Timeline of Railroad Events at Altoona, PA

HOME ALTOONA-BUILT REBUILDS COMPLETED HISTORY DIAGRAMS PHOTOS OFFICE CAR SPECIAL CURRENT OCCUPANTS POWERPLANT ROSTERS

c. 1810
  - First parmanent settlers come to the area that would become Altoona.

1823
  -John Stevens obtains charter to construct a railroad from Philadelphia to Columbia with the intent to expand to
   Pittsburgh.  Stevens failed to raise enough capital for the venture and the railroad was not constructed.

1826
  - Pennsylvania legislature passes a bill authorizing the construction of a railroad and canal system extending
    from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.  This led to the Allegheny Portage Railroad in the 1830s.

1834
  - At a cost of over $12 million, the Pennsylvania Main Line, a combination railroad and canal route, is completed
    from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

April 13, 1846
  - Pennsylvania state assembly charters the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to construct and operate a railroad
    between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, a distance of 249 miles.

April 24, 1849
  - 224 acres of David Robeson's farmland & woodland is purchased by the PRR for $10,000.  This property would become
    the townsite of Altoona and fifteen acres of it became the first railroad shops.

1849
  - PRR developes plans for construction repair facilities at Altoona including an enginehouse, erecting shop,
    and machine shop.

Early 1850
  - Construction begins on the first buildings of the Altoona railroad shops.  By the end of the year there is an
    eight stall roundhouse, a machine shop, paint shop, woodwork shop, blacksmith shop, locomotive repair shop,
    and foundry.  These early facilities at 12th street were later removed to make way for the Altoona Machine Shops.

September 11, 1850
  - Locomotive "Allegheny" makes first trip to Duncansville wye.

September 16, 1850
  - Regular service to Duncansville begins.

October 1, 1850
  - The PRR is connected to the Allegheny Portage Railroad temporarily.

December 1850
  - First train runs from Altoona to Pittsburgh using parts of the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

February 1851
  - PRR board authorizes the purchase of property in Altoona and the construction of an office with dwelling attached.

March 4, 1852
  - Pennsylvania authorized resurvey of New Portage Railroad.

December 1, 1852
  - The Headquarters of the Transportation Department is moved from Harrisburg to Altoona.

December 1852
  - The first units of the Altoona Shops open; over 100 workers are transferred from Harrisburg.

1852
  - Double-tracking of the main line begins.
  - By this year, the Altoona shops repaired railway cars and manufactured parts for locomotives as well as constructed
    new rail cars, cast iron bridge parts, boiler plate bridge parts, and wroght iron tracks.  Altoona provided castings
    for PRR shops at Columbia, Harrisburg, Mifflin, Conemaugh, and Pittsburgh.

April 3, 1853
  - The Altoona Machine Shops complete repairs to their first locomotive, the "Greene."

April 13, 1853
  - PRR board authorizes construction of the Logan House hotel in Altoona.

May 17, 1853
  - PRR special committee reports on plans for Altoona Station (Logan House) to be brick building to be done by
    the time the Mountain Division opens.

November 1853
  - PRR buys land for Altoona depot and Logan House hotel.

February 6, 1854
  - Altoona is incorporated as a borough.

February 15, 1854
  - The Mountain Division opens between Altoona and South Fork, bypassing the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

February 1854
  - The Logan House Hotel opens in Altoona serving as a station and dining room for meal stops.  It has 106 rooms

1854
  - Enginehouse #2 opens at Altoona.
  - The population of Altoona is 2,000 people.

January 1, 1855
  - The PRR opens its own telegraph line between Pittsburgh and Altoona replacing those of the Atlantic & Ohio
    Telegraph Company.

July 1, 1855
  - The New Portage Railroad opens.

September 21, 1855
  - Future PRR president, Samuel Rea, is born at Hollidaysburg.

1855
  - A new foundry and erecting shop open at Altoona.
  - The New Allegheny Portage Railroad eliminates the need for the incline plane operations.
  - Altoona shops employ more than 1,000 people.

January 1, 1856
  - Telegraph lines open between Altoona and Harrisburg.

October 23, 1856
  - The PRR Road Committee authorizes construction of a gas works at Altoona.

1856
  - The first local mutual beneficial society is formed by workers at Altoona.

August 1857
  - PRR is the only bidder at the auction of the state's Main Line of Public Works; buys it for $7.5 million.

November 1, 1857
  - PRR purchases the Main Line of Public Works earlier in 1857 and closes the New Portage Railroad; rails removed
    in 1858 for use on the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, & Chicago.

1857
  - The PRR develops thirty experimental refrigeration cars constructed with double sides, roofs, and floors. The space
    created by the double wall construction were filled with sawdust to provide insulation. A hole was drilled in the
    floor between the doors to provide drainage for ice water with the ice placed in containers built into the door.
    Later, the ice was moved to huge boxes strapped to the end of the cars.

November 13, 1858
  - The Altoona Mechanics' Library & Reading Room opens in space provided by the PRR, incorporated May 3, 1860.

December 22, 1858
  - PRR Board authorizes the construction of houses for officials at Altoona.

1858
  - PRR builds new freight car shop, paint shop, and transfer table at Altoona.

January 1, 1859
  - MW Department placed under William Hasell Wilson as Resident Engineer based at Altoona.

December 15, 1859
  - Gas lighting installed at Altoona Shops.

1859
  - Water mains installed in all Altoona Shops.

January 9, 1860
  - A new alignment of the branch between Altoona and Hollidaysburg is opened, eliminating deep cut at west end
    of Altoona.

1860
  - The population of Altoona is 3,591 people.

1861
  - Freight car shop at Altoona converted to passenger car shop.

September 1862
  - PRR Board orders Altoona Shops closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3:30 pm to drill employees to prepare for
    possible Confederate invasion.
  - PRR officials order all locomotives to be fired up and prepared to leave Altoona if Confederate forces moved
    north toward the city.  Some forty locomotives with rolling stock were fired up and ready to leave, but the
    Confederates retreated after the Battle of Antietam.

October 1, 1862
  - Altoona Militia force of 500 men called to Mt. Union in special train to protect PRR from possible Confederate
    advance from Chambersburg, return when danger passes.

1862-1864
  - All PRR locomotives converted to coal-burning.

June 27, 1863
  - Patterns and materials evacuated from Altoona Shops to the Snow Shoe Branch as a precaution against
    Confederate raids.  Altoona Shops return to normal after Confederate loss and retreat after Battle of Gettysburg.

July 1864
  - PRR installs first 150 tons of imported cast crucible steel rails (56#) at Altoona and Pittsburgh yards as an
    experiment, purchased 1863.

July 26, 1864
  - 58-ton mortar built at Ft. Pitt Iron Works arrives in Harrisburg enroute to New York on special car built at
    Altoona Shops.

June 1865
  - 100 tons of imported crucible steel rails are installed on yard tracks at Philadelphia and Altoona, all 56#.

October 9, 1865
  - Steubenville Bridge over the Ohio River opens as the first railroad bridge across the Ohio below Pittsburgh,
    fabricated at the Altoona Shops.

1865
  - A new freight car shop is completed at Altoona.
  - A new machine shop opens at Altoona.

Early 1866
  - Mifflin Shops downgraded and most work moved to Altoona.

July 1866
  - A new smith shop opens at Altoona.

