Summary Information
Title: Pittsburgh Railways Company Records
Collection Number: AIS.1974.29
Creator: Pittsburgh Railways Company.

Collection Dates: 1872-1974
Extent: 23.0 linear feet (16 boxes, 1 map-case folder and 2 map tubes)

Language: English

Abstract:
These Records consist of reports, appraisals, maps, photographs, ledgers, court proceedings, materials on labor relations, and histories of the Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRC), 1872-1974. The PRC was the largest provider of mass transit in the Pittsburgh area from its creation in 1902 until its demise in 1964, when it was absorbed into the Port Authority of Allegheny County. Digital reproductions of some of the photographs in the collection are available online. Other images of Pittsburgh Railways streetcars can be found online in the Robert G. Pflaum Slide Collection, 1910-2000, AIS.2010.01.
Publisher:

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-3232
archives-ref@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

November 1975
Author:

Finding aid prepared by ASC Staff. Revisions occurred to the finding aid as a part of the encoding process in July, 2004.
Revision Description:
June 2014:
Series XII. Railroad Maps added

History

Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRC) was originally chartered in 1900 as the Southern Traction Company. By 1902, the PRC became the operating manager of 193 street railway properties owned or controlled by the Philadelphia Company, Consolidated Traction, United Traction and Southern Traction. The latter three companies were merged to form Pittsburgh Railways. By 1910, before the automobile revolutionized urban transportation, Pittsburgh Railways was transporting some 600,000 passengers daily over 581 miles of track. By 1918, its peak year of operation, the company had 606 miles of track accommodating 99 trolley routes. However, largely because of its obligations to investors previously associated with independent streetcar companies, Pittsburgh Railways was in financial difficulty from the outset. Eighteen of its first 50 years were spent in bankruptcy proceedings.

Fares rose from three cents to five cents, then to six cents in 1917 and 10 cents in 1919. In that year, 3,000 motormen and conductors walked off the job after their demands for a 12-cent hourly pay raise were rejected. Pittsburgh Railways Company was under constant pressure from the City administration and Chamber of Commerce to improve service and equipment. Traffic congestion on downtown streets was another major concern, dating back to 1902 when the first of many proposals were made for a downtown subway system. A bond issue to provide $6 million in City funds for subway construction was approved by voters in 1919, and in 1926 City Council was asked to issue $26 million in additional bonds. But these, along with subway plans advocated in 1926 and 1932, were abandoned because of disagreement over routing and conflict and indecision among public officials.

Although beset by continuing financial problems and declining ridership during the depression years, in 1936 and 1937 Pittsburgh Railways placed into service the first 100 Presidents' Conference Cars (PCC) trolleys. By 1949, a total of 666 PCC cars had been purchased. With post-World War II escalation of automobile production, highway construction and suburban growth, transit service, ridership and revenue plummeted at a more rapid rate. In addition, during the 1950s, service was disrupted three times by major labor strikes for prolonged periods, once for nearly two months. Within a 13-year period between January, 1948 and December, 1961, the fare structure was adjusted upward 13 times. The base cash fare increased from 10 to 30 cents on trolleys and from 15 to 35 cents on buses. By 1963, ridership fell to 74.4 million riders. The company was reorganized in 1951 but continued on a course of self-liquidation. During a six-year period through 1960, Pittsburgh Railways' net profit averaged 1.6 percent of its gross revenue. In three of the six years, the company had net losses ranging from $144,000 to $309,000. In 1963, the base wage rate for operators was $2.90 per hour, equal to those in Boston and exceeded only by operators employed by the New York City transit system.

