The Port Authority of Allegheny County ran subsidized service to Beaver Falls, actually College, Pa and McKeesport and Versailles, Pa. Railroad employees were used and not PAT operators. PAT fare zones were used and transfers were issued. The Beaver Falls line was operated by the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR and was discontinued in 1981. At the end it was only one morning inbound trip to the P&LE Station on the Southside of Pittsburgh near the Smithfield St Bridge and return to College Pa in the evening.
The McKeesport line was operated by the B&O/Chessie System/CSX and ran until April 28, 1989. Equipment used was at first B&O RDC cars and then PAT bought push-pull equipment consisting of former Chesapeake & Ohio commuter coaches and two rebuilt F-9s painted for the service. Two of the coaches were converted to cab control cars. The F-9's were former Wellsville Addison and Galeton (PA) engines, which were refurbished by General Electric's Erie locomotive plant for PAT. Stops were in Hazelwood, Braddock, McKeesport and Versailles. The cars and the F-9s were sold to the State of Connecticut where they run to this day. And I believe one of the RDCs ended up at the B&O Museum at Baltimore.
The downtown B&O station was torn down a number of years ago and replaced by a bank building. The former right of way is now a walking trail known officially as the Eliza Furnace Trail after the former blast furnace and unofficially as the Jail Trail after the Allegheny County trail that the row passes. The McKeesport station still exists, however CSX removed the tracks leading to it. It is now PAT's McKeesport Transportation Center and only buses stop there. The Versailles station also exists. It was a small waiting room on one side and a CSX tower on the other side separated by a Dutch door. I used to ride this line regularly and the lady operator there was fairly friendly to a young railfan. And also nice and toasty warm on cold winter days!
Here is PATrain F-9 6691
inbound along Second Avenue…and this is Cab Car 1681
. Both photos by George Hamlin. MK Tower/Versailles Station
—Photo by J. Alex Lang.
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