Monday, August 20, 2012
Low Grade Survey Mid Pennsylvania 1906
From the New York Times archives, August 14, 1906. The article reports that the President of the Wabash Railroad, Joseph Ramsey, Jr. had made a survey to cross Pennsylvania for a proposed New York, Pittsburgh and Chicago Railroad. It was to gain access to Pittsburgh via the railroad on the west bank of the Allegheny River. At Freeport, PA northeast a new railroad was to be built east to Easton, PA.
George Gould had aspirations to create a transcontinental railroad. He controlled the Wabash Railroad. By 1906 he had assembled from east to west, the Western Maryland Railroad, (There was a gap from Connellsville, PA to Pittsburgh.), Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, Wabash Railroad, Missouri Pacific Railway, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, Rio Grande Western Railway, Western Pacific Railway.
The proposed New York, Pittsburgh and Chicago Railroad would have had a ruling grade not exceeding .04 per cent. And, the railroad was to have been electrified. In 1906 no long distance AC railroad electrification existed. However, the electrical engineering capacity to have built such a system was then on the drawing boards ready to be applied in the real world. The Western Maryland gave George Gould access to Baltimore, MD. The New York, Pittsburgh and Chicago would have had access to Philadelphia through connections with the Reading Railroad.
This has significance for High Speed Railroad purposes toady as it identified a route across Pennsylvania that is direct and had low grades.