WELCOME TO THE P&S R.R.!
What we’re about! This is a place remembering the Pittsburg & Shawmut, Red Bank, and Mountain Laurel railroads of western Pennsylvania. This is 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
SITE UPDATED: 09/10/22
Welcome to the SHAWMUT LINE!
======== FEATURE PHOTO========
An amazing and fascinating look northbound at “BV” in the steam era when the later days MOW building was an engine house!
The P&S was a child of the PS&N (Pittsburg, Shawmut, & Northern) so for much deeper Shawmut history check out the PS&N Historical Society web site 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!
BRIEF P&S R.R. HISTORY
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.
In our photo section we rotate through many photos collected of which most were sent by fellow Shawmut fans and employees for which we thank!
In February 1982 Dave Hamley was at McWilliams when this P&S local rolled by led by GP7 #10 and two SW9’s.
A southbound leaves Brookville on the viaduct over the Low Grade and it’s own Mountain Laurel RR, and Red Bank Creek. Of course the Low Grade is former PRR then CR track. An interesting note here is the short train is led by three Mountain Laurel GP10’s and sports a caboose on the end.
This update’s feature photo (top of the page) shows three Mountain Laurel units leading a southbound across Brookville Viaduct. Here is a real oddity alas on a sad note, four Santa Fe units lead three Mountain Laurel units on their way to their new home on the Lousiana & Delta after the G&W acquired the Shawmut, Red Bank, and Mountain Laurel.
Small world! Randy Kiser actually lives here in my area in Florida and we’ve met a couple of times. Randy has shared a few of his P&S photos such as the 235 & 237 in the Kittanning area.
He also caught the 1775 (Independence) and 1949 (Bill Ruger) in the area north of Kittanning at Old Town Rd.
In 1992 David Baer was out on the Low Grade and caught this mix of two each Shawmut and Mountain Laurel units at Caledonia tunnel, this is up on the northeast end of the Mountain Laurel.
Back in 2020 David Baer visited Brookville and shot this couple of B&P geeps.
No details on this interesting look at 1866 & 1774 at Mahoning Yard in 1976. Obviously some sort of special run with passenger cars. Mahoning Yard (MX for short) had no public access, you either had to get there by train or a long hike!
Another with no info, but a nice shot of 1949 at Kittanning. Both this and the photo above it were when the switchers were still in fresh Bicentennial paint and when they had the names. Some names were famous historic names (like Betsy Ross) while most had to with the gun industry, i.e. Dan Wesson and his 357.
This was always one of my favorite photos for more than one reason, this one is from David Baer. It’s a favorite because it’s at Timblin which is dead center of the P&S plus it’s where I was most familiar with the Shawmut. I also like the slightly different power lash up, and that it is hauling the fuel tanker to Kittanning to fill the engines there.
P&S tank car S89 seen here at Brookville was used for a period to fuel the locomotives at Kittanning and shuttled back and forth to Brookville for filling, Hazardous Materials Plackard 1993 is Diesel Fuel.
The Shawmut shops at “BV” not only served the P&S, over the years many other railroads send locomotives there to have work done, same here with the switcher that was used at the Lady Jane coal loading facility. Close inspection near the cab window reveals this unit was set up for remote operation.
No secret coal is what the P&S was known best for, but also interesting were some of the other products the line hauled. Included in that was the large Linde Air Products at Kittanning. Here’s two examples of their cars which appear to be boxcars, but actually contained tanks inside them!
The Red Bank Mountain Laurel RR’s were both short lived lines, sadly the Red Bank had no locomotives or equipment painted or lettered for that 10 mile line. The Mountain Laurel was another matter, six GP10’s (upgraded GP9’s) were built up in this handsome red, silver, and black paint scheme. Since P&S had GP7 numbers 10 and 11, these units were numbered 12 thru 17. Here’s the 12 and 13 on its delivery trip sitting at Freeport awaiting pickup.
Meanwhile, quite sadly, David Baer was at Brookville in 1996, the Mountain Laurel units were still around, but it was a whole new era for the proud little P&S, G&W units were already here. If you look close, GP7 10 & 11 are off to the far right, but I think by this time the SW9’s were all gone.
In the early 1970’s engine 225 and 236 were tied up outside the Brookville engine shop while some railfans toured the area. The P&S was always very friendly towards train buffs and the public.
The Red Bank Railroad (RBKR) was only ten miles long from Lawsonham to Sligo as part of the acquisition of the low grade by the Shawmut in 1990. Gale Simpson was on hand to catch this one in “PSR” days in the Rimersburg area.
Bill Bueller recently posted this Walter Schopp from October 1973 on Facebook of two P&S switchers pulling the steam excursion train through Brookville returning from Brockway, what a shot!
Above P&S engine 239 sits on the south side of the Brookville engine shop, the paint worn from years of use. Below, years later, this one would become more-less their flagship unit when it was repainted into the Bicentennial theme and named Betsy Ross. Above photo from my collection, bottom photo from Kurt Reisweber.
Here’s two awesome catches at Freeport from John Hartman of a southbound P&S train on Conrail’s tracks. This is a busy spot, Conrail’s bridge crossed the Allegheny is in the upper left. This is also where the Kiski River dumps into the Allegheny and also the interchange point of the Kiski and Conrail, Kiski’s line crosses the Kiski river just beyond Conrail’s bridge. If you look real close, you can see their bridge to the upper left of Conrails.
During the later years the P&S sometimes interchanged with CR at one of their sidings south of the end of the P&S. In the top photo they are just off P&S tracks. The bottom photo is a little further south on Conrail.
At Summerville where the LEF&C and Conrail interchanged on the Low Grade Eric Johnson took this shot when both lines had a train at the same time! Photo from David Baer’s collection.
Great photo at Dora during the early days when P&S SW9’s were transitioning from red and yellow to Bicentennial colors!
In this photo GP7 357 and SW9 1866 are working in Brookville Yard with the old turntable in the foreground.
Here’s the same spot as below with another of David’s photos, but this time P&S GP7 10, 11, and an SW9. Notice the difference in the foilage, fall colors to winter dead.
David Baer was on hand above Colwell to catch a Mountain Laurel GP10 leading a southbound along with GP7 10 and an SW9 across the first Mahoning Viaduct.
P&S 231 was in fairly new condition when this photo was taken.
Be sure to check out the photos in the separate pages section on the top menu line!
Pittsburg & Shawmut In Color – A 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 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: email@example.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!
=============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!
40,158 total views, 52 views today