November 1866
  - The first new locomotive to be built in Altoona is completed by the Altoona Machine Shops.

1866
  - The Altoona Car Shops produce some of the country's first mail cars under a contract with the US Government.

February 1867
  - Enginehouse #3 (Western Enginehouse) opens at Altoona with 44 stalls.

1867
  - In addition to Enginehouse #3, PRR builds a fireproof oil house, a brick sandhouse, and adds two furnaces to the
    brass foundry.

Janurary 21, 1869
  - An arsonist sets fire to and destroys the frame freight repair shop.

November 1869
  - Altoona Shops complete 25 new coaches with modern type clerestories, gas lighting, and Westinghouse air
    brakes for New York-Chicago service.
  - Another fire destroys the planning mill along with all its tools.

1869
  - A new complex, the Altoona Car Shops, built along Chestnut Avenue is constructed for the repair and construction
    of new railroad cars.  The original shops at 12th Street became known as the Altoona Machine Shops and were the
    center for repairing and constructing locomotives.  Within a few years, a circular car-repair shop, passenger
    car repair shop, blacksmith shop, foundry, cabinet/machine shop, firehouse, ice house, engine and boiler shop,
    and office and storehouse were built here.  Today, the buildings remaining at this location are owned by Union
    Tank Car, Lumax Industries, and Home Nursing Agency.  The huge circular car-repair shop, resembling a roundhouse,
    is gone, among other buildings once part of the Altoona Car Shops.

1869-1870
  - PRR becomes first organization to establish a standard clock by linking its Altoona clock to the
    Allegheny Observatory

1870
  - The Altoona Shops begin constructing baggage cars.  They usually consited of two sections, one of which was for
    valuable items.

Early 1870s
  - PRR management begins standardization of all equipment and machinery use on the railroad by having Altoona engines
    draw up all construction designs regardless of where the car or locomotive would be constructed.

January 1871
  - New Altoona Car Shops completed east of 7th street, car and locomotive shops entirely separated, old
    car shops between 9th and 16th streets become part of Altoona Machine Shops.

1872
  - Iron train shed, 271' x 48', built in front of Logan House at Altoona Station.
  - New foundry built at Altoona.

February 3, 1873
  - New foundry opens at Altoona for casting car wheels, piece work is introduced.

February 2, 1874
  - Workdays at the Altoona Shops are increased to 9 hours.

March 1, 1874
  - Workdays at the Altoona Shops increased to 10 hours.

March 1874
  - The Department of Physical Tests is created under the Master Mechanic at Altoona.

1874
  - A new erecting shop opens at Altoona.
  - A new wheel foundry is established at Altoona for "steeled" wheels.

January 2, 1875
  - Nine hour workdays resume at Altoona Shops.

February 24, 1875
  - The PRR YMCA is organized at Altoona.

April 10, 1875
  - A new Erecting Shop No 1 is completed at Altoona.

October 1875
  - Gas lighting is installed in the Altoona Shops allowing work to go on until 10:00 p.m.

1875
  - A new wheel foundry opens at the Altoona Shops.

March 1876
  - The Altoona Shops complete 100 special passenger cars with plain interiors for Centennial passenger service.

September 1876
  - The Altoona Shops are almost idle and many employees are laid off.

1876
  - The first chemical laboratory opens at Altoona.

May 21, 1877
  - The telephone is demonstrated at the Altoona Shops, later installed and becomes the first railroad telephone
    installation and grows into the world's largest private telephone system.

June 18, 1877
  - Eight hour workdays resume at the Altoona Shops.

June 1878
  - PRR enlarges Experimental Department at Altoona.

1879
  - The first building dedicated to the Test Department and Chemical Laboratory opens at Altoona.

February 8, 1879
  - PRR tests a passenger train with steam heat at Altoona; supplied from a boiler in a baggage car.

May 1879
  - Altoona Shops return to 10-hour days.

October 1879
  - A new 32 foot track inspection car is completed at the Altoona Shops.

1880
  - Electric lights installed in lathe and vise shops at Altoona.

January 1881
  - PRR tests locomotive #579 with a "Canadian snow plow" on the eastern slope as a replacement for hand-shoveling.

February 1881
  - PRR considers relaying track on the New Portage Railroad.

March 1881
  - Lake Conemaugh, the former Western Reservoir, is filled and stocked with fish by the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club
    of Pittsburgh.  This is the lake which could cause the Johnstown Flood of 1889.

May 16, 1881
  - Eastbound "Cincinnati Express" consisting of 12 cars and engines #668 and #258 suffers air brake failure about one mile
    west of Altoona and runs away at about 30 mph past the Logan House.  It plows into an Adams Express baggage car and then
    the rear of engine #189 which was to forward it over the Middle Division.  No injuries.

June 1, 1881
  - Altoona Division created from Hollidaysburg, Morrison Cove, Newry, Williamsburg, and Springfield branches plus Altoona
    Yard and Shops

December 1881
  - A 28-million gallon reservoir constructed by the PRR near Altoona at Pottsgrove to supply the Altoona Shops is
    completed with water being turned in the next month.  Today this reservoir is gone and I99 splits the site in half.
  - PRR begins laying track on the bed of the New Portage RR at points between Cresson and Petersburg.

February 1882
  - Erecting Shop No. 2 completed at Altoona Machine Shops.

March 1882
  - First and only class L 2-4-6 Forney-type tank locomotive (#4) built at Altoona.  Unsuccessful design.

April 25, 1882
  - Class L PRR #4 begins service between Philadelphia and West Chester via Paoli.

1882
  - The Master Mechanics offices open next to the Altoona Machine Shops.  Later the building was extended 30 feet
    to the east and two stories were added.  Today this is the main building of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.
  - PRR formally establishes the office of the General Superintendant of Motive Power in Altoona, making the shops
    in Altoona the most important on the PRR.
  - First-aid kits are intalled on all locomotives
  - PRR adopts semaphore signals.

May 14, 1884
  - An explosion destroys the boiler house.  It was rebuilt and enlarged to provide room for two additional boilers.

May 1884
  - Altoona Shops completes parlor car No 901, the first of the series of "bay window" cars with interiors designed by
    New York architect Bruce Price at the request of Theodore N. Ely.
  - PRR is equipping all main line passenger cars with Westinghouse train signal air lines.

November 26, 1884
  - PRR makes donation of free lot and $700,000 for Altoona Hospital.

1884
  - PRR adopts the Janney knuckle coupler as standard for passenger cars.

March 30, 1885
  - PRR begins operation of its own Altoona-built parlor cars between Jersey City and Washington.

May 1885
  - Altoona Shops completes 150 freight cars equipped with Westinghouse brakes and Janney couplers for NYP&N
    fast freight service.

October 1885
  - First class R (H3a) 2-8-0 #400 built at Altoona to design of John B. Collin, first PRR locomotive with
    square Belpaire firebox which would become the PRR standard.

November 1885
  - Altoona Shops resume Saturday operations.

January 1886
  - PRR D11a 1093 becomes the 1,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n AMS 999.

1886
  - A fire destroys the flue shop at the Altoona Machine Shops.  It is replaced the next year.
  - Plans for another reservoir, this time at Brush Mountain, are approved to supply water to the shops.  This
    reservoir is located upstream from the Pottsgrove reservoir and still exists today.
  - Plans for a new locomotive shop are developed in Juniata, now part of Altoona.
  - 20 Handom cabs built at Altoona Shops for Broad Street Station taxi service.

