Old 11-13-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
AC185
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Default Altoona Railfanning

Hello All

My wife and I are planning on going to Pittsburgh in late January and we have found time to go out and visit the Altoona area. Can anyone here tell me of locations that I can visit other than the obvious Horseshoe Curve, I am looking for places that are close enough so that the wife can go do some shopping and such. Any suggestions would be great. Also we might stay at the Station Inn, anyone have any experiences staying at this location? Any info on Pittsburgh would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark J. Beltrano
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:28 PM   #2
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Any where on the west slope would be good to railfan and both Johnstown and Altoona are near for the wife. I have stayed at the Station Inn several times and would highly recommend it. Tom can give you lots of info on the area. However, don't plan on going to Horseshoe Curve as it is closed in the winter.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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Horseshoe Curve is not closed during the winter. You just have to walk the steps to get up there as the operational part of it is (no tram, etc.).

EDIT: ...unless something has changed in the very recent past.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC185 View Post
Hello All

My wife and I are planning on going to Pittsburgh in late January and we have found time to go out and visit the Altoona area. Can anyone here tell me of locations that I can visit other than the obvious Horseshoe Curve, I am looking for places that are close enough so that the wife can go do some shopping and such. Any suggestions would be great. Also we might stay at the Station Inn, anyone have any experiences staying at this location? Any info on Pittsburgh would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark J. Beltrano
To get there you will drive US 22 which will take you past the great spots, Gallitzin, Tunnell Hill, Cresson, and on PA 53 (which goes through all the places just listed) all the rest, Lilly, Cassandra, Portage, Summerhill, South Fork, etc. You need to find some of the websites with info on NS West Slope.

Station Inn is excellent.

No idea about shopping; I don't remember noticing any stores when I was up there.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EMTRailfan View Post
Horseshoe Curve is not closed during the winter. You just have to walk the steps to get up there as the operational part of it is (no tram, etc.).

EDIT: ...unless something has changed in the very recent past.
When I was there last March, the parking lot was closed off as well, and I didn't want to park by the road, since I'm sure thats frowned upon.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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Default Closed in the Winter

Historic Horseshoe Curve open for 2009 season

ALTOONA, PA On Fri., Apr. 3, 2009, the historic Horseshoe Curve, a national landmark located in Altoona, Pa., opened to the public for the Curve's 2009 season.

Hours of operation will be:

Apr 3 - 30 11 a.m. 4 p.m. 7 days a week

May 1 - 31 Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sun. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Jun 1 - Sep 7 Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Sun. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sep 8 - Nov 1 Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Sun. 11 a.m. 6 p.m.

Admission is $6; children under three are free.


I guess they don't like shoveling snow?
And I imagine they don't like the liability - hence the closed parking lot.
Follow the tracks - you'll keep yourself entertained - try the ares of Gallitzen along with it's tunnel.

/Mitch
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #7
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The station inn is a great place to stay, I've been there multiple times and its always a great stay. Tom and Sandy are very friendly and the breakfasts are wonderful. Tom knows tons of information about the area, the Inn was also just featured in the New York Times, http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/10/30...30station.html
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:54 AM   #8
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The Wisconsin Northern isn't far from Altoona. Also, the UP goes right through town with CN to the north a ways. You should have a blast in Altoona, WI.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:46 AM   #9
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The Logan Mall in Altoona and some shops off of the 17th St. exit are the best opportunity for shopping around there. As far as fanning, that was already covered quite well.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:38 AM   #10
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Yea thats all i know of in the area is the mall, which has alot of stores. Nothing major besides that, i'm sure theres little shops floating around.
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:47 PM   #11
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I would highly recommend Cassandra! Great photo opps and a friendly atmosphere!
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMTRailfan View Post
Horseshoe Curve is not closed during the winter. You just have to walk the steps to get up there as the operational part of it is (no tram, etc.).

EDIT: ...unless something has changed in the very recent past.
Last time I was there in the winter (January 2009), it was closed, even though the website said they were open. This was a weekday. There was nowhere to park, because the gates were locked, and there are tons of no parking tow-away signs, so I did not feel like taking my chances of getting towed/ticketed 2100 miles from home. Better call ahead to see if they will truly be open.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:02 AM   #13
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The last 3 winters, I have parked on the road right by the gate and walked up to the tracks. They have a gate opened to the steps, which to me says come on in. Why would they leave the gate open otherwise. Last time I was up there, there had to be 10-15 people up trackside.

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