Posts Tagged ‘Altoona Horseshoe Curve’

Pennsy GP9 at Horseshoe Curve Gets New Paint

November 8, 2021

The former Pennsylvania Railroad GP9 on static display at Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania, has received a new coat of paint.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the unit now has the correct shade of Brunswick Green used by the Pennsy.

The locomotive is situated in a park that is maintained by the Railroaders Memorial Museum of Altoona.

Museum officials also said that Horseshoe Curve park will remain open on a limited basis during the winter.

In previous years the park closed between January and March. The winter hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Some exceptions will be made for the upcoming holiday season and during the first two weeks of January.

NS Train Derails West of Altoona

June 8, 2021

No injuries were reported and no hazardous material was involved in the derailment on Monday afternoon of a westbound Norfolk Southern intermodal train near Horseshoe Curve.

Train 21G derailed at about 3:40 p.m. in an area known as Allegrippus Curve and blocking all three tracks.

Photographs published on the website of Trains magazine showed cars with empty FedEx trailers on spine cars lying on their sides.

An online report indicated that the derailment began six car lengths from the head end. The train was on Main 2 when the derailment, which remains under investigation, began.

The Logan Township Police Department said no emergency response was required and the area is under control of NS personnel.

Conrail Favorites From an Eastern Tour

September 27, 2020

During my July 1993 eastern railfanning tour with Marty Surdyk, we caught Conrail trains in a number of places including New York State and Pennsylvania.

Here are a few of my favorite images of the Conrail trains that I made during that tour.

The top photograph was made on the West Shore Line, a former New York Central property, and shows a southbound (railroad timetable eastbound) crossing Popolopen Creek.

I was standing on the Bear Mountain Bridge when I made the image.

In the next image, a northbound (timetable westbound) crosses Popolopen Creek.

The next two images were made in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania, on the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline.

The series concludes with an image made at the famed Horseshoe Curve.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Some Amtrak Favorites from a 1993 Trip

September 26, 2020

On July 3, 1993, Marty Surdyk and myself spent several hours at Princeton Junction, New Jersey, catching action on Amtrak’s ex-Pennsylvania Railroad Northeast Corridor.

On our way back home we stopped at Horseshoe Curve and caught Amtrak’s Broadway Limited.

It was our final stop on the return home on July 5, 1993.

In the top photograph the Silver Meteor comes thundering by.

Next up the Pennsylvanian makes an appearance hauling a deadheading slumbercoach.

The last image from Princeton Junction shows the Silver Star.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

NS to Raze MG Tower Near Altoona

June 28, 2020

MG Tower as seen on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend 2013 during an excursion pulled by Nickel Plate Road 765 trip heading back toward Horseshoe Curve then Altoona for a lunch stop. (Photograph by Edward Ribinskas)

A historic former Pennsylvania Railroad interlocking tower near Altoona, Pennsylvania is set to be razed.

Norfolk Southern is seeking bids to demolish MG Tower two miles west of Horseshoe Curve.

“We have put the demolition out to bid and are awaiting responses,” NS spokesman Jeff DeGraff told the Altoona Mirror.

He said the demolition is for safety reasons because the structure is deteriorating. How soon the tower will be razed will depend on cost estimates the railroad receives.

The tower was built during World War II when the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia mainline boasted four racks.

Joe DeFrancesco, executive director of the Railroaders Memorial Museum of Altoona, said MG was not a viable candidate for preservation because it is far from a public road.

Moving the structure would be difficult and expensive, he said.

“You preserve what you can preserve,” DeFrancesco said. “Some things are beyond reach.”

Deep in the Heart of the Pennsy in 1987

June 24, 2020

A pair of former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A locomotives lead an excursion train through Thompstontown Station, Pennsylvania, on the former Pennsy mainline between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Since it’s raining today I figured I would finish off 1987. On Nov. 1, 1987, the Blue Mountain & Reading ran a marathon excursion from Temple to Altoona, Pennsylvania, that included rounding Horseshoe Curve and turning at Gallitzin.

Just about the entire train was open window coaches. The BM&R’s former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A locomotives powered the excursion mixed in nicely with the Conrail freights. From what I remember the timekeeping was pretty good. Marty and Robert Surdyk did an excellent job scouting for some premier photo locations.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Crossing the Susquehanna River west of Harrisburg on the famous Rockville bridge.

Passing Hunt Tower in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Conrail helper locomotives escort the special around Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona.

At the Amtrak station in downtown Altoona.

Pa. State Rep. Who Championed Railroads Has Died

September 24, 2019

A veteran Pennsylvania state representative who was described as a champion of railroading has died.

