Touring the Pennsylvania Railroad

Duration: 7:05

The tour of Jerry Macri’s Pennsylvania model railroad with narration by Allen Keller, starts with the broadway limited entering the scene at the Erie Chrome Plating Plant. This area is clouded by smoke from the Erie Ironworks. The steel mill here is huge at about two thirds of a mile long. All this pollution means good paying jobs, but long-term health problems for the locals.

The town of Ironton has adapted to the situation, and seems to be thriving. The limited travels through an unfinished area and the E’s exit a tunnel on the way to the famous Horseshoe Curve. This is the west side of the curve where the grade is 1.8%. The track is about 122 feet higher than the east side and the curve is almost half a mile long. Horseshoe Curve is one of the significant engineering achievements of the 1800’s. The curve was opened in 1854 to ease the crossing of the Allegheny Mountains. After this the trains run close to the famous Pennsy K4 Memorial.

At Hollidaysburg Junction, the E’s leave the curve and go by the Corbin Cement Company. Here the branchline heads towards the town of Hollidaysburg while the ABA lashup pulls into the Altoona station for a brief stop. This is the approach into Altoona Yard. Altoona is a big classification yard where the train is constantly moving through. At Bellewood, the Broadway Limited continues on the 4 track main. The E’s roll past Thureson Lumber and Jefferson Sash before heading to New York staging. For the complete tour, watch the full video, and for more Allen Keller videos, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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