East Slope, West Slope and Horseshoe Curve Operations - Page 6

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 6140 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

Helper duo CR SD45 6140 and 6198 assist in braking a train down the hill on May 22, 1977.

CR 6140 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR SD45's 6140 and 6198 push hard on N8 class cabin 23233 (ex-PRR 478102) as they head up Horseshoe on May 22, 1977.

Many railfans gathered at the Curve for a scheduled run of restored RDG 4-8-4 #2102 later that day.

CR 6140 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR SD45 pushers 6198 and 6140 run light down track 1 at the Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6144 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

A powerful pair of SD-45's line up for helper duty at Cresson on an overcast day in August, 1979. This EMD 20-cylinder duo included CR blue 6144 and 6129, both ex-PC units.

CR 6144 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

A powerful pair of SD-45's line up for helper duty at Cresson on an overcast day in August, 1979. This EMD 20-cylinder duo included CR blue 6144 and 6129, both ex-PC units.

CR 6146 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 ex-PC 6146 and 6169, and CR blue 6070 (ex-EL 3605).

CR 6146 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

It was all 20-cylinders at Cresson on this overcast day in August, 1979.

Ready to flex their 3,600hp La Grange muscle, this helper trio included ex-PC 6146 and 6169, and CR blue 6070 (ex-EL 3605).

CR 6149 Altoona, PA 8-4-1979

CR SD45 6149 and a sister unit push up the hill at Horseshoe in August, 1979.

CR 6154 and 6138 on Westbounds at Horseshoe Curve 5/77

CR 6154 is on the point of a westbound on track 4 while CR 6138 leads a van train west on track 3 beside it.

CR 6154 east at Altoona, PA

CR 6154 and a EMD leads a eastbound coal train at Altoona, PA on June 24, 1998

CR 6155 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (1)

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 scheduled run through of RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyohoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070.

CR 6155 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

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 scheduled run through of RDG 4-8-4 #2102 and Cuyohoga Valley Lines 2-8-2 #4070.

CR 6155 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.

CR 6156 Altoona, PA 3-17-1979

Up front, SD40-2 6446 leads ex-PC SD45's 6134 and 6156, followed by Sante Fe GP-39-2 3645 and U23B 6312, as they charge up the curve in March, 1979.

CR 6156 Altoona, PA 8-4-1979

CR SD45's 6156 and 6079 (ex-EL 3614) run light down Horseshoe for another pusher assignment in August, 1979.

CR 6157 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR SD45 6157, SDP45 6689 (ex-EL 3658), and SD40 6277 hard at work dragging containers up Horseshoe on May 22, 1977.

CR 6157 at Horseshoe Curve in 1993

Conrail C40-8W 6157 is seen leading an eastbound freight into Horseshoe Curve in 1993.

CR 6163 at Cresson, PA in 1993

Conrail C40-8W 6163 is seen leading a westbound freight at Cresson, PA in 1993.

CR 6163 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/27/1978

An SD-45 leads a freshly painted U-33-C on a Westbound.

CR 6163 Horseshoe Curve, PA 7/2/1978

A Westbound rounds the Curve on a dreary day where the clouds are just above the train.

CR 6168 Gallitzin, PA 7/17/1993

A Westbound roars out of one of the Gallitzin tunnels.

CR 6169 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 ex-PC 6146 and 6169, and CR blue 6070 (ex-EL 3605).

CR 6174 at the Brickyard, Altoona PA in 1993

Conrail C40-8W 6174 is seen leading a westbound freight at the Brickyard in Altoona, PA in 1993. Seeing 3 gleaming new blue 6-axle units on a train really exemplifies what Conrail became.

CR 6177 Altoona, PA 3-13-1981

CR SD-40-2 6378 (1977-built) leads GP-38 7910 and SD-45 6177 racing piggybacks up track 2 past a mixed freight at Horseshoe Curve in March, 1981.

CR 6177 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (1)

CR pushers SD45 6177 and PC SD40 6070 (soon to be CR 6323) run light down track 1 at the Curve on May 22, 1977.

Crowds of steam railfans were all around the Curve awaiting the arrival of RDG 4-8-4 #2101 and helper Cuyahoga Valley Line 2-8-2 #4070 later that day.

CR 6177 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

CR SD45 6177 and ex-PC SD40 6070 run light down Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.  

CR SD40 6070 will soon be renumbered 6323 to make room for EL SD45's.

CR 6177 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

CR pushers SD-45 6177, and SD-40 6070 run light down track 1 at Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977. Former PC 6070 would later be renumbered 6323 to make room for EL SD45's in series 6066 to 6099.

