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This is a terrific switch key from the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad. It is stamped P&LE on one side of its bow in distinct serif Roman letters. On the other side is stamped serial number H807 and its maker SLAYMAKER.
We confirmed the bit cut in our American Railways Switch Key Directory. The key shows only light signs of use and no damage. Its barrel end and bit edges are nicely rounded from wear. It is an appealing darkening chestnut golden brown. There is a small discoloration near the bit on the side marked P&LE. This is not terribly noticeable.
BACKGROUND: The Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) was formed on May 11, 1875, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel, and earned the nickname "Little Giant" by hauling freight far out of proportion to its track mileage. Although it operated on about 1/10 of 1 percent of the railroad miles in the United States, the P&LE hauled a full 1 percent of the nation's tonnage. This was primarily because the railroad served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of materials.
The P&LE connected Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the east with Youngstown, Ohio at nearby Haselton, Ohio in the west and Connellsville, Pennsylvania to the east. Although its name included Lake Erie, it never reached the lake (at Ashtabula, Ohio) until the formation of Conrail in 1976. largely because the P&LE served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of materials. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel. The eventual closure of the steel mills led to the end of the P&LE as an independent line in 1992.
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Vintage Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Brass Switch Key P&LERR
$42 USD SOLD
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