WTAE-TV, virtual channel 4, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Pittsburgh, United States. It has been owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications since the station's inception, making this one of two stations that have been built and signed on by Hearst. WTAE's studios are located on Ardmore Boulevard in the suburb of Wilkinsburg, its transmitter is located in Buena Vista, Pennsylvania. On cable, WTAE is carried on Comcast Xfinity channel 8 and Verizon FiOS channel 4. WTAE-TV began broadcasting on September 14, 1958. From the beginning, the Hearst Corporation has been involved in the station's ownership. How the station came to be was the result of a long and complicated drama surrounding the awarding of the station's construction permit and ultimate broadcast license. Although it was the sixth-largest market in the country for most of the early television era, Pittsburgh had only one major commercial television station for close to a decade—DuMont-owned WDTV, which signed on in 1949 and carried programs from all four television networks.
Further development of stations in Pittsburgh was halted by the Federal Communications Commission's freeze on license awards, which ran from 1948 until 1952. After the freeze was lifted by the FCC's Sixth Report and Order, the FCC held off on allocating new VHF stations to Pittsburgh in order to give the smaller cities in the Upper Ohio Valley a chance to get on the air; the cities in the Upper Ohio Valley are close enough. Several months after the freeze was lifted two UHF stations in Pittsburgh, WENS-TV and WKJF-TV, went on the air. For reasons that were both technical and financial, both stations were short-lived. Meanwhile, revisions to the VHF allocation table had given the Pittsburgh area three additional channels—4, 11, 13, the latter reserved for non-commercial educational purposes; the channel 4 frequency on which WTAE-TV began operations during the analog television era was allocated to suburban McKeesport, in Allegheny County. Hearings on the channel 4 permit opened in 1955, it was granted by the FCC to the owners of KQV radio in 1956.
Hearst, which entered Pittsburgh broadcasting when it purchased WCAE radio in 1931, the other three applicants that lost petitioned the FCC to re-open the permit hearings following the death of KQV co-owner Irwin D. Wolf; the subsequent reconsideration awarded channel 4 to Hearst. The agency's commissioners were divided on how to break the stalemate to the satisfaction of both winning parties, suggested a merger between Hearst and the KQV group, who sold their radio station to ABC in order to appease FCC cross-ownership restrictions. Together, both firms became equal partners in Television City, Inc. under which ownership WTAE-TV went on the air. Hearst would purchase the remaining 50 percent of the station in 1962; as such, WTAE-TV is the only Pittsburgh television station affiliated with a major network to have not changed ownership. Shortly before the station signed on, the FCC moved the channel 4 assignment to Pittsburgh proper following several years of petitioning by then-Pittsburgh mayor David L. Lawrence.
However, the FCC had changed its rules so that channel 4 could have based its main studio in Pittsburgh if it had been licensed in McKeesport or Irwin. The station's original ownership group's connections with powerful U. S. Senator from Florida, George Smathers led to televised U. S. House hearings with both Lawrence and Smathers testifying in 1958. Both were exonerated with Governor Lawrence claiming that in fact it was the city's solicitors office which may have been guilty of any improper influence, with Smathers and Lawrence fulfilling their duty to their respective constituents. WTAE-TV was thus short-spaced to other channel 4 stations in Ohio. C.. Shortly after signing on, WTAE-TV was affiliated with the NTA Film Network, sharing the affiliation with KDKA-TV, WIIC-TV, WQED. In the early years, Channel 4 was best known in the market for its locally originated entertainment programming, including popular early program late night movie show Shock Theatre, hosted by former Pittsburgh radio disc jockey Bob Drews, who portrayed Sir Rodger.
