724 m in length and 400 m in diameter, Horseshoe Curve is a railroad curve consisting of three tracks located five miles west of Altoona on the Norfolk Southern Railway’s Pittsburgh Line in Pennsylvania.
Interesting Facts About The Horseshoe Curve Railroad
• Horseshoe Curve was first built in 1854 by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a replacement to it’s tedious Allegheny Portage Railroad.
• Built using only men with pick, shovels, horses and drags, Horseshoe Curve was completed without the use of any heavy equipment.
• Due to the increased demand for travel by train in 1898 a third track was added to the curve and later a fourth in 1900.
• A fundamental railroad since its opening, Horseshoe Curve during World War II was used to transport troops and materials for allies.
• During the 1940s Horseshoe Curve’s train count rose significantly with more than 50 passenger trains and several freight and military trains daily.
• In 1966 following it’s ownership and use by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Horseshoe Curve was designated a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
• Horseshoe Curve along with it’s trackside observation park built in 1879 has long served a popular destination for tourists.
• During the early 1990s the park built a 6,800 square-foot visitor center which today houses several historical artifacts and memorabilia related to Horseshoe Curve.
• Prior to World War II passengers were allowed to travel by train to Kittanning Point station near the Curve.
• 1893 Pennsylvania Railroad conductors began announcing Horseshoe Curve to their passengers. This tradition continues today aboard Amtrak trains.
• In 2004 Horseshoe Curve was acknowledged as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Horseshoe Curve Railroad Web Cam
Click on the link below to watch a live train video and listen dispatcher audio with Norfolk Southern freight trains and Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian at Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark close to Altoona, Pennsylvania.
View Horseshoe Curve Railcam.