Yep, the short of it is the New York Central had controlling interest in the P&LE up until the Penn-Central merger,. After they became independent in 1979, for the first time since 1882, they adopted the Black and Gold paint scheme for the latter part of the 20th century. (Pittsburgh regional sports teams colors, maybe?), Then in 1994, they were merged into CSX corp.
I've also heard that Black because coal was the main freight hauled by the Railroad and Gold because it shone better against the black backdrop. Maybe someone can shed some light on their color scheme choice of Black and Gold.
If you're interested in their history , a good book to read is Pittsburgh and Lake Erie R.R. by Harold H. Mclean.