Shock Theatre featured monster movies such as The Invisible Man and Frankenstein in-between live-action comedic skits. By the 1970s, WTAE-TV was running a mix of cartoons and sitcoms from 6:30 to 9 a.m. a local talk show, some ABC shows, more cartoons and off-network sitcoms in the afternoon and some first run shows in the evening, ABC prime time programming. WTAE-TV first adopted the "Circle 4" logo in 1973 adopting the current version in 1995. Due to the design and similar callsigns, the logo has received comparisons to fellow ABC affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville, who has used the "Circle 6" logo since 2011. Aside from the ABC affiliation, the two stations are not related. In 2012, the "Circle 4" logo surpassed KDKA-TV's Group W-era logo that in va
The Wabash Tunnel is a former railway tunnel and presently an automobile tunnel through Mt. Washington in the city of Pittsburgh, United States. Constructed early in the 20th century by railroad magnate George J. Gould for the Wabash Railroad, it was closed to trains and cars between 1946 and 2004. Conceived in the late 1800s, the tunnel was built in 1903 for Gould's Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal Railway venture into Pittsburgh, which failed in 1908, it carried passenger trains into the city until 1931, freight trains until 1946. After the end of train service, the tunnel sat empty for many years; the tunnel was once connected to the Wabash Bridge across the Monongahela River, but this was demolished in 1948, was not replaced. Its two stone support piers remain in the river. In the early 1970s the Port Authority of Allegheny County spent US$6 million rebuilding the tunnel for the never-to-be-operational Skybus people mover system. During this period, the tunnel was used to hold up to 87 of PAT's disused 1950s-era transit buses in reserve.
The tunnel portals were reinforced to deter vandals, to the satisfaction of PAT's insurers. Despite this, in 1980, vandals gained access and smashed hundreds of windows and headlights on the two rows of buses parked inside. By 1992, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was considering using the Wabash Tunnel as a roadway to compensate for an upcoming closure of the Fort Pitt Tunnel; as part of the conversion to a roadway, the guideways for the Skybus system were removed and replaced with new paving and drainage. When awarded in 1994, the contract for this work was worth US$3.2 million. However, in 1995, PAT declined to build a new road bridge to connect the tunnel with downtown Pittsburgh. On July 23, 2003 PAT approved contracts for US$10.9 million to build high-occupancy vehicle ramps and modernized the tunnel, as well as provide a 172-space park-and-ride lot along Woodruff Street. The little-used HOV lane was opened on December 27, 2004, running from West Carson St. on the South Side and through the tunnel to Woodruff St. in Mt. Washington.
The Fort Pitt Tunnel to the west and the Liberty Tunnels to the east carry nearly all of the vehicular traffic heading downtown. On November 6, 2013 the Federal Transit Administration lifted the car pool requirements to provide an alternate route for drivers, due to the two-year closure of outbound West Carson Street. On February 24, 2017 PAT announced. Built for the Wabash Railroad, the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad acquired it along with most of the ex-Wabash-Railroad property in 1917; the tunnel was sold in 1931 to Allegheny County for $US3 million. The county intended to convert it to a road and use it to relieve the traffic congestion in the Liberty Tunnels, in 1933 commissioned a $5000 study to investigate this concept; as of April 2006, the tunnel was operated and maintained for PAT by Bruce & Merrilees, at an annual cost of $780,000. The tunnel's north portal was damaged in a 1925 landslide; the tunnel was temporarily closed due to fallen trees on July 19, 2012. Wabash Bridge Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal – A large railroad terminal, located in downtown, across the river from the tunnel portal.
West Busway – the project under which the tunnel was reopened for automobile traffic PortAuthority – Overview of the Wabash Tunnel 40.4266°N 80.0172°W / 40.4266.
The Monongahela Incline is a funicular located near the Smithfield Street Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Built by John Endres in 1870, it is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States, it is one of two surviving inclines from the original 17 passenger-carrying inclines built in Pittsburgh starting in the late 19th century. Its lower station is across the street from the Station Square shopping complex, is accessible from the light rail system at the Station Square station. Pittsburgh's expanding industrial base in 1860 created a huge demand for labor, attracting German immigrants to the region; this created a serious housing shortage as industry occupied most of the flat lands adjacent to the river, leaving only the steep, surrounding hillsides of Mt. Washington or "Coal Hill" for housing. However, travel between the "hill" and other areas was hindered by a lack of good roads or public transport; the predominantly German immigrants who settled on Mt. Washington, remembering the seilbahns of their former country, proposed the construction of inclines along the face of Coal Hill.
