Union Station (Pittsburgh)

Last updated
Union Station
Pittsburgh, PA
Amtrak inter-city rail station
Pittsburgh Union Station Wide 2900px.jpg
Other namesPenn Station,
Pennsylvania Station
Location1100 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
Coordinates 40°26′41.1″N79°59′31.7″W / 40.444750°N 79.992139°W / 40.444750; -79.992139 Coordinates: 40°26′41.1″N79°59′31.7″W / 40.444750°N 79.992139°W / 40.444750; -79.992139
Owned by Amtrak
Line(s) Keystone Corridor (Pittsburgh Line)
Fort Wayne Line
Platforms3 + 1 disused
Tracks2 + 3 disused
ConnectionsAiga bus trans.svg Greyhound Lines at Grant Street Transportation Center
Aiga bus trans.svg Fullington Trailways at Grant Street Transportation Center
Construction
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Architect D.H. Burnham & Company
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Other information
Station codePGH
History
Opened1903
Rebuilt1954, 1988
ElectrifiedNo
Traffic
Passengers (FY 2017)145,362 [1] Decrease2.svg 0.4%
Services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Alliance
toward Chicago
Capitol Limited Connellsville
Terminus Pennsylvanian
suspended
Greensburg
toward New York
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Alliance
toward Chicago
Pennsylvanian
19982003
Greensburg
toward Philadelphia
Youngstown
1996–2005
toward Chicago
Three Rivers
19952005
Greensburg
toward New York
Youngstown
1990–1995
toward Chicago
Broadway Limited Greensburg
toward Philadelphia
Canton
1971–1990
toward Chicago
Columbus
toward Kansas City
National Limited Wilkinsburg
Terminus Fort Pitt Pitcairn
toward Altoona
Preceding station Conrail Following station
Terminus Parkway Limited Wilkinsburg
toward Greensburg
Preceding station Pennsylvania Railroad Following station
Alliance
toward Chicago
Main Line East Liberty
Federal Street
toward Chicago
TerminusNorth Trafford Line Shadyside
Carnegie
toward Columbus
Columbus  Pittsburgh Terminus
Terminus Pittsburgh  Oil City East Liberty
toward Oil City
Kittanning Local East Liberty
toward Kittanning
Federal Street
toward Toledo
Toledo  Pittsburgh Terminus
Federal Street
toward Erie
Erie  Pittsburgh
Federal Street
toward Enon
Enon  Pittsburgh
Federal Street
toward Cleveland
Cleveland  Pittsburgh
Fourth Avenue
toward Washington
Chartiers Branch
Fourth Avenue
toward Wheeling
Wheeling  Pittsburgh
Fourth Avenue
toward Brownsville
Monongahela Division
Official nameRotunda of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station
DesignatedApril 11, 1973
Reference no.73001587 [2]
Official namePennsylvania Railroad Station
DesignatedApril 22, 1976
Reference no.76001597 [2]
Official namePennsylvania Railroad Station Rotunda
Designated1991 [3]
Official nameThe Pennsylvanian (Union Station)
Designated2003 [3]

Union Station (or Pennsylvania Station, commonly called Penn 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 (other stations included the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station, the Baltimore and Ohio Station, and Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal), and it is the only surviving station in active use.

Contents

History

Union Station in 1875 The Pennsylvania railroad- its origin, construction, condition, and connections. Embracing historical, descriptive, and statistical notices of cities, towns, villages, stations, industries, and (14757028371).jpg
Union Station in 1875


The current station replaced the original Union Station destroyed in 1877 [4]

PRR train at Pittsburgh Union Station, 31 March 1968 19680331 18 PC Pittsburgh, PA.jpg
PRR train at Pittsburgh Union Station, 31 March 1968

Unlike many union stations built in the U.S. to serve the needs of more than one railroad, this facility connected the Pennsylvania Railroad with several subsidiary lines; for that reason it was renamed in 1912 to match other Pennsylvania Stations. Thus, Union Station is a misnomer, as other major passenger rail carriers served travelers at other stations. For instance, the New York Central used Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station, the Wabash Railroad used Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad used both the Baltimore and Ohio Station and the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station.

