mile-long (210 km) river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. The river flows from the confluence of its west and east forks in north central West Virginia northeasterly into southwestern Pennsylvania, then northerly to Pittsburgh and its confluence with the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. The river is navigable its entire length via a series of locks and dams.
The Ohio River is a 981-mile (1,579 km) long river in the midwestern United States that flows southwesterly from western Pennsylvania south of Lake Erie to its mouth on the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois. It is the second largest river by discharge volume in the United States and the largest tributary by volume of the north-south flowing Mississippi River that divides the eastern from western United States. The river flows through or along the border of six states, and its drainage basin includes parts of 15 states. Through its largest tributary, the Tennessee River, the basin includes several states of the southeastern U.S. It is the source of drinking water for three million people.
The Amtrak "Three Rivers" passenger train route formerly ran on the Three Rivers Railway. "Three Rivers" was a daily Amtrak train running between Chicago and New York City beginning in 1995 until service ended in 2005.
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, and the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, which is often referred to as "Chicagoland." The Chicago metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America, and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The New York Central Railroad was a railroad primarily operating in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The railroad primarily connected greater New York and Boston in the east with Chicago and St. Louis in the Midwest along with the intermediate cities of Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit. New York Central was headquartered in New York City's New York Central Building, adjacent to its largest station, Grand Central Terminal.
Union Station is a historic train station at Grant Street and Liberty Avenue, south of the Allegheny River, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It was one of several passenger rail stations that served Pittsburgh during the 20th century, and it is the only surviving station in active use.
The Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad is a class II railroad that operates in northwestern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio.
The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, established in 1833 and sometimes referred to as the Lake Shore, was a major part of the New York Central Railroad's Water Level Route from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, primarily along the south shore of Lake Erie and across northern Indiana. The line's trackage is still used as a major rail transportation corridor and hosts Amtrak passenger trains, with the ownership in 1998 split at Cleveland between CSX to the east, and Norfolk Southern in the west.
The Monongahela Railway was a coal-hauling short line railroad in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the United States. It was jointly controlled originally by the Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central subsidiary Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, with NYC and PRR later succeeded by Penn Central Transportation. The company operated its own line until it was merged into Conrail on May 1, 1993.
The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway is a Class II regional railroad that provides freight service, mainly in the U.S. state of Ohio. It took its name from the former Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, most of which it bought from the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1990.
The Erie West Subdivision is a railroad line owned by CSX Transportation in the U.S. states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The line runs from Erie, Pennsylvania southwest along the shore of Lake Erie to Cleveland, Ohio along the former New York Central Railroad main line.
The Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway was a railroad in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia, areas. Originally built as the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway, a 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 United States and the Midwest. It 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.
The Aliquippa and Ohio River Railroad is a six-mile short line railroad in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, United States, controlled by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. through its ownership of the Ohio Central Railroad System. It lies between CSX Transportation's ex-Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad line and the Ohio River, extending south from CSX's yard in northern Aliquippa to near the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge. Formerly known as the Aliquippa and Southern Railroad, its owner and primary customer was LTV Steel, which mostly closed its Aliquippa plant in 1985 and sold the line to the Ohio Central in 2002. The AOR now connects the Aliquippa Industrial Park, which occupies the LTV site, with CSX.
Pittsburgh, surrounded by rivers and hills, has a unique transportation infrastructure that includes roads, tunnels, bridges, railroads, inclines, bike paths, and stairways.
Cleveland has been and continues to be deeply rooted in railroad history.
The Keystone Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation in the U.S. states of Maryland and Pennsylvania. The line runs from Cumberland, Maryland west to McKeesport, Pennsylvania along a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) line. The line includes the well-known Sand Patch Grade over the Allegheny Mountains.
The P&W Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation, the Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR), and the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad (BPRR) in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The line runs from Rankin north through Pittsburgh to West Pittsburg along a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line, once the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad.
The Pittsburgh Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The line runs from McKeesport northwest through Pittsburgh to West Pittsburg along a former Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad line. Its east end is at Sinns, across the Youghiogheny River from McKeesport at Liberty, at the west end of the Keystone Subdivision. It junctions with the Mon Subdivision at McKeesport and the P&W Subdivision in Rankin; at its west end it becomes the New Castle Terminal Subdivision.
The Allegheny Valley Railroad is a class III railroad that operates in Western Pennsylvania, and is owned by Carload Express, Inc.
The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway was a Class I railroad mostly within the U.S. state of Ohio. It was leased to the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad in 1949, and merged into the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1988. A new regional railroad reused the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway name in 1990 when it acquired most of the former W&LE from the N&W.
The Youngstown and Southeastern Railroad is a short-line railroad subsidiary of the Indiana Boxcar Corporation that operates freight trains between Youngstown, Ohio and Darlington, Pennsylvania, United States. The line is owned by the Columbiana County Port Authority, leased to the Eastern States Railroad, which is owned by the line's primary shipper, and contracted out to the YSRR. Freight is interchanged with CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway at the Youngstown end.
The following is a brief history of the North American rail system, mainly through major changes to Class I railroads, the largest class by operating revenue.
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