Crowds of steam railfans were all around the Curve awaiting the arrival of RDG 4-8-4 #2101 and helper Cuyahoga Valley Line 2-8-2 #4070 later that day.

CR 6185 Altoona, PA 8-4-1979

Former PC SD45 6185 pushes hard up Horseshoe Curve in August, 1979.

CR 6185 Altoona, PA 8-4-1979

CR SD45's 6185 and 6193 run light down Horseshoe for another pusher assignment in August, 1979.

CR 6185 Gallitzin, PA 8-4-1979

With CR N7A-class caboose 21540 (ex-NYC 20339) trailing, CR SD-45's 6185 and 6193 push hard into the tunnels at Gallitzin in August, 1979.

CR 6191 Altoona, PA 8-21-1981

A pair of CR's V-20-powered SD-45 pushers (ex-PC 6191 and 6218) head down the curve for another helper assignment in August, 1981.

CR 6192 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

A pair of SD-45 helpers waits for a call to head up Horseshoe on an overcast August day at Cresson in 1979. This set of CR blue 20-cylinder power included 6192 and 6133, both ex-PC.

CR 6192 Cresson, PA 8-4-1979

The face of 3,600 horses awaits the call to head up Horseshoe.

A former PC pair of SD-45's, 6192 and 6133, line up along with other 20-cylinder helper sets at Cresson on an overcast August day in 1979.

CR 6193 Altoona, PA 8-4-1979

CR SD45's 6185 and 6193 run light down Horseshoe for another pusher assignment in August, 1979.

CR 6193 Gallitzin, PA 8-4-1979

With CR N7A-class caboose 21540 (ex-NYC 20339) trailing, CR SD-45's 6185 and 6193 push hard into the tunnels at Gallitzin in August, 1979.

CR 6193 Leads a short westbound TV train at Benny, 3/18

Conrail painted power is starting to show up on a somewhat regular basis at this point. SD45 No. No. 6193 leads a WB TV Train upgrade at Benny Interlocking in Bennington, PA on 3/18/78.

CR 6198 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

Helper duo CR SD45 6140 and 6198 assist in braking a train down the hill on May 22, 1977.

CR 6198 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977

CR SD45's 6198 and 6140 push hard as they head up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977. Passing by on the way down the curve is ex-PC N-7B caboose 21040.

CR 6198 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (1)

CR SD45's 6140 and 6198 push hard on N-8 class cabin 23233 (ex-PRR 478102) as they head up Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6198 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

CR SD45's 6140 and 6198 push hard on N8 class cabin 23233 (ex-PRR 478102) as they head up Horseshoe on May 22, 1977.

Many railfans were gathered at the Curve for a scheduled run of restored RDG 4-8-4 #2102 later that day.

CR 6198 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

Running light on track 1, the engineer of CR SD45 6198 gives a friendly wave to the crowd of railfans assembled at Horseshoe curve on May 22, 1977.

The large crowd of all ages stretched around the Curve awaiting the arrival of RDG 4-8-4 #2101.

CR 6200 at Horseshoe Curve

A westbound Conrail freight led by C40-8W 6200 negotiates Horse Shoe Curve on September 29, 1994. Doug Davidson photo with permission

CR 6203 Altoona, PA 8-21-1981

Helper duo CR SD-45 6203 (ex-PC) and 1979-built SD-40-2 6494 push hard on N-5B class cabin CR 22888 (ex-PRR 477767) as they head up the Curve in August, 1981.

CR 6204 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (2)

CR pushers SD45 6204 and SD40 6318 run light down track 2 at Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6204 Altoona, PA 5-22-1977 (3)

CR pushers SD45 6204 and SD40 6318 run light down track 2 at Horseshoe Curve on May 22, 1977.

CR 6211 Gallitzin, PA 5/28/1978

A Westbound is about to enter the tunnel at the top of the mountain. The line that swings off to the right went to Hollidaysburg, and Altoona, via the "Muleshoe".

CR 6211 Horseshoe Curve, PA 5/28/1978

3 PC black units and a RDG green GP-40-2 head West up the mountain.

CR 6212 Altoona, PA 1-1-1982

Conrail SD45 6212 (ex-PC 6212) is seen trailing on an eastbound TV train just west of CP-Slope in Altoona in 1982.

CR 6218 east at Cresson, PA

CR 6218 and 6659(SD45-2 ex EL) leads a eastbound PPLX coal train at Cresson, PA on June 25, 1998

CR 6219 Altoona, PA 3-27-1978

CR GP40 3120 and SD45 6219 take up the rear of a trio of units pulling a TV train up Horseshoe in March, 1978.

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