The last days of the Castle Shannon Incline

Les derniers jours du plan incliné Castle Shannon #1 (1963-1964)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanie, est célèbre pour avoir compté pas moins d’une vingtaine de funiculaires et même plus si l’on compte les plans inclinés des mines de charbon de la première moitié du XIXème siècle!
Actuellement il n’en reste plus que deux encore en service: Duquesne et Monongahela. Tous les autres ont complètement disparus.

Le Castle Shannon Incline #1 fut construit en 1890 pour permettre aux personnes et véhicules de gravir le Mont Washington afin de relier le centre de Pittsburgh à Castle Shannon, banlieue située au sud de la ville.

Castle Shannon #1

En haut du Mont Washington et du funiculaire, à Bailey Avenue, il fallait ensuite prendre la correspondance avec un autre funiculaire, le Castle Shannon South #2, qui ressemblait plus à un tramway à cable longeant Haberman Avenue, légèrement en pente, qui mène à Warrington Station où les passagers prenait le train pour Castle Shannon.

Castle Shannon South #2

Pour être complet il faut noter que dès 1872, il y avait déjà un funiculaire industriel appelé Castle Shannon Coal Incline situé lègèrement à l’ouest du Castle Shannon Incline #1.

Les documents sont très rares sur ces funiculaires disparus de Pittsburgh.
Mes recherches m’ont permis toutefois de trouver quelques documents sur les derniers jours du Castle Shannon Incline #1. Ils sont regroupés ci-dessous dans une gallerie émouvante montrant le Castle Shannon Incline #1 sur la fin de sa vie en 1963 et 1964 alors qu’il était en très mauvais état.


A – Castle Shannon Incline #1
B – Castle Shannon South Incline #2
C – Castle Shannon Coal Incline

2 thoughts on “The last days of the Castle Shannon Incline”

  1. I was very surprised to find your website in French. I did not realize there was any interest in Inclined Planes in Pittsburgh in other areas of the world…………. You indicate only 3 Castle Shannon Inclines. My research shows there were a total of 4 inclines. I reference this from (1) an 1882 Atlas (map) of Pittsburgh showing 2 inclined planes running parallel, one a coal incline, the other a passenger incline. This was prior to the passenger incline terminating on Bailey Ave. Both the coal incline and the original passenger incline terminated next to each other above the Horseshoue Bend on Sycamore Street, near the mouth of a coal tunnel. There is (2) a lithograph from Fleming’s Views of Old Pittsburgh, called “On Carson Street, South Pittsburgh, 1875” showing both inclines going only partway up Mt. Washington. These were accessed via a tunnel through Mt. Washington, from Smith Way, that was originally a coal mine, but enlarged to accept a RR train. This tunnel was used to bring both passengers and coal to the original passenger incline and the coal incline respectively. When the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania condemned this tunnel,for passenger service, the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon RR had to find another way to bring passengers over Mt. Washington, so they could access Pittsburgh. However, they continued to bring coal trains through the tunnel. This is when they built the Castle Shannon No. 2 Incline with a single track and cable on the back side of Mt. Washington along Haberman St. all the way to Bailey Ave. This No. 2 Incline used a “Dinky” (picture on your website)to couple RR cars from trains coming from locations further south, like Castle Shannon and Fairhaven, PA. When the No.2 Incline was built, they extended the Castle Shannon No. 1 up to Bailey Ave., across the street form the No. 2 Back Incline. I have some pictures of the track and cable for the No.2 Back Incline, including its south terminus at Haberman and Warrington Ave…………..I live on Mt. Washington near the No.2 Incline, also about a block from the old Coal Tunnel that was condemned for passenger service. Much of the old right-of-way has been filled, and the tunnel entrance is no longer visible. I have been trying unsuccessfully to locate photos of the tunnel. (3) A third reference for this “4th” incline I mention can be researched online under History of the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon RR”. Thank you, Michael J. Liss

  2. Michael – For years I have been asking my mother and other relatives why I kept remembering the space across from the Castle Shannon Incline being called the ‘dinky’. No one could remember! We lived on Bailey Ave from 1952-1960, then moved around the corner to Kambach. We were just across from the Incline which male relatives used to ride to work in downtown PGH, and we rode to go ‘shopping’.
    Then a question about the neighborhood brought me to this page and I finally learned what the ‘dinky’ was!!! Except at that point, there was no CS#2 and that’s just what everyone called the empty space from CS#1. And we were forbidden to ever walk through that abandoned space. Too dangerous. Now I wonder why! And I also wonder what is there now. I live in Wyoming now and don’t get up to the Mount anymore, but I’d like to see it one more time.

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