Broken date -- 1937 or 1957?;
Plum Creek (left) and Plum Creek Branch of Pennsylvania RR under embankment of Bessemer & Lake Erie RR [photo taken on PRR right-of-way]
Bessemer Plum Creek Tunnel
Penn Hills / Plum
USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Braddock - Zone 17; 0602 4483
-- Plum Creek
Bessemer & Lake Erie RR
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
filled concrete arch, through filled embankment
150 ft est
40 ft est wide
YEAR OPENED / ENGINEER:
1937? or 1957?
The top of the date molded in the concrete at the top of the arch on the eastern portal is broken.
The embankment fill which carries the Bessemer & Lake Erie is approximately 120 feet high and about 1,100 feet long.
The B&LE was completed in 1897. But the date on the Plum Creek tunnel, whether 1937 or 1957, indicates changes from the original construction. Also the nearby Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel through this embankment carried the Plum Creek Branch. That branch was contructed by the Allegheny Valley Railroad Company in 1872 and extended to the mines at Renton after 1903. The PRR tunnel is similar in design to a 1924 structure on the Peters Creek Branch. In some locations, railroads would cross valley like this one at Plum Creek on a high trestle to complete the line -- then return to strengthen or replace the temporary structures. The B&LE replaced its 1897 high bridge over the Allegheny River in 1918; a large part of the approach trestle on the northern end was buried by an embankment. Perhaps that is what occurred here.
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