During the 1950s, in addition to Pittsburgh Railways vehicles, 16 independent lines operated buses into downtown Pittsburgh and 21 others provided service to suburban areas. This resulted in intense competition and inadequately maintained and obsolescent rolling equipment. Each line had its own fare structure and there were no transfer privileges between any of the separate bus lines. The Pittsburgh Railways Company operated Pittsburgh's vast electric trolley network until 1964, when the Port Authority of Allegheny County used its power of eminent domain for the first time and assumed control and the railways became part of the Port Authority Transit (PAT) system. In 1967, the remaining companies of the PRC were combined into the Pittway Company.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

The Records of the Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1872-1974, contain reports, proceedings, maps, diagrams, appraisals, labor relations, photographs, ledgers, film, and awards. This collection is organized into twelve series. Series I. contains the Snow Report, submitted in 1919 and covering the years 1872-1917, consists of inventories, historical costs, charts, and photographs of the 193 traction companies consolidated into the Pittsburgh Railways Company in 1902. Series II. contains Condemnation Proceedings, 1964-1966, and consist of appraisals, court exhibits, maps, architectural diagrams, photographs, and tables. Series III. consists of the Pittsburgh Railway's relationship with organized labor, 1949-1963. Series IV. contains the Annual Reports of the Philadelphia Company, Pittsburgh Railways Company, and the Pittway Corporation, 1918-1975. This series also includes the Annual Reports to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 1950-1963. Series V. contains thirteen volumes of the Official Report of Proceedings before the SEC in re the Indebtedness of the Pittsburgh Railways Company. Series VI. contains Reorganization Proceedings, December 31, 1946. Series VII. contains appraisals of Pittsburgh Railways Company land holdings arising from litigation brought by the City of Pittsburgh and certain other municipalities, 1918-1954. Series VIII. contains one volume of records consisting of the combined plan for reorganization under bankruptcy law, 1949-1950. Series IX. contains photographs of PRC car barns in the 1960s. Series X. contains miscellaneous maps, leases, reports, ledgers, and aerial film footage, 1898-1971. Series XI. contains a collection of safety awards and photographs from Pittsburgh Railways Company originally accessioned earlier as a separate collection but has been combined with this collection as this series. The series also includes pamphlets, maps, copies of stocks, and miscellaneous notes. Series XII consists of maps showing all or part of the Pittsburgh Railways Company track system and a table listing the types of passenger motor and trailer cars used by the company.

Additional descriptions of series are available at the series level.


Subject Terms

Topics
  • Electric railroads -- Cars -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Tables
  • Street-railroads -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County -- Maps
  • Street-railroads -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History
  • Street-railroads -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Maps
  • Transportation -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- History

Corporate Names
  • Pittsburgh Railways Company.

Genres/Forms
  • Business records

Category
  • Business and Industry
  • Transportation

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of the Pittsburgh Railways Company, June 1, 1964 and October 18, 1974.

Alternate Format:

Digital reproductions of some of the photographs in the collection are available online at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/images/pittsburgh/pghrailways.html.

Preferred Citation:

Pittsburgh Railways Company Records, 1872-1974, AIS.1974.29, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Previous Citation:

Pittsburgh Railways Company, Records, 1872-1966, 1971, ais 74:29, Archives of Industrial Society, University of Pittsburgh Libraries. Parts of this collection have also been cited as: Pittsburgh Railways Safety Awards and Photograph Collection, ais 64:34, Archives of Industrial Society, University of Pittsburgh Libraries

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by ASC Staff in 1975 and Dan Horvath in July, 2004. Railroad maps were processed and added to the finding aid by Debbie Rougeux in June 2014.

Processing Information:

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Dan Horvath in July, 2004. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 1418946

Copyright:

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


Collection Inventory

Series I. Snow Report, 1872-1917

Scope and Content Notes:

Series I contains the Snow Report. A report of the Engineers Valuation Board in regards to the Pittsburgh Railways Company submitted to the Public Service Commission of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, August, 1919, by Dr. F. Herbert Snow, chairman of the Engineers Valuation Board.

The report is the original manuscript from which the published report evolved. These materials provide a complete historical background of the 193 traction companies which existed prior to the establishment of the Pittsburgh Railways Company in 1902, the subsequent development into five companies, and finally consolidated into the Pittsburgh Railways Company.

