Pittsburgh's back! Last year I removed a Pittsbugh/Johnstown Rail Fest for major reworking. There have been several obstacles to handling such a Fest. For one, the fare system with its lack of DayPass, premium rush hour fares, zone fares, can prove to be quite expensive just for one day's acitvities.
Secondly, in March 2011 they cancelled the Brown Line, the one that ran "over the hill" rather than through the Mt. Washington Tunnels. So that had to be removed from the previous itinerary.
Third, Amtrak restructured the schedule for its Pennsylvanian, eliminating the later eastbound Sunday frequency 6 hours later than the eastbound schedule observed the rest of the week. Now the same departure time prevails all 7 days a week. This makes a Johnstown side trip still possible, but with too much time in town before our 6 PM westbound departure back to Pittsburgh.
Which leaves a one day event within the Pittsburgh area, not including the westbound rides on the Pennsylvanian or Capitol Limited to get there, or eastbound trips to leave on either of those trains 2 mornings later. (Two hotel nights required.) Those coming from the west could do one very long day on the day of our transit activities and not need a hotel room at all.
It is estimated that to ride both legs of the "T" light rail (red and blue, South Hills Village and Library, as well as the downtown tunnel and the new extension to the North Shore opening this Spring), plus two Incline rides, this can be done within one day. Only Duquesne Incline would require a round trip on a bus to get to from from the foot of this Incline; Monongahela Incline is next to a light rail station.
No date chosen yet for this
, and perhaps it can be a wait-and-see to determine if PAT plans to come out with a better fare instrument that is visitor-friendly.