Tale of Two Shelters — Bob Smith
Image shown is the trolley/interurban junction
‘shelter’ of the Mahoning & Shenango Railway and
Light Company (photo c1916) looking east with the globe lamps
along Robbins Avenue.The tracks in the foreground went around
to downtown Niles.
Note its ‘uncanny’ resemblance to
the Niles Bicycle Trail shelter. The trolley shelter at Robbins
Avenue at Church Street (former) was built (c1907) as part of
the Warren ‘cut-off’ junction. A 1913 flood photo
shows this shelter as 30’ X 15’.
The Niles Bicycle trailhead pavillion-shelter
at State Street/Robbins Avenue was constructed during 2012 at
a cost of approximately $100,000/ Its size is 42’ X 30’.
This shelter is only 825 feet from the location of the former
trolley shelter. looking southeast.
The Niles Bicycle Trail is a part of the Western
Reserve Greenway Trail. The last area link, from Niles to Warren
will hopefully be completed in the near future.
The Mahoning and Shenango River valleys of western
Pennsylania and eastern Ohio were served by local streetcars and
interurban railways from 1893 to 1941. The separate companies
were unified into the Mahoning & Shenango Railway and Light
system in 1905.
In 1920 it was renamed the Penn-Ohio Electric
System. At its peak, it provided service in and between Youngstown,
Girard, Niles and Warren (Ohio), and New Castle and Sharon (Pennsylvania).
The main interurban line from New Castle through Youngstown to
Warren was converted to buses during 1931-32. The Youngstown -
Sharon interurban survived until 1939. The last local streetcar
line in Youngstown was converted to electric trolley buses in
1940. The final remnants, the local lines in New Castle, were
converted to buses in 1941. A separate line, the Youngstown &
Southern Railway, continued electric passenger service until 1948.