Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad


SITE UPDATED:  11/29/21The 2021 “holiday season” is upon us and we wish you all a great one!   Don’t blink or it will be 2022!

======== FEATURE PHOTO ========


KGL1 was southbound at Cadogan with a foursome of SW9’s heading for Freeport in this one from Ron Stafford.


Andy’s 1776 model is breathtaking, but it wll be awhile until the next update, the trucks are next and that will be expensive and fun!  For size comparison at the bottom under the SHAWMUT LINE “E” the unit is resting on a 4 x 4.  Thanks to Andy for sharing



My family moved from PA to FL in June 1962 when I was 12.  While the P&S and B&O were special to me there was a lot about railroading and even that area I didn’t know about.  Part of being a train buff is wow, what a geography and history lesson!  Here it is 60 years later and I’m still learning! 

Above was obviously a Conrail train on the long Piney Branch, a former NYC line that met the PRR “low grade” west of Brookville across Red Bank Creek. David Baer caught this “CR” train on the trestle before the Shawmut took it over as part of the Mountain Laurel RR.  


What we’re about!  This is a place remembering the Pittsburg & Shawmut Red Bank, and Mountain Laurel railroads of Pennsylvania,  a personal site not connected to the former Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad Company or Genesee & Wyoming company, present owner and operator.   The Genessee & Wyoming corporate site is at:  www.gwrr.com 

The site began in May 1996 to share history, memories, photos, and other information about these colorful railroads.  Email about the site may be sent to me, Dennis Snyder at: dlswpfl@aol.com

Remember The Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern?  That was the parent of the Pittsburg &  Shawmut.  The two are often confused, this green and yellow logo was theirs. 

The PS&N historical society web site is at:



Some things you’ll find here:

Brief P&S History, Detailed P&S History, Photos, Milepost info, Locomotive information, Photos, Timeline of Events, Photos, Logo History, Operational Info, Model P&S trains, Photos, P&S videos, links to various items of interest, even more photos, as well as many other things! 



The P&S was the child of the Pittsburg, Shawmut, and Northern.  The PS&N began in the late 1800’s as a consolidation of several small railroads in NY and PA.  In the early 1900’s they began building a new section heading south from Brockway towards Freeport to gain access to the Pittsburgh area and named it The Brookville & Mahoning.  The P.S.&N. and P&S both used an older spelling of Pittsburgh without the h.

In 1910 the Brookville & Mahoning became The Pittsburg & Shawmut and the 88 mile P&S from Brockway to Freeport was completed in 1917.  The P.S.&N. was a financial disaster from the beginning and was finally abandoned in 1947, but the P&S continued.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the P&S expanded by adding the Red Bank  and Mountain Laurel Railroads due to business falling off in the late 1980’s.  They they purchased the former PRR “Low Grade” line running from Lawsonham to Driftwood from Conrail.  After a few years and further loss of business all three were sold to Genessee & Wyoming in April 1996 which also owned Buffalo & Pittsburgh, the former B&O in the area.   A few years later what was left of the P&&, etc. was absorbed into the B&P.  A much more detailed look at the long history of the P&S, etc.  is in it’s own section at the menu bar at the top.  



Pittsburg & Shawmut In Color – Book!

In 2015 Kurt Reisweber and Brad Esposito published a 128 page book on the P&S.  The book contains a good bit of history of the Shawmut and many awesome color photographs from the 1950s on.  The book is available from Morning Sun Books.  Here’s the main Morning Sun web address.

SPECIAL NOTE – I just verified that the book is still available at the web site below on 10/07/20.


Here is a direct link to the Shawmut book.



Kevin Yackmack recently announced he is selling some of his railroad art work and here it is!   Here’s a northbound P&S local approaching Timblin. Prints are $60 each, postage included.  Contact Kevin at: kevin.yackmack@yahoo.com or on Facebook at KEVINSRRART.  (Click on the photo for larger view, use your back button to return to the site)


Welcome to those who have joined the new Shawmutline group on Groups.io.  The P&S Yahoo group of over 100 members is gone now as Yahoo pulled the plug on their long-time groups service on 12/15.  While it had seen little activity a new P&S group has been started at a new group service called groups.io.  Those of you who have used Yahoo’s groups will be pleased to know groups.io is easier to navigate.

