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Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Portal of Industry

1857

 

—The Pennsylvania Railroad Mainline —

 
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
1. Portal of Industry Marker
Inscription. You are standing above the historic route of the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad—one of the most important railroad corridors in the country.

Connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the first train arrived in East Liberty in December 1852, less than a half mile east of here. While the 350-mile route initially utilized twenty-eight miles of the Allegheny Portage Railroad in order to traverse the Allegheny Mountains, an all-rail line was completed in February 1854. As a result, travel to Philadelphia, which had taken up to a week, was shortened to thirteen hours.

Significant initially for its direct connections to the east coast, the Pennsylvania Railroad quickly expanded westward, with the thriving industrial giant of Pittsburgh at its center.

At its peak of operation in the 1920s, the Pennsylvania Railroad boasted 28,000 miles of track, 7,000 locomotives, 250,000 cars and 280,000 employees. "The Pennsy," as it was affectionately known, was once the nation's largest employer, transporting ten percent of all freight in America, and twenty percent of all passengers.

There are people now living in Pittsburgh who have traveled diligently for a whole week to reach Philadelphia. The same persons can now go from our city to the eastern metropolis between sunrise and sunset of a summer's
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
2. Portal of Industry Marker
day, without fatigue, and without occasion for stopping to eat more than one meal.

—Daily Morning Post,
Pittsburgh on the opening of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 1854
 
Erected 2013 by Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Pittsburgh.
 
Location. 40° 27.551′ N, 79° 55.499′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker can be reached from South Highland Avenue 0.1 miles south of Centre Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. This marker is part of a display erected on the sidewalk parapet of the newly refurbished South Highland Avenue Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburgh PA 15206, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Suburban Catalyst (a few steps from this marker); Motor Square Garden (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); East Liberty Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Calvary Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Church (approx. ¼ mile away); 1st Drive-In Filling Station (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Peter's Evangelical and Reformed Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Highwood (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Pittsburgh.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
3. Portal of Industry Marker
Close up of text.
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
4. Portal of Industry Marker
(first photo)
Industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Phipps and songwriter Stephen Foster were among the notables who welcomed the first through-train from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in East Liberty in December 1852 (Library & Archives Division, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania).
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
5. Portal of Industry Marker
(second photo)
East Liberty Station, looking east in 1961. Designed by noted architect Frank Furness, the 1906 station stood less than a half mile east of here. It served commuters until 1953 and was demolished in 1963. The site was subsequently redeveloped as a strip shopping center (Edward H. Weber, photographer).
Portal of Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, November 4, 2015
6. Portal of Industry Marker
Pennsylvania Expansion Map
Within five years of reaching Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Railroad extended westward like an outstretched hand, bringing unprecedented expansion to the city's industrial and retail markets.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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