Did You Know? Horseshoe Curve Edition

Did You Know? Horseshoe Curve Edition



did you know that trains have a hard time going up steep hills not too long ago I went to Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania it's a big old looping section of train track it's a part of the system between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and Pennsylvania the curve was built to make it easier for trains to get to where they're going without having to go up and down the steep hills the grade which is the angle of the hill going up or down between Altoona and galitsin those are the two towns that are closest to the curve would be too steep if the trains tried to go straight from one to the other the altitude at Altoona is 1161 feet and at galitsin it's 2221 feet and there are a lot of steep hills up and down in between the two towns I read on one railroad site that at the time the curve was built the standard maximum grade was 2.2 percent which is a hundred and ten feet of climb for each mile traveled it might not sound like a lot but for a locomotive pulling a lot of heavy cars it is the Horseshoe Curve was the first of its kind was built in 1854 by an architect named John Edgar Thompson the curve is such an important part of the rail line that during World War two the Nazis wanted to destroy it if you want to know more about that look up Operation Pastorius besides all the interesting history visiting the curve in person is really exciting first you hear the far-off sound of the train horn long before you can see it because the trains still weigh around the bend as it comes closer you begin to hear the powerful sounds of the engines you look hard through the trees trying to catch your first glimpse there it is someone else this is what it's like to be in the Horseshoe Curve as a train [Applause] [Applause] trainers over there and it's loud better it doesn't quote but I don't know westbound back here was the biggest McCullen ship where they dump the coal it is triple motorcyclists no end in sight you can't really hear it can't really tell but you are surrounded on all sides by the squealing of the wheels on the track it's around the village way more than Wow Oh [Applause] [Applause] eventually the trains wind their way through the curves and are gone it's a busy place that the next train will be too far behind if you want you can go on youtube and watch the live webcam that they have set up there it's a lot of fun to watch but it's way better to see it in person definitely worth the trip if you want to know more go to their website the links in the description

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