The station building was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and built 1898–1904. The materials were a grayish-brown terra cotta that looked like brownstone, and brick. Though Burnham is regarded more as a planner and organizer rather than a designer of details, which were left to draftsmen like Peter Joseph Weber, the most extraordinary feature of the monumental train station is his: the rotunda with corner pavilions. At street level the rotunda sheltered turning spaces for carriages beneath wide low vaulted spaces that owed little to any historicist style. Above, the rotunda sheltered passengers in a spectacular waiting room. Burnham's firm completed more than a dozen projects in Pittsburgh, some on quite prominent sites. The rotunda is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [2] Service began at the station on October 12, 1901. [5]

On January 3, 1954 the Pennsylvania Railroad announced a $34.4 million (2020 dollars) in expansion and renovation for the complex. To the beginning of the 1970s the station remained a major stop for several of the PRR's leading east-west trains: Broadway Limited (Chicago-New York), Manhattan Limited (Chicago-New York); Penn Texas (St. Louis-New York) and Spirit of St. Louis (St. Louis-New York).

Penn Central's Spirit of St Louis (St. Louis-Cincinnati-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-Washington express) consisting of a mere 4 cars, a shadow of its former prestigious self. July 1970 Hugh llewelyn 4296 (5961576142).jpg
Penn Central's Spirit of St Louis (St. Louis-Cincinnati-Pittsburgh-Philadelphia-Washington express) consisting of a mere 4 cars, a shadow of its former prestigious self. July 1970

By the late 1970s the Penn Central Corporation was accepting bids for the complex and was purchased by the US General Services Administration. There were proposals in 1978 to make the structure into a federal office building, a new city hall and a senior citizens apartment building. Amtrak proposed that the whole structure remain a train station and rail offices. [6] In 1974 County Council proposed having the station be the site of the then planned David L. Lawrence Convention Center. [7] The Buncher Development Company had an option to buy the property as late as 1984. [8]

A $20 million restoration of Union Station began in 1986 to convert the office tower into apartments. [9] It is now called The Pennsylvanian and opened to residents on May 23, 1988. The concourse, which is no longer open to the public, was transformed into a lobby for commercial spaces on the ground floor and the paint cleaned off the great central skylight. The rotunda which once offered shelter for carriages to turn around is now closed to vehicular traffic; modern cars and trucks are too heavy for the brick road surface and risk caving in the roof to the parking garage below it.

Architecture

In September 1978, The New Yorker art critic Brendan Gill proclaimed that Pittsburgh's Penn Station is "one of the great pieces of Beaux-Arts architecture in America...[one of the] symbols of the nation." [10]

Current passenger service

Union Station continues to serve as an active railway station, but through an annex on the Liberty Avenue side of the building. It is the western terminus of Amtrak's Pennsylvanian route and is along the Capitol Limited route. Until 2005, Pittsburgh was served by a third daily train, the Three Rivers (a replacement service for the legendary Broadway Limited ), an extended version of the Pennsylvanian that terminated in Chicago. Its cancellation marked the first time in Pittsburgh's railway history that the city was served by just two daily passenger trains (the Pennsylvanian and Capitol Limited).

Union Station's Amtrak station code is PGH.

