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Thread: Things to do in Altoona, PA?

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    Default Things to do in Altoona, PA?

    So... what is actually there in Altoona to do if you happen to be driving through. I may be up in that area with the fam visiting colleges soon. I seriously donít think we will have time to do any traditional railfanning.

    Do they have a museum or tour or observation deck or visitorís center or anything? Something we could stretch our legs for an hour at?

    Is there a particular street/road/overpass that would at least give a good quick view of the shops/etc. as we drive by?

    If we go, we will be on a very tight travel schedule, so there wonít be much time to spend sightseeing...
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    Horseshoe curve is right outside the city I'd recommend going there instead of Altoona.
    I would highly recommend stopping by for an hour or so

    Altoona has the Railroaders Museum but you would need time to really go though it. There is also the bridge over the NS mainline right next to the museum.

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    Not bad. Looks like the side trip to Horseshoe only adds about 20 minutes to the drive. That might not be too bad. I don’t know if we’ll have time to stop and take the funicular and all that, but I can try

    We will have to be in State College by 8:30am or so, and will have been driving all day. Tired/hungry passengers might not want to sit and watch trains when they could be crashing in a hotel room.

    Fingers crossed, though. Even a 1/2 hour leg-stretcher and catching one train would be nice.

    ETA: Ah bummer looks like we would be going through there after the park officially closes. Are you allowed to walk up to the observation site after hours, or is it CLOSED?
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    Good / bad news on that front. I emailed the museum. Apparently all of the Horseshoe Park facilities (including the bathrooms) are closed at 6pm but we can park on the street and walk up if we want.

    Which led me to check the nearest town before the curve for potential “facilities”

    WHAT THE HECK is going on with the track work around Gallitzin? East->West the three tracks split, spread out, tunnel under the town, then come back together in a wye west of the town??? Crazy!! Looks like something off of a model layout!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    Good / bad news on that front. I emailed the museum. Apparently all of the Horseshoe Park facilities (including the bathrooms) are closed at 6pm but we can park on the street and walk up if we want.

    Which led me to check the nearest town before the curve for potential “facilities”

    WHAT THE HECK is going on with the track work around Gallitzin? East->West the three tracks split, spread out, tunnel under the town, then come back together in a wye west of the town??? Crazy!! Looks like something off of a model layout!
    Your more than likely to catch a train if you hang out for about 30 mins, maybe 2!

    Ah Gallitzin, used to be 4 tracks back in the PRR days, Helpers would join in Altoona then cut off at the summit in Gallitzin then use the Wye to head back down hill
    I believe the southern tunnel was built first then the north one when it was expanded to a 4 track main.

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    If you want to see the shops, you want to go to 6th street

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/30...hl=en-us&gl=us

    From here, you are only separated from the turntable by a fence.

    I also like 8th street bridge, which goes over CP Rose. This is a location where crew changes occur ( or they did when I was last there. Of course, from the google maps satellite image, it looks like most of the deadlines are gone, which was part of the appeal of the 8th street bridge for me.
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    That's a tough choice. The curve is always good to see. We've parked on the street a couple of times after hours for a half hour to an hour. The pedestrian walkways by the museum are also a nice place to stop at as we've done so too. The bonus is there is a McDonald's nearby if one needs facilities, a coffee, or a milkshake. Plus it's not that far from the museum to 6th and/or 8th streets if you wish to catch the turntable and the loco's behind the shops. Luckily, each time I've been here they've used the turntable.

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    I believe, given our schedule, the best we will be able to do is a half-hour leg stretcher at the curve, and then strategically plotting our path through Altoona to drive by what can be seen as we pass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    and then strategically plotting our path through Altoona to drive by what can be seen as we pass.
    You mean, strategically plotting your need for a bathroom break to occur while in Altoona... better still, plan for others to need a break while you can keep your eyes peeled...

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