Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Well, here's a nice bit of news...

If you follow one of my other blogs "Railroad Research" you'll know that I'm now the curator of the Barriger Library at the St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL. Basically this means that all that material I was curious about relating to the P&LE...yeah I work with a bunch of it now.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Resource Found!!!

I've found a new map resource:

PA Department of Transportation Historic County Maps:


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greetings visitors from RPM East 2011

If you've stayed with my presentation, here's the link: Sites Visited

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is getting more complicated than I expected...

Ok, so the history of the B&O's Pittsburgh Division is requiring me to learn more about the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie. So, I bought a used copy of Harold McLean's "Pittsburgh and Lake Erie." And I'm reading through the parts where the B&O is mentioned and now I see that in the late 1870s the B&O was offered control of the line in exchange for financing. Something that was blown off or pulled off the table by either the B&O or the P&LE respectively. Now I also see that the trackage rights agreement between the two roads from the 1930s got complicated in mid 1963 and I'm going to need to pull some records from St. Louis to find out more. Now, option 1 is to pay for copies, option 2 is to go there. Option 1 is probably gonna be the winner unless I can finagle a way to make it a work trip, but I don't see that happening.

Fun times. Well, back to reading.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The good thing about writing this book

I have to admit, I tend to have a short attention span with projects. Maybe that's why I liked studying the cavalry when I was working on my civil war research in college. Move fast, do the job, go home, do next job.

However, now that I've started working on this book in earnest, I've been able to take advantage of something:

I'm really writing about three railroads in the B&O's system.

Yup. Three. The Pittsburgh and Connellsville which got the B&O into Pittsburgh. The Wheeling and Pittsburgh which was their first route OUT of Pittsburgh. And finally, the Pittsburgh and Western, which eventually got them to Chicago.

This is a good thing because whenever I'm afflicted by a need to change focus, I can just hop over to one of the other railroads. I've already determined that the W&P is probably going to be the most difficult to get good documentation on. But that is just a fact of life.

Anyhow, back to work.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


My passion is railroad history and my job is centered around library science and information management. Sometimes these two things meet and create good things.

One of the big thorns in the research side of this project has been a lack of digital resources for the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad. The railroad was to have connected the city of Pittsburgh with the B&O's main line via a junction at Cumberland, MD in the 1850's. It became a pawn in a power play between emerging Pennsylvania Railroad interests, Pittsburgh commercial and industrial interests, the B&O Railroad and the State of Virginia and the City of Wheeling.

While this line was eventually built all the way to Cumberland, it took much political and commercial and in some cases legal maneuvering to get it done. Now, finally! there are portions of the annual reports online!

Go to: http://www.hathitrust.org/

and in the search field put in "Pittsburgh Connellsville Railroad"


Thursday, June 17, 2010

WABTEC ca. 1905

Shorpy.com is a really nice photo site that showcases high quality scans of historic images. In this case, they are showcasing the Westinghouse Air Brake factory in Wilmerding, PA ca 1905.

And there's B&O cars there to boot!