June 17, 1887
  - PRR begins testing oil-burning locomotive No. 408 (4-4-0) on mail and passenger train between Altoona and
    Pittsburgh.

December 1887
  - Altoona Shops equipping two train sets with steam heat to be tested this winter.
  - "Passaic," last car built at Altoona for Pullam Palace Car Company leaves Altoona Shops.

1887
  - PRR opens new Altoona Station at 10th Avenue and 13th Street just [railroad] west of the Logan House.
  - New locomotive paint shop opens at Altoona.

June 17, 1888
  - Pittsburgh Division office and trainmen's building at Altoona moved intact from 17th Street to 24th Street.

June 18, 1888
  - Altoona Shops set a record by producing a class A locomotive in 16:55, beating the previous record of 24:00
    set by Baldwin.  This record is later broken when the Great Eastern RY assembles a locomotive in 9:57 on 12/10/1891.

September 15, 1888
  - Construction begins on the Juniata Shops.

1888
  - New  Brush Mountain Reservoir opens near Altoona.

January 1889
  - Westinghouse is having the Altoona Shops build what is probably the first air brake instruction car; includes apparatus
    for air brakes, air signals, electric light and steam heat manufactured by Westinghouse.

March 13, 1889
  - First public trial of steam heating of a passenger train by steam from a locomotive with a vacuum return on PRR special
    of 12 cars run between Philadelphia and Jersey City; was result of two years of experiments at Altoona.

May 31, 1889
  - Catastrophic Johnstown Flood 40 miles west of Altoona kills more than 2,200 people, destroying locomotives and cars in
    its path; the damage severs the PRR main line, disrupting rail service through Altoona for weeks.

September 1889
  - Altoona Shops are turning out cars at a rate of one every four minutes or 150 per day; working at full capacity to make
    up flood losses.

September 28, 1889
  - New passenger tracks open to the north side of Altoona yards.  Previous main tracks now for freight only.

October 1889
  - New track inspection and dynamometer car built at Altoona is now being used on the New York Division.

1889
  - New paint shops and electric plant built at Altoona.
  - Bacteriological laboratory added to the Altoona Test Department.

April 1890
  - PRR plans large new yard at East Altoona.

May 27, 1890
  - The Altoona & Wopsononock Railroad is chartered to build an eight-mile and 3 foot gauge line from Juniata to a
    lookout over the city at Wopsononock Mountain.  In addition to passenger traffic, coal and timber were planned to
    be hauled.

September 8, 1890
  - Fire set by lightning strike guts PRR office building at corner of 11th Avenue and 12th Street in Altoona.

1890
  - The new Juniata Shops are mostly finished.
  - Work on Blair Furnace (East Altoona) yard begins.

June 6, 1891
  - The Altoona & Wopsononock Railroad is completed to the top of the Alleghenies and the first train arrives at
    Wopsononock on June 11.  The railroad was formally opened on July 2.

July 1891
  - The Juniata Shops complete their first new locomotive, a class R (H3a) 2-8-0.

1891
  - Biggest year of new locomotive production at the Altoona Machine Shops with 140 locomotives.
  - Blair Furnace (East Altoona) Yard completed with 18 miles of track.

January 22, 1892
  - The Altoona & Wopsononock Railroad is renamed the Altoona, Clearfield & Northern Railroad to reflect a projected
    extension, which was built that year as far as Dougherty.

April 1, 1892
  - Eastbound classification yard (WN) placed in service east of 4th Street, south side, Altoona for receiving trains
    from Pittsburgh Division.

April 6, 1892
  - New yardmaster's office "GD" opens at east end of 4th Street yard, south side, Altoona, replacing "FA" office east
    of 12th Street bridge.

October 1892
  - PRR is forced to haul river water from Harrisburg to Altoona as severe drought hits.

November 1892
  - New Altoona gravity yard handles 1,800 cars per day; switches are worked with compressed air, cars are started out
    of the receiving yard by poling engines but then run by gravity.

December 1892
  - PRR H3 1557 or PRR H3a 1565 becomes the 2,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n AMS 1821 and JS 178 respectively.
  - PRR builds its first tunnel clearance car at Altoona.

December 28, 1892
  - WN Tower at Altoona destroyed by fire.

1892
  - New air brake shop opens at the Altoona Car Shops.

January 14, 1893
  - PRR begins hauling water from Hollidaysburg to the Altoona Shops due to a drought.

January 21, 1893
  - A new WN Tower is placed in service at Altoona, replacing one burned in December 1892.

January 1893
  - The Altoona Shops builds the "largest freight car ever built" to carry the 124-ton Krupp gun from Baltimore to
    the World's Columbian Exposition.
  - The Altoona Shops builds a clearance car which is to be run by the chief engineer's staff over the entire lines east.

February 23, 1893
  - A dinner at the Logan House celebrates the 200th locomotive built at the Juniata Shops.

March 2, 1893
  - President Benjamin Harrison signs RR Safety Appliance Act requiring the adoption of air brakes and automatic couplers
    by January 1, 1898.

March 31, 1893
  - Twenty-one switches at the west end of the Altoona Station are now operated by a leverman at 14th Street.

November 13, 1893
  - Committee of Master Car Builders Association begins six days of tests of air brakes from various manufacturers at
    Altoona to determine which is the best triple valve.

1893
  - Biggest year of new locomotive production in Altoona with a total of 244 locomotives between the Altoona Machine
    Shops and Juniata Shops.

February 1894
  - Installation of automatic couplers and air brakes on all PRR passenger cars and locomotives is completed.

March 20, 1894
  - In a demonstration of the fight for scarce jobs in the depression, a mob of 300 men from the Altoona Shops march
    over the “Red Bridge” and drive off immigrants working on the Bellwood Extension of the Altoona & Logan Valley
    Railroad at 75 cents a day, forcing them to flee for their lives; they then march to the Elizabeth Furnace and
    beat and drive off 60 Italians and drive all foreigners out of Bellwood; the ranks swollen to 600, they march on
    the Italian neighborhood in Altoona on 9th Avenue between 7th & 9th Streets, by which time the mob has grown to
    about 3,000; PRR General Superintendent F.L. Sheppard forces his way to the center of the crowd and announces that
    no foreigners will be given work; the Altoona & Logan Valley later does the same.

April 9, 1894
  - PRR hosts six weeks of coupler testing at Altoona under J.M. Wallis, chairman of coupler committee of Master Car
    Builders' Association.

May 18, 1894
  - Heavy rains begin, bringing floods to Conemaugh, Susquehanna and Delaware watersheds; 4.92 inches of rain falls
    at Altoona.  Pittsburgh Division mainline reopens May 22, 1894.

May 28, 1894
  - PRR orders Altoona Shops to run full time.

August 1894
  - The private car of President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico is rebuilt at the Altoona Shops.

Late 1894
  - Wyes are installed on the Altoona, Clearfield & Northern Railroad at Wopsononock and Juniata so the railroad's
    engines did not have to back down the mountain.

October 7, 1895
  - First water train of tankcars with 70,000 gallons from the Hollidaysburg reservoir leaves for Altoona; trains run
    all day because of drought.  11 trains per day.