In March 2020, the Pennsylvanian was suspended indefinitely as part of a round of service reduction in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. [11]

Bus rapid transit

Penn Station
20070516 02 East Busway @ Penn Station, Pittsburgh (21799659276).jpg
East Busway buses in front of Union Station
Coordinates 40°26′38″N79°59′30″W / 40.4438°N 79.9918°W / 40.4438; -79.9918
Owned by Port Authority
Line(s)
Platforms2 side platforms
Tracks2
Construction
Structure typeat-grade
History
OpenedMay 12, 1988
ClosedSeptember 2, 2007
Traffic
Passengers (2018)634 [12] (weekday boardings)
Services
Preceding station Port Authority of Allegheny County Following station
Terminus East Busway Herron
toward Swissvale
Shuttle
Special events
Steel Plaza
Terminus
Former services
Preceding station Port Authority of Allegheny County Following station
Terminus 42 South Hills Village
via Beechview
Steel Plaza

The Port Authority operates a bus rapid transit station served by the East Busway line. Originally, the station had regular light rail service to Steel Plaza when PAAC opened a spur to Penn Park station in 1988. The line linked the 1985 downtown subway to the East Busway. [13] However, the line was difficult to integrate into other services, since it used a portion of an old single-tracked former Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel. This tunnel travels beneath the US Steel Tower, and the building's structural supports are on each side of the tunnel, prohibiting the installation of a second track. The station is still listed as part of the Red Line subway service, but it has had no regular service since 1993. [14]

Penn Station in 1994 showing chartered light rail train to Steel Plaza from the light rail platforms (as of 2020, platforms are still there), about a year after regular service ceased. 19940529 01 PAT LRT, Penn Station, Pittsburgh (5247864668).jpg
Penn Station in 1994 showing chartered light rail train to Steel Plaza from the light rail platforms (as of 2020, platforms are still there), about a year after regular service ceased.

As late as 2001, the line served no more than two afternoon rush-hour trains. An official reason for the 2007 discontinuation of service has not been given; however, it may be attributed to the aforementioned infrastructure limitations as well as limited ridership. The station continues to be used in extremely limited circumstances, including as part of the Port Authority's detoured transportation routes following Super Bowl XLV on 6 February 2011 and as part of the "Railvolution" transit convention in October 2018. [15] [16]

Port Authority bus connections

Suburban transit connections


Intercity bus connections

Grant Street Transportation Center

Across the street is the Grant Street Transportation Center. [17] It serves as an intercity bus station for:

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Capitol Limited</i> Amtrak train service between Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois

The Capitol Limited is a daily Amtrak train between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, running 764 miles (1,230 km) via Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Service began in 1981 and was named after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Capitol Limited which ended in 1971 upon the formation of Amtrak. It carries the Amtrak train numbers 29 and 30, which were previously assigned to the discontinued National Limited.

<i>Pennsylvanian</i> (train) Amtrak train service between Pittsburgh and New York

The Pennsylvanian is a 444-mile (715 km) daily daytime Amtrak train running between New York and Pittsburgh via Philadelphia. The trains travel across the Appalachian Mountains, through Pennsylvania's capital Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, suburban and central Philadelphia, and New Jersey en route to New York. The entire train ride takes about 9 hours total, with 1.5 hours between New York and Philadelphia, 2 hours between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, and 5.5 hours between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania Station (Newark) Transportation center in Newark, New Jersey

Pennsylvania Station is an intermodal passenger station in Newark, New Jersey. One of the New York metropolitan area's major transportation hubs, Newark Penn Station is served by multiple rail and bus carriers, making it the seventh-busiest rail station in North America, and the fourth-busiest in the New York area. Located at Raymond Plaza, between Market Street and Raymond Boulevard, it is served by the Newark Light Rail, three NJ Transit commuter rail lines, the PATH rapid transit system, and all 11 of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor services. The station is also Newark's main intercity bus terminal; it is served by carriers Greyhound, Peter Pan, and Trailways. Additionally, it is served by 33 local and regional bus lines operated by NJ Transit Bus Operations and ONE Bus (Orange-Newark-Elizabeth).

Port Authority of Allegheny County public transit agency in Pennsylvania, USA

Port Authority of Allegheny County is the second-largest public transit agency in Pennsylvania and the 26th-largest in the United States. The county-owned, state-funded agency is based in Pittsburgh and is overseen by a CEO and a nine-member board of unpaid volunteer directors, who are appointed by the county executive and approved by the county council.

