The Altoona Curve and the Altoona Curve

Trip Start May 25, 2013
Trip End May 27, 2013

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Where I stayed
Motel 6 Altoona
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Sunday, May 26, 2013

Drove up this morning, and headed to the Railroaders Museum, but decided to abandon that plan when we discovered that they wanted $20 a head today, instead of $10, because a steam excursion train was coming through and we would get to see it.  We do not want to see any train bad enough to pay $10 extra (to put it in perspective, you can get a whole carload of people into Rocky Mountain National Park for a week for $20).  As we left, we could see the crowds of train spotters gathering on the bridge over the tracks, where they would see it for free.  We hoped, snidely, that they all parked in the museum parking lot.  We drove up to the actual Altoona Curve--a huge sweeping horseshoe in the tracks that allowed for trains to make it all the way through the Allegheny mountains.  It was built to solve a problem of two giant ravines; they actually built land bridges across the ravines.  The curve extends 2375' with a central angle of 220 degrees.  That might not sound impressive, but when you stand in the center on the viewing lawn and a train is circling almost all the way around you, it's pretty amazing.  We stayed in the viewing area for a couple of hours and saw about 4 or 5 trains go by.  Struck up a conversation with one of the many serious train fanatics who were there; this gentleman came from Houston to ride the steam train--the NKP 765--tomorrow.  We did not see that train, which passed through just before we got there, but it sounds quite impressive, and has a massive following.  we talked briefly, for instance, what another guy, this one from Missouri, who was able to pull up the NKP 764 app on his phone and tell us where the train was right at that moment.  There were numerous people there with radio scanners, and at least half the people there had cameras and video cameras on tripods.  I took quite a few pictures, and several movies; will try to post a movie on FB later.  It made for an enjoyable day, and I think I would not have enjoyed the museum as much.

This evening, we're going to the other Altoona Curve--the local baseball team.  AA ball; they are playing the Richmond Flying Squirrels.  Has to be one of the "Worst Named Teams" games of the year!
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skipnicholson on

The funicular looks like our Angel's Flight here in Los Angeles--a 300-foot hill climber.

Donald Owen on

Henly, Why did they name the Richmond AA baseball team after your students?

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