October 16,1895
  - A stopped water train on the Hollidaysburg Branch is rear-ended by the Henrietta passenger train.

November 1895
  - PRR begins straightening and 4-tracking the Middle Division.

1895
  - By this year, over 4,000 people were employed at the Altoona Shops.
  - PRR adopts new classification system for locomotives using letters to denote wheel arrangement instead of
    order of introduction.
  - New No. 3 boiler shop built at Altoona and test department building enlarged.

1896
  - New interlocking tower opens at Tyrone.  (Gray or Forge?)
  - New interlocking tower opens at Bellwood.  (Bell?)
  - New blacksmith shop built at Altoona.  225' by 68'

January 1, 1897
  - Work days increased by 10 hours per week at Altoona Shops.

February 29, 1897
  - The Altoona, Clearfield & Northern Railroad is sold under foreclosure and on March 17 it is reorganized as the
    Altoona & Beech Creek Railroad.  Of the five incarnations of the 'Wopsy Railroad,' the A&BC lasted the longest, 13 years
    of the 28 year history.

July 1, 1897
  - The Altoona & Wopsononock Railroad formally opens its eight-mile narrow-gauge line from Juniata to the Hotel Wopsononock.
    The line attracts sightseeing passengers and also handles coal shipments from mines at Daugherty, Cambria County.

October 11, 1897
  - PRR establishes a new fast mail train from New York to Pittsburgh with a sleeping car but no coaches; bypasses
    Philadelphia and stops only at Altoona and East Liberty.

December 20, 1897
  - Eastbound 48-car freight train out of control descending from Gallitzin piles up in front of Altoona station;
    3 killed and mainline blocked for 30 hours.

June 1898
  - The first H5 2-8-0 is introduced as a helper on the east slope; too big for present turntable at Altoona; heaviest
    and most powerful 2-8-0 yet built.

June 22, 1898
  - PRR orders 1,500 40-ton boxcars, 500 of which are to be built at the Altoona Shops.  Largest previous boxcars
    were 30-ton.

July 18, 1898
  - Altoona transfer freight station placed into service.

November 10, 1898
  - Third track opens between Altoona and Gallitzin.

November 25, 1898
  - First air brake and steam heat "motive power instruction car" No. 5580 arrives in Pittsburgh after being outshopped
    at Altoona.

December 3, 1898
  - Freight through Altoona sets new record; 2,528 cars eastbound, 2,277 cars westbound.

1898
  - Air brake test laboratory moved from Altoona to Purdue University at Lafayette, IN.

January 1, 1899
  - Work begins on new Juniata coal yard east of Altoona.

January 28, 1899
  - A record 91 eastbound (122,850 tons) and 70 westbounds pass Altoona.

April 25, 1899
  - The dual Juniata scales placed in service in the Altoona yards.

May 23, 1899
  - GY Tower above Horseshoe Curve destroyed by a cyclone; telegrapher injured.

June 1899
  - PRR buys Presbyterian church at Altoona to remodel into a railroad man's library.

September 28, 1899
  - About 3,000 cars pass Altoona westbound.

November 1, 1899
  - Division of Backteriological Chemistry established in Chemical Laboratory at Altoona, studied drinking water,
    disinfectants etc

November 10, 1899
  - PRR advertises itself as "the Four-Track Route" and regularly uses "The Standard Railroad of America."
    NYC had a four-track main line earlier than the PRR.

November 1899
  - Record 160,266 eastbound cars pass Altoona during the month, or 5,342 cars per day.

1899
  - New boiler shop built at Altoona and Altoona freight station expanded.
  - Electro-pheumatic interlocking plant installed at BO (Slope) Tower at Altoona.
  - New 75 foot turntable installed at Altoona.

Early 1900
  - Main line between Altoona and Gallitzin, over Horseshoe Curve, is expanded to four tracks.

November 1, 1900
  - A new eastbound classification yard east of Juniata Scales at Altoona opens for eastbound coal traffic.

1900
  - The employee library is moved from the Logan House to an old renovated church.

February 27, 1901
  - PRR Board authorizes construction of additional yard tracks at Blair Furnace Yard (East Altoona) for hopper
    cars to relieve yards at Altoona and Harrisburg.

August 1901
  - PRR A3 76 or PFtW&C H4 240 becomes the 3,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n AMS 2192 and JS 808 respectively.

December 16, 1901
  - New scales at MD east of Jones Street in Hollidaysburg placed in service.

April 15, 1902
  - Work begins on new westbound hump classification yard at Bells Mills (East Altoona).

April 23, 1903
  - BO interlocking placed in service at west end of Altoona.

April 30, 1903
  - A forest fire destroys both the Wopsononock Hotel and the coal tipple at Dougherty on the Altoona & Beech Creek RR.

May 11, 1903
  - New westbound hump yard opens at Bells Mills (East Altoona), first hump yard in the U.S.

June 1, 1903
  - PRR Middle Division (Harrisburg-Altoona) headquarters are moved from Harrisburg to Altoona, and the Altoona Division
    (local branches and the Altoona yards) is merged into it. The new Middle Division offices are located in the first
    and second floors of the Logan House. 

December 23, 1903
  - ANTIS Tower placed in service at East Altoona.

December 1903
  - The first all-steel subway car is built at Altoona to the design of George Gibbs.

1903
  - A new storehouse and blacksmith shop are constructed at the Juniata Shops.
  - PRR purchases 85 acres of land in South Altoona for the South Altoona Foundries complex.

January 1904
  - The Altoona Machine Shops complete their last new locomotive.

September 7, 1904
  - South Altoona Foundries foundry #2 opens.

November 21, 1904
  - The East Altoona Enginehouse is completed with 52 tracks & 100 foot turntable which makes it the largest
    roundhouse in the world intended for locomotive servicing.  The coaling dock is 135 ft tall, and has a 1,250-
    ton capacity.

December 1904
  - Enginehouse #1 at Altoona is abandoned and enginehouse #2 converted for passenger locomotive servicing.

1904
  - East Altoona yard including the East Altoona roundhouse completed.
  - Altoona Car Shops prepare design for 58-foot coach with steel frame and sheathing.

June 14, 1905
  - PRR Board authorizes construction of an additional erecting shop at the Altoona Machine Shops.

June 16, 1905
  - South Altoona Foundries foundry #1 opens.  This complex consists of a pattern shop, spring shop, storehouse,
    oil mixing facility, and office.  Later a machine shop was added.  The wheel foundry was one of the largest
    in the country, capable of 900 wheels per day.

September 19, 1905
  - PRR authorizes construction of a westbound hump yard at Altoona.

1905
  - After demonstrating with various engines at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, a locomotive test plant
    is dismantled and reassembled at Altoona, near 17th Street. It required a staff of 26 people.

June 11, 1906
  - Altoona Car Shops complete the first class P-58 passenger car.  With its all-steel exterior, it was a move away from all-wooden passenger cars.

1906
  - Baseball league formed for MW&S clerks at Altoona.

January 1907
  - Over 15,000 people are employed by the PRR at Altoona.

July 1907
  - MGA H4 208 becomes the 4,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n JS 1708.

November 17, 1907
  - RV (Rose) Tower is placed in service in Altoona.  This large building housed several different railroad
    offices from yardmasters, to crew callers.

