East Slope, West Slope and Horseshoe Curve Operations - Page 3

Conrail operated trains over the world famour Horseshoe Curve during its entire existence. This engineering marvel is a national historic landmark, and is known to railfans around the world.  

The 'curve changed over time. Slimming from 4 tracks when Conrail started to 3 in the early 1980s, and many of these views are of things that are gone, or are from locations you shouldn't go to (due to more stringent enforcement of tresspass laws).

This gallery is a way to visit the area and see how Conrail's ops changed, and how they've stayed the same.  Included are photos from the main helper district over the Allegheny Mountains between Conemaugh and Altoona, PA.

Map Icon This gallery is available on an interactive map.

CR 3328 at Bennington Curve

Conrail GP40-2 3328 is leading a pair of other Geeps east on a coal train at Bennington Curve in 1983.

CR 3329 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/28/1978

Brand new GP-40-2's 3329 & 3328 are on the point of an Eastbound freight as it starts into Horseshoe Curve.

CR 3332 Altoona, PA 1981

Conrail GP40-2 3332 is seen at Rose Yard in 1981.

CR 3341 Leads MAIL-3 in Cresson, PA, 10/86

Here a westbound Mail-3 rolls through the semi-famous Route 53 crossing in Cresson PA. This view was taken from around the corner from the iconic shot though, providing a somewhat different angle on this popular location.

CR 3342 at Horseshoe Curve

Conrail GP40-2 3342 is seen on a westbound auto parts train at Horseshoe Curve in 1982.

CR 3343 at Cresson, PA

Conrail GP40-2 3343 is seen leading a westbound TV train at Cresson, PA in 1992.

CR 3353 leads a westbound TV train up the mountain at Bennington, 4/80

A WB Conrail TV Train grinds upgrade at Bennington, PA on 4/19/80 w/ a GP40-2, a U25B and a GP40. The U25B was making more racket than the two GP40s combined. The top of the east end of the cut at Bennington was always a good place to appreciate "stack talk," and the U25Bs always put on a show.

CR 3360 at Bennington Curve

Conrail GP40-2 3360 is seen leading an eastbound TV train down Bennington Curve in 1986.

CR 3364 and CR 3243 at South Fork, PA

Conrail GP40-2 3364 and GP40 3243 (ex-PC 3243) are seen trailing on a westbound freight at South Fork, PA in 1982.

CR 3367 and CR 3326 at CP-MG PA 1981

Conrail GP40-2s 3367 and 3326 are assisting an eastbound TV train through CP-MG in 1981. The quartet of GP40-2s and the old Trailvan make this a classic Conrail shot.

CR 3374 at Horseshoe Curve

Conrail GP40-2 3374 leads SD40 6280 and another SD40 on a westbound auto parts train approaching Horseshoe Curve in 1986.

CR 3374 leads a TV train through the cut at Bennington PA, 9/84

A westbound Conrail intermodal train enters the cut at Bennington, PA on Sept. 8, 1984 with three GP40-2s.

CR 3379 near Alegrippus Curve 1981

Conrail GP40-2 3379 is leading an eastbound TV train somewhere in the vicinity of Allegrippus Curve, located between MG Tower and Bennington Curve in 1981.

CR 3398 at Altoona, PA in 1993

Conrail GP40-2 3398 is seen leading a westbound TV train up the east slope just west of Altoona, PA in 1993.

CR 3620 Altoona, PA 7/2/1978

Power in RDG, PC, & LV colors leads an Eastbound into Altoona.

CR 3625 Altoona, PA 3-17-1979

Following five CR blue units, ex-RDG GP-35 3625 pounds through Altoona on the way to the Curve in March, 1979.

CR 3625 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

Former RDG GP35 3625 waits in Altoona for orders to head west to Conway in August, 1977.

The next day at Conway, 3625 was mixed in with leased CN GP38-2 awaiting another assignment.

CR 3628 Altoona, PA 7-25-1978

Former RDG GP-35 3628 and GP-40 3096 pull a line of hoppers up the curve in July, 1978,

CR 3628 Altoona, PA 7-25-1978

Former RDG GP-35 3628 and GP-40 3096 power a string of hoppers up Horseshoe Curve in July, 1978.

CR 3662 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

CR SD45 6155 leads SD40 6335, ex-EL GP35 2556 (CR 3662), U25B 2620, and GP38 7661 (ex-PRSL 2001) as they pull hard up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

Steam railfans were everywhere at the Curve waiting for the run through of RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyohoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070.

CR 3662 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (4)

CR SD45 6155 leads SD40 6335, ex-EL GP35 2556 (CR 3662), U25B 2620, and GP38 7661 (ex-PRSL 2001) as they pull hard up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 3662 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (6)

CR SD45 6155 leads SD40 6335, ex-EL GP35 2556 (CR 3662), U25B 2620, and GP38 7661 (ex-PRSL 2001) as they pull hard up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 3662 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (7)

CR SD45 6155 leads SD40 6335, ex-EL GP35 2556 (CR 3662), U25B 2620, and GP38 7661 (ex-PRSL 2001) as they pull hard up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 3671 Altoona, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail GP35 3671 (ex-EL 2565) leads an eastbound freight down the mountain into Slope interlocking in Altoona in 1982.

