RR Crossing

  North East Rails  
  Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark  
Altoona, PA

RR Crossing

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Gallitzin, PA, west of the curve, where 3 tunnels are located.   |  Horseshoe Map

Also see: Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum/Horseshoe Curve
The Curve | Altoona Archives
Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS | Guide to the Curve

Click here if you are stuck in someone else's frame

The best train watching in North America!

          Click on Photo
Horseshoe CurveThe 220 degree arc that forms Horseshoe Curve comprises two curves; the north side has a radius of 637 feet while the south side tightens to 609 feet. It was opened on February 15th, 1854.

HorseShoe Curve Map

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Horseshoe Curve, near Altoona PA

CR stack car consist

John Senchak

CR SD50#6769

Stack car consist
John Senchak

CR GP40 #3126

Brian Thompson

CR SD45-2 #6654

Robert Davis

PRR on Horseshoe Curve

Randy Masales-BS

CR B36-7 #5021

Kenneth Buckman

CR B36-7 #5047

Kenneth Buckman

CR SD40 #6315

Kenneth Buckman

CR SD40 #6321

Kenneth Buckman

CR Horsehoe Curve, PA

Kenneth Buckman

PC GP38 #8109

John Van Scoyk

CR GP35 #3620

downhill East side
David W. Dupler

CR SD45 #6140

E. downhill - Helpers using dyn brakes
David W. Dupler

CR GP40-2 #3340

Kenneth Buckman

PC U25B @ Horseshoe #2516

Steven M. Geisler

PC GP35 @ Horseshoe #2289

Steven M. Geisler

PC SD40 near Horseshoe #6071

Steven M. Geisler

PC SD45 @ Horseshoe #6195

Steven M. Geisler

PC GP38 near Horseshoe #7800

Steven M. Geisler

PC GP38-2 near Horseshoe #8051

Steven M. Geisler

The Bottom of the Hill

John Senchak

The Bottom of the Hill

Jeff

Funicular to the top

Bill Blomgren

Funicular to the top

Jeff

PRR GP7 #7048
at Horseshoe Curve
Robyn Black

Horseshoe Curve Lake

Bill Blomgren

PRR 2-10-4 Horsehoe Curve, 1952

Marvin Cohen-Bud Laws

PRR 2-10-4 Horsehoe Curve, 1952

Marvin Cohen-Bud Laws

PRR M1 4-8-2 Horseshoe Curve 1956 #6940

Bob Waton-Bud Laws

CR GP15-'s & GP38's

Robyn Black

Horseshoe Curve, 10/94

Harry Fitch

CR on Horseshoe

Andrew Koenigsberg

AMTK F40PH #372
, Horseshoe Curve PA 1989
Tim Hildreth-BL

Middle Grade Tower, 1mile west of Horseshoe Curve

Jeff Lubchansky

Curve
, 1934

Watchman's Tower
, HS Curve
Kennedy How

HS Curve mine spur

Bud Laws

Horseshoe Curve
, 2009
Roger Snyder

PRR L1s #4162
, Horseshoe Curve PA
Steam on the Curve
PRR M1/M1a 4-8-2's were rare on the Curve (in freight service). J1/J1a 2-10-4's and I1s/I1sa 2-10-0's, used in multiples of 2 or more with pushers on the rear were the power of choice from the early 40's up to dieselization. Some of the M's were used in passenger service early in their careers and these reportedly were able to handle a relatively short passenger train up the Curve without a helper. But they went into freight service pretty quickly and were utilized mainly in fast freight service on the more level areas of the PRR due to their horsepower and speed. The J's and the I's had higher tractive effort and were more suited to mountain work, although the J's could run pretty well on the level. The Pennsy never had a fleet of huge articulated steam locos like other Eastern roads such as the Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western which also crossed the Allegheny/Appalachian mountains. The adhesion problems with the T1 4-4-4-4's helped bring about the dieselization of PRR mainline through passenger service in the late 40's. Doubleheaded K4s 4-6-2's did a better job of pulling passenger trains up the grade, but 2 engine crews were needed. The diesel's ability to be "lashed-up" into as much power as needed controlled by 1 engine crew and its ability to add dynamic braking on the downhill side sealed steam's fate on the Curve and everywhere else for all time. Per Tugboat rickstug@optonline.net

Map

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North East Rails  Clint Chamberlin.
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