1907
  - Biggest year of new locomotive production at the Juniata Shops with 220 locomotives.

March 21, 1908
  - Hollidaysburg Car Shops closed and work moved to Altoona. (when was this shop blt?)

March 23, 1908
  - PRR furloughs 2,140 men at Altoona and hours of all others increased from 32 to 36 hours per week,
    7,695 surplus freight cars stored near Hollidaysburg.

July 28, 1908
  - The number of surplus freight cars stored near Hollidaysburg reaches 9,257.

September 2, 1908
  - Hollidaysburg Car Shops reopen to begin repairing stored freight cars.

July 9, 1909
  - The PRR recalls 1,500 workers to the Altoona Shops.

September 2, 1909
  - All freight cars formerly stored near Hollidaysburg are back in service.

December 28, 1909
  - The eastbound yard at Hollidaysburg is reopened.

April 30, 1910
 - The Altoona & Beech Creek RR is sold under foreclosure and reorganized as the Altoona, Juniata & Northern Railway.

March 23, 1911
  - Shop employees at Altoona and Hollidaysburg are cut to 45 hours per week and 12 main line crews are
    let go because of business slow-down.

May 31, 1911
  - 700 shop employees strike at Altoona.

June 3, 1911
  - Striking Altoona shop employees return to work to save their seniority.

January 16, 1913
  - The Altoona, Juniata & Northern RY is merged into the newly-formed Altoona Northern Railroad.

August 1913
  - PRR H9s 3493 becomes the 5,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n JS 2675.

November 12, 1913
  - PRR Board authorizes acquisition of property for new Altoona station.

1914
  - A new 5-story testing laboratory building opens on 16th street at Altoona.
  - Juniata Shops turn out two locomotive prototypes that share a common boiler and many common
    parts, Class K4s 4-6-2 passenger engine No. 1737 and Class L1s 2-8-2 freight engine No. 1752.
    After successful tests, they are duplicated by the hundreds.  

November 6, 1916
  - A runaway 60-car freight train laden with iron and steel dashes down the mountain from Muleshoe
    Curve on the New Portage Branch, ramming four engines at New Portage Junction at Duncansville
    and killing seven railroaders. It is reported as “the most spectacular and costly Pennsy wreck
    in this section in many years.”

1916
  - A brake shoe testing machine is installed at the Altoona Test Department.
  - PRR adopts new motto, "Standard Railroad of the World" after dropping "Standard RR of America."
  - A group of New York City investors takes control of the Altoona Northern RR and converts it from
    3 foot gauge to standard gauge, initially operating with ex-PRR 2-6-0s, but replacing them with Heislers.

December 28, 1917
  - The U.S. Government assumes control of all railroads during WW1.

1917
  - The Hollidaysburg freight yard is enlarged.

August 8, 1918
  - The Altoona Northern Railroad goes into receivership (the final time for the Wopsy railroads).

1918
  - A new large machine shop (tank shop) is completed to repair and construct locomotive tenders.  This use lasted
    only until 1925 when the building was refitted for heavy machine work.  In 1952 this building housed a diesel
    engine shop.  Today it is adjacent to the steel shop and is used for material storage at the west end of the
    Juniata Shops.

June 1919
  - The only articulated locomotive to be built in Altoona is completed, largest of its type ever built,
    class HC1s 2-8-8-0 engine No. 3700.

July 16, 1919
  - The Altoona Northern Railroad operates its last passenger train.


  - The Altoona Northern Railroad operates its last coal train.

October 1919
  - PRR K4s 8114 becomes the 6,000th locomotive built in Altoona, c/n JS 3675.

March 1920
  - The U.S. Government gives up control of all railroads.

November 11, 1920
  - The PRR lays off 1,350 men at the Altoona shops, about 15% of total.

February 17, 1921
  - 875 men furloughed at Altoona, employment at Juniata Shops now under 900 down from 2,300 in November 1920.

March 7, 1921
  - PRR nearly closes Juniata Shops cutting employment to under 300 men.

1921
  - Rails of the the Altoona Northern Railroad are torn up.  The ANRR began as the 3 foot gauge Altoona & Wopsononock
    and underwent several corporate name changes as well as a change to standard gauge.

April 20, 1922
  - PRR lays off 250 men at East Altoona enginehouse because of coal strike.

July 1922
  - A nationwide shopmen’s strike is barely noticed in Altoona, where most workers ignore calls to walk off the job.

January 1924
  - PRR begins concentrating repairs at Altoona and laying off shop forces assigned to local enginehouses and shops.

November 29, 1925
  - An eastbound freight train makes a routine brake procedure stop at Kittanning Point (Horseshoe Curve), but upon
    resuming its journey, loses brakes and becomes a runaway. Engine 1282 and 58 boxcars dash down the mountain at
    speeds estimated between 50 and 85 mph. The engine crew is killed and 39 of the 58 cars were destroyed when they
    sideswiped another freight and piled up at Seventeenth Street Bridge, knocking it several inches out of alignment.

1925
  - The large erecting & machine shop addition to the Juniata Shop is completed on the east end, includes four
    bays, 27 tracks, and a turntable.  Most locomotive work today is concentrated in this area.

January 1926
  - Eighteen stalls of East Altoona Enginehouse extended by 30 feet to accommodate larger locomotives.

1926
  - Enginehouse #3 at the 12th Street Shops is closed.

April 20, 1927
  - New Plate fulcrum scales placed in service at Juniata Scales for eastbound freight.

April 30, 1927
  - Cab Signals are put in service between Philadelphia Division post (near Marysville) and Altoona.

June 30, 1927
  - The Logan House Hotel is closed.

1927
  - A new tankcar repair shop opens at Altoona.

May 1928
  - The Juniata Shops turn out their first Diesel-Electric, class A6 PRR 3905.  It was unsuccessful and rebuilt as a
    Gas-Electric the following spring.

July 1928
  - The name Altoona Works is adopted for the entire PRR shops complex at Altoona which includes all locomotive and
    cars shops plus the South Altoona Foundries and East Altoona Enginehouse.

1928
  - Peak year for employment at Altoona Works, over 19,000 people.

May 1929
  - PRR 3906 class A6 becomes first of only two Gas-Electric locomotives built at Altoona.  3907 followed in May 1930.

1929
  - Sparks from the locomotive test plant set fire to the roof of Enginehouse No. 3.  This incident led PRR officials
    to have the abandoned enginehouse demolished.

November 16, 1930
  - Cab Signals are put in service between Altoona and Pittsburgh.

1930
  - Construction completed on a brass foundry at South Altoona.

July 16, 1931
  - Shop and engine terminal at Hollidaysburg closed and yard converted to storage of idle cars and locomotives.

April 20, 1931
  - Demolition of Logan House begins.

December 27, 1931
  - A major fire destroys portions of the Altoona Machine Shops at 12th Street, resulting in $1.5 million in damage.

January 1932
  - A new brass finishing shop opens at the South Altoona Foundries.

August 18, 1932
  - A 6.8-mile-long macadam road to Horseshoe Curve is completed, celebrated with a 500-car motorcade.

1932
  - Operations at the brass foundry on 12th Street moved to South Altoona where a new electric furnace was recently
    installed.

1933
  - The Altoona Works consumes between 7 and 9,000,000 gallons of water each day, with a total reservoir capacity
    of 803,895,000 gallons of water.