The study was designed to determine the value of the properties for rate making purposes. In pursuit of this goal, the Board determined the cost of operation, charges for maintenance, renewals and replacements, improvements, and other costs affecting rates of fare. The study includes an inventory of all the property of the Pittsburgh Railways Company and its affiliates, as well as the original and historical costs of the different properties and underlying systems. Also contains some charts and photographs.

Thirty one typescript loose leaf volumes, an index, and a ledger cover the years 1872-1917. A table of contents for each volume and companies included in each volume is described at the folder level.


Box 1
Folder 1 Index to Snow Report
Folder 2-3 Volume 1
Previous Citation:

Folder 4-5 Volume 2
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Folder 6-7 Volume 3
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Folder 8-9 Volume 4
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Folder 10 Volume 5
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Folder 11-12 Volume 6
Previous Citation:

Folder 13-14 Volume 7
Previous Citation:

Folder 15-16 Volume 8
Previous Citation:

Folder 17-18 Volume 9
Previous Citation:

Folder 19 Volume 10
Previous Citation:

Folder 20 Volume 11
Previous Citation:

Folder 21-22 Volume 12
Previous Citation:


Box 2
Folder 1 Volume 13
Previous Citation:

Folder 2-3 Volume 14
Previous Citation:

Folder 4-5 Volume 15
Previous Citation:

Folder 6-7 Volume 16
Previous Citation:

Folder 8 Volume 17
Previous Citation:

Folder 9-10 Volume 18
Previous Citation:

Folder 11 Volume 19
Previous Citation:

Folder 12-13 Volume 20
Previous Citation:

Folder 14-15 Volume 21
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Folder 16-17 Volume 22
Previous Citation:

Folder 18-19 Volume 23
Previous Citation:

Folder 20 Volume 24
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Folder 21-22 Volume 25
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Folder 23-24 Volume 26
Previous Citation:

Folder 25 Volume 27
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Box 3
Folder 1 Volume 27 (copy)
Folder 2 Volume 28
Previous Citation:

Folder 3-4 Volume 29
Previous Citation:

Folder 5-6 Volume 30
Previous Citation:

Folder 7-8 Volume 31
Previous Citation:

Series II. Condemnation Proceedings, 1964-1966

Scope and Content Notes:

Series II contains texts of the proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, regarding petition of the Port of Allegheny County Authority (PAT) for appointment of viewers to determine and assess damages by reason of the condemnation of Pittsburgh Railways Company's (PRC) Transportation System, April term, 1964. This series consists of typescript of 17,727 pages in 99 volumes; four binders of typescript loose leaf pages appraising the value of Pittsburgh Railways Company properties (including extensive use of maps and photographs); and 563 PAT and PRC exhibits used in conjunction with the court proceedings. These exhibits contain typescript pages, maps, architectural diagrams, photographs and tables. Maps, including those used in the 1966 appraisal of the PRC, are also included in this series.

Inventories and indexes to the PAT and PRC exhibits are located at the beginning of each exhibit list as well as within each individual file folder containing exhibits.

Folder 9-21 Volume 1-7

Box 4
Folder 1-25 Volume 8-23

Box 5
Folder 1-29 Volume 23-61

Box 6
Folder 1-21 Volume 62-102
Folder 22 Corrections to Typographical Errors
Folder 23 Draft Outline, May 3, 1965
Folder 24-25 Parcels 2-1 to 16-2
Folder 26 Parcels 17.2 to 13.1

Box 7
Folder 1 Parcels 17.2 to 13.1
Folder 2-3 Parcels A1 to R2
Folder 4-5 Parcels Roadway South Hills
Folder 6 Index and Exhibit 1-25
Folder 7 Exhibit 26-50
Folder 8 Exhibit 51-75
Folder 9 Exhibit 76-84
Folder 10 Exhibit 85-94
Folder 11 Exhibit 95-99
Folder 12 Exhibit 100-107
Folder 13 Exhibit 108
Folder 14 Exhibit 109-120
Folder 15 Exhibit 121-130
Folder 16 Exhibit 131-140

