Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society

Preserving the heritage of railroading in Western Pennsylvania


blrhs_logo We are located in West Pittsburg, PA and are dedicated to preserving the rich history of railroading in our area. Our society is comprised of railroad enthusiasts from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states as far away as California. Our organization began when an informal group of rail fans and railroad employees started meeting in a public library and a supermarket's community room in Beaver County. Today we are a full-fledged historical society meeting in our own train station in Lawrence County. In addition to the station, we own an interlocking tower, a watchman's shanty, an N5c cabin car, a Bookville rail car, a superintendent's track car, and many other historic railroad items.

Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society

blrhs_state The Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society is a non-profit rail preservation organization situated in New Castle, Pa. Formerly the Beaver Valley chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, today the Society is an independent organization dedicated to preserving railroad history and items in Lawrence County and the western Pennsylvania region. Major assets include a former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie depot in West Pittsburgh and a former Baltimore & Ohio switch tower now situated in Mahoningtown.

West Pittsburg station


The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad's West Pittsburg Station was built by W.F Trimble & Sons at a cost of $32,544.54. Opened in 1907, the 32' x 85' sandstone block and brick building had a tile roof with glass tile in the center that let light into the main waiting room. The glass tiles were painted black during World War II to prevent the station from being easily seen from the air at night. In addition to the main waiting room (which was for men only), the interior included a women's waiting room, men's and women's toilets, ticket office, baggage room, storage closet, and a coal bin.

Passenger service to the station ended in the early 1960s, thereby rendering it obsolete. Shortly thereafter the P&LE sold the station and approximately 4.5 acres of property to a West Pittsburg business owner [who] used the building for storage and later rented it to another business. Today the station is the official home of the Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society.

Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society

Click to see the West Pittsburgh station area plotted on a Google Maps page
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West Pittsburg, Pa / Sep 2017 / RWH

UN Tower


UN Tower was constructed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad between 1890 and 1900. Originally located in West Pittsburg, PA, the tower controlled train movements in and out of the east end of the B&O's New Castle Yard and train movements to and from the nearby junction with the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad. Towers were often named for nearby locations or towns. This tower was named UN because it was located near Union (or Union Valley) Road.

UN served the B&O, Chessie System, and CSX Transportation until November 1995, long after many other towers had been taken out of service. The railroad planned to demolish it, but we contacted the railroad to discuss the possibility of acquiring it for preservation purposes.

Once in Mahoningtown, UN Tower was reassembled and restored. It was officially rededicated on August 19, 2001. UN Tower is the only known B&O tower in Pennsylvania to be preserved, and one of only three nationwide.

Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society

Click to see the UN Tower location plotted on a Google Maps page

tag_spot Caboose Days

The Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society for several years hosted a late summer caboose ride day in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in cooperation with the New Castle Industrial Railroad. Society-owned and privately-held cabooses were gathered in short train sets for a brisk ride from West Pittsburgh north across the Shenango River to the NCIR yard are, and then a return.

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2017-09-09