East Slope, West Slope and Horseshoe Curve Operations - Page 4

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 5527 at Horseshoe Curve in August 1995

Conrail SD60M 5527 is seen leading an eastbound freight down Horseshoe Curve on 8/6/1995

CR 5529 at Cresson, PA in 1993

Conrail SD60M 5529 is still looking brand-new as she and a sister unit lead a westbound TV train through Cresson, PA in 1993.

CR 5550 SD60M leads an Eastbound loaded PPL coal train

Conrail 5550 leads an Eastbound loaded PPL coal train at Rt 53 in Cresson, PA.

CR 5592 west at Cresson, PA

I was set up waiting for an eastbound to show up when I looked behind me to see this westbound freight with CR 5592 and 5632 coming at Cresson, PA on June 25, 1998. Note the westbound off in the distance, as you'll see in another shot, it was RR261

CR 5600 east at Altoona, PA

CR 5600 and 6281 leads a eastbound freight at Altoona, PA on June 24, 1998

CR 5608 east at Horseshoe Curve

CR 5608 and 6773 leads a eastbound train around Horseshoe Curve on June 24, 1998

CR 5630 at Cassandra, PA in 1998

Conrail SD60I 5630 is seen leading a westbound freight from the hillside at Cassandra, PA in 1998.

CR 5646 at Cresson, PA

Conrail SD60M No. 5646 is on the point of an eastbound coal train on the Cresson Secondary, in August 1995. Doug Davidson photo with permission

CR 6001 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (1)

CR SD35 6001 leads SD45 6099 (ex-EL 3634, the last of EL's 3601-3634 series) as they roll piggybacks down Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6001 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

CR SD35 6001 leads SD45 6099 (ex-EL 3634, the last SD-45 of EL's 3601-3634 series) as they roll piggybacks down Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6001 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

CR SD35 6001 leads SD45 6099 (ex-EL 3634, the last SD-45 of EL's 3601-3634 series) as they roll piggybacks down Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6003 Altoona, PA 7-24-1978 (1)

An Alco lover's dream in Altoona in July, 1978!

CR SD-35 6003 leads ex-LV C628 6728 and two ex-PC C425's, 2423 and 2418, as they pound their way toward the Curve.

CR 6017 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (1)

CR SD35 6017 leads SD40 6321 on a railfan special on May 22, 1977. The many railfans were waiting for RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyahoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070 to make their run through this day.

CR 6017 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

CR SD35 6017 leads SD40 6321 on a railfan special on May 22, 1977.

The many railfans were waiting for RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyahoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070 to make their run through this day.

CR 6017 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

CR SD35 6017 leads SD40 6321 on a railfan special on May 22, 1977.

The many railfans were waiting for RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyahoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070 to make their run through this day.

CR 6018 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

While the attention of the crowd at the Curve on May 22, 1977 was focused on the arrival of RDG 4-8-4 #2102 coming from Altoona, a pair of SD35's rolls mixed freight down the Curve.

CR SD35's 6030 and 6018 appear to have an interesting load of new 1977 International Harvester trucks tucked in behind.

CR 6027 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/27/1978

A helper set helps ease an Eastbound down the mountain at Horseshoe Curve.

CR 6030 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

While a train of hoppers is pushed up Horseshoe, CR SD-35's 6030 and 6018 roll mixed freight down the Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6030 at Tyrone, PA

Conrail C40-8 6030 is seen trailing on a westbound freight at Tyrone, PA in 1992.

CR 6030 west at Altoona, PA

CR 6030 and fellow GE leads a westbound freight at Altoona, PA on June 24, 1998

CR 6032 Altoona, PA 3-27-1978

CR SD35 6032 and SD45-2 6654 (ex-EL 3669) push a TV train up Horseshoe in March, 1978.

CR 6037 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR SD35 6037 leads SD45's 6080 and 6158 down the Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6037 and 6340 WB at Horseshoe 5/77

CR 6037 and 6340 lead a van train westbound around the curve on track 4.

CR 6039 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR pushers SD35 6039, SD40 6311, SD45 6204, and SD40 6318 push hard on Conrail-lettered, but still in PC green, N7-A class caboose 21635 as they pound up Horseshoe on May 22, 1977.

A crewmen in the SD35 enjoys the enthusiastic response of the crowd awaiting the pass through of RDG 4-8-4 #2102.