Rick Geist, 74, who represented a district in Altoona for 34 years and served as chairman of the House Transportation Committee, died while vacationing last month in Russia.

He served on the board of directors of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and drafted legislation to create a bipartisan feasibility study for a high-speed-rail line Pennsylvania.

He persuaded Conrail Chairman L. Stanley Crane to agree to move former Pennsylvania Railroad Class K4s 4-6-2 steam engine No. 1361 from a static display site at Horseshoe Curve to the museum.

The Altoona museum restored No. 1361 to operating condition in 1987 and it pulled excursions for a year and half before being sidelined by mechanical problems. The locomotive had been built in Altoona in 1918.

Geist was by profession a consulting engineer. He served as majority or minority chairman of House Transportation Committee for 27 years.

He used his position to help the ARMM land grants for such projects as installation of a turntable and a partial roundhouse to provide indoor storage and display space.

Geist also helped ARMM obtain funding for a new visitor center at Horseshoe Curve, which opened in 1992.

NS Train Derails on Horseshoe Curve

July 7, 2019

No injuries were reported after 11 cars of a westbound Norfolk Southern manifest freight train derailed Friday evening on Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Workers were still cleaning up the derailment site on Saturday.

An NS spokesperson said the 11 cars of train 34A that derailed were all empty and eight of them turned over onto their sides.

No hazardous materials were involved in the derailment.

The derailment occurred at 8:40 p.m. The train was en route from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Conway Yard north of Pittsburgh.

The train reportedly had 141 cars in its consist. An online report indicated that two of the three tracks at the site were blocked.

Ed’s Pennsylvania Adventure: Part 1

August 21, 2018

Last week Ursula and I did a six-day trip to Pennsylvania that focused on Altoona and Hershey.

Our first stop was Horseshoe Curve. During our time at the curve from 1:30  p.m. to 6:15 p.m. we saw 21 movements, including 18 trains and three helper movements. Several times there were two trains at the same time.

In the top photograph, the Penn Central heritage locomotive of Norfolk Southern paces from Track No. 2 another train on Track No. 3 in late afternoon.

In the top photo below, a stack train eastbound on Track 2 passes a train on track 1. In the next image an eastbound meets a westbound late in the day.

That’s the back of Ursula’s head in the next image of her making a video of the westbound Amtrak Pennsylvanian.

Most of the time the crews are friendly when Amtrak goes around the curve as was evident today from the Amdinette.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Chasing Steam, Amtrak, NS in Pennsylvania

April 25, 2018

Here are a few are a few highlights from this past weekend. Jeff [Troutman] and myself left about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Since I drove I made reservations for a Microtel in Clarion, Pennsylvania. We got there about 5:15 p.m.

I wanted to be on the road by 7 a.m. Saturday so we would get to Summerhill to get Amtrak No. 42 since it would depart Johnstown at 9:03 a.m.

Breakfast started at 6:30 a.m., which was perfect. But ice and fogged up windows from overnight delayed our departure by 20 minutes.

Jeff kept checking Julie as we were heading on Pennsylvania Route 219. We were on the far bridge and guess who was about to go under us.

I knew it was P42DC engine No. 86 on head end. And exactly like Agent 86 Maxwell Smart we missed it by that much.

As you can see in photo No. 1 the lighting was perfect of the empty tracks.

Photo No. 2 is of the Everett steam train at Brook Mills on the line heading to Roaring Spring.

Photo No. 3 is at Roaring Spring. There are two photo lines including the road crossing where I shot last September with the station and the Pennsylvania Railroad caboose.

Where I am and looking down to my right I was amazed at what I saw that I never noticed twice last September and last May: A double semaphore turned with slight foliage somewhat hiding it.

Photo 5 shows Everett No. 11 on the return trip from Martinsburg at Route 36 just southeast of Roaring Spring.

After eating lunch we went to Tyrone, Pennsylvania, where we photographed the cabooses located on what used to be the east leg of the wye.

The beautiful stone memorial is in a park between the cabooses and the station.

Saturday afternoon found us in Fostoria, Pennsylvania, along the Pittsburgh Line of Norfolk Southern. This time Amtrak did not elude us.

On Sunday morning it was back to Fostoria to catch Amtrak No. 42 passing beneath the PRR position light signals.

We then spent a little over three hours at Horseshoe Curve before heading home. We saw eight trains and two helper movements.

What was unusual was that the first three trains were two eastbound loaded coal hoppers and one empty hopper train.

Again, the weather was perfect and it was tough to leave.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas