Covered Hopper Car – P&LE 1447

Builder: P&LE McKees Rocks Car Shop
Built: 1957
Original Owner: Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad
Capacity: 70 Tons
Class: AAR Class LO, P&LE Class 873-H
Acquired: 1990’s

Based in Pittsburgh and serving western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad’s primary source of revenue was the steel industry. At its peak, the P&LE moved one percent of all US rail freight (by ton) despite only operating one tenth of one percent of the nation’s railway miles. This fact led to the P&LE’s nickname, “The Little Giant.” The railroad declined with the steel industry in Pittsburgh, ultimately being annexed by CSX Transportation in 1992.

In the late 1950’s, P&LE’s own freight car repair shops built a fleet of covered hopper cars to carry bulk goods which required protection from the elements, for example grain, sand, and cement. When the P&LE shut down, Jerry Jacobson purchase a number of ex-P&LE locomotives, cars and other equipment for his growing Ohio Central Rail System. Among them were six covered hoppers, which served the OC painted red and placed into service hauling sand. Renumbered OHCR 101-106, all six cars were transferred to the Age of Steam collection.

P&LE 1447 (formerly OHCR 105) was restored to its original look in 2018. 1447’s sister cars will receive similar restorations in the future.