If you’re interested in joining the new Shawmut group, simply go to:  https://groups.io/ or www.groups.io and click on “Sign Up” in the upper right. Your email address will be your log in name, create a password, then do a search for “Shawmutline” – name of the new group.   Here’s hotlinks to the new group service, which is FREE!





There is also a P&S Facebook group you can join, just do a search for Pittsburg & Shawmut or Shawmut Line there.

Another Facebook group of great interest is – Railroad Photos and Memories, Western NY and PA – there are an amazing amount of railroad photos from all eras and many of the contributors to this web site are members there, check it out!



This is our photo section where we rotate through the many photos collected most of which were sent by fellow Shawmut fans and employees for which we thank! 

Note, some of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them then using your “back” button to return to the site.  Some of the photos are already as large as they can get

                           SISTER GEEPS!


Bob Chaserak sent along these nice photos of P&S GP10 and 11 at Brookville.  Notice on number 10 the fuel tank isn’t obvious like on the 11, it had a very small tank which posed some issues on long runs.

Here’s P&S 357 at Brookville before being repainted into the Shawmut’s then new red, white, and blue paint and named Dan Wesson number 357.

The nine switchers no doubt were the most remembered part of the Pittsburg & Shawmut.  Here’s their first new power addition, GP7 357 chilling in the snow at Brookville.  Paint was still pretty fresh here, alas the unit was troublesome from the beginning and finally was scrapped.  

In early 1973 P&S units were seen here at Bethlehem, PA as they were being leased to Lehigh Valley.  Photographer is unknown as in my collection it is one of few that was purchased.

In early May 1954 four of the Shawmut switchers while still nice and shiny, were putting together this special excursion train at Brookville.   

David Baer has contributed many photos to the site, here’s one from Rich, David’s brother of a northbound Kittanning local in the Tarrtown area from back when the switchers still had the names! The 1865 “B. Tyler Henry” was leading the 1775, “Independence.”


P&S 1776, Betsy Ross (formerly 239) is little doubt the Shawmut’s most familiar and popular unit, it and the 1775, Independence (formerly 231) were the first units to get the Bicentennial paint jobs in the mid 1970s, Dave Hamerly photo.

Speaking of the 239, here she is tied up at Brookville still in original paint that was still in fairly decent shape.  

Let’s go back to 1958 at Freeport where nice and shiny P&S 234 and a sister SW9 are working the interchange yard.  Photo from my collection, photographer unknown.  From Brad & Kurt’s book, this was obviously still when those switchers were being waxed and very well kept!   

To go with the previous photo above, here is another Freeport photo later on from Kurt Reisweber including one of the two huge bay window cabooses.  Note the Linde Air Products cars further back!

Be sure to also check out the various photo links in the separate pages section on the top menu line!                         

=============HISTORY OF THE WEB SITE==============

The original version of this P&S site started May 16, 1996 on America On Line (AOL) with two megabytes of storage using an AST PC with a 500 mb drive and 4800 bps dial up internet connection.  Software changes at AOL froze the site for a long time then the site was reorganized, but alas it all ended October 31, 2008 when AOL discontinued all web sites.

A special thanks to Mike Cyr of Jointed Rail and Virtual Railfan for stepping in to host this site for us Shawmut fans.  If you’re a fan of  train simulators, etc. and/or like to watch a lot of trains on live webcams, check out Mike’s sites at: www.jointedrail.com or www.virtualrailfan.com

As for me, I lived in Dayton, PA until 1962 when our family moved to Orlando, FL.  My grandparents lived in Timblin only about 100 yards from the P&S tracks and grandpa worked on the Shawmut track maintenance crew in the area.  My father also worked on the P&S for a short time.

In closing I can’t thank all of you enough who have sent in info, photos, or just to say hi over the years!  THAT is why this site exists today, because of you!

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