Joint Rail Conference

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

April 18 - 20, 2018


Program - Tours


Technical Tours

The Monongahela Incline Tour
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Time: 8:15 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $5.00

JRC attendees are invited to tour the Monongahela Incline. Known as the “Mon Incline”, it is a funicular located near the Smithfield Street Bridge in Pittsburgh that was built by John Endres and finished on May 28th, 1870. As such, it is one of the remaining inclines to remain in service and is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States. It is one of the surviving inclines from the original 17 passenger-carrying inclines built in Pittsburgh starting in the late 19th century. There were several freight inclines built in Pittsburgh, but none remain. Designated as a NATIONAL HISTORIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING LANDMARK, on May 11, 1977 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, it is a prime example of ingenuity and longevity. 

We will leave the Omni hotel for a short walk to the LRT station at Steel Plaza. Once we arrive at the Station Square LRT station, we will walk the short distance to the lower Mon Incline station. After inspecting the lower facility, we will be treated to a tour of the upper station and wheel house and explore the maze of wheel, pulleys and drives that propel the incline. 

The Monongahela Incline is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the bus and Light Rail Transit system in Pittsburgh.

McConway & Torley Facility Tour
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Time: 8:15 am - 12:00 pm
Cost: $25.00

Attendees of the 2018 Joint Rail Conference have the opportunity to visit the McConway & Torley Pittsburgh facility. This facility is almost as old as the American Railroad industry itself. In 1868, William McConway purchased the Eagle Gray Iron Foundry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This foundry became one of the railway industry’s first suppliers of steel castings. John J. Torley joined McConway a year later, when the first transcontinental railroad spurred the rapid growth of industry, McConway & Torley was born. The foundry in Pittsburgh has an expansive history, one of more than 130 years. This historic steel foundry began rebuilding in the late nineteen seventies, with the last phase of modernization completed in 1996.

McConway & Torley soon became the exclusive manufacturer and patent-holder of the industry’s first automatic coupler, invented in 1873 by Eli H. Janney. In 1887, the Master Car Builder Association (MCB) selected the Janney Coupler over 40 other designs as the industry standard and McConway & Torley’s railcar-coupler castings business became the mainstay of the company. Today McConway & Torley continues to be the leading manufacturer of standard couplers and car-connecting systems in the world.

The Pittsburgh facility also boasts about its dedicated and highly experienced workforce, one that has proven itself with the highest quality steel castings. The Pittsburgh facility has both the ISO 9002 certification and the Association of American Railroad's M-1003 certification.

We will board a bus and travel from the Omni Hotel to the M&T site for a 30 minute ride. After the tour, the bus will bring us back to the Omni. 

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Social Tours

City Brew Tours

Founded in 2008, City Brew Tours has been an industry leader, offering behind the scenes experiences at over 85 breweries across 6 cities. Our local beer experts aim to entertain, educate, and slightly inebriate on an all inclusive, unforgettable beer adventure that includes 13+ samples of fresh craft beer from 4 local independent breweries, a light meal with a delicious food and beer pairing, and round trip transportation from our centralized pickup location in Downtown Pittsburgh. Please use the link for a 10% discount on all City Brew Tours Pittsburgh public tour bookings from 4/16-4/20. Book your tour.

city brew beer glasses city brew bus city brew beer tour

Pittsburgh Running Tours

Pittsburgh Running Tours offers 5k running sightseeing tours in various neighborhoods around Pittsburgh, including downtown. We run at a casual pace, accessible for all runners, and our tours are a great way for visitors to learn about Pittsburgh and see historic sites while getting their workout in at the same time. For more information visit Pittsburgh Running Tours.

Pittsburgh Running Tour Pittsburgh Strip District 5k