Monday, March 12, 2012

Allegheny Airlines: Systemwide Network, 1963

Allegheny Airlines, the pride of the Northeast, had a taught span across the spine of Appalachia. Mainline schedules between a northern terminus at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and a southernmost end at Washington, cross-hatched with activity out of its strong bases at Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, Providence and Baltimore.

Many municipal airfields which have no commercial service today, including those at Wheeling, New London, Bridgeport, Reading, were linked to regional capitals in Allegheny's cats-cradle.

The most distant routes reached the Great Lakes, splitting from Jamestown on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, continuing northward to reach Buffalo and westward to Erie, where it split again to either of those great mid-American metropoli, Cleveland and Detroit. A southwestern spur from Pittsburgh plunged down the Ohio River Valley, touching Wheeling, Marietta, and terminating at Huntington-Ashland.

Allegheny would, fifteen years after the publication of this map, and in the frenzied era of deregulation, form the basis for USAir, which would in turn lead Pittsburgh and Baltimore through massive airport expansions as major mid-continent and mid-Atlantic hubs. Today, only USAirway's presence at Philadelphia and its general prominence in the metro Washington and New York markets lend any veneration to its Alleghenian origins.

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