Altoona  Pa.  Area  Photos
revised  4/18/02
  Altoona  is a strategically  located  "railroad town"  on the Eastern side of the Allegheny Mountains.  It  is  geographically  located  near  the center of  Pennsylvania.   For over a century Altoona has been the main  Shop  facility  of the Pennsylvania Railroad and its successors.  Here, additional  locomotives are added to Westbound trains to assist them over the steep mountain grades.   In railroad  terms these additional locomotives are called  "Helpers".

  The  Pennsylvania Railroad's  premiere passenger train,  The Broadway  Limited,  got  it's  name  from  this  section of  the  railroad  which  featured  four  mainlines  parallel  to each other.  There  were  two  uphill  tracks,  one downhill track,  and one was  bi-directional.    Somewhere  around  the  1980's  the  former  bi-directional track was removed.

  Just  West of Altoona  is the famous  Horseshoe Curve.   This  engineering feat solved the problem of  too steep of a grade ( i.e.. angle of  vertical accent )  by  winding the tracks along two hillsides and across a valley,  thus increasing the track's  length, but also reducing the grade.   Just  East  of  Horseshoe  Curve is  Kittanning  point;  once used to  refuel  engines.  Just  West  of the  Curve  is  MG  tower  and  interlocking.


Note:  information with a red asterisk *  indicates new or rescanned photo

far East end of  Altoona
  Aug.1976
    *  Antis - looking down  as Train  TV-25  seen passing the Tower
 

Juniata Shops.....
  Sept. 1975
    *  rear of the Juniata  shops  showing  a  former  NYC  E #4037
    * Amtrak E8 #304 and SW-1 8450, with an NYC E7 being cannibalized
    * many "covered wagons" , Alcos, Baldwins and etc.
    * old  Baldwin  S-12  switchers #8323  and  also #8376
    * Alco  S4 switcher PC9791 set behind the shop
   * SW-1 switcher  PC8505 seen in use somewhere in the yard

  Aug.  1976
    *  parked around the turntable are PC5619, PC7728, Ann Arbor GP35 #390 ,
          RDG switcher #2756, and an SW1 switcher .  A close-up of  AA390 shows
          that it is ridding on Alco trucks and appears to have suffered a rear collision.

  Aug. 29,1992
    *  CR8927  is a  SW9 , ex-NYC #8927
    *  old  U23B's stand behind switchers  SW900m CR8716  ( ex-RDG 1516 ) &
              SW8  CR8676 ( ex-LV 262 )
    *  switchers SW7  #9085 ( ex-PRR 9085 )  &  SW9  #8951 ( ex-CNJ 1084 )
    *  several  B36-7's  are seen behind the main shop building
    *  Conrail GP10 #7576 and B36-7 #5055  keep company with  Reading Blue
              Mountain &  Northern #3303

  Nov.20,1993
    *  two foreign units can be seen here -
    *  PCM #16  is barely visible in this photo
    *  even number CR5400 is seen at a distance
    *  both  CR5446  &  CR7463 ( ex-NYC  GP9 )  are visible in this photo
 

Homer
  Sept. 1975
    * scrap-line  has PC#8398 a Lima Hamilton  road switcher &
         NYC E7's #4025 and #4035
    * many Baldwin S12's  including  PC9354, 9826, 9653, 8306 & etc.
 

 Aug.1976
    *  Westbound  ore train passing Homer's scrap line, lead by
           PC6062, then alcos #6312 and 6344
    * The scrap line at  Homer  ( Just East of  Rose )- Aug.1976
         an old  PRR  S12  switcher  # PC 8330
        ex PRR  Alco  RS-1  seen as  PC 9938
        ex  LV  RS-3  #213
     * still numbered as EL 6352   F7B ( later CR 3854 )   and
             sister  EL 6351  F7A ( later CR 1883 )

   Nov. 1977
      *  ex-EL #821  ( ex-ex-Erie )  E8A  is  seen  lettered as  CR#4011
      *  CR#1888  was at one time  EL#7104   F7A
      *  two  old  E8As PC#4248   &  #4255  were both originally  PRR
      *  #7639  is  an  ALCO  RS-11   ex-PRR
      *  originally  delivered to the PRR,  #6871   and  #6876  were  Alco RSD-12
             In  Jan.1979 #6871 ( originally PRR 8671 )  became slug # 1114 ( CSXT 1012).
             In Jan. 1979 GE in Cleveland also converted CR#6876 ( originally PRR 8676)
                into slug CR#1112 class MT6  ( future CSXT 1010 ).
     *  F7A   PC# 1796   was  ex-NYC #1796
     *  E8A  PC# 4042  was  once  NYC# 4042
     *  numbered  as  4073   this  ex- NYC  E8A  doesn't appear on my  Conrail Roster
     *  NYC 4093  was  discovered  shoved off  the end of  the track,  still in  NYC  paint !

