Pittsburgh and Lake Erie local freight, powered by 1500 hp EMD GP-7 5733, leaving Neville Island, and entering McKees Rocks, PA, after crossing the back channel of the Ohio River, October, 1971

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    (C) Photograph copyright 2009 Ivan Safyan Abrams. All rights reserved.

    In the background of this photo is Neville Island, about 5 miles down the Ohio River from the Point in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The island is covered with industrial plants, not quite as many as in 1971 when this photo was taken, but still quite a few. The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad was a subsidiary of the New York Central, and at one time generated more revenue per mile than any other railroad in the United States. When the US steel industry collapsed in the late 1980s, the Pittsburgh area was especially hard hit. So was the P&LE, and it went broke. Its mainline was purchased by CSX Corporation which utilizes it as a part of its Baltimore--Washington--Chicago line. The bridge and secondary track in this picture is now owned by the regional Ohio Central railroad. The locomotive in this picture is a 1500 horsepower EMD (GM) GP-7, part of a group that was the backbone of P&LE's motive power fleet.

    Michael Erhardsson, and 63 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 6 more comments

    1. dixie dave(I will be back soon) 61 months ago | reply

      ** HAPPY EASTER 2009* thread now open for posting!
      PLEASE post ALL Old Glory photos in our FLAG DAY thread.
      Posting in ANY THREAD makes you eligible for the front page.
      America, America
      Thank you for posting in:
      (POST 1 ~ COMMENT on 2) NEW RULES!

    2. paul-rogue/artist 61 months ago | reply

      This is A Peach of a Shot (Post 1 - Award 3)
      From 'A Peach of a Shot' Group .

    3. paul-rogue/artist 61 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Worth Repeating (Post 1 Award 3), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    4. contemplative imaging 61 months ago | reply

      Incredible image! Love seeing the old PL&E in action.

    5. Anthony :) 60 months ago | reply

      im glad after all these years the bridge is still used..and its very close to the water! i know because i went boating and went right under it! it was Amazing!

    6. Ivan S. Abrams 60 months ago | reply

      Since this is the back channel of the river, it doesn't see the commercial traffic of the main channel, on the other side of Neville Island. Thus, the bridge can be closer to the water level, since big tows don't need to pass under it. I imagine that there have been many times when this bridge was underwater due to high water from flooding.

      Did you know that during World War II, sea-going ships were built on Neville Island by the Dravo Corporation? Both Landing Ship Tank (LST) and Destroyer Escort (DE) vessels were built and launched sideways, then towed down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then down that river to the sea.

    7. 50 months ago | reply

      Hello, it would be amazing if you would at a geo tag and add this to the Industrial Archaeology Map, its lovley!

    8. 11:19 [deleted] 50 months ago | reply

      You have so many great pics! I don't have enough time to look at them all but I'll be back!

    9. kk7k 50 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called 2010.anything of good taste, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    10. Fan-T 49 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Steel Mill Railroads, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    11. Fan-T 49 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Railfanning Western Pennsylvania, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    12. susannaj 43 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Hidden Journeys run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      The group explores the amazing landscapes underneath international flight paths and we'd love to have your photo as part of the group.


    13. Trains & Trails 42 months ago | reply

      Great scene and background history. The P&LE means a lot to me because they once had a yard in Connellsville.

    14. bridgy2008 37 months ago | reply

      DDA - The Photo Warrior ***Invite Only***

    15. bridgy2008 37 months ago | reply

      + AND
      "you are invite to share your foto at our NEW CONTEST 56 - TRAINS" here


    16. Tark6657 17 months ago | reply

      Both my grandfather and brother worked for P&LE. My grandfather was a section foreman and this was part of his section. My brother was brakeman and he rode this area many times. Just down the track from this corner (heading the direction this train is going) was the P&LE's FM tower. The tower was close to the vehicle bridge to Neville Island. I have been searching the net for a picture of that tower, but no luck.

      My father worked on Neville Island, He wanted to join the service during WWII, but was not accepted since he was deaf in one ear. He contributed by welding on the ships at Dravo Corp. and then later worked at Neville Chemical.

    17. Ivan S. Abrams 17 months ago | reply

      I don't have a photo of the tower, though I do recall seeing it in the 1960's. You might try the Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, which has many of the industrial archives and records from Pittsburgh-area businesses. I was on Neville Island about two years ago as I'd learned that the shipbuilding had long-since ceased and that the industrial base of the Island had significantly changed. Dravo Corporation is no more, and the shipyards that build destroyer escorts, LST's, and other ocean-going warships are no more. The chemical industries are still there, appear to be busy. Overall, it was a sad experience to visit this formerly bustling portion of Western Pennsylvania's economy.

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