Horseshoe Curve | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on August 22, 2016

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

I worked my way around the map once we had decided to go to Penn’s Cave. My first inclination was to spend the night in Harrisburg, but once I realized that adding a bit of driving to the trip would let us visit Horseshoe Curve and then stay in Altoona for the evening, it was the obvious plan. We had been to Horseshoe Curve once before, in 2009 when we took a visit to the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania. I felt that we hadn’t spent enough time there, and I really wanted to go back, so we did!

We rode the funicular to the top of Horseshoe Curve. We took the steps on the way back down.

A panorama from the top. You can see the train tracks on either side of the image, because this photo is taken from the center of the Horseshoe.

Horseshoe Curve was built as a way to stretch out an incline on the railroad in a time when the engines weren’t strong enough to manage a steeper incline with lots of weight. This line of track is used a LOT, and so both times when we have visited, there are trains coming by every few minutes.


The parklike area at the top of the funicular is so lovely – there are benches, picnic tables, and lots of grass.

In this image, you can really see how this stretch of track is managing the incline.

Obviously. That’s my new road trip hat.

This informational sign is helpful.

On our way back down the stairs.

If you or someone you know likes trains, I can’t tell you enough to spend some time at Horseshoe Curve. I didn’t go into detail about it here, but there is an entire museum to look around, a film to watch about the conception and construction of the curve, and a very cute gift shop. I have found that while it seems like it might be boring to watch trains go by, it is the experience of being surrounded by them as they pass that is really fun and exciting. We saw multiple freight trains and an Amtrak passenger train, which looked tiny in comparison. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful visit.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Photography: Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

by Jamie Sanford on November 30, 2015

To see all of my photography posts, click here.

Will really likes trains, so I try and take him to as many interesting train things as I can. This trip was a surprise, and included the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a train ride, and a stay in the Red Caboose Motel! (More on the motel soon.) All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

The full set of photos from this trip is here on Flickr.

The railroad museum is ENORMOUS, and is, at its simplest, a replica train station filled with something like 25 engines, from all different times in history.

There is also a large area with model train displays.

I hope this is true about grits.

The outdoor train yard had even more engines and train cars to see. It was a windy but beautiful day.

The light coming through these massive garage doors was incredible. I need these doors in my future home.

Any reflective surface will work for us!

A slight downside is that you don’t get to see too many train interiors. This was really interesting!

I really really love the Pennsylvania Railroad’s logo.

The light was gorgeous.

I cannot recommend visiting this museum enough if you ever make it to the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. The drive there is scenic, and there is so much more to do and see than I ever imagined!

The full set of photos from this trip is here on Flickr.

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