Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, PA

These posts are sort of in chronological order in how I visited them over the weekend.  I did stop at the Gallitzin Tunnels and Horseshoe Curve briefly on the way into town.  The Curve was closed and there were no trains going through the tunnel, so I will save those posts for when I saw the bulk of things there.  The first thing I visited was the Railroaders Museum.
 This is the building that houses the Museum.  I believe this used to be part of the famed Juniata Locomotive Works of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  I'm not sure what they did in this particular building but the Juniata Locomotive Works housed repair and construction facilities for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Construction started in 1850.  The first locomotive was constructed there in 1866 and the last was built in 1904.  The first cars were built there in 1869.  In their hey day, the Altoona Works employed 16,000 workers.  Currently they are owned by the Norfolk-Southern Railroad.  They still do repairs on locomotives but they are no longer built there.  They are also a shell of what they used to be in the day.
 The Museum itself was started when Altoona lost out for the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum (which is I believe the one I visited a couple years ago in Lancaster).  It was established in 1972 and deals more with the people who worked on the railroad.
 I kind of like these long porch views.  There are a few cars here but no locomotives.
 The Pennsylvania Railroad logo.  The Pennsylvania Railroad itself was founded in 1846.  At one time it was the largest traded company in the world and employed nearly 250,000 employees.  As other forms of transportation took over, the railroads found themselves in trouble and in 1968 it merged with its rival, the New York Central Railroad, forming the Penn-Central.  That entity would go bankrupt (there are other reason for that but I wont go into that here) and would get morphed into Conrail (which was run by the Government).  In 1999, Conrail was broken up, with some parts going to Norfolk-Southern and the other parts going to CSX.
 A replica of the front of a steam engine.
 A painting of one of the Pennsylvania Railroad's electric engines.
 The museum itself is pretty neat.   This turned on as I walked past it.  It is a replica of a newstand.
 A replica of a bar.
 A caboose.
And a passenger car.

If you ever find yourself in Altoona, you should make it a point to visit this museum.  Especially if you like railroads and their history.

No comments: