Home » The HorseShoe Curve, Altoona PA

The HorseShoe Curve, Altoona PA

Remember last week when I promised to give you an exclusive and in depth review of this place?? Today is your lucky day because we are talking all things train related!! Trains have always been a real fascination of mine. When I was younger we lived across the street from a set of train tracks. I can remember placing pennies on the tracks and waiting for the trains to go by to see what flattened treasures they would leave behind. I even had the privilege of being a “walking” child in the movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring the late John Candy. The train station part in the movie was filmed in my home town located in Western New York (still standing today). It’s several memories like this that started my curiosity about trains and steam engines. As I have gotten older my son has started to share that same passion. We both enjoy learning about the history of an area especially if it includes trains! 

I was given a complimentary tickets for my trip. All opinions are my own.

The HorseShoe Curve located in Altoona PA has been in operation since around 1854. It was built with the idea that trains could get over the Allegheny Mountains at a gliding incline. 

Once you see it in person, you will agree, that this place is breath taking! Just picture hundreds of immigrants creating this beautifully functional train way out of picks, shovel and horse draw machines!! CRAZY!! 

This area is well suited for both adults and families. With two ways of going up the mountain to the viewing station you can easily access it through the Museum entrance.  The conductors will even wave at you!! Something we found out after watching the first train roll through.

While you are not privy to a train schedule (Thanks 911) you can estimate trains will be passing every so often. We saw several on our visit and each one came from a different direction and was different in styles, shapes and colors! 

They even have an engine for you to enjoy as you sit and wait for the next train to pass!

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — 

an endless prospect of magic & wonder” ~ Ansel Adams

If I could give you a few pieces of advise while you plan your visit gauge around an hour. I know it might seem like a long time but I felt that hour went by so quickly! We could have sat and watched the trains roll in all day. Well….maybe… if it had not been snow/raining on that particular day!

Before you go I would also recommend a stop in their Museum. While it is on the smaller side my son really enjoyed all of the wonderful artifacts they had on display. They also have a video you can sit in and watch. My last suggestion is to visit their gift shop! We found some great souvenirs in there. They have a whole kid section of fun educational train related materials as well! I mean they have toys too but I tried to stay away (we have enough toys after all).

Do you like trains?? How about your kids?

Have you ever visited the The HorseShoe Curve in Altoona PA?? 

Tell us about it below!!



  1. Sanne
    April 20, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    I have always loved checking out trains in the US. They are just so different from trains in Europe (where I am from). So I am sure I would really enjoy going to the HorseShoe Curve. And the scenery looks impressive as well!

  2. Unknown
    April 21, 2018 / 9:47 pm

    Love this is something that you grow up loving and now you can bring your son along to admire trains. It looks like such a cool area and I always love seeing trains run past. Such a great place for the whole family!

  3. Sol Solntze
    April 24, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Trains which are static, in a museum say, are not really my thing, but when you get a chance to see them in action they are very cool – and really it's more fun watching them than travelling on them (when you can't see the actual locomotives!). This looks like a great trip out, and I like the story about your putting pennies on the tracks too.

  4. Ginae Reviews
    April 25, 2018 / 10:15 pm

    This is seriously, just a beautiful post. In fact, you had me at, "Train!"