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prr_logoThe Horseshoe Curve

An Engineering Feat -- Take a most beautiful drive through the Allegheny Mountains. Experience the challenge the Pennsylvania Railroad workers overcame by completing rail tracks through this rough terrain. Once you have arrived at the Horseshoe Curve, enjoy one of the World's most incredible engineering feats. Ride the Funicular or walk 194 beautiful landscaped steps to the tracks for a front seat view of a train mans' wonder. You will also find the Horseshoe Curve to be a relaxing and entertaining place to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

Pennsylvania rail park

The Horseshoe Curve is a three-track mainline railroad curve situated along the Norfolk Southern "Pittsburgh Line" in Blair County, Pennsylvania, just west of the railroad town of Altoona. Completed in 1854 by the Pennsylvania Railroad to lessen the hard grade up to the summit of the Allegheny Mountains, the curve is over 2000 feet long and over a 1000 feet in diameter. The trackage was later owned and used by Pennsylvania Railroad successors Penn Central, Conrail, and now Norfolk Southern. Horseshoe Curve is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designated a National Historic Landmark, and was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2004. The location has long been a tourist attraction, with a trackside observation park established as early as 1880. In the 1990s the park was renovated and a new visitor center constructed. Today the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona manages the center, which daily sees the passing of numerous Norfolk Southern freight movements and Amtrak's daily Pennsylvanian regional passenger train.

See also our Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and Gallitzin Tunnels Park pages

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2016-06-30