Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad - Decline and Abandonment

Decline and Abandonment

Traffic levels on the G&P never began to reach the optimistic expectations of the line's backers, and by the early 1910s it was clear that they never would. The railroad's lack of economic viability was realized as early as 1913, when the G&P's substantial construction indebtedness (nearly $6,000,000) was written off by the Northern Pacific in exchange for full ownership of the line. Despite continual efforts to economize, the railroad lost money throughout much of its existence.

The railroad's prospects worsened in the 1920s, as the Gilmore mines declined and eventually closed, and in the 1930s as improved local roadways made auto traffic to and within the region easier. By the late 1930s it was clear that the G&P's days were numbered. Early in 1939 the railroad announced that it was out of money and would cease operating effective that May 1. The moribund railroad sat unused until the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the line's abandonment in 1940, and the track was removed later that year.

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