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Springtime in the Alleghenies, 2 Norfolk Southern SD40-2 locomotives assist a long container train as it climbs the grade from Altoona and rounds Horseshoe Curve on ex-Pennsylvania Railroad, ex-Penn Central, ex-Conrail trackage, Pennsylvania, May, 2004 | by Ivan S. Abrams
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Springtime in the Alleghenies, 2 Norfolk Southern SD40-2 locomotives assist a long container train as it climbs the grade from Altoona and rounds Horseshoe Curve on ex-Pennsylvania Railroad, ex-Penn Central, ex-Conrail trackage, Pennsylvania, May, 2004

Photograph (C) copyright 2009 Ivan Safyan Abrams. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

 

When I was a small boy, my parents took me to this spot. During the years I lived in Pennsylvania, I visited Horseshoe Curve frequently. Not only is it a place with many trains, it's also a beautiful setting in its own right. The Curve is located in the Allegheny Mountains, and wildlife abounds. The trains and the creatures seem to co-exist in harmony.

 

When I took this photo, my father, then nearly 91 years old, was standing next to me. We were traveling to State College, Pennsylvania, and my dad agreed to a short detour so that we could stop at Horseshoe Curve. I didn't expect him to accompany me up the steep stairs to the top, but sure enough, he did (the funicular wasn't working that day). My father passed away the following year. For me, the memory of the day is as important as the photograph, and, in my opinion, they're both very worthwhile.

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Taken on May 10, 2004