Category: Transit

  • At the End of the Rainbow

    In Beechview, you always find a streetcar at the end of the rainbow.

  • Steel Plaza Subway Station

    Steel Plaza

    Steel Plaza was designed in the 1980s, and its architecture is an interesting combination of Brutalist and Postmodern styles—the two most prominent materials are raw concrete and polished granite. It was built as a junction station, where the main subway line met the spur to Penn Station, which is not in regular service these days. In the picture below, the main line is on the left, and the spur is on the right.

    Middle platform
    Looking across the main line
    A wider view
    Outbound platform from inbound platform
  • Duquesne Incline

    Seen from across the Ohio.

  • Wood Street Subway Station

  • Beechview at Night

    Shiras streetcar stop in Beechview

    A streetcar stop in a quiet residential neighborhood of Pittsburgh after dark.

  • Fallowfield Station and Viaduct, Beechview

    Fallowfield Station

    The Fallowfield station on the Red Line in Beechview is a kind of parasite on the Fallowfield viaduct. The Fallowfield Avenue end is at street level; the other end of the station is about five storeys above street level. Stations on the Red Line are currently getting a little bit of renovation.

    Fallowfield viaduct

    The Fallowfield viaduct is one of three major viaducts, along with a bridge and a tunnel, that are necessary to bring the streetcars from downtown into central Beechview.

    Walkway

    The viaduct is as important to pedestrians as it is to streetcars—so important, in fact, that, when the walkway was closed for repairs for a while a few years ago, the Port Authority gave free rides between Fallowfield and Westfield at the other end of the viaduct.

    Other side of the viaduct

    Outbound streetcars approach the viaduct from a curve.

  • Red Line Car in Gateway Station

    A 4200-series Red Line trolley arrives in the Gateway subway station.

  • It Used to Be an Incline

    Remains of Castle Shannon Incline No. 2

    Why is there a narrow strip of forest between these two streets on Mount Washington? And, for that matter, why was the neighborhood laid out with two streets so absurdly close together, so that nothing fits between them but a narrow strip of forest?

    You already know the answer, of course, because you read the title of this article. It used to be an incline.

    Several inclines, of which two are still going, went up Mount Washington from the South Side. Only one went down the back slope of Mount Washington: Castle Shannon Incline No. 2, which began at the upper station of the Castle Shannon Incline on Bailey Avenue and ran down along Haberman Avenue to Washington Avenue (now Warrington Avenue) in Beltzhoover. This was more or less a cable-car line, like the ones that still run in San Francisco and ran all over Pittsburgh for a brief period before electric streetcars took over. It ran for a little more than twenty years; it opened in 1892 and was closed in 1914.

    Castle Shannon Incline No. 2 in operation
    Castle Shannon Incline No. 2 abandoned

    This picture of abandoned freight cars along the incline, taken in 1916, shows the cable in the middle of the track.

  • Working on the Incline

    Monongahela Incline, upper station

    The Monongahela Incline is getting a thorough going-over. They’re going to fabricate new drive sheaves and replace the gabions, and if you understand what those things mean you probably know a lot about inclines. Here’s something you might like: “Glass flooring will be installed in the Upper Station waiting area that will allow the public to view the inner workings of the Incline.”

    Here we see the upper station: note the incline car parked just below the station to empty out the building for the work.

  • Under the Asphalt

    Carson Street shaved with streetcar tracks showing

    Scratch any major street and you’ll find streetcar tracks, as we see here on Carson Street on the South Side, currently under construction.