THE PITTSBURGH SOUTHERN
NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD

1877 TO 1884

The Pittsburgh Southern of 36 inch gauge had its inception as the Pittsburgh Castle Shannon & Washington of 40 inch gauge. The PCS&W later to become the PS, was the brain child of Milton D. Hayes, the same man who built the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon in 1871. The building of the PCS&W was a result of the adversity between Hayes ( who was still the president of the P&CS) and other board members of the P&CS. From this adversity the PCS&W was born.

A DEAL IS MADE FOR THE LITTLE SAW HILL RUN

At a meeting held in Washington, Pa. on March 20, 1877 Hayes was named president of the PCS&W. Now the railroad needed a route from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Castle Shannon and Washington, Pa., therefore a deal was made with the Economites, a religious organization that owned the Little Saw Mill Run Railroad. The LSMR ran from Temperanceville (West End) to Mt. Lebanon, and would give a better passage to Pittsburgh without the need for a tunnel. A new road bed had to be constructed from Mt. Lebanon, to Arlington Station, to connect with the P&CS (this connection was unapproved by the P&CS) then on to Finleyville and Washington, Pa. with station stops in between.

CONSTRUCTION BIDS TO OPEN

On July 9, 1877 a meeting was held at the company office to open bids for the 14 miles from Castle Shannon to Finleyville. There were 35 in all for ties, iron, grading, and trestle work. The work involved about 4,000 lineal feet of trestle work and 70,000 cubic yards of excavation. Low bid was $65,000 high bid was $115,000, Mr. T. P. Roberts, Chief Engineer was put in charge.

The remaining 16 miles to Washington Pa., was started before the road to Finleyville was compleated. In 1879 the line from Finleyville to Washington was compleated and opened. With the work compleated to Washington, bids were taken for the road from Temperanceville to Pittsburgh.

Survies were made for a branch line from Finleyville down Mingo Creek 5 miles to Monongahela, Pa. But a different route was later chosen. A connection in Washington was to be made with the Washington & Waynesburg Railroad.

LINE FROM CASTLE SHANNON TO FINLEYVILLE COMPLEATED

All the while tracks were being laid from Castle Shannon to Finleyville, passengers were being carried on the completed sections. On January 23, 1878 the line to Finleyville was completed. A locomotive and passengers cars were on loan from the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon, this outraged some of the P&CS board members. When Hayes refused to pay for the use of the P&CS equipment, he was cut off, and was forced to by his own. In May of 1878, a Porter 2-6-0 was purchased. Hayes also purchased some rolling stock from a company in Ohio, (Wheeling & Lake Erie?) .

WAR BREAKS OUT OVER RAIL GAUGE CHANGE

A meeting was held on April 2, 1878 to announce the endorsement by the LSMR for a third rail to be put down in order to convert the gauge from 40 inch to 36 inch and to proceed at once with the construction of the track between Castle Shannon, and the connection with the LSMR. On that same day the name of the Pittsburgh CastleShannon & Washington was changed to the Pittsburgh Southern.

As stated earlier a locomotive and rolling stock were on loan from the P&CS, and Hayes refused to reimburse the P&CS for thir use. To which the P&CS cut Hayes off. This is when Hayes decided to change the gauge from 40 inch to 36 inch. Some have reported that Hayes was having a dilemma finding a locomotive in 40 inch gauge, and had to buy one in 36 inch gauge. Others have reported that the gauge change was a direct result of being cut off by the P&CS. The changing of the gauge would render a small but very important section of P&CS track worthless, and take away passenger revenue needed by the P&CS.

The changing of the gauge so outraged the board members of the P&CS to a point that a war broke out on May 12, 1878 at Castle Shannon. According to newspaper reports, a crew of P&CS men were sent to rip up the tracks in question, they were met by a crew of PS men, and a fight broke out between Mr. Hayes and Mr. Rapp, the Assistant Superintendent for the P&CS. Hayes lost the fight but not the battle to keep the gauge at 36 inch.

P&CS BRINGS LAW SUIT AGAINST HAYES

A law suit against Hayes for $58,700 due on 1,907 shares of P&CS stock since 1872, was brought on June 24, 1878. Three weeks later, the PS opened for travel on July 18, 1878. On August 1, 1878 the P&CS board members met to impeach Hayes (who was still president of the P&CS) and introduce the three charges against him. On August 15, 1878 a second meeting was held in which Hayes tendered his resignation, it was accepted and all charges were dropped.

BALTIMORE & OHIO TAKES OVER

Accidents were numerous on the PS, cars were always jumping the tracks, the grades were too steep, and the curves too sharp. The PS hit the financial skids, and in 1883, was taken over by the Baltimore & Ohio, who then built a branch line from Finleyville to Glenwood, 15.7 miles in 1883, and standard gauged from Finleyville to Washington. Pittsburgh to Finleyville line abandon in 1883, after the Glenwood branch was finished. The PS was foreclosed on 11-20-1884 and bought by the B&O, and reorganized in 1884 as the B&O.

LOCOMOTIVES OF THE PITTSBURGH SOUTHERN

Number
Type
Builder
Year
1
2-6-0
Pittsburgh 386 new....
Sold 11-1884 to Somerset County RR #1
1878
2
2-6-0
Porter 264....
Emlenton Shippenville & Clarion #6, acquired 9-1878.
Sold 01-1884 to Grafton & Greenbrier #2
1876
3
See #7
Sold 4-1885 to Atlantic & Danville RR #4
See #7
4
2-6-0
Brooks 213....
Leased to Parker & Karns City #1, 2-1879.
Sold in 4-1880 to Braford & Borde and Kinzau RR #2
1871
5
4-4-0
Pittsburgh 404 new....
Sold 7-1882 to Pittsburgh & Western #3
1880
6
4-4-0
Pittsburgh 581 new....
Sold to Cleveland Delphos & St. Louis #5
but not delivered.
1882
7
2-6-0
Porter 307 new....
First engine and given #7 as a continuation of the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon number series.
Renumbered #3 in late 1878 or 1879.
1878

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