Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 29, 1962):
This first railroad over the Allegheny Mountains operated from 1834 to 1854 and was considered a technological marvel of its time. An inclined plane, it carried canal boats over a 36-mile mountain divide between the eastern and western divisions of the Pennsylvania Canal. This canal, with its railroad, was the main Pennsylvania transportation line west for over two decades, and played a critical role in opening the interior of the country to trade and settlement. A portion of the route is included in the Allegheny Portage Railroad Site.