   Nov.20,1993
      * Westbound train with CR6051 passes stored Car 20
 

Rose
  Aug. 1976
    * many alcos in storage, exact location uncertain but believed to be Rose
    *  a  Eastbound  slows for a crew change, trailing  a  cloud  of  brake shoe
           smoke lead by  GP35 PC2287, GP39 PC7994,  GP40 PC3164
            ( notice just an edge of  the old building )

  Nov.20,1993
    *  same site as above, but years later
 

Works
  Aug.14,1976
      * PC #8046 leads Train PR7 with ex-Lehigh Valley U-Boat #511

  Nov.21,1993
      *  looking East from footbridge - Nov.21,1993
      *  looking  West  then looking East as Eastbound Train PIBA  passes the footbridge
      *  CR6051 leads  Westbound iron ore  Train ZSR113  as it passes by Works
 

Station  area
  Sept.13-14, 1975
     * Twilight draws near as this Eastbound passes the Station with GP-35
           PC#2380 an ex-NYC unit without dynamic brakes
     *  Three SD45s and another unit shove this train West around sundown.
    * Two SD45 #6109 & 6207 lead #2207  Westbound past the Station
    *  Westbound  passes  the  famous  Mobile Home Passenger Station
             ( once located about 200 yds. East of current )
     * The National Limited #31 arrives with SDP40F #595 & E8 #322 about 11:00pm.
     * The next day an Eastbound arrives from the southern line to the Car Shops.
             Lead unit is PC7881, then PC2380 and PC6010 .
            (notice the vacant field to the left, which today is the Railroader's Museum)

  Aug.14-15, 1976
     * Eastbound  Amtrak #30  the National  Limited  seen approaching the Station
     *Train SW6 rolls in with SD40 #6266, SD45 #6180 & SD35 #6007
     * Train RR3 leaves with PC U-boat #2965 & ex EL SDP45 #3668

  Nov. 1977
      * an  inside  view  of the Mobile Home Station's  ticket window
      * an  Eastbound  Amtrak  arrives at the temporary Station with extra power added
            the second unit is  E9A  Amtrak #412   ( ex- UP# 907 )
            the third unit is  E9A  Amtrak #420  ( ex- UP# 943 )
            here the train's  headend  slowly pulls past the temporary Station
            as the train departs we see the reason for the extra power,  an  FRA  car  on the rear
     *  an  Westbound  is  photographed  from the temporary Station's  porch
     *  Westbound is seen  passing the  area  where  the permanent Station was later built
     *  The Station  area skyline as an  Eastbound  glides  past with 2 ex-EL  SD45-2

  Nov.21, 1993
     *  an  Eastbound  "Power-Shift"  passes the Station with #8086, 8077, 6378, 6381, 3224
     *  this train lead by CR5524 leaves the Holidaysburg line with its helpers
     *  CR6366  &  6367 , two consecutively numbered SD40-2's  working as helpers
     *  CR6819 leads Train XGW524  with C30-7A  #6564 in the consist  too
     *  Amtrak #40 arrives at the Station

Alto Tower ( just West of the Station)
    *  Helpers  await  their next assignment,  setting beside  Alto  Tower - Aug. 1976
    *  looking  at  ALTO  Tower - Nov. 1977
    * ex-EL SD45-2  CR6663 seen beside  Alto  Tower  seen Aug.30, 1992

Slope Interlocking
    *  looking  East,  just  East  of  "Slope"  you can see  where  this  location's  name  came
              from  as  two Helpers #6341  ( SD40 ) & 6536 ( U30-C )  wait  in  a distance - Nov. 1977
    *  two  ex-EL  SD45-2  ( CR#6665 & 6656 ) in EL paint on a Westbound at Slope - Nov. 1977
 

 Horseshoe  Curve
    Sept. 1975
      *  Penn Central Alcos  C628 #6312  and C636 #6344  ( with mechanical trouble)
               assist a Westbound  ore train
      *  two  trains pass  at  Kittanning Point
      Eastbound  National Limited  approaching  the  Curve,  then beside  the
           K4  steam engine .  Amtrak#590 is a SDP-40F, #225 is an E8A (ex-L&N #795)
 

      *  Westbound  Conrail train with two ex-EL  SD45's  in the consist - summer 1976
      *  Helpers use dynamic brakes to ease a Eastbound train  down hill  on  "The Curve"
                ( SD45 #6140 ) -  May 1977
      *  Helpers  shove a  Westbound train over the hill - May 1977
      *  Westbound  Train  EC-9  has rare  mid-train  helpers  and  even  normal
            rear helpers  -  Nov. 1977
      *  ex-Reading  GP35 #3620  leads  an  Eastbound  downhill - Nov. 1977