The result was the Monongahela Incline, which opened on May 28, 1870. Earlier inclines were used to transport coal in the Pittsburgh area, including the Kirk Lewis incline on Mt. Washington and the Ormsby mine gravity plane in nearby Birmingham annexed to the city of Pittsburgh; the Monongahela Incline is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the rest of Pittsburgh's transit system. Transfers can be made between the light rail and buses. Length: 635 feet Elevation: 369.39 feet Grade: 35 degrees, 35 minutes Gauge: 5 ft broad gauge Speed: 6 mph Passenger Capacity: 23 per car Opened: May 28, 1870 Renovated: 1882 Original steam power replaced with electricity: 1935 Renovated: 1982-83 new track structure and stations Renovated: 1994 upper, lower stations, restored cars, replaced electric motors and controls Historic American Engineering Record No. PA-226, "Monongahela Incline Plane", 28 photos, 36 data pages, 7 photo caption pages Lower Station from Google Maps Street View Upper Station from Google Maps Street View
Pittsburgh Light Rail
The Pittsburgh Light Rail is a 26.2-mile light rail system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The system is linear in a north-south direction, with one terminus just north of Pittsburgh's central business district and two termini in the South Hills; the system is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. It is the successor system to the streetcar network operated by Pittsburgh Railways, the oldest portions of which date to 1903; the Pittsburgh light rail lines are vestigial from the city's streetcar days, is one of only three light rail systems in the United States that continues to use the Pennsylvania Trolley gauge rail on its lines instead of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge. Pittsburgh is one of the few North American cities that have continued to operate light rail systems in an uninterrupted evolution from the first-generation streetcar era, along with Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Toronto. In the early 1960s, Pittsburgh had the largest surviving streetcar system in the United States, with the owned Pittsburgh Railways Company operating more than 600 PCC cars on 41 routes.
In 1964 the system was acquired by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which converted most routes to buses. By the early 1970s, only a handful of streetcar routes remained, most of which used the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel just south of the Monongahela River to reach the South Hills area. At that time, Port Authority planners were determined to scrap the rail system in favor of busways and an automated guideway transit system developed by Westinghouse Electric called Skybus. Community opposition rallied against the plan and in favor of retaining the electric rail trolley system and upgrading it into modern LRT. In the end, the LRT option was adopted for the South Hills suburbs, along with development of a busway system for the eastern and western suburbs; the modern subway in downtown Pittsburgh between Steel Plaza and First Avenue stations uses the Pittsburgh & Steubenville Extension Railroad Tunnel, which began construction in 1863. Rail lines had been a staple of the city and region since the late 19th century, the idea of a downtown to Oakland or East Liberty subway had been considered since at least the 1910s.
A public referendum was passed to fund such a subway with an initial investment of $6 million on July 8, 1919, another $5.5 million subway plan was finalized at City Hall in meetings on March 28, 1932, the public/private Allegheny Conference presented detailed plans and funding for a subway system on June 4, 1947. Pittsburgh Railways was one of the predecessors to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, it had the third largest fleet in North America. It had 68 street car routes, of which only three are used by the Port Authority as light rail routes; the oldest portions of these old Pittsburgh Railways routes now served by the Pittsburgh Light Rail system date to 1903-1909. With the Port Authority's Transit Development Plan, many route names will be changed to its original, such as the 41D Brookline becoming the 39 Brookline. Many of the streetcar routes have been remembered in the route names of many Port Authority buses. 1895 to 1905 was a time of consolidation for the numerous street railways serving Pittsburgh.
