Along the Greene River Trail
Railway along the Mon River
Pennsylvania Railroad Company
Established in 1846, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company (PRR) was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1882, it had become the largest railroad and transportation company in the world with a budget that was second only to the United States government. Over the years, it acquired, merged or owned part of 800 other rail lines and companies. In the 1920s, it carried nearly three times the traffic as other railroads and its closest rival was the New York Central (NYC) which carried around 75 percent of the Pennsylvania’s ton-miles.
On April 1, 1976 the railroad gave up its railroad assets after filing for bankruptcy to a new railroad named Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). Conrail was purchased and split up in 1999 with 58 percent of the system going to the Norfolk Southern Railway, including nearly all of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.
Timeline to Greene County
- 1867: Pennsylvania General Assembly grants the rights to Monongahela Valley Railroad to construct a railroad from Pittsburgh to Waynesburg in April.
- 1870: Renamed the Pittsburgh, Virginia and Charleston Railway in February.
- 1881: First section of the line from Pittsburgh to West Brownsville is completed. Operations begin on May 15.
- 1900: The Monongahela Railroad in incorporated as a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. The first meeting is held in January 1901 and lines from the Pittsburgh, Virginia and Charleston Railway are acquired.
- 1902: The Pennsylvania, Monongahela & Southern Railroad was organized in 1902 under the Pennsylvania Railroad to extend the rail line from West Brownsville to Rices Landing.
- 1907: Line reaches Millsboro in Washington County during January. First train reaches Dilworth Mine in Greene County during October.
- 1908: Line reaches Rices Landing in February.
- 1913: The railroad reaches Crucible and begins service on December 15.
- 1914: First regular passenger train begins in Crucible on January 1.
- 1918: Pennsylvania Railroad announces it is extending the line past Crucible to Nemacolin where the Buckeye Coal Company’s new mine and mining town are located.
- 1968: The line to Nemacolin is retired with the closure of the mine.
Rail-trails are public trails constructed from old unused railroad lines. Due to the nature of trains the heavy loads that they carry, it is necessary for tracks to be laid on flat or gently sloping ground. This results in a perfect pathway through some beautiful areas that can be adapted for walking or bicycling.
In the late 1990s, Greene County began the process to develop a trail on the abandoned rail bed along the Monongahela River. A formal dedication was held on May 23, 2000 to open the Greene River Trail with expansions completed in 2001, 2008 and 2019.
About the Greene River Trail Signage Project
Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency completed this project in partnership with the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, administered by Rivers of Steel.
Special thanks to: Brice & Linda Rush, Danielle Nyland, Flenniken Public Library, Greene County Historical Society, Greene Connections, Advanced Masonry, Greene County Commissioners, Greene County Conservation District, and Greene County Department of Recreation.