MG Tower ( just West of the Curve)
   * Alco C425 PC#2433 on Train# TH-3A or CB-9 - Aug. 14, 1976
   *  Westbound  train  moves uphill  past  MG  Tower  during a snow storm  -  Nov. 1977
 

Gallitizin  ( East of  Cresson -  site of  3  tunnels )
  Aug.1975
     * An Alco lead train heads past the interchange between the two mains at UN.
     *  Helpers  PC#6228 SD45 and PC6078 SD40 have just "cut-off " and now work
              their way through  UN  Interlocking  and  move up toward  AR Tower
 Aug.1976
    *  Train  WPV-4  seen  passing  AR  Tower in  Aug.1976
    *  Eastbound helpers at  SF.   The  two levels of  the tunnels are clearly seen in this
              Aug.1976 photo
    *  the East side of  the "Lower Twin"   tunnels  shows the old blowers from the steam era
               still in place - Aug.76
 Nov.1977
     *  ex-PC   U33C #6559  Leads a Westbound  uphill  around  Benny  Curve,
              east of  Gallitizin
     *  E8a  #440  ( ex- RF&P #1012, AMTK #220 )  leads  an  Amtrak  train
              downhill  at  Benny
     *  Eastbound  is  seen East of  Benny 
     *  Train  EC-9  exits  one of  the  "lower twin"  tunnels  at  Gallitizin 
 Nov. 21, 1993
     *  Still there!  Today the track has been removed from the left tunnel 
     *  "The Slide"  undergoing lowering  for doublestack trains to pass thru the tunnel,
               seen looking West toward AR tower 

Cresson ( West of  Horseshoe  Curve -  Top of the Hill -  Helper  Base  site )
 Sept. 1975
    *U23B #2770 setting at the helper base
    * SD35 #6000 seemed to elude me all day for a good photo location
    * looking East past the Helper base, with MO tower is the distance

 Aug. 1976
    * a Westbound is eclipsed by an Eastbound #3185, ex-B&O ex-CNJ#3066  & 2761
    * PC6043 leads two ex-Erie SD45s Eastbound, passing MO tower.

  Nov. 1977
    *  a big  SDP-45  (ex-EL 3654)  is  seen on a  Eastbound at  "High Bridge" ,
         just  East of  Cresson
     *  looking  West,  beside  MO  Tower  as  3  trains  pass  (  Photo 1Photo 2 )

  Aug. 30,1992
     *  Amtrak's Broadway  Limited #40  with units # 264 & 411 seen East of Cresson
              at the Highway #53 overpass

  Nov.21,1993
     *  looking  Northeast across the Helper Base
     *  several ex-EL  SD45-2 are seen ( #6659, 6660, 6654)
     *  more SD45-2s  seen from the street


93 Conrail Technical Society's  Altoona  Tour

 Juniata  Locomotive  Rebuild  Center - Nov.1993
          *  The tour begins with a safety & site lecture
          *  Locomotive trucks are cleaned at this station
          *  a  large supply of wheels are seen in the truck servicing area
          *  here a traction motor is fitted to the truck
          *  another repair station, this one for traction motors
          *  GE  C30-7a #6551  and another GE  unit   seen inside shops
          *  a  B&W photo of a Locomotive's  Prime Mover  ( ie. engine )
          *  a  Color photo of several prime movers setting on the floor
          *  Prime Mover  servicing area   and   removed  Locomotive  axles
          *  I'm not sure what this repair station does; engine components ?
          *  engine's  crankshafts are taken care of here
          *  B&W photo of an Air Brake equipment  testing Center
          *  locomotive  CR3401  is seen in a service bay
          *  an ex-CR  loco in a service bay , painted with #105
          *  these two SP units setting in service bays are #8016 & 8039
          *  ex-EL  SD45-2  #6666  is seen in another service bay

          *  two E-units and brand new #5544 pose outside
          *  same viewed from the sunny side
          *  E8A CR4021  will become CSX 9998 ,  it originally was built Oct 1952 as
                PRR 5711, then re#  PRR & PC 4311, later AMTK 317 & 499
          *  E8A CR4020  will become NS 100,  it originally was built  April 1951 as
                PRR 5809, then re#  PRR & PC 4309, later AMTK 315 & 498
          *  here the old & the new  pose nose-to-nose
          *  CR5544  SD60M  will become CSX8774 after the CSX / NS deal
          *  CR6221  C40-8W is not shown on the CSX proposed roster
 

 Holidaysburg Car Shops ( located South of Altoona ) recently closed !
          boxcar  near  lifting  jacks used in truck ( ie. wheel sets)  replacement;
                note high ladder to roof of the car
        freight car axles
           two old boxcar  frames about to become new gondola's  frames
           jig  used to lift these frames
           an inverted frame begins construction
           new  gondola  seen  midway  through  construction
           one gondola seen flipped on its side  for airbake equipment installation
        final wielding  to be done
           a  nearly complete gondola gets its grab irons and other hardware