Altoona beyond railfanning?

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Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby motor » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:02 am

Lord willing, I will be in Altoona next week to visit of course the HC and the RMM.

What's in downtown Altoona besides the Railwalk and the RMM? Is it safe?

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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby Missyg24 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:14 pm

What do you mean safe? it is as long as you watch yourself (lol). North 8th st is good, Rose Yard Office is good spot to see trains, see the locals working the yard & crew changes there. Brickyard (west of 17th st) is good spot too. Sorry for the late response.. I live 25mins from Altoona.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby Statkowski » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:30 pm

The "downtown" area between 11th & 12th Avenues and 18th Street down to 11th Street doesn't have much to offer, other than the combined bus/train station, but is considered fairly safe in the daytime - lots of people walking around. Still, that doesn't mean I didn't have my trusty 9mm sidearm on my hip recently when dropping off and picking up my wife at the train station recently.

The pedestrian overpass between the station and Station Square is a great place to watch trains. It's glassed in, so that does help when the wind is blowing. Don't have to worry about the exhaust from steam engines, either, any more.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:06 pm

I would hazard a guess what THE ORIGINAL POSTER IS getting at is how ghetto is it there.
Last edited by lvrr325 on Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby Statkowski » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:40 am

Sir, I implied nothing of the kind. The local police station isn't all that far away, and it's fairly safe in the daytime, but I also recognize that bad things can happen anywhere, anytime, and I choose to be prepared, just in case. I carry a spare tire in my car, just in case. All commercial establishments have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:39 pm

Sorry, fixed my previous post.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby Statkowski » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:58 am

Not a problem. The area surrounding the station is a slightly-decaying center city area, but is reasonably safe for visitors. As for me, I generally carry wherever I go, and remain aware of who and what is around me. But, apart from the trackside viewing area and overpass, plus the nearby museum across the tracks, that's about it for "downtown" Altoona. It ain't what it used to be.

Along the Station Square side, with its sidewalk viewing area, is a great place to watch trains as they roll through.

Me? I'd recommend the trackside park in Cresson, with its viewing platform and loudspeaker repeating the hotbox/dragging equipment broadcasts as the trains approach, plus you can watch the eastward signals change at the interlocking plant. Down where the tracks go over Old Route 22 is an ice cream stand made from a former New York Central Railroad steel-underframed wood caboose (yes, I know, it's Pennsylvania Railroad territory).
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby motor » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:48 pm

I watched the eastbound Pennsylvanian come and go from the overhead bridge in Altoona (and repeated the ritual in Tyrone on my way home two days later). Saw lots of trains rounding the HC; saw a teenage railfan with two scanners photographing an eastbound (I wished him well in his hobby); saw action in Cresson too. My apologies for stereotyping about Altoona but it *is* a Rust Belt town, as was evidenced as drove around downtown (getting out of the car once to stop in the CofC [disappointed at its lack of brochure selection]). Nobody bothered me.

I also visited PSU Altoona but was disappointed that their library didn't have a big selection of RR books. On my to do list on my next visit (Lord willing) - the Altoona public library. Also enjoyed Allegheny Portage NHS.

I had a good time. Thanks, guys. :-)

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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby wpprrail » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:33 am

A proposal for three daily Pittsburgh-NYC trains along the route of the Pennsylvanian, On Track to Accessibility, can be found at the WPPR's website, www.wpprrail.org. The proposal calls for servicing all present stops including Altoona. Additional service would make it more convenient to visit Horseshoe Curve and the Railroaders Memorial Museum.
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:24 am

Not sure how that relates to this post?
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Re: Altoona beyond railfanning?

Postby num1hendrickfan » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:59 pm

motor wrote:I watched the eastbound Pennsylvanian come and go from the overhead bridge in Altoona (and repeated the ritual in Tyrone on my way home two days later). Saw lots of trains rounding the HC; saw a teenage railfan with two scanners photographing an eastbound (I wished him well in his hobby); saw action in Cresson too. My apologies for stereotyping about Altoona but it *is* a Rust Belt town, as was evidenced as drove around downtown (getting out of the car once to stop in the CofC [disappointed at its lack of brochure selection]). Nobody bothered me.

I also visited PSU Altoona but was disappointed that their library didn't have a big selection of RR books. On my to do list on my next visit (Lord willing) - the Altoona public library. Also enjoyed Allegheny Portage NHS.

I had a good time. Thanks, guys. :-)

motor


Went to Altoona last year around October 15th, never once did I feel like it was an unsafe city. The outdoor and indoor pedestrian bridges provide excellent vantage points for watching rail traffic, and the locals are aware that it's a popular railroad hotspot so they don't bother those who watch the trains. Are there parts of the city that might be unsafe, well any city might have those parts. Didn't have the feel of a rust belt town either, reminded me more of a Scranton or Roanoke, a city built around a core industry that fostered it's growth over time. I do intend to travel to and photograph some of those so called "Rust Belt" cities though, as many have great photogenic structures.
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