RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
ALTOONA - PA
Includes Horseshoe Curve and Gallitzin
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The guides for the Altoona area are
divided into the following maps:
Index Page - You are on this page
Map 1 - Altoona Proper
Map 2 - Horseshoe Curve
Map 3 - Gallitzin and Cresson
Map 4 - West (to South Fork)
Map 5 - East (to Mt Union)
the East Broad Top RR Railfan Guide
the Rockhill Trolley Museum
These guides covers the Altoona and Horseshoe Curve areas, concentrating on those two, but covering the area from Mt Union to the east, and South Fork on the south, or west side.
This area is probably on every railfans bucket list of places to visit, and is well worth the time and effort to get here and take it all in... you won't be disappointed! Especially in the fall when the trees are turning, which is usually around mid October.
Once "up on the ridge" above Gallitzin, the area is relatively easy to railfan for the most part, as route 53 follows the tracks fairly well.
On the other side of Altoona, heading towards Mt Union, the route isn't always as easy to railfan, but there are still some spots easy to access from US22.
Obviously, the big draw for the area is Horseshoe Curve, but there are countless other things to do and see while here.
Eventually, there will be a series of maps to cover the area....
Note: If you like Pennsy signals, the PL signals in the downtown area are gone, along with the decommissioning of ALTO tower. This happened over the summer in 2012.
If you're in the area for more than a day, you may also want to think about stopping at the East Broad Top Railroad, about 35 miles to the east by way of US 22.
And speaking of the EBT, both them and the Railroaders Museum have special railfan events. The Museum has its Railfest days, and on the last weekend of operation for the year, the EBT has their fall spectacular, where everything they have that runs, is running. It is a rare occurrence for them to happen on the same weekend, which would make it really convenient for the railfan, but that hasn't happened in recent memory, for the Museum has started having the Railfest days during the summer. Unfortunately, since NS took over Conrail, they have opted out of holding an open house. Conrail used to do a great job of showing off to the public. A pair of Pennsy E-8's regularly show up at Railfest days, numbers 5711 and 5809, owned by Bennett Levin, and have been known to pull the excursion trains over the hill to Gallitzin.
Another good railfan site for the
Some good ole B&W photos of Altoona by Roy Orr, provided by Pat Pritchett: http://prr.railfan.net/photos/Altoona/
General PRR info by Rob Schoenberg: http://prr.railfan.net/
If you like Levin's E's, they appear on the covers of Railpace Magazines OCT 2001 and JUN 2002, and I'm sure lots of others!
Last Modified 28-Dec-2012