I'm going to go just a little out of order here but after we attended the NKPHTS Convention in Canton (more about that in a future post), we headed east into Pennsylvania for a little train watching amidst the fall colors and Mother Nature did NOT let us down. We headed for Altoona on the east side of the mountains as that has become one of my absolute favorite train watching spots. Altoona is the home of Horseshoe Curve but we didn't go there this time. Unfortunately, the trees and other brush has grown up so much that "the Curve" isn't the train watching spot that it used to be. Norfolk Southern & the State of Pennsylvania need to work together to clean things up to restore that area to its rightful place as a great place to watch trains.
Instead, we now visit Cassandra which is in the same area about fifteen miles from Altoona. There are a few different stories as to how this great train watching spot came into being but regardless of how it happened, it is one of the BEST spots in all of the eastern United States. At one time, there was a road that ran into the small town that crossed the tracks via a bridge. When the new road was built, so the story goes, the miners who worked in the mines on the other side of the tracks didn't want to have to walk around so they adked to have the bridge narrowed from an auto bridge to a pedestrian bridge. Given that at one time, it was no big deal to walk across the railroad tracks, this seems a little unusual that the state and or the railroad would agree to the request but that's the story. The mines have since closed but the bridge remains so let's leave it at that.
To the west, or towards Pittsburgh, you can seemingly see for miles. The train above is coming from the west and still has a ways to go before it passes under the bridge I'm standing on. This is uphill for the trains but is much more gradual of a climb than the trip heading TO the west where the trains climb out of Altoona, go around Horseshoe Curve then through the tunnels at Gallitzin.
It looked like the fall colors weren't in full bloom yet when we were there but one could get a feel for the spectacular show soon to arrive. Nonetheless, it was still a very enjoyable break and we are looking forward to going back again.
In addition to the various colors of the shipping containers, one of the more colorful trains that we saw was this one with plenty of John Deere tractors. They are headed to the East Coast for ultimate shipment to foreign countries.