March 27, 1934
  - PRR announces it will recall 1,200 furloughed men for work on electrification and at the Altoona Works.

1936
  - A new air brake and welding shop opens at Altoona.

May 16, 1937
  - Hundreds of railfans arriving on chartered trains from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago tour the facilities
    at PRR’s Altoona Works Open House.

1937
  - The test department develops a squeeze test machine for testing the structural strength of a passenger car.
    The machine attached to the coupler system of the car and simulated the pressure of an 800,000-pound load.
    Examiners then inspected the car body for any defects. Other railroad companies adopted the use of this machine
    in testing new passenger car designs and the first car of new orders.

August 1938
  - All remaining locomotive work at the Altoona Machine Shops, renamed 12th Street Car Shop, is transferred to the
    Juniata Shops.  Over 1,200 men transferred to the Altoona Car Shops and more than 300 men transferred to
    The Juniata Shops.

1941-1945
  - The Altoona Works engage in work related to the war effort (WW2).

June 1942
  - A German plot to blow up Horseshoe Curve and other strategic wartime facilities is uncovered. The Curve
    is closed to visitors and remains so until the season of 1946.

1942
  - A new 110 foot turntable is installed at the East Altoona Roundhouse to replace the original 100 foot table.

1943
  - Biggest year of new locomotive production at the Altoona Works (Juniata Shops) with 111 locomotives.
  - Altoona Model Railroad Club is organized and builds an O scale model railroad layout.  Within a short time,
    it is holding open-house events for the public. 

July 1944
  - 1,070 women are employed at the Altoona Works.
  - Peak month for Chemical Laboratory with 11,117 tests and samples.

Spring 1945
  - PRR Q2 6175 sets all-time record of 7,987 indicated horsepower on the Altoona Test Plant, the most horsepower ever
    recorded for any steam locomotive.

1945
  - Spectrographic laboratory installed at Altoona Test Plant.
  - A new freight car repair facility is placed into service.  This facility was known as Passenger Car Shop No. 4
    and could rehabilitate and strip locomotives for painting as well as freight cars.  Today this building is known
    as Miscellaneous Shop No. 2 and is used to store and maintain Norfolk Southern's Office Car equipment.

June 1946
  - The Altoona Works completes its last new steam locomotive, class T1 4-4-4-4 engine No. 5524.

February 18, 1947
  - The eastbound Red Arrow passenger train derails at Bennington Curve between Gallitzin and Horseshoe Curve,
    killing 24 passengers and crew and injuring 138.

February 28, 1947
  - The rear car of the westbound Sunshine Special somehow becomes uncoupled from the rest of the train when it stops at
    the summit at Gallitzin to cut off a helper engine. A lightweight Pullman sleeper named Cascade Mirage, the car rolls
    backward down the mountain for 3-1/2 miles – at a speed estimated at 50 mph – before derailing. Most passengers escape
    injury by lying flat on the floor, but a Pullman porter is killed while trying to apply the hand brakes.

September 29, 1947
  - PRR announces it has completed a new X-ray lab at the Altoona Test Plant to detect flaws in metal.

1947
  - Fire destroys blacksmith shop #1 at the Juniata Shops, rebuilt with "fire proof" roof which possibly saved
    it during the fire of 1981.

1949
  - The Erecting & Machine shop is retrofitted for diesel locomotive maintenance.
  - Studies begun on new car shop in Hollidaysburg, Sam Rea Car Shop.

Early 1950's
  - Construction begins on a new power plant for the Juniata Shops inside the existing building.

May 12, 1950
  - 12,000 workers at Altoona are idled.

May 17, 1951
  - PRR announces it will lay off 3,500 car shop workers at Altoona because of low freight rates and falling traffic.

December 2, 1951
  - PRR announces it will build 5,000 freight cars at Altoona.

April 25, 1952
  - A new three-track diesel shop is completed at the Juniata shops.  This is the present-day 'test shed' where diesel
    locomotives are load tested.  This new shop was built as a running repair/MI shop for slope helpers and local
    units assigned to Altoona.  At some point the middle track was filled in, leaving two tracks in the building.

June 4, 1952
  - New Sam Rea Car Shop authorized by PRR.

June 1952
  - PRR issues an order that all positions in Altoona which did not support the diesel locomotive program or the car
    construction and repair program would be abolished.

November 12, 1952
  - PRR Board announces $47 million upgrade program to include a new car shop at Hollidaysburg.

November 12, 1952
  - Grading is started on the Sam Rea Car Shop.

Early 1953
  - Fire partially destroys RV (Rose) tower.  It is rebuilt.

1953
  - PRR announces the abolition of the steam locomotive program as of December 1953.  As you can see below, this didn't
    happen right away.

October 1954
  - Altoona, the PRR, and Sylvania Electric celebrate the 100th anniversary of Horseshoe Curve with a giant nighttime
    flash photo of the Curve, using 6,000 flash bulbs and 13 miles of wiring. The resulting photo is used in LIFE magazine
    and on the cover of the railroad’s 1954 annual report.

1954
  - The reclamation plant opens at the Sam Rea Car Shops (which haven't opened yet) to salvage parts from worn out
    or obsolete stock.

May 7, 1955
  - PRR announces is will recondition about 30 steam locomotives at Altoona because of heavy freight traffic,
    18 already in service.

July 15, 1955
  - A new 110 foot turntable is installed at the Juniata Shops outside the E&M shop next to 6th Street.

August 3, 1955
  - The new Sam Rea Car Shop in Hollidaysburg completes its first car, work transferred from 12th Street Car Shops,
    Altoona Car Shops, and South Altoona Foundries, building is 2,760 feet long and covers 17 acres.  The cost to
    build was $35 million.

1955
  - PRR dismantles the locomotive test plant.

June 8, 1957
  - PRR class K4s 4-6-2 steam engine No. 1361, donated to the City of Altoona, is placed on display and dedicated
    at Horseshoe Curve.

August 28, 1957
  - PRR announces the installation of a quantometer at the Altoona test lab which detects minute quantities of metal
    in lubricating oil and records results automatically.

November 27, 1957
  - Last regular steam to operate in Altoona, coal drag from Cresson.

1957
  - Last steam locomotive maintenance performed at the Juniata Shop.

July 1, 1958
  - The PRR temporarily closes electric and diesel shops at Altoona, idling 1,600 employees.

October 28, 1959
  - PRR announces it will furlough 3,500 more workers at Altoona because of steel strike, employment at Altoona Works
    has fallen from 15,000 in Feb 1951 to 6,800.

November 2, 1959
  - PRR suspends freight car building at Altoona for one month because of steel shortage.

November 20, 1959
  - PRR announces it will recall 3,500 workers at Altoona because of end of steel strike.

February 24, 1960
  - PRR Board authorizes retirements of door shop, dry kiln, and grit blast buildings at Altoona Car Shop.

September 1, 1960
  - Transport Workers Union and System Federation, with a combined 20,000 members, target the PRR for a
    strike, closing it down systemwide for the first time in the railroad’s 114-year history. Some 6,500
    Altoona shop workers are idled. The strike lasts 12 days.

Fall 1960
  - The train shed of Altoona station is demolished.

November 1960
  - PRR orders 1,000 ore jennies to be built at Sam Rea Car Shop.

