Train Watching in Altoona Reviews
Train Watching in Altoona Oct 16, 2008
So I've been here for a month and I always hear trains but I never see them... I did notice a pattern that one always goes by at noon on weekdays but that's only on... where are the rest of the trains I always wondered.
Well, today I got my answer. Around 3:30PM I went to the PA Rail Roaders museum to get a post card for my friend Liz and I started to see the people who were taking the photo's of the not used trains run to the railing and there were even a group of guys who had their folding chairs sitting out waiting to see the event... and was this an event. You know how I said that usually I only see one go by at a time at noon... well, this had to be atleast 7 trains in a span of an hour! And some were even 2 at a time!
Some of them were freight trains and other coal trains... and again others were just 2 engines piggy backing each other.
But the cool thing about coming to this parking lot to see the trains is that you can be down low at the edge of the lot... you can go on one of the 2 over passes to see the trains or you can go to where the amtrack stop is!
Another thing that would be fun is to pack a picnic and go on a sunny day... and then go see the railroad garden at the museum...
A brief history of Trains in Altoona:
Altoona is a railroader town that started out in 1849 when the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased 35 acres of the 220-acre The Robeson farm. This area quickly became the center of a growing town... by 1854 the town had 200 residence and the Horseshoe Curve was built as the only train track to go over the Allegheny Mountains on the bend of the Allegheny Mountains and is a tight arc of approximately 220 degrees...
It still kept growing because of the railroad industry... and by 1920 there were 17,000 residence in the town and the track measured 11,000 miles! In 1925 the Pennsylvania Rail Road (PRR) expanded and the people who worked in Altoona for the railroad sored to 16,500 workers!!! This was the place to be.
Then World War II broke out...Altoona became in turmoil for a couple of reasons... the first one is that train transportation was at it's height... this was the most economic way to get around the country... Hitler and the Nazi's had it out for the town... the FBI was brought in and over 200 Altoonians homes were searched because they were suspected terrorists. The next reason is because after WWII ended the automobile became more prominent as transportation and the train era started to die off taking the economy of Altoona down with it.
Part of the I'm just a large town girl... living in a tiny town... travel blog
Part of the list things to do in Pennsylvania
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