WELCOME TO THE PITTSBURG & SHAWMUT RAILROAD!
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: email@example.com
SITE UPDATED: 03/17/23
IMPORTANT!! Hello fellow Pittsburg & Shawmut fans!
Today I received some information that some things with the site will be changing in the near future. Just what this entails I do not know yet. It could mean the end of the site, hope not, nothing at all, or maybe a software change in how the site is maintained. Wanted to give ya’ll a heads up on this. Should it be the end of the line it would be a good time to save some of your favorite photos and/or information! More info as it becomes available!
In March 1992 David Baer was on hand at Summerville when this Red Bank RR train scooted by on the way to Sligo. Such an ironic capture, a Red Bank train with Shawmut power and LEF&C hoppers on Mountain Laurel track which a year before was Conrail track then on to Red Bank track at Lawsonham!
The fading Conrail blue seen here would soon fade even more into Shawmut red, white, & blue having arrived at Brookville as PS 102 in transit, the GP7 was formerly Reading 608.
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 a child of the Pittsburg, Shawmut, and Northern which began in the late 1800’s as a consolidation of several small railroads in western NY and PA. In the early 1900’s they began building a new section to the south from Brockway towards Freeport to gain access to the Pittsburgh area naming it the Brookville & Mahoning. The P.S.&N. and P&S both used the older spelling of Pittsburgh without the h.
In 1910 the Brookville & Mahoning’s name was changed to the Pittsburg & Shawmut. Around the sametime the P&S broke away from the P.S.&N and became a separate company. 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 to 1996. More early history is in the detailed history section in the link at the top of the site. Especially during the last half of the 1970’s through the last half of the 1980’s the P&S prospered consideralbly. The large flood loading operation at Dora-Ringgold resulted in long 100 ton unit coal trains being moved for use at power plants elsewhere.
However, in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the P&S expanded by adding the Red Bank & Mountain Laurel Railroads due to business falling off. Trying to survive they they purchased the former PRR “Low Grade” line running from Lawsonham to Driftwood from Conrail. The ten mile line from Lawsonham to Sligo was named Red Bank, the line from Lawsonham to Driftwood was named Mountain Laurel. The Red Bank had no equipment lettered for it.
After a few years and further loss of business all three railroads were sold to Genessee & Wyoming as the PSR 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&S was absorbed into the B&P. A 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 of this site.
In the 2020’s the only remaining P&S/PSR track is on the north end is from Brockway yard to just south of the connection track to the B&P. From Brookville south along Five Mile Run Rd to south of Rayard to Slimak Rd. On the south end track remains from Freeport north to north of Reesedale. A sad situation.
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 the mid 1970’s the P&S was undergoing a big change in appearance and name! While some of the SW9’s were emerging from the paint shop in Bicentennial Red, White, and Blue, a couple of the switchers were getting fresh red and yellow paint and instead of the ampersand (&) the word “AND” was used such as the 237 here from my collection.
In February of 1982 GP 7 10 was running long hood forward as it usually did along with two of the switchers going through McWilliams in this Dave Hamley photo from David Baer’s collection.
Shawmut Line fans of the later years will remember when the P&S from Freeport to Mosgrove got Norfolk Southern coal trains. Here’s one going up the steep climb from the P&S mainline to the interchange on the west side of the Allegheny River. This one’s from Robert “Freddy” Shook.
Above are two from our long time contributor David Baer’s fine collection of Bob Schroyer photos. First up is the one at Brookville, a new one to me. The P&S purchased Amtrak E8 #341 to use the two prime movers seen here in January 1977, they got “two for one.”
Next are close up shots of SW9 235 at the Kittanning engine house then the 357 in fresh paint also at Kittanning right below the 422 bridge over the Shawmut.
From Bill Bueller’s photo collection is this one at Markle a bit railroad south of Timblin around milepost 46. Gosh, that’s three years before I was born, by the time I was a few years old this area looked a lot different!
An interesting “engine light shot” obviously in the later days. No info on this one, may be on the Piney branch.
This photo is from Bill Bueller’s collection at the Ringgold loader and coal plant in 1938, actually at Dora, but the mines stretched back close to Ringgold. In later years the Dora coal prep plant was further north and to the south was Ringgold siding.
Kurt Reisweber was at Freeport with a somewhat unusual move, engine 231 and a sister switcher along with a bay window caboose switching cars.
A blooper? Was a mouse pad showing a P&S R.R. caboose and hoppers yet the green logos suggest P.S.&N. by their color, yet the logo is wrong for both RR’s! 🙂
Here we’re looking northbound at Brookville in the steam era when the later days MOW building was an engine house.
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.
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 Olev Taremae was out on the Low Grade and caught this mix of three Shawmut and two Mountain Laurel units at Caledonia tunnel, this is up on the northeast end of the Mountain Laurel, photo from David Baer’s collection
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!
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.
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, Mark Leppert 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. Photo from David Baer’s collection.
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!
P&S engine 239 is on the south side of the Brookville engine shop, the paint worn from years of use. Years later, the 239 would become more-less their flagship unit when it was repainted into the Bicentennial theme, named Betsy Ross, and numbered 1776.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 some contributors to this web site are members there, check it out!
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