1960
  - First half of East Altoona roundhouse is demolished.

June 1, 1962
  - 200 workers are furloughed at Altoona Works.

April 16, 1964
  - PRR announces a $5 million modernization program for the Altoona Works, only a partial upgrade.

July 1964
  - PRR raizes the circular locomotive finishing shop at the Altoona Car Shops. 

August 30, 1965
  - PRR announces it will build an experimental 150-ton covered hopper car at the Sam Rea Car Shop

1965
  - State Historical and Museum Commission votes to build a Pennsylvania state railroad museum in
    Strasburg, Lancaster County, dashing the hopes of many railroaders and civic boosters around
    Altoona who had hoped the facility would be located in Altoona.

1966
  - The predecessor of the PRR Technical & Historical Society – the Pennsylvania Research & Information Association – is formed in Altoona.

January 5, 1967
  - 365 employees furloughed at the Altoona Works.

April 3, 1967
  - 350 more employees furloughed at Altoona.

May 10, 1967
  - The National Park Service designates Horseshoe Curve a National Historic Landmark.

February 1, 1968
  - The New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads merge, creating the Penn Central Transportation Company.  At this
    time, the PRR announced that the Juniata Shops and Sam Rea Shops would remained open, while NYC facilities at
    Indianapolis, Cleveland, and East Rochester would be closed and worked transfered to Altoona.

March 1968
  - The massive concrete coaling station at East Altoona is demolished, first attempt only drops it upright.

April 13, 1968
  - Test Department placed under an ex-NYC man, orders PRR test facilities at Altoona closed and PRR test
    files destroyed, all testing and research concentrated at NYC facility in Collinwood, OH.

April 28, 1968
  - Keystone tubular cars retired to Altoona Car Shops because of need for expensive repairs.

September 1, 1968
  - Testing facilities near 17th Street are closed as a result of the merger with NYC.

1968
  - The remaining half of the East Altoona roundhouse is demolished.
  - The Altoona Works experiences a dramatic increase in work as other shops on the system were closed.  1,400 employees
    called back to work.
  - Horseshoe Curve Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is formed, adding momentum to the movement to establish a railroad museum in Altoona.

1969
  - The Penn Central completes a $6.5 million modernization program.
  - Buildings in the 12th Street Shop and Altoona Car Shop area begin to be sold or demolished.

Early 1970
  - A Bag Filtration System is added to the Juniata Power Plant to comply with EPA regulations for emissions.

April 1, 1970
  - PC closes East Rochester Car Shops and assigns work to Sam Rea Car Shop.

May 1, 1970
  - The Altoona Works now becomes known as the Penn Central Altoona Shops.

June 21, 1970
  - Penn Central files a petition for bankruptcy.

1970
  - PC donates mechanical department photographs to Altoona Area Public Library.

May 1, 1971
  - Amtrak is formed by the federal government and begins to take over intercity passenger operations. The number
    of passenger trains through Altoona drops from 13 to six, then, a year later, four.

1971
  - The former PRR passenger station in Altoona is demolished.

March 20, 1972
  - PC announces that all freight car repairs will be transferred to Altoona/Hollidaysburg.

October 30, 1972
  - The Altoona Railroaders' Memorial Museum is organized with private donations as a reaction to the decision to
    build the State's museum elsewhere.

November 3, 1972
  - Penn Central and Amtrak vacate the 1887 former PRR passenger station prior to its demolition to make way for
    a 303-space multi-story parking deck and the Tenth Avenue Expressway. It is replaced by a 12-foot by 60-foot
    “temporary” mobile house trailer to serve as a ticket office and waiting room.

1972
  - 315 employees from the Beech Grove Shops transfer to Altoona.

February 1974
  - Present day Homer interlocking goes into service.

March 6, 1974
  - The PRR Technical & Historical Society is incorporated in PA, successor to the PA Research & Information
    Association.

October 8, 1974
  - PC opens a new locomotive maintenance training center at the Juniata Locomotive Shop.

August 5, 1975
  - PC begins recalling 550 employees furloughed in June to Altoona under USRA-funded equipment repair program.

April 1, 1976
  - The Penn Central RR and many others are merged into the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail).
  - The Sam Rea Car Shop is now known as the Hollidaysburg Car Shop.

October 1, 1979
  - Amtrak discontinues the New York-Kansas City, Mo., National Limited, leaving Altoona with a single daily
    passenger train, the New York-Chicago Broadway Limited, for the first time in 125 years.

April 27, 1980
  - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adds the Pennsylvanian, a daily Philadelphia-Pittsburgh run, to the Amtrak
    timetable under a state subsidy. Restoring daylight passenger service to Altoona, it is later expanded to
    New York-Pittsburgh.

September 21, 1980
  - Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum opens in a new facility at 1300 Ninth Ave., built on land donated by
    the Station Mall, part of the grounds of the former PRR Altoona Machine Shop.

March 1981
  - Conrail removes one track from the previously four-track main line over Horseshoe Curve, between Altoona and Gallitzin.

April 9, 1981
  - Miscellaneous Shop #1, which during the steam era was a boiler shop, is destroyed by fire.  The paint shop at
    the time was next door and was saved possibly due to its "fire proof" roof.  Seven locomotives caught in fire
    including:  6245 (destroyed), 7720 (repaired), 7751 (destroyed), 7916 (destroyed), and at least one switcher.

1982
  - A new modern paintshop is constructed on the site of Misc. Shop #1, which was destroyed by fire the previuos year.
    It is added onto twice in later years.
  - A new yard office goes into service, closing the old Rose (RV) tower which stood between the passenger and
    freight mains.

1983
  - A major modernization program is completed, bringing JBS up to state-of-the-art technological standards for
    diesel locomotive maintenance.  Included in this modernization was the addition of 'E bay' (built in 1980 or 1981)
    which enclosed a large open area between the original E&M shop and the original Juniata Shop buildings.

1984
  - Until this year, the Master Mechanics building had housed various railroad offices.  The building would lay dormant
    for over 10 years before opening as the new building for the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

Early 1985
  - Old Rose tower is demolished.  It was built in 1907.

September 12, 1985
  - PRR Class K4s steam engine No. 1361 is removed from Horseshoe Curve for eventual refurbishment and brief excursion
    operation during 1987-88.

January 1, 1987
  - The NORAC (Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee) rulebook goes into effect on Conrail and several other northeast railroads on this date and over the next year.

May 1, 1991
  - Conrail's Office Car fleet maintenance is moved from Reading to Juniata.

April 25, 1992
  - Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum opens its $5.8 million Horseshoe Curve Visitor Center with exhibits and
    with a funicular offering rides to track level.

November 1994
  - The first new locomotive is built at the Juniata Shops since 1946 under contact from Electro-Motive Division.
    Many more would come.

August 1995
  - Conrail completes its $100 million Pennsylvania Clearance Project, a public-private partnership that opens the
    way for double-stack intermodal container traffic between Chicago and the East Coast through Altoona. As part
    of the work, the Allegheny and New Portage tunnels are rebuilt with more vertical clearance, and the single-track
    Gallitzin Tunnel is abandoned.

September 9, 1995
  - Final run of Amtrak’s Broadway Limited, New York-Chicago train that had begun under PRR auspices in 1902.
    A replacement train, the Three Rivers, begins the next day as primarily a mail train, but it, too is
    discontinued in 2005.

