Lake Erie Railroad
|PLERRHS Special Features - Time Tables|
|1957 Passenger Time Table|
| 1950's were a time
of dramatic change in the American way of life. Before this decade, the
most common method of travel in the North America was by train or street
car. Local trips to a nearby metropolitan area for shopping, medium and
long distance trips for business or pleasure were mostly made by rail. The
roads connecting American cities were winding two-lane highways. And only
the most affluent could afford travel by air.
During the decade of the 50's a shift began to occur in America. The development of faster, more economical passenger aircraft meant that moderately priced long distance travel was within the reach of more Americans, especially business travelers who appreciated the dramatic decrease in travel time. President Eisenhower's commitment to developing an efficient highway network enabled more people to travel by car, thus eroding the passenger base that local and medium distance passenger trains were built on. With it's passenger base dwindling from both the top and bottom, railroads were left with only one choice - eliminate service to reduce costs.
The P&LE's passenger service was broken into two categories: daily commuter traffic to Pittsburgh and part of a cooperative through service with connections to the New York Central, the Baltimore & Ohio, and the Erie Railroads. The NYC, parent of the P&LE, had drastically curtailed service in the P&LE's region by 1957. The B&O, which had track rights on the P&LE from McKeesport to West Pittsburgh, operated a number of trains in cooperation with the P&LE, and used the P&LE's Station in Pittsburgh as a point to hand off many of it's trains to the P&LE. The Erie provided the most assets to the P&LE, operating a number of named trains between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. These trains operated with pooled power, and engines and crews were exchanged at the Erie passenger station in Youngstown.
Graphic Representation of the Passenger Schedule (145Kb PDF)