Red Line Car Stopping at Hampshire

A friend from Beechview was complaining that no one believes streetcars still run in Pittsburgh. Pittsburghers from between the rivers know there’s a subway, but they seem entirely unaware that the subway fans out into various lines that meander through the city neighborhoods south of the Monongahela and far out into the South Hills. The next time you run into a doubter, you may offer this photographic proof that streetcars (as people in Beechview still call them) still run on the street in Pittsburgh. This is a Red Line car stopping at the outbound Hampshire stop in Beechview, and then continuing around the bend past the Beechview Community Center.

Mount Lebanon Station

A southbound Red Line car leaves the Mount Lebanon subway station, as seen from the Alfred Street crossing.

Mount Lebanon Subway Entrance

The entrance to the Mount Lebanon station on the Red Line. The station is at the end of a winding subway tunnel cut through the rock (although Pittsburghers never call it a “subway,” reserving that epithet for the downtown section of the system). To get to the station from the Washington Road business district, you have to enter here, go down a flight of stairs (or an elevator), cross an alley, and go down another flight of stairs (or another elevator). Below we see the alley crossing and the station beyond it.

This entrance was built in the fashionable postmodernist style of the 1980s, when the streetcars were moved from Washington Road into the subway. Old Pa Pitt is impressed by the architect’s forethought in providing for the entrance to be tightened with a giant screwdriver if it should ever start to come loose from the ground.

Into the Subway

Pittsburgh trolley leaving First Avenue

A 4300-series CAF trolley leaves First Avenue on its way into the old railroad tunnel that leads to Steel Plaza. Pittsburghers count First Avenue as part of the “subway” section of the system (which in Pittsburgh terminology includes the stations from Station Square to Allegheny), but it is an elevated station; not until further in does the line actually go underground.

Gateway Subway Station

Right angles are for cowards, says Rob Pfaffman, the architect of Gateway Station.