April 25, 1998
  - The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum opens and moves into the four-story Master Mechanics building, built 1882
    and once part of the Altoona Machine Shops complex. The original 1980 museum building is converted to exhibit space.

September 1998
  - CR SD70 2570 becomes the 7,000th locomotive built in Altoona.

November 1998-June 1999
  - Only time in history that new EMD and GE locomotive are built under the same roof, Juniata Locomotive Shop.

June 1, 1999
  - Conrail is split between CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corporation.
  - OCS maintenance is still concentrated at Juniata, but there is no longer special OCS power.

July 2002
  - Norfolk Southern closes the Hollidaysburg Car Shop.

July 4, 2004
  - Norfolk Southern, the Railroaders Memorial Museum, and Osram Sylvania celebrate the 150th anniversary of
    Horseshoe Curve with fireworks and a special train containing high-powered lighting effects, pulled by
    newly painted (in Juniata) GE Dash 9 locomotives Nos. 9822 and 9828.

March 7, 2005
  - Final run of Amtrak’s New York-Chicago Three Rivers, successor to the Broadway Limited , leaving the
    New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian as the only passenger train serving Altoona.

January 2006
  - AltoonaWorks.info is created as a tribute to Altoona's railroading heritage.

March 2007
  - The Juniata Shops complete overhauls on three of four F units to power Norfolk Southern's OCS trains,
    replacing regular freight power.
  - NS 100, the first 'genset' built in Altoona, is released from the Juniata Shops.

August 2008
  - NS 6302, the first SD40-E to be rebuilt from an SD50, becomes the first microprocessor-equipped rebuild
    to be done in Altoona.  6302 is also the first example of the EM2000 being installed in any rebuild anywhere.

August 2009
  - NS 999, a battery-powered switcher, is released from the Juniata Shops.  It was built in cooperation with
    Penn State University, and Brookville Equipment with the Juniata Shops.

September 2009
  - A new EPA-compliant smoke stack with modern scrubbers is constructed between the power plant and general
    office building.  It is about the same height as the original brick smoke stack.  The old brick stack remains.

April 9, 2010
  - Rose interlocking, controlled from Alto Tower, is removed from service with hand throws installed.  This signals the
    beginning of the end for the tower.

August 2010
  - The new EPA-compliant smoke stack with modern scrubbers is put into service to comply with EPA emissions regulations.

November 2010
  - The first SD60E rebuild is released from Juniata featuring a new NS-designed "Crescent" cab, NS 6900.  In this process,
    a North American safety cab, commonly known to railroaders as a “widebody” or "widecab," is grafted onto a locomotive
    in place of the original cramped “Spartan” cab.

January 2011
  - The last span of the old 17th Street bridge in Altoona is removed.  Back in November 2010, all but this last
    span was removed.
  - The last track is removed from the eastbound class yard (below Juniata Scales).  The majority of the yard was
    removed in 2010

April 2011
  - Norfolk Southern begins major project to eliminate ALTO Tower, replace all PRR position light signals in Altoona with
    color light signals, and make track layout changes to ALTO and SLOPE interlockings.
  - The first locomotive rebuilt with an NS-designed "Admiral" cab is released from Juniata, NS 6125.

January 2012
  - A new emissions testing facility goes into service at the Juniata Shops in part of Smith Shop #1.
  - NS 4610, formerly the Southern commemorative unit, is repainted into the black operation lifesaver scheme at
    Juniata ahead of the announcement of a heritage unit program.

March-April 2012
  - The Juniata Shops paint five brand new ES44ACs in commemorative paint schemes to celebrate Norfolk Southern's
    30th anniversary.  (CR, NKP, NW, PRR, LV)

June 11, 2012
  - PRR signals at CP-Antis are replaced with color light signals and control transfered to Altoona East dispatcher
    in Pittsburgh.

June 13, 2012
  - PRR signals at CP-Homer are replaced with color light signals and control transfered to Altoona East dispatcher
    in Pittsburgh.

June 14, 2012
  - PRR signals at CP-Works are replaced with color light signals and control transfered to Altoona East dispatcher
    in Pittsburgh.

June 16, 2012
  - Alto and CP-Slope interlockings are removed from service and new CP-Altoona and CP-Cove Jct are cut in and controled
    by Altoona East dispatcher in Pittsburgh.  At this time ALTO tower is removed from service.  The operator left the
    building at 12:03 pm.

July 22, 2012
  - The last of ALTO's former switches are finally removed after they've been out of service for over a month.

July 23, 2012
  - The 4th Street pedestrian bridge which has been closed for over 10 years is finally removed and scrapped.

October 31, 2012
  - Norfolk Southern submits a request with the FRA to remove all wayside automatic signals from the Pittsbugh Line (Harrisburg to
    Pittsburgh).  Trains would operate on signal indication at control points and on (existing) cab signal indication between
    control points.  The request is approved 10/24/2013.

October 24, 2013
  - The FRA approves Norfolk Southern's request to remove all wayside automatic signals from the Pittsbugh Line (Harrisburg to
    Pittsburgh).  Trains would operate on signal indication at control points and on (existing) cab signal indication between
    control points.  This work and Position Train Control upgrades begin April 2016.

August 1, 2014
  - Curry Rail Services begins production inside a portion of the Hollidaysburg Car Shop.  Curry manufactures locomotive
    and freight car components.

March 27, 2015
  - Norfolk Southern announces a $53 million project to replace the Juniata Locomotive Shop’s coal boilers with natural
    gas heaters and install a 1.2-megawatt heat and power generator to supply the entire 16-building complex.  When completed
    in late 2017, NS predicts annual savings of $4 million in electricity costs and reduction of 29,000 tons of carbon emissions.
    The project will include new track doors, new roof, and a completely new electrical system.

May 2015
  - Curry Rail Services builds their first brand-new freight car, a 2-bay covered hopper of new design, marking the first new
    freight car to be built in Hollidaysburg in quite some time.

October 2015
  - Regular steam returns to Blair County with the test run of Everett RR 2-6-0 #11.  The first public trains operate the next month in November.

October/November 2015
  - The new scrubbers and smoke stack built in 2009 are dismantled.  Since the power plant no longer burns coal, the scrubbers
    are not needed.

December 2015
  - The bag house filtration system installed in the early 1970s at the Juniata Shops powerplant is dismantled.
  - Curry Rail Services completes their first brand-new locomotive, a TractivePower TP56 3-axle industrial locomotive built on half
    an SD40-2 frame rigidly mounted to the original HTC truck.

April 2016
  - Work begins on the Pittsburgh Line (Harrisburg to Pittsburgh) to upgrade the signal system to cab signal only operation between
    control points.  Positive Train Control installation is also being done at the same time.  Once complete, trains will operate on
    signal indication at control points and on cab signal indication between control points.  All wayside automatic signals will be
    retired and removed.


Sources:
 - PRR Chronology by Chris Baer
 - Pennsy Power by Alvin Staufer
 - NRHS Horseshoe Curve Chapter
 - Conrail Historical Society
 - PRR Shops and Works, a Special History Study
 - other online sources
 - Pat McKinney
 - Dan Cupper
 - Wikipedia


Copyright © 2007-2017 L.R. Myers. All rights reserved.

Back to AltoonaWorks.info