Road versus Rail—The Lincoln Highway stretches from New York City to San Francisco. In Western Pennsylvania, the Highway converges with the Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line at one location: Greenburg.
The train station at Greensburg, built in 1911 in a French Renaissance style, demonstrates the importance of Greensburg as the crossroads of train lines and roads, and the historical intersection of trains and automobiles. It was built when railroads were at their height of prominence. Then, almost 50 years later, the station closed because traffic on roads had become more important than traffic on the rails.
At the end of the 1800s, most people lived less than 20 miles from a railroad station. Roads often became rutted and muddy and virtually impassable. By the early 1900s, new paving techniques made road surfaces durable, opening the country to a revolution in transportation. Travelers in the pre-automobile era could not imagine road traffic competing with trains for major regional transportation.
(Inscription under the photo on the left side of the marker) The grand opening of the train station at Greensburg in 1911.
The history of the train station at Greensburg illustrates the rise and fall of railroads (in red) compared to the continuing rise of the automobile (in yellow).
1852-First train stops in Greensburg;
1909-Ford builds Model T cars; 1911-Station at Greensburg opens;
1913-Lincoln Highway dedicated; 1940-PA Turnpike opens;
Mid 1950s-Station closes, continues as a train stop;
1996-The Westmoreland Trust restores station;