CR 6041 at Bennington Curve in 1984

Conrail SD35 6041 (ex-CNJ 2502) is seen drifting downgrade into Bennington Curve in 1984.

CR 6041 at Gallitzin in 1982

Conrail SD35 6041 (ex-CNJ 2502) is part of a helper set seen heading west at Gallitzin, PA in 1982.

CR 6044 at Bennington Curve in 1984

Conrail SD35 6044 (ex-CNJ 2505) is shoving an eastbound freight just west of Bennington Curve in 1984.

CR 6048 on the Pittsburgh Line in 1984

Conrail SD35 6048 (ex-CNJ 2509) is seen trailing on an eastbound loaded coal train crossing the Little Conemaugh River in 1984.

CR 6049 and CR 6051 at Bennington Curve in 1984

Conrail SD35s 6049 (ex-CNJ 2510) and 6051 (ex-CNJ 2512) are seen helping an eastbound mixed freight down around Bennington Curve in 1984.

CR 6049 and CR 6051 at Horseshoe Curve in 1984

Conrail SD35s 6049 (ex-CNJ 2510) and 6051 (ex-CNJ 2512) are seen drifting eastbound down around Horseshoe Curve in 1984.

CR 6049 and CR 6051 at South Fork in 1984

Conrail SD35s 6049 (ex-CNJ 2510) and 6051 (ex-CNJ 2512) are seen crossing the North Fork of the Little Conemaugh River while heading west through South Fork in 1984.

CR 6050 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

Former CNJ SD-35 2511 (CR 6050) follows U25B 2593 (ex-EL 2524) as they roll by the Juniata shops deadline in August, 1977.

CR 6051 at Bennington Curve in 1984

Conrail SD35 6051 (ex-CNJ 2512) is seen helping an eastbound freight towards Bennington Curve in 1984.

CR 6051 at CP-Slope in 1984

Conrail SD35 6051 (ex-CNJ 2512) is seen helping a westbound auto train attack the mountain as it leaves Altoona, PA in 1984.

CR 6054 and CR 6773, Horseshoe Curve 1990

A trio of Conrail power including C40-8W 6054 and SD50 6773 ease a freight down the mountain around Horseshoe Curve in 1990.

CR 6054 at Cresson, PA 1991

Brand-new Conrail C40-8W 6054 heads west past MO tower in Cresson while a helper set heads east on track 1 in 1991.

CR 6054 Gallitzin, PA 7/17/1993

ENPI ducks under the signal between Gallitzin and Cresson.

CR 606604 west Horseshoe 09271984

This uncovered coil steel car was westbound around Horseshoe Curve.

CR 6069 Altoona, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail SD45 6069 (ex-EL 3604) is trailing a westbound freight as it prepares to stop in Altoona to drop its helpers in 1982.

CR 6069 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

CR SD-45 6069 (ex-EL 3604) assigned pusher duty at Altoona in August, 1977.

CR 6069 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

CR SD-45 6069 (ex-EL 3604) assigned pusher duty at Altoona in August, 1977.

CR 6069 Cresson, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail SD45 6069 (ex-EL 3604) is seen passing MO tower in Cresson in 1982.

CR 6070 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

On an overcast day in August, 1979, a trio of SD-45 helpers line up at Cresson ready to tackle Horseshoe. The three 20-cylinder, 3,600hp brutes included CR blue 6070 (ex-EL 3605) and PC black 6169 and 6146.

CR 6071 Cresson, PA 7-1-1978

CR 6071 SD-45, former EL 3606, is at the tail end of a tripleheader at Cresson, PA. CR 6516 ex-PC U25C is in front, with the lead unit in CR blue.

CR 6075 Altoona, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail SD45 6075 (ex-EL 3610) is seen heading west at Horseshoe Curve in 1982.

CR 6075 Altoona, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail SD45 6075 (ex-EL 3610) is seen just west of Horseshoe Curve in 1982.

CR 6075 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

Former PC GP38-2 8075 leads GP35 3655 (ex-RDG), SD45 6075 (ex-EL 3610), and U25B 2549 as they brake a load of piggybacks down Horseshoe in August, 1977.

CR 6075 Altoona, PA 8-7-1977

Former PC GP38-2 8075 leads GP35 3655 (ex-RDG), SD45 6075 (ex-EL 3610), and U25B 2549 as they brake a load of piggybacks down Horseshoe in August, 1977.

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