The Washington, PA train station at South Main & Park Streets, built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1907, was a beautiful brick passenger station constructed to improve conditions and congestion at the Chestnut & Washington Streets freight station. This was likely the station that the Colosi and Bongiovanni families came through when they traveled back and forth between New York and Pennsylvania.
A branch of the PRR track, called the Chartiers Branch, ran for 23.6 miles between Carnegie, PA and Washington, PA. The branch, which was completed in 1867, was basically a water level route that crossed the Chartiers Creek over bridges about 19 times. There was one 502′ long tunnel, and the entire route was double track until the 1950s. The service to Washington, which began in 1871, was the endpoint of the branch. After reaching Washington, the trains had to be turned on a turntable. Passenger service to Washington halted in 1952, leaving only freight service. The double track changed to single, and stations decreased.
At Washington, more than 25 customers had sidings along the final three miles of track. Some of those customers included Continental Can, O’Brien Steel, Washington Steel, Oil Well Supply, Crescent Brewing, Highland Glass, Duncan Miller Glass, Washington Grain & Feed, Albert Packing, Sinclair Oil, and Atlantic Refining. Prior to World War II, passenger trains would carry milk from the many dairy farms in northern Washington County for delivery to Pittsburgh and Washington. As industries closed and merged, and as Interstate Routes 79 and 70 diverted traffic from rail to highway, the freight consists were gone.
The freight station in Washington, PA has been designated a historic landmark. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 21, 1995. The B&O Railroad also had a station in Washington, PA with both freight and Passenger service. It was built in 1888 of stone and wood. Today the restored building houses a Tourism Agency.
As a side note, the passenger station in Beaver Falls, PA, where Lucia Colosi lived in the 1920s, was made of brick and was moved 300 from its original location during the years when Lucia and her family lived there. This station was demolished in the 1970s