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"Joint" B&O-P&LE Train Station - Mahoningtown PA

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In 1916 the B&O Railroad, with an existing station at New Castle Junction, began looking to open a new passenger station somewhere in Mahoningtown. Officials soon chose a site at the end of Ashland Avenue (near South Liberty Street) along its dual tracks. The station opened in mid-1917. It was known as the “New Castle Station,” as the name Mahoningtown was generally being phased out. (c1919) Full Size


In this photo you can see the B&O’s New Castle Station on the hill in the upper right hand corner. A streetcar, which apparently just exited the “subway,” travels along South Liberty Street and Darlington Park is located in foreground. On the left are the B&O and P&LE tracks (two each) that run off to the northwest into Ohio. (c1924) Full Size


In July 1931 the P&LE announced plans to construct a “joint” B&O-P&LE station to be built around the existing B&O station. In late 1932 the P&LE began construction on a waiting room and shelter canopies (center of photo) just across the tracks from the existing B&O station (on right). The new P&LE station opened on Sunday, July 9, 1933, but was really only a waiting room as no P&LE personnel worked there. The new P&LE ticket office was located downtown on the Diamond and bus service was available to reach the new station. The B&O agent at this location handled ticket and freight business for both the P&LE and B&O. (Jan 1933) Full Size


The P&LE phased out its passenger service here by the early 1960’s. The B&O station remained in operation until May 1, 1971, when Amtrak took over all nationwide passenger service beginning on the day. (c1940) Full Size


The platforms and shelter of the P&LE “station” in Mahoningtown in this photo. (Apr 1933) Full Size


B&O engineer James Banks (on right) poses in front of B&O V-3 #5350 locomotive with his son Jim and younger son Harry. The #5350 was built in 1935 and served the B&O passenger line west of Cumberland. It was later scrapped in 1950. This photo was taken near the “joint” B&O-P&LE train station in Mahoningtown. (1936) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks) Full Size


The B&O EA #51 diesel locomotive, built by the Electro-Motive Corporation and delivered in May 1937, during its first ever stop in Mahoningtown. James Banks served as the engineer. This streamlined locomotive survived and is currently on display at the B&O Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. (1938) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks) Full Size


B&O engineer James Banks with his son Harry Banks onboard the EA #51 diesel locomotive. (1938) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks) Full Size


B&O engineer James Banks (on left) with his son Jim, who served as his fireman on the Capitol Limited run between Washington DC and Chicago, Illinois. This photo was taken at the “joint” B&O-P&LE train station in Mahoningtown. This station and others like it were once packed every day, but patronage on passenger trains declined greatly in the 1950’s due to the increase in automobile and airplane travel. (1946) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks)


Harry Banks, the B&O ticket agent at the Mahoningtown train station, met many celebrities during his longtime service. Here he poses with motion picture, television, and Broadway actor Bobby Van (1928-1980). Among the numerous stars he met over the years include Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, George Burns, Ted Kennedy, Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Stewart, and U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush. (1963) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks)


Longtime ticket agent Harry Banks at the Mahoningtown train station. This great photo reveals the interior of the passenger station, which was sadly demolished in c1980. (1958) (Photo courtesy of Harry Banks) Full Size


The abandoned B&O train station not long before it was torn down in about 1980 or so. The P&LE platforms and shelters (which would be off-photo to the left) had since been demolished. (c1979) (Photo courtesy of Bill Lewis) Full Size


The former site of the “Joint” B&O/P&LE station in Mahoningtown viewed from nearby Plum Avenue. (May 2013) Full Size


The “subway” on South Liberty Street and under the former B&O/P&LE tracks. The stairs that once led to the train station above are seen on right. (May 2013)


A closeup of the old stairs. (May 2013)

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Comment

  1. I worked there for 20 years as ticket agent for the B&O and P&LE Railroad. There were 18 Passenger trains every 24 hours. It was a sad day for me to see the last train go thru. I had to start all over in the freight department. Harry L. Banks

    Harry Banks · 01/12/2014 11:18 AM · #

  2. You must have worked with my father.

    Ralph Parco Jr. · 01/24/2014 07:09 PM · #

  3. Reply to Ralph Parco Jr. Yes I worked with your father and we were the best of friends. I miss him

    Harry Banks · 01/25/2014 02:38 PM · #

  4. Message to Rose Golba. I knew your father well. We were great friends. Years ago he was my dads fireman on passenger trains. I also worked with his brother Jim Jolly on the mail truck for Paul Shaw your relation. Regards: Harry Banks

    Harry Banks · 01/25/2014 09:09 PM · #

  5. My father, Paul Zarilla, work at this train station. I remember your name and I think he worked with you. He retired in 1977. I have a picture of him inside this station.

    Rose Marie Zarilla · 01/25/2014 10:56 PM · #

  6. Reply To Rose Marie Zarilla: I worked with your father for many years. He was like a brother to me.. I was a friend of your mother. I would buy groceries from there store on Cherry Street. Regards: Harry Banks

    Harry Banks · 01/26/2014 11:09 AM · #

  7. i remember the pic. my dad also worked on the railroad till he retired in i am thinking in 1976==77. our fathers prob. all worked together== nick perotta was my das boss at the time. my dad was a forman when he retired. i have pic. ill put on here soon.

    mary mangino bulisco · 03/25/2014 01:17 PM · #

  8. I was raised in Mahoningtown not more than 100 feet from this station. I managed to salvage the beautiful porcelain NEW CASTLE sign that hung on the eastbound end just before it was demolished. Sadly, its the only thing left of it now.

    mike colella · 06/03/2014 06:32 AM · #

  9. Harry Banks, Your brother Jim dated my mother Idagenne Jolene Mitchell who lived at 617 North Cedar St. in New Castle, the house no longer stands. Her father Ed Mitchell, also called Red, was her father and he was also an Engineer. I still have the necklace that your brother gave to my mother. Such a small world and I love this site.

    Joneta Burke · 06/13/2014 05:58 PM · #

  10. Joneta Burke. Your mother was a wonderful lady.Was sorry to hear of her death.She was such a wonderful person. Harry Banks

    Harry Banks · 06/19/2014 10:33 AM · #

  11. Hi Mr. Banks. I used to work for the Chessie System in the 70s & 80s. I worked in just about every department. I remember an engineer with the last name Banks. I can’t remember where I worked with him though – NC or Haselton. My dad, grandfathers and uncles all worked for the B&O. I sure miss those days.

    Anthony E Cialella · 12/06/2015 09:55 AM · #

  12. Anthony Cialella. Thanks for your comments on your working days with the Chessie System. The engineer you worked with was my brother Jim Banks who worked at NC and Haselton and also on the road. I think I remember you as I gave out the paychecks at Mahoningtown Station. Like you,I sure miss those days-Great to hear from you!

    Harry Banks · 12/06/2015 03:15 PM · #