Proposal before the             Glenn A. Walsh

  Planning Committee of              P.O. Box 1041

      Allegheny County                      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

      Transit Council:                         Telephone: 412-561-7876

      Continued Use of              Electronic Mail: < >

Penn Station LRT Station      Internet Web Site: < >

And Use of LRT Rail Yard       2005 June 22


Current plans for the “North Shore Connector” transit rail line extension project calls for the disconnection of the current Penn Station Rail line, from the yet-to-be-built Convention

Center Subway Line. When first built, Port Authority [PAT] ran shuttle service between Penn Station and Steel Plaza, on the Penn Station Line, on weekdays. This continued until

the early 1990s, when this service was discontinued due to one of the general service cutbacks.


Since that time, PAT has operated two round-trips, during the weekday afternoon rush-hours, to and from the Light Rail Station at Penn Station. These are both 42S South Hills

Village trips which serve Penn Station, Steel Plaza, First Avenue, Station Square, and South Hills Junction, before proceeding along the 42S Line into Beechview, Dormont,

Mt. Lebanon, Castle Shannon, Bethel Park, and Upper St. Clair, terminating at South Hills Village.


The only additional light rail service to Penn Station occurred, several years ago, when the All-Star Baseball Game was played in Pittsburgh. At that time, the Penn Station Shuttle was, temporarily, revived to provide service for the many people attending the Convention Center exhibition which accompanied the All-Star Game to Pittsburgh. Through all of this

time, more than 15 years, no light rail vehicle has ever actually been placed in storage in a seven-track [five tracks and loop] rail car storage yard that exists just east of the LRT Station

at Penn Station. I propose the following:


1)  Construction of the Convention Center Subway Line occurs in such a way as to ensure a continued rail connection to the Penn Station Line. Such construction could include

an easy connection between the Convention Center and the Penn Station Lines [for ease of transferring vehicles from the Convention Center to the rail car storage yard], in

addition to the continued direct rail connection to Steel Plaza.


2) Once the Convention Center Subway Line is completed, and revenue service has begun, then, finally, LRVs could begin to be moved into and out of the rail car storage yard, for

the mid-day storage of light rail vehicles only needed for rush-hours—as originally envisioned by the designers of the Stage I Light Rail Transit System.


3) Since there will be regular scheduled subway service to the Convention Center [actually, the new Greyhound Station, across the street from Penn Station], there no longer has

to be scheduled service to the original LRT Station at Penn Station. However, the movement of rail cars into and out of the rail yard will mean that, for all intents and purposes,

there will be somewhat frequent rail service to the original LRT Station at Penn Station during the rush-hours [and, perhaps, a little service at other times of the day]. This will

provide riders of the East Busway, riders and employees of Amtrak, employees working at the PAT Police Station, employees of Norfolk-Southern, and tenants of the

Pennsylvanian apartments a more convenient rail service during the rush-hours.


PAT will claim that, physically, the connection between the Convention Center Subway Line and the Penn Station Rail Line cannot be maintained. I consider this just an excuse to

get rid of a 15-year-od embarrassment, the Penn Station Rail Yard, which they refuse to use. If a new tunnel can be built between the Convention Center and Steel Plaza, then some

way can be found to retain the connection between the Convention Center and Penn Station Lines.


PAT will also claim that they cannot use the rail yard, due to switching problems on the Main Line. The designers of the Stage I system would have been aware of these problems—but

they built the rail yard anyway! This means that they felt that the switching problems could be worked-out satisfactorily, to allow the Port Authority to save money on electricity and

the wear-and-tear on vehicles with the mid-day storage of LRVs only needed during the rush hours.