Blue Line (Pittsburgh)

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See Blue Line (disambiguation) for other "Blue Line"s.
Pittsburgh Light Rail Blue Line
Overview
Type Light rail
Locale Pittsburgh
Operation
Owner Port Authority of Allegheny County
Operator(s) Port Authority of Allegheny County
Depot(s) South Hills Village Rail Center
Rolling stock Port Authority 4000 Series PCC, Siemens SD-400, Port Authority 4300 Series LRV
Technical
Track gauge 5 ft 2 12 in (1,588 mm)
Electrification Overhead lines
Route map

Pittsburgh T.svg

    
Allegheny
North Side
Allegheny River
    
Gateway Center
Wood Street
Penn Station
occasional use
Steel Plaza
First Avenue
Monongahela River
Station Square
Brown
Mount Washington
Transit Tunnel
Line
South Hills Junction
    
Red Line
Boggs
Bon Air
Denise
South Bank
McNeilly
Pittsburgh
Castle Shannon
Killarney
Linden Grove
Memorial Hall
Overbrook Junction
Willow
Red Line
St. Anne's
Smith Road
Castle Shannon
Bethel Park
Washington Junction
Casswell
Hillcrest
Highland
Lytle
Santa Barbara
Mesta
Bethel Village
South Park
Dorchester
Munroe
Bethel Park
Upper St. Clair
Sarah
    South Hills Village
Logan
South Hills Village
Rail Center
King's School
Beagle
Sandy Creek
Bethel Park
South Park
West Library
Library

The Blue Line is a Pittsburgh Light Rail line that runs between Downtown Pittsburgh via the Overbrook neighborhood to Library (formerly the 47L Library via Overbrook route) and South Hills Village (formerly 47S South Hills Village via Overbrook).

History[edit]

The line from South Hills Junction to Castle Shannon (now called the Overbrook Line) was first constructed by the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad (P&CSRR) between 1872 and 1874.[1] In 1905 Pittsburgh Railways leased the route and between 1909 and 1910 converted it from narrow gauge to dual gauge and installed overhead power for trolleys.

Mid-20th century PCC streetcars continued to operate on the Overbrook Line until 1993, when concerns about the safety of the line led PAT to suspend service there pending reconstruction. This former Pittsburgh Railways trolley line had never been updated to current light rail system requirements. After receiving federal funding for Stage Two of the light rail system development, the Overbrook line was reconstructed as a fully rebuilt double-tracked line served by modern light rail vehicles, making this line a considerably faster commute.

The line was reopened on June 2, 2004 following major work which included doubling of the track and elimination of 22 traditional street level trolley stops in favor of eight new LRV style stations with platforms.[2]

Route[edit]

The line starts at Allegheny station on the North Shore, makes an additional stop at North Side, then proceeds under the Allegheny River and continues underground to Gateway Center, Wood Street and Steel Plaza. The line then surfaces at First Avenue. Leaving downtown, it crosses the Monongahela River on the Panhandle Bridge, stopping at Station Square before running through the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel. At South Hills Junction the Library branch rejoins the Beechview line and the former Brown Line, which ran over Mount Washington through the Allentown neighborhood. The Blue Line continues south through Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Brookline, and Overbrook. At Bethel Park a transfer is provided to the Red Line, which reaches the same location via Beechview. Beyond Washington Junction the line splits.

Library Branch[edit]

The Library Branch runs south through Willow and ends at Library in South Park.

The Port Authority closed five stations along the Library branch on June 25, 2012: Martin Villa, Mine 3, Lindermer, Center and Latimer.[3] Other former Library branch stops include Latimer, Logan, Leonard, Hicks and Pleasant Street.

South Hills Village Branch[edit]

South Hills Village branch
Operation
Opened 1987, reopened 2004
Closed 1993 to 2004

The South Hills Village branch was created in 1987 to complement the Red Line, which runs through Beechview before reaching the same terminus. This line was originally operated using PCCs, most notably the 4000 series, because the new light rail cars were incompatible with the Overbrook line due to its age and condition. Service was suspended when the Overbrook Line closed in 1993, but was reinstated after that line was rebuilt and reopened in 2004.

On June 25, 2012, the Port Authority closed two stations on the South Hills Village Branch as part of a system-wide consolidation: Santa Barbara and Martin Villa.[4]

Station list[edit]

Station Name Station Type Services Municipality
Allegheny high level Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
North Side underground Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
Gateway Center underground Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
Wood Street underground Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
Steel Plaza underground Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
First Avenue high level Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
Station Square high level Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
South Hills Junction high level Red Line, Blue Line Pittsburgh
Boggs high level Blue Line Pittsburgh
Bon Air high level Blue Line Pittsburgh
Denise high level Blue Line Pittsburgh
South Bank high level Blue Line Pittsburgh
McNeilly high level Blue Line Pittsburgh
Killarney high level Blue Line Castle Shannon
Memorial Hall high level Blue Line Castle Shannon
Willow high level Blue Line Castle Shannon
St. Anne's street level Red Line, Blue Line Castle Shannon
Smith Road street level Red Line Castle Shannon
Washington Junction high level Red Line, Blue Line Bethel Park
Former stops: Morse Steps, McKinley Park, Edgebrook, Ansonia, Central, Inglewood,
Overbrook, Glenbury, Paris, Spinning Wheels, Cooley, Linden Grove, Poplar, Park
Library Branch
Hillcrest street level Bethel Park
Lytle high level Bethel Park
Mesta street level Bethel Park
South Park street level Bethel Park
Munroe street level Bethel Park
Sarah street level Bethel Park
Logan street level Bethel Park
King's School street level Bethel Park
Beagle street level Bethel Park
Sandy Creek street level Bethel Park
West Library high level South Park
Library high level South Park
Former stops: Martin Villa, Mine 3, Lindermer, Center, Latimer, Leonard, Hicks, Pleasant
South Hills Village Branch
Casswell street level Red Line Bethel Park
Highland street level Red Line Bethel Park
Bethel Village street level Red Line Bethel Park
Dorchester street level Red Line Bethel Park
South Hills Village high level Red Line Upper St. Clair
Former stops: Martin Villa, Santa Barbara

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historic American Engineering Record - Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon Railroad, Reflectorville Viaduct, Overbrook Trolley Line, crossing near Edgebrook Av, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA". Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ JW, RAH (July 1, 2004). "Five cities dedicate light rail lines". Railway Gazette. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Eleven T Stops Close June 25". Port Authority of Allegheny County. June 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Eleven T Stops Close June 25". Port Authority of Allegheny County. June 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

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