On July 24, 1895 the Consolidated Traction Company was chartered and the following year acquired the Central Traction Company, Citizens Traction Company, Duquesne Traction Company and Pittsburgh Traction Company and converted them to electric operation. On July 27, 1896 the United Traction Company was chartered and absorbed the Second Avenue Traction Company, running electric cars since 1890; the Southern Traction Company acquired the lease of the West End Traction Company on October 1, 1900. Pittsburgh Railways was formed on January 1, 1902, when the Southern Traction Company acquired operating rights over the Consolidated Traction Company and United Traction Company; the new company operated 1,100 trolleys on 400 miles of track, with 178.7 million passengers and revenues of $6.7 million on the year. The lease and operate business model proved hard to support and the company declared bankruptcy twice, first in 1918 lasting for 6 years and again in 1938, this time lasting until January 1, 1951.
On July 26, 1936 Pittsburgh Railways took delivery of PCC streetcar No. 100 from the St. Louis Car Company, it was placed in the first revenue earning PCC in the world. Large scale abandonments of lines began in the late 1950s associated with highway or bridge work. In the 1960s a 92-mile automated guideway transit system was planned fanning out to the north, east and west including connections to both the Pittsburgh International Airport the Allegheny County Airport, Monroeville Mall and adjacent to Kennywood Amusement Park; the modern subway/light rail system can be traced to the abandonment of the proposed "Skybus" system in the mid-1970s, the subsequent $265 million federal grant on May 7, 1979, for construction of a downtown subway and modernization of suburban light rail. PAT, working with community representatives and government officials, undertook a detailed study on the future of the South Hills trolley lines, resolving to transform these valuable, high-density transit corridors into a modern LRT system.
The resulting Stage I LRT plan achieved a comprehensive reconstruction and upgrading of the 10.5-mile "main line" between downtown and the sub
Castle Shannon Incline
The Castle Shannon Incline was a funicular railroad in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was part of the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad route to the suburb of Castle Shannon, it replaced an earlier incline dating to 1825 that brought coal down from a mine in Mount Washington. Opened on 26 August 1890, the incline operated for only a few days before breaking down, the original machinery being unable to bear the strain of the large freight and passenger cars. After a second abortive run in October, it was decided; the refitted incline opened on 7 March 1891. It ran from Bailey Avenue west of Haberman Avenue down to Carson Street just west of Arlington Avenue; the oldest part of the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad was a coal mine in Mount Washington. When the mine was played out in 1861, the company opened the back side of the mine and continued it down a horseshoe curve into the Saw Mill Run valley to other coal mines; the company began passenger service in 1874 to develop towns at Castle Shannon.
Trains ran up the old incline, through the enlarged coal mine tunnel, down the slope and horseshoe curve, through the valley. Improvements starting in 1890 replaced the route over Mount Washington with the new incline, which became known as Castle Shannon Incline No. 1 when a second less steep incline was built on the south side as Castle Shannon Incline No. 2 in 1892. From that date the old incline, the coal tunnel, the railroad down through the horseshoe curve were used only for coal trains and not passengers; the incline's large cars were able to carry both passengers and wagons, automobiles. In 1909 steam railroad passenger service on the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad was replaced by electric cars of the Pittsburgh Railways that ran through the Mount Washington tunnel. No longer part of a through route, Incline No. 2 soon became superfluous, but development of a residential area on top of Mount Washington kept Incline No. 1 in business. Steam powered, it was converted to electrical operation in 1918 by the Otis Elevator Company.
The incline was closed 21 June 1964. The site of the bottom of the incline is still visible as a gravel slope next to Carson Street where the bus lane joins. Up from there, it passes under existing bridges carrying a railroad, East Sycamore Street, the P. J. McArdle Roadway. Farther up, Cola Street ends at the incline site; the bottom is near the now-popular Station Square. List of funicular railways List of inclines in Pittsburgh Engineering drawings
Pittsburgh coal seam
The Pittsburgh Coal Seam is the thickest and most extensive coal bed in the Appalachian Basin. The Upper Pennsylvanian Pittsburgh coal bed of the Monongahela Group is extensive and continuous, extending over 11,000 mi2 through 53 counties, it extends from Allegany County, Maryland to Belmont County and from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania southwest to Putnam County, West Virginia. This coal seam is named for its outcrop high on the sheer north face of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, it is considered to form the base of the upper coal measures of the Allegheny Plateau, now known as the Monongahela Group; the first reference to the Pittsburgh coal bed, named by H. D. Rodgers of the First Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, was on a 1751 map; the section of the Pittsburgh seam under the Georges Creek Valley of Western Maryland is known as The Big Vein This is isolated from the rest of the Pittsburgh seam by Savage Mountain, the Negro Mountain anticline, the Laurel Hill anticline, the Chestnut Ridge anticline.