Box 1
Folder 1 Exhibit 141-149
Folder 2 Exhibit 150-168
Folder 3 Exhibit 169
Folder 4 Exhibit 170-184
Folder 5 Exhibit 185-195
Folder 6 Exhibit 196-202
Folder 7 Exhibit 203-206
Folder 8 Exhibit 208-211
Folder 9 Exhibit 212-224
Folder 10 Exhibit 225-237
Folder 11 Exhibit 1001-1005
Folder 12 Exhibit 1006-1039
Folder 13 Exhibit 1040-1048
Folder 14 Exhibit 1049-1058
Folder 15 Exhibit 1060-1079
Folder 16 Exhibit 1080
Folder 17 Exhibit 1080-1098
Folder 18 Index and Exhibit 9-11
Folder 19 Exhibit 12

Box 9
Folder 1-2 Exhibit 12
Folder 3 Exhibit 13-34
Folder 4 Exhibit 35
Folder 5 Exhibit 36-110
Folder 6 Exhibit 111-128
Folder 7 Exhibit 129-142
Folder 8 Exhibit 143-156
Folder 9 Exhibit 157-171
Folder 10 Exhibit 172-188
Folder 11 Exhibit 189-195
Folder 12 Exhibit 196-205
Folder 13 Exhibit 206-222
Folder 14 Exhibit 223-236
Folder 15 Exhibit 237
Folder 16 Exhibit 140-141 (Film Housed Separately)
Folder 17-18 PRC Exhibit Book I
Folder 19 Deeds to Part I of Land Exhibit

Box 10
Folder 1 Deeds to Part II of Land Exhibit

Series III. Labor Relations, 1949-1963

Scope and Content Notes:

Series III contains the records of the Pittsburgh Railway Company's relationship with Divisions 85 and 1084 of the Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America, 1949 to 1963. Material includes: correspondence and contract agreements with the union; accounts of wage arbitration; conference memoranda; a daily diary on the strike of 1957; and mounted newspaper clippings.

Folder 2 Trustees Exhibits/ Wage Arbitration, 1949
Folder 3 Labor Relations, Prior to New Company, 1949
Folder 4 Conference Memoranda, Feb. 18, 1950 - Oct. 6, 1950
Folder 5 Labor Relations, Misc. Matters, 1951-1963
Folder 6-7 Labor Relations, Publicity and News Releases, 1951
Folder 8 Labor Relations, Contract, 1951-1952
Folder 9 Division 1084 Strike, 1952
Folder 10 Labor Negotiations, 1952
Folder 11-13 Correspondence and Agreements with Union, 1952-1963
Folder 14 Strike Data, Division 85, 1954, 1957
Folder 15 Wage Negotiation, 1954

Box 11
Folder 1 Wage Negotiation, Correspondence, 1954
Folder 2 Labor Negotiations, 1955
Folder 3 Labor Negotiations, 1957
Folder 4-5 Wage Negotiations, 1957
Folder 6-10 Labor Negotiations, Pension Plan Arbitration, 1957
Folder 11 Notes of 1957 Strike, Aug. 26, 1957 - Dec. 5, 1957
Folder 12 Labor Negotiations, 1959
Folder 13 I.B.E.W. Matters, Contract, 1959
Folder 14 Amalgamated Association, Division 85, 1960
Folder 15 Division 85 Retirement and Disability Agreement, 1963

Series IV. Annual Reports, 1918-1975

Scope and Content Notes:

Series IV contains Annual Reports to the stockholders of the Philadelphia Company, Pittsburgh Railways and Pittway Corporation; Annual reports of the Pittsburgh Railways Company to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; and Annual Report of the Pittsburgh Motor Coach Company to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs, Division of Public Utilities. The reports are arranged chronologically by company.

