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Canonsburg Passenger Station

The station still exists to this day. It is currently used as a fraternal club for The Sons of Italy. The satellite photo shows the station highlighted. It is at the corner of Murdock and Jefferson. The single-line track of the modern-day version of the Chartiers Branch is shown with the dashed line. The Chartiers Creek is visible in the bottom-right corner of this screen capture.

From the roof-top view, you can see it is a fairly typical small branchline passenger station. The section on the left is longer than the section on the right, and the cross section of the roof line appears to be shorter on the street side than on the track side. So, it is not a perfectly symmetrical design.

The track in Canonsburg was completed in May 1871. A wooden depot was built in the present-day location of the brick passenger station. The new brick station was opened in 1909. The passenger station handled passengers, baggage, and first-class mail. This is a photo, which I found on the Web but for which I did not record the source, shows the station in its glory days. Note the double-track mainline, and the fence in between the tracks to discourage people from crossing the track at dangerous locations. This was installed in 1923.

copyright © Gary Carmichael

This photo was taken by Gary Carmichael in September 2010, and he has given me permission to use his photos on my web site. This view is taken from the football stadium across the tracks.

Passenger service, including trolley service, were terminated in July 1952, due to the competition of the automobile and the national highway system. After that the building was unused, until in the mid-1960s when it was used as the CAAA spa, a health and fitness business. I received an e-mail from Howard Taylor in 2011 that his uncle's company was the one who remodeled the passenger station in the late-1960s, to turn it into the gym/health club. During this remodel is when the breezeway on the left side of the building was enclosed.

Today the building is owned and used by the Sons of Italy Lodge 758 (address: 3 Murdock St, Canonsburg, PA 15317). It is my understanding that the Sons of Italy are considering renovating the building to restore it back to its original looks (from a 2013 e-mail I received). I have also been told that despite the years, the interior of the building is still very much like it was originally, and that parts are still recognizable, such as the ticket office space. The passenger station always had a bright orange colored Mediterranean tile roof.

Team Track/Freight Station

When the track through Canonsburg was completed, a wooden depot was built in the location where the present-day brick station is. The wooden depot was lifted and moved in 1908 to the left (west) of this location, to make room for the new brick passenger station, and to continue to provide passenger service while the brick building was being constructed. The brick station was opened in 1909. The area actually had a railroad yard with a team track, and the wooden structure became the common-goods freight station for the yard. The wooden freight station is no more, but a photo taken in 1967 shows it still existing. Locals recall that it was demolished in the 1970s or 80s. The old freight house was on Murdock St. across from Hardy and Rankin.

The town's team track was a busy place, with mostly box cars but an occasional flat car with some big shipments, according to eye-witnesses.