We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An Amazing Feat of Engneering for the1850s”

Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Altoona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: An unusual construction of rail-building that enabled trains to move westward.
Saegertown, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“An Amazing Feat of Engneering for the1850s”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I had always wanted to see Horseshoe Curve so finally on the way to Gettysburg we took a side trip to see the Curve. It was well worth the trip. The museum had a great display that showed the mountainous terrain in the area and how the tracks were run allowing trains to navigate the terrain. A short ride up the hill brought us to a park along the tracks from where we could view several trains as the made their way around the curve accompanied by additional locomotives to provide pushing or braking power as needed. The engineers were every friendly and often waved to those standing along the tracks. Since trees along the tracks are not trimmed by the railroad it might be difficult to see the full curve in the summer months. We visited in late fall and with few leaves on the tree it was not a problem to see the trains as they traveled around the curve. Make sure you ask for a schedule at the entrance so you will know train schedules and what cargo they are hauling.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Thomas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

401 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Famous horseshoe curve...interesting railway venue”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Anyone passing by or a rail fan should pause to see this piece of railway infrastructure that allows trains of all sorts to achieve an elevation change as the track runs through this mountain range. With plenty of Freight trains plus scheduled passenger Amtrak sets it is fun to stand in the middle of the track curve at the viewing park point and be surrounded by trains in a true horse shoe curve.

A short journey from Altoona itself and a worthwhile detour.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank davidmgeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lombard, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A must for any railroad buff and others”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

It is an engineering feat and pretty incredible, especially when you think that it was accomplished in the 1850s. Quite an achievement and it is fun to watch the trains go by, which they do frequently. There is a schedule down at the lobby area. Check it out. There is a small museum which is well done. You can walk up to the observations area or ride the tram (it has a cool name, but I don't remember it). There are benches and picnic tables and shade up at the observation area.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank lernakid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Deptford
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Train fans young & old!”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

So it has taken us years but we finally made it to the infamous Horseshoe Curve. We are on a mission to hit as many train attractions as we can. This was worth it. The ride there was beautiful as well. The trains run regularly. Only a few minutes between each pass. I would imagine fall/autumn must be breathtaking. If you can't make the steps, a tram is available. The museum itself is in the town of Altoona a short drive from the curve. Directions are provided. Very easy to get to and worth it. Spent hours in the museum! not unusual for us we love trains and history. Both attractions were kid/big kid friendly.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank RaineWestDeptford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frederick, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not enough time but enjoyed the history”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Very historic location and need more than an hour to have enough time to see everything and catch the incline on the hour or half hour and hope to see a train. Suggest trying to find out when trains run so you can be sure to see a train. Seems to be more in the mornings but one did come through at 11:55 on a Saturday just as we were riding the incline up. Price is a little hefty to get in but worth it for the experience.

Visited July 2014
3 Thank JenI-AnywhereButHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark also viewed


Been to Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing