The Ligonier Valley Rail Road

The Ligonier Valley Rail Road

by Robert D. Stutzman
The Ligonier Valley Rail Road

The Ligonier Valley Rail Road

by Robert D. Stutzman


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To provide his sons with an opportunity to create a new business, Judge Thomas Mellon agreed in August 1877 to invest in a short line railroad that would connect Ligonier to the Pennsylvania Railroad in Latrobe. Four months later, the Ligonier Valley Rail Road (LVRR), a 10.6-mile-long line, was completed and began transporting passengers and freight between Ligonier and Latrobe. The viable transportation the LVRR provided to Pittsburgh markets immediately spurred lumber and quarry industries in Ligonier Valley and later coal mining and coke production. Also, to increase ridership, Judge Mellon built Idlewild Park on 350 acres near Ligonier in 1878. By its end in 1952, the LVRR had hauled more than 30 million tons of freight out of the valley. Equally impressive, because of the popularity of Idlewild Park and the growing tourism in Ligonier Valley, nine million passengers rode LVRR's rails over its 75 years of operation. Mellon's short line railroad stimulated an economic boom in Ligonier Valley and propelled it into the 20th century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467120814
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 03/03/2014
Series: Images of Rail
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,090,035
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Robert D. Stutzman, a Ligonier native who developed a keen interest in the history of Ligonier Valley, is cofounder of the Ligonier Valley Rail Road Association, serving eight years as an officer and seven years as editor of The Liggie, a publication he originated for the Friends of the LVRR. In December 2012, he retired as the editor and as a member of the board of directors to write this book.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

1 The First Three Miles 11

2 Kilns, Quarries, and Grandeur 25

3 Idlewild and Ice 41

4 The Heart of the Railroad 57

5 King Coal 95

6 Tragedy Strikes 107

7 Tourism and More Industry 113

8 Preserving the Legacy 119

Bibliography 127

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