CR 3872 Cresson, PA 5/28/1978

CR only had 25 F7B units, 2 of which had D&RGW ancestry (3872 & 3873).

CR 4 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/28/1978

A surprise on the back end of the Broadway was this CR passenger car in blue paint.

CR 4022 near Horseshoe Curve

A short westbound OCS movement is shot just west of Horseshoe Curve in 1982, with E8A 4022 showing off her well-maintained blue paint.

CR 4100 at Cresson, PA

CR SD80MAC 4100 on it's first test run on January 25th, 1996. Shown here at Cresson, PA in a photo by Terry Nardella. Collection of Steve Ondik.

CR 4106 at Jamestown, PA in 1998

Conrail SD80MAC 4106 is seen leading a westbound freight at Jamestown, PA on 10/11/1998

CR 4108 at Altoona, PA

CR SD80MAC 4108 on it's first run on train ATPI-8X on February 18th, 1996 in Altoona, PA. Terry Nardella photo, collection of Steve Ondik.

CR 4111 at Altoona, PA in 1998

Conrail SD80MAC 4111 is seen leading an eastbound freight past the old Railroaders Memorial Museum in downtown Altoona, PA in 1998.

CR 4111 SD80mac February 1998 Cresson

Conrail SD80mac 4111 leads train PIBA-5 up the west slope at Cresson,Pa. It would become NS 7206 in May 1999, and I was witness to it getting renumbered in the Conway roundhouse, but wasn't able to take photos (no camera) due to being in engine school at the time there. Our class was getting a shop tour to learn different locomotive parts, so it goes without saying I had to pay attention to the instructor instead of taking photos. I watched them back it in, and almost before the wheels stopped turning the number boards were being removed and the patch kit applied.

CR 4120 at Lilly, PA in 1999

Conrail SD80MAC 4120 is seen powering a PIBA at Lilly, PA on 5/13/1999

CR 4121 at Cresson, PA in 1998

Conrail SD80MAC 4121 is seen on an eastbound freight from the porch of the Station Inn in Cresson, PA in 1998.

CR 431361 at Horseshoe Curve

CR 431361 is seen in a westbound empty coal train on Horseshoe Curve in 1986.

CR 45004 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/27/1978

A big crane brings up the rear of a work train that has just passed thru Horseshoe Curve and is headed to Altoona.

CR 483202 at Johnstown, PA

An eastbound freight is pulling into Johnstown, PA in 1983, but the most interesting part of this photo is CR 483202, with the "CR" patch above the PC-style slanted numbering.

CR 5000 at Cresson, PA 1986

Conrail B36-7 5000 is trailing on a westbound TV train at Cresson, PA in 1986. The trio of B36s have just notched out and are doing their best to put an ALCo to shame.

CR 5003 at Lewistown, PA

Conrail B36-7 5003 is seen leading a westbound auto parts train at Lewistown, PA in 1992.

CR 5005 and two sisters bring a westbound Conrail intermodal train upgrade past MG Tower on 9/84.

I was equally as fond of the B36-7s on Conrail, as I was on Seaboard System. As a matter of fact, it was by testing four Conrail units, as well as four MP GP50s, that Seaboard made its decision to purchase the B36-7s. Three of the units bring a westbound Conrail intermodal train upgrade past MG Tower on Sept. 8, 1984.

CR 5011 on the Pittsburgh Line in 1984

Conrail B36-7 5011 is trailing on an westbound TV train crossing the Little Conemaugh River on the viaduct between South Fork and Mineral Point in 1984. The train must have been a heavy one, since there are helpers ahead of the trio of B-boats serving as road power.

CR 5020 at Cresson, PA

Conrail B36-7 5020 is leading a westbound TV train through Cresson, PA in 1986.

CR 5025 Leads TV3M at Horseshoe Curve, 5/86

Like the GP40-2, the B36-7 was suited to hauling lighter, faster trains. Here, three of them charge up Horseshoe Curve in the late spring of 1986.

CR 5027 at Horseshoe Curve in 1993

Conrail B36-7 5027 is seen leading a westbound freight around Horseshoe Curve in 1993. The presence of the auto frames on the head end means this train could have been ALPI-F.

CR 5077 east at Horseshoe Curve

CR 5077 and 5032 lead an eastbound train around legendary Horseshoe Curve on June 24, 1998

CR 5502 east at Cresson, PA

CR 5502 and LMS 706 lead an eastbound train past RR261 and Extra 5592 west at Cresson, PA on June 25, 1998. This was the third and final train in the three way meet I witnessed there that day.

CR 5521 west at Horseshoe Curve

CR 5521 and 6107 lead a westbound TV train around Horseshoe Curve on June 24, 1998

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