Pennsylvania Station is a name applied by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) to several of its grand passenger terminals. In the early 20th century different railroad companies typically used different stations, especially in major cities or towns, so the station usually took the name of the company.

Harrisburg Transportation Center intermodal station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Harrisburg Transportation Center is a large railway station and transportation hub in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is located on the eastern edge of Downtown Harrisburg between the intersections of Aberdeen and Market Streets and 4th and Chestnut Streets. The well-situated station is the primary hub for passenger rail and intercity bus services in the Harrisburg metropolitan area and South Central Pennsylvania.

Transportation in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, surrounded by rivers and hills, has a unique transportation infrastructure that includes roads, tunnels, bridges, railroads, inclines, bike paths, and stairways.

Lancaster station (Pennsylvania) Amtrak rail station in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States

Lancaster is an Amtrak railroad station and a former Pennsylvania Railroad station in Lancaster, Lancaster County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Located on the Keystone Corridor, the station is served by the Keystone Service between New York City and Harrisburg, and by the Pennsylvanian between New York and Pittsburgh. Lancaster is the second busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania, and the twenty-first busiest in the United States. It is one of the busiest Amtrak stations serving a metropolitan area smaller than two million people, primarily because of the large number of passengers traveling to and from Philadelphia and points east.

Elizabethtown station Amtrak station in Pennsylvania

Elizabethtown is an Amtrak railroad station on the Keystone Corridor in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The station is served by Amtrak's Keystone Service between New York City and Harrisburg, and by the Pennsylvanian between New York and Pittsburgh. The station was built in 1915 by the Pennsylvania Railroad to replace another that had been built in 1900. The station building was closed in 1977 by Amtrak. The title to the building was transferred to the borough of Elizabethtown in 1998, and it was leased back to Amtrak. From 2009 to 2011, the station underwent a 21-month renovation to make it handicapped-accessible.

Latrobe station train station in Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Latrobe is an Amtrak train station located about 40 miles (64 km) east of Pittsburgh at 329 McKinley Avenue, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The station is near the center of the city, and is currently served only by Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, which operates once per day in each direction. Until 2005, Latrobe was served by a second daily train, the Three Rivers, an extended version of the Pennsylvanian that terminated in Chicago. Upon its cancellation, the sole Pennsylvanian marked the first time in Latrobe's railway history that the town was served by just a single, daily passenger train.

Greensburg station train station in Pennsylvania

Greensburg is an Amtrak railway station located approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Pittsburgh at Harrison Avenue and Seton Hill Drive in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The station is located just north of the city center. It is served only by Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, which operates once daily in each direction.

Pittsburgh Light Rail light rail system in Allegheny County, Pennyslvania

The Pittsburgh Light Rail is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) light rail system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and surrounding suburbs. It operates as a deep-level subway in Downtown Pittsburgh, but runs mostly at-grade in the suburbs south of the city. The system is largely linear in a north-south direction, with one terminus just north of Pittsburgh's central business district and two termini in the South Hills. The system is owned and operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. It is the successor system to the streetcar network formerly operated by Pittsburgh Railways, the oldest portions of which date to 1903. The Pittsburgh light rail lines are vestigial from the city's streetcar days, and is one of only three light rail systems in the United States that continues to use the Pennsylvania Trolley (broad) gauge rail on its lines instead of 4 ft 8 12 instandard gauge. Pittsburgh is one of the few North American cities that have continued to operate light rail systems in an uninterrupted evolution from the first-generation streetcar era, along with Boston, Cleveland, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Toronto.

Wabash Tunnel tunnel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Wabash Tunnel is a former railway tunnel and presently an automobile tunnel through Mt. Washington in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Constructed early in the 20th century by railroad magnate George J. Gould for the Wabash Railroad, it was closed to trains and cars between 1946 and 2004. The tunnel is arguably the most unreliable tunnel in the city of Pittsburgh, as it continually experiences closures due to malfunctioning gates, malfunctioning signals, electrical failures, and damaged water lines.

