Big steam returned to the big curve on Memorial Day Weekend, 2013, Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 #765 pulled a series of three excursions from Lewistown to Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, including the assault on the grade west of Altoona and around Horseshoe Curve. The trains were called The Horseshoe Curve Steam Special.
We pick up the train north of Enola at Duncannon, and follow it up to Gallitzin and back. Well known locations include the cut at Union Furnace, Tyrone, Bellwood, Alto Tower in Altoona, Horseshoe Curve and the tunnels at Gallitzin. Along the way we look back to the steam era, with vintage footage of Pennsylvania Railroad steam in action at Horseshoe Curve and on the mainline over the Alleghenies. We also see a T-1 4-4-4-4 under construction at Altoona’s Juniata shops and a completed T-1 on the Juniata test rack, before seeing one of the last examples of Juniata built steam on the road.
We filmed multiple running meets with today’s Norfolk Southern freights, and even caught a New York Central 20th Century Limited observation car bringing up the rear of Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian. In addition to the main program, there are an additional twenty minutes of footage of the Horseshoe Curve Steam Special in action.