Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Plane

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Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Plane
P&CS Plane.jpg
The incline on the right is the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Plane.
LocaleMt. Washington
Dates of operationbefore 1864 (1825-64)–1912
SuccessorPittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad, Pittsburgh Railways
Track gauge3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm)
Length850 feet (260 m)

Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Plane was a 3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm) narrow gauge incline railway that ran from the northern end of the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Tunnel to Carson Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally built to carry coal from the Jacob Beltzhoover mine, it was sold by the Pittsburgh Coal Company to the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad in 1871.[1] It was used only for coal as early as 1864,[2] passenger traffic was added in 1874 for the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad. For safety reasons, the tunnel was closed to passenger traffic, and passengers were diverted to the Castle Shannon Incline, constructed in 1890. Emergency use of the plane for passengers and freight continued as late as 1900.[3] Its use for the transport of passengers and freight other than coal was made obsolete by the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel. Operation as a coal incline continued until May 1, 1912.[4] It was operated as a gravity plane, with returning empty cars being pulled to the mine mouth by the weight of the descending full coal cars.


  1. ^ "Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad HAER no. PA-410" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  2. ^ Wall, J. Sutton (1884). "VII mines on pool no. 1 166.Castle Shannon mines". Report on the coal mines of the Monongahela river region from the... 40. pp. 179–180.
  3. ^ Vaill, Edward B.; Ewing, Thomas, eds. (August 22, 1906). "Kaufman vs Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad and Pittsburgh Railways Company, el al" (legal case report). Pittsburgh Legal Journal. Pittsburgh, PA. 54: 39–42. ISSN 0032-0331. OCLC 1762437.
  4. ^ Baxter, John (July 1952). "Construction of the Charleroi Interurban". Electric Railroads. New York City: Electric Railroaders Association, Inc. 20. OCLC 15074936.

Coordinates: 40°25′47″N 80°00′09″W / 40.42978°N 80.00248°W / 40.42978; -80.00248