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1946 Jun 27 Montour Junction Yards.jpg

Montour Railroad

Coraopolis first appeared on the map as Middletown, a station on the P&LE Railroad. Located on the Ohio River between McKees Rocks and Monaca, Coraopolis has long-running ties with Montour Railroad, P&LE Railroad, and CSX.  Montour Railroad maintained a hub with shops to work on the engines and cars. The historic Coraopolis Train Station, built by H.H. Richardson, stands as a testament to Coraopolis' proud railroad history.

MONTOUR railroad

  • Short-line railroad organized September 10, 1877 by Imperial Coal Company to haul bituminous coal to the Ohio River, where it was shipped either to Pittsburgh or down as far as the Mississippi River. First segment reached from Montour Junction to Imperial, PA
  • In October 1879:
    • the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad connection was completed
    • passenger service begins on the Montour line (stretching 12 miles and length across 15 stations)
    • Montour Railroad began carrying U.S. mail along route #8127 (as of June 1891, this was renumbered route 110127)
    • The station at Montour Junction is active - it is a wooden one-room station
  • In 1899, Pittsburgh Coal Company purchased Imperial Coal, and by 1901 was in control of Montour Railroad.  Montour Shops constructed by Pittsburgh Coal Company across 48 acres of flat land, including:
    • natural gas well for fuel
    • storage tracks
    • blacksmith and carpenter shop
    • enginehouse with locomotive repair shop
    • car repair shops
  • By 1900, a new Montour Junction station is in use
  • January 1, 1913 - Montour Shops sold to Montour Railroad
  • In June 1914, two 2-story homes on State Avenue serve as dispatch/operations headquarters
  • February 1, 1915 - Montour Railroad extended from North Star another 25 miles to Mifflin Junction, stretching a semicircle around southwest Pittsburgh
  • Passenger service was offered until the mid-1920s
  • In the 1920s, the Montour Junction to Imperial trackage is realigned to reduce curvature
  • In 1930, the Montour Railroad log was created by Superintendent G.W. Covert, who intend the diamond shape to represent coal, referred to as 'black diamonds'
  • In the late 1940s, the Montour Railroad began using diesel locomotives
  • November 23, 1945, Pittsburgh Coal Company merges with Consolidated Coal Company to ultimately form "Consolidation Coal Co."
  • December 31, 1946 Consolidation Coal Company buys Montour Railroad
  • In 1968, the railroad stopped using the 2-story homes used as dispatch/operations headquarters since 1914. They were destroyed wen Hwy 51 was built.  By the 1950s, the Executive Offices of the Montour Railroad moved into Montour Junction Station
  • In March 1975, the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad became the sole owner of the Montour Railroad
  • In November 1983, operations ceased when Westland Coal mine closed
  • On May 22, 1986, the ICC approves the abandonment of Montour Railroad

Montour Railroad Historic Society, Facebook Group

Photos from Christopher Walker of McDonald and Gene P. Schaffer