Union Station (Erie, Pennsylvania) main railway station in Erie, Pennsylvania, United States

Union Station is an Amtrak railroad station and mixed-use commercial building in downtown Erie, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is served by the Lake Shore Limited route, which provides daily passenger service between Chicago and New York City or Boston; Erie is the train's only stop in Pennsylvania. The station's ground floor has been redeveloped into commercial spaces, including The Brewerie at Union Station, a brewpub. The building itself is privately owned by the global logistics and freight management company Logistics Plus and serves as its headquarters.

Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania includes access to most major forms of transportation, including automobile, bus, train, taxi, airplane, and ship. The city generates income through the transportation industry, including train manufacturing and port operations.

West Busway bus highway in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

The West Busway is a two-lane bus-only highway serving the western portions of the city of Pittsburgh and several western suburbs. The busway runs for 5.1 miles from the southern shore of the Ohio River near Downtown Pittsburgh to Carnegie, following former railroad right-of-way on the Panhandle Route. It broke ground on October 27, 1994 and is owned and maintained by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the public transit provider for Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh region. The transit thoroughfare was opened in September 2000. Following the naming convention of each busway being designated by a color, bus routes that use the West Busway begin with a "G" for green.

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station

The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station, now Landry's, Inc.'s the Grand Concourse restaurant in Station Square Plaza in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a building constructed in 1898. Into the 1960s, the station was the depot for the passenger rail operations of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad and the Pittsburgh depot from 1934 for the many trains of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis. In 1934, the B&O obtained trackage rights on the P&LE from New Castle Junction to McKeesport and until the discontinuance of its passenger service used the P&LE station to reduce the amount of heavy curvature trackage required to reach the original B&O station on the opposite side of the Monongahela River.

PATrain defunct commuter rail service in the Monongahela Valley, Pennsylvania

The PATrain, also known as the Mon Valley Commuter Rail, is a defunct commuter rail service formerly operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County in the Monongahela Valley in the US state of Pennsylvania. Service began in 1975 when the Port Authority assumed control of the Pittsburgh—McKeesport—Versailles commuter trains operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). The Port Authority discontinued the service in 1989.

Grant Street Station demolished railroad station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Grant Street Station, also known as the B&O Pittsburgh Terminal, was a passenger rail station on Grant Street downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) announced plans for it on May 3, 1955, after selling the original B&O Station bordering the Monongahela River to the state for construction of Interstate 376. It opened in 1957 to serve commuter rail traffic; all intercity traffic continued to use the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad's (P&LE) station. Grant Street was the last such privately owned train station built in Pennsylvania.

References

  1. "Amtrak State Fact Sheet, FY2017, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. 1 2 Historic Landmark Plaques 1968–2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  4. "MultiStories: The Violent Beginning of Union Station". www.pittsburghmagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  5. Lorant, Stefan. "Historic Pittsburgh Chronology". Historic Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh Digital Research Library. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  6. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Google News Archive Search" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  7. "The Pittsburgh Press – Google News Archive Search" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  8. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Google News Archive Search" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  9. "The Pittsburgh Press – Google News Archive Search" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  10. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Google News Archive Search" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  11. "Service Adjustments Due to Coronavirus" (Press release). Amtrak. 2020-03-24. Archived from the original on 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  12. "System Map Winter 2018". Port Authority.
  13. "The Antique Motor Coach Association of Pennsylvania – The 80's at PAT – 1980 – 1989". 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  14. "Port AUthority Information – Penn Station". Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  15. "TransitBlog – Port Authority of Allegheny County: Super Bowl Night Service Detours". TransitBlog. Port Authority of Allegheny County. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  16. Blazina, Ed (21 October 2018). "Pittsburgh hosts 'Railvolution' conference pushing development around transit facilities". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  17. "Grant Street Transportation Center" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  18. "Bus Station Locator – Greyhound" . Retrieved 25 March 2016.