Folder 16 Philadelphia Company, 1918-1920
Folder 17 Philadelphia Company, 1926-1927
Folder 18 Philadelphia Company, 1928-1930

Box 12
Folder 1 Philadelphia Company, 1931-1934
Folder 2 Philadelphia Company, 1935-1938
Folder 3 Philadelphia Company, 1939-1942
Folder 4 Philadelphia Company, 1943-1947
Folder 5 Philadelphia Company, 1948-1951
Folder 6 Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1939-1946
Folder 7 Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1947-1949
Folder 8 Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1950-1956
Folder 9 Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1957-1966
Folder 10 Pittway Corporation, 1967-1975
Folder 11 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1950
Folder 12-13 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1952
Folder 14 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1953
Folder 15 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1955
Folder 16 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1956
Folder 17 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1959
Folder 18 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1961
Folder 19 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1962
Folder 20 PRC Annual Reports to PA Public Utility Commission, 1963
Folder 21 Pittsburgh Motor Coach Annual Report to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 1950

Series V. Securities and Exchange Commission Hearings, September 7, 1949 - December 20, 1950

Scope and Content Notes:

Series V contains the Official Report of Proceedings before the Securities Exchange Commission in re the indebtedness of the Pittsburgh Railways Company. Hearings held in Washington, D.C., September 7, 1949 to December 20, 1950. This series consists of 1,556 mimeograph pages in 13 volumes.


Box 13
Folder 1-13 Volume 1-13, September 7, 1949 - December 20, 1950

Series VI. Federal Court Proceedings, December 31, 1946

Scope and Content Notes:

Series VI contains one volume of records concerning the Pittsburgh Railways Company, Debtor, in reorganization proceedings in the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Pennsylvania at No. 2025. The series includes a report to W.D. George, Trustee, upon Accounting Review of Transactions for the Period January 1, 1902, to May 10, 1938, in Connection with an investigation directed by Order of Court of November 7, 1945.

Folder 14 Reorganization Proceedings, December 31, 1946

Series VII. Property Appraisals, 1918-1954

Scope and Content Notes:

Series VII contains appraisals of Pittsburgh Railways Company land holdings arising from litigation bought by the City of Pittsburgh and certain other municipalities.

Folder 15-18 Engineers Valuation Board, Minutes, March 15, 1918 - August 16, 1919
Folder 19 Engineers Valuation Board, Report, 1919

Box 14
Folder 1 Appraisal of Right of Way, 1918-1919
Folder 2-5 Appraisal of Right of Way, Blueprints, 1918-1919
Folder 6 Real Estate Transactions, 1918-1930
Folder 7-9 Land Appraisals, PRC Properties, 1939
Folder 10-11 Rights of Way Appraisal, November 9, 1954

Series VIII. Reorganization Plan, 1949-1950

Scope and Content Notes:

Series VIII contains one volume of records consisting of the combined plan for the Reorganization of the Pittsburgh Railways System Under the Bankruptcy Act and for Discharge under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 of Philadelphia Company's Guarantees Affecting Pittsburgh Railways Systems Securities This volume is dated July 1, 1949, and amended February 20, 1950 and March 21, 1950.

Folder 12-13 Reorganization Plan, 1949-1950

Series IX. Photographs, 1960s

Scope and Content Notes:

Series IX contains photographs of car barns located in different areas of Pittsburgh in the 1960s. Digital reproductions of the collection are available online.

Folder 14 Index to Car Barns
Folder 15 Millvale

Box 15
Folder 1 Glenwood
Folder 2 Mt. Oliver
Folder 3 Girty's Run Culvert
Folder 4 Homestead
Folder 5 Maple Substation
Folder 6 McKeesport
Folder 7 Ingram
Folder 8 Hays Substation
Folder 9 Chartiers, Idlewood, Bell Ave.