Between these anticlines, the strata containing the Pittsburgh coal have been obliterated by erosion. The exception is a small remnant in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in the Berlin Syncline between Negro Mountain and Savage Mountain; the Pittsburgh coal is one of many minable coal beds that were deposited across the Pennsylvanian and Permian eras in a subsiding foreland basin, filled in with sediments eroded from an ancient landmass located to the east. The Monongahela Group and other northern and central Appalachian Basin Pennsylvanian sediments were deposited on an aggrading and prograding coastal plain within a foreland basin adjacent to the Alleghanian fold and thrust belt; the Pittsburgh coal bed formed during a hiatus in active clastic deposition that allowed for the development of a huge peat mire. The extensively thick peat deposit was destined to become one of the most valuable energy resources in the world; the distribution of some of the sediments the channel sands, may have been controlled in part by deep, Early Cambrian basement faults that were reactivated during the Alleghany orogeny.
Significant parts of the clay layer below the Pittsburgh coal rest on an unconformity, that is, an old eroded surface. For this reason, the Pittsburgh seam is taken as the basal member of the Monongahela Group; the underlying erosion surface is considered the top of the Conemaugh Group known as the Lower barren measures because this formation contains few coal seams. The Monongahela is composed of sandstone, limestone and coal, consists of a series of up to ten cyclothems. During each cyclothem, the land was flooded, allowing the accumulation of marine deposits such as shale and sandstone; when the sea level fell, coal formed from the remains of swampland. Some of the coal beds in the Monongahela group are erratic, sometimes little more than a black streak in the rock, while others are of commercial importance; the Pittsburgh coal seam is laterally extensive. It occurs in southwestern Pennsylvania in two benches, the lower bench can be over six feet thick; the Pittsburgh rider coal bed, which overlies the lower bench, can range from 0 to 3 feet in thickness.
In 1760, Captain Thomas Hutchins visited Fort Pitt and reported that there was a mine on Coal Hill, the original name given to Mount Washington across the Monongahela River from the fort. The coal was extracted from drift mine entries into the Pittsburgh coal seam at outcrop along the hillside about 200 feet above the river; the coal was poured into trenches dug into the hillside, rolled to the edge of the river, transported by canoe and boats to the military garrison. Sometime around 1765, a fire broke out in this mine, which continued to burn for years, leading to collapse of part of the face of the hill. Mining rights were formally purchased from the chiefs of the Six Nations in 1768, from this point on, coal fueled the explosive growth of industry in the Pittsburgh Region. By 1796, coal mines extended along the face of Mount Washington for 300 fathoms, centered across the Monongahela from Wood Street.40°25′55.74″N 80°0′24.08″W By 1814, there were at least 40 coal mines in the Pittsburgh region, worked from adits in the face of the coal seam using room and pillar methods.