Series X. Miscellaneous Materials, 1898-1971

Scope and Content Notes:

Series X consists of diagrams, leases, reports, construction ledgers, and aerial film footage of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. The series also includes PCC streetcar brochures and photos of streetcars in Pittsburgh and Cleveland in the late 1960s.

Folder 10-11 Description of Maps of Street Railway Company
Folder 12-16 Set of Underlying Leases, Operating and Sale Agreements, and Consolidations
Folder 17 Route Diagrams, 1963
Folder 18 Report on the Overall Solution to the Transportation Problem of Allegheny Co., 1958
Folder 19 PCC Photos, 1965-1971
Folder 20 PCC Brochures, 1938, 1945
Folder 21 Accounting Classifications, 1910-1947
Folder 22 Data on John Bauer and Alfred Shaw, 1936
Folder 23 A Plan to Move More People by Improved Transit Operation on Existing Streets, 1954
Folder 24 Pittsburgh Railways Telephone Directory, October, 1959
Folder 25 Agreement Between City of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Company, and PRC, December 20, 1921
Oversize 1 Construction Order Ledger, Pittsburgh Railways, January 31, 1902 - March 31, 1904
Oversize 2 Construction Orders Ledger, Southern Traction Company, November 30, 1900 - January 1, 1902
Oversize 3 Track and Shop Orders Ledger, United Traction Company, March 31, 1898 - December 6, 1901
Oversize 4 Total Historical Cost by Group, Pittsburgh Railways Company, 1919
Reel 1 Film - Aerial Footage, Pittsburgh
Reel 2 Film - Aerial Footage, Dormont
Reel 3 Film - Aerial Footage, Allegheny River Valley
Reel 4-5 Film - Aerial Footage, Unknown

Series XI. Safety Awards and Photographs, 1885-1964

Scope and Content Notes:

Series XI contains a collection of safety awards and photographs from Pittsburgh Railways Company originally accessioned earlier as a separate collection but has been combined with this collection as this series. The series includes pamphlets, maps, copies of stocks, and miscellaneous notes.

Folder 26-40 Photos, 1885-1951
Folder 41 Fuel Dealer's User License, 1952
Folder 42 Advertising Federation of America Premier Award, 1932
Folder 43 "Giddap and Go" Pamphlet, 1940
Folder 44 Plaque - National Traffic Safety Winner, 1932
Oversize 5 Plaque - Participation in the Transit Journal Maintenance Contest, 1932-1938

Box 16
Folder 1-2 Viewer Proceedings
Folder 3 City Planning Maps
Folder 4 Stenographic Costs, 1964
Folder 5 Miscellaneous Notes
Folder 6 Copies of Stocks from Various Railways Companies

Series XII. Railroad Maps, 1933-1964

Scope and Content Notes:

This series consists of maps showing all or part of the Pittsburgh Railways Company track system, which was primarily located in and around Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It also includes a table listing the types of passenger motor and trailer cars used by the company.


Map-case 30-7
Folder 1 Table of Passenger Motor and Trailer Cars, 1902-1964 inclusive, sheets 1-3, 1964 (17.5" x 23")
Map of the Pittsburgh Railways Company system, 1956 (39" x 28.5")
Roll 1 Map of South Hills Tunnels, undated (36" x 63")
Map of the Pittsburgh Railways Company sytem, including an inset map of "Sub-Plan A" (Downtown Pittsburgh), 1935 (57.5" x 39.5")
Map of the Pittsburgh Railways Company system of underlying companies, 1934 (73" x 42")
Roll 2 Index to construction orders, maintenance charges, track orders and direct charges paid for by the lessee and inventoried for the lessor, prior to March 1, 1913, with accompanying map, 1933 (59" x 40")
Index to construction orders and way orders affected by construction orders, covering replacements, additions and abandonments, March 1, 1913 to January 1, 1924, with accompanying map, 1933 (59" x 40")
Index of way orders considered between 1918 and 1924, unaffected by construction orders, with accompanying map, 1933 (59" x 40")