By 1830, the city of Pittsburgh consumed more than 400 tons per day of bituminous coal for domestic and light industrial use. In the early 19th century, Pittsburgh coal became the city’s primary fuel source: about 250,000 bushels of coal were consumed daily for domestic and light industrial use; the primary reason for the switch from wood to coal was one of economics. In 1809, a cord of wood cost a bushel of coal cost $0.06, delivered. The coal was plentiful and laborers, working in mines within a mile of Pittsburgh, earned about $1.60 per week and could produce as many as 100 bushels of coal daily. The Pittsburgh seam was America's principal seam of coal production during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Pittsburgh-seam coal was ideally suited to making coke for iron blast furnaces, it fostered the development of much of southwestern Pennsylvania a section of the Pittsburgh seam known as the Connellsville district. The Pittsburgh seam was America's principal seam of coal production during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Exploitation of the Pittsburgh-seam coal began slowly. Blacksmiths and foundrymen made coal into coke to use in their hearths and small furnaces. During the early nineteenth century, entre
A hairpin turn, named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a acute inner angle, making it necessary for an oncoming vehicle to turn about 180° to continue on the road. Such turns in ramps and trails may be called switchbacks in American English, by analogy with switchback railways. In British English "switchback" is more to refer to a undulating road—a use extended from the rollercoaster and the other type of switchback railway. Hairpin turns are built when a route climbs up or down a steep slope, so that it can travel across the slope with only moderate steepness, are arrayed in a zigzag pattern. Highways with repeating hairpin turns allow easier, safer ascents and descents of mountainous terrain than a direct, steep climb and descent, at the price of greater distances of travel and lower speed limits, due to the sharpness of the turn. Highways of this style are generally less costly to build and maintain than highways with tunnels. On occasion, the road may loop using a tunnel or bridge to cross itself at a different elevation.
When this routing geometry is used for a rail line, it is called spiral loop. In trail building, an alternative to switchbacks is the stairway; some roads with switchbacks include: Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps, famous for its 21 hairpin bends Stelvio Pass with its 48 hairpin bends on the northern ramp is one of the most famous Alpine Mountain passes Transfăgărăşan in the Romanian Carpathians, famous for its hairpin bends In rallying, the cars slide sideways around hairpins in spectacular style, such as at the Col de Turini of the Monte Carlo Rally Hillclimbing is a special kind of automobile racing held of mountain roads with hairpins, which keeps average speeds lower than on tracks In bicycle racing, climbs up mountains roads with many U-turns are considered the most difficult, feature in Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Tour de Suisse and Vuelta a España The roads above Monaco, on the foothills of the Alps. The Geiranger road from Geirangerfjord to the mountain pass won the gold medal on the world exhibition, Paris 1900, the original design included a 270° spiral.
Norwegian National Road 7 through Måbødalen has a spiral within tunnels. The road from Frangokastello to Kallikratis in Crete has 27 tight bends. Due to mountainous profile of the country are many public streets in Greece having tight bends, the asphalt is little slippery, making the traction loosen; the situation worsens with the first rains after the long dry summer asphalt slips more than usual The Veleta access road in Granada, Spain is the highest paved road in Europe City streets: Winters Street Vermont Street Lombard Street Snake Alley Mountain Road Shippen Street US Highways: US 6 through Loveland Pass over the Continental Divide in Colorado US 44/NY 55 on the east face of the Shawangunk Ridge in Gardiner. US 93 used to be on both the Nevada and Arizona sides of Hoover Dam, though these sections were bypassed by a new highway alignment and bridge south of the dam that opened in 2010 US 250 between the West Virginia border and West Augusta, Virginia US 129 around the Tennessee/North Carolina border, 318 curves in 11 miles US 191 in Arizona between Morenci and Alpine), has a few switchbacks and about 460 curves.
US 441 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. US 212 contains 19 switchbacks in the Beartooth Mountains; this section is known as Beartooth Highway. US 40 over Berthoud Pass in Colorado. US 550 in Colorado between Silverton and Ouray, nicknamed the "Million Dollar Highway" US 34 in Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park has 10 switchbacks on Trail Ridge Road State Highways: AZ 89A as it enters Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona. AR 7 in various places in Arkansas CA 1 south of Bodega Bay, California. CA 130 Originally built as a wagon trail to aid in the construction of Lick Observatory, "Mt. Hamilton Road" travels east out of San Jose, CA and rises over the foothills, only to ascend again up the summit of Mt. Hamilton, it has a total of 365 curves and switchbacks: "...one for every day of the year" CA 152 east of Watsonville, California is known as Hwy 152 or Hecker Pass.