Trains seen during my visit to Horseshoe Curve on the first full day of Railfest 2009 in Altoona, PA, June 26-28.
E8As 5809 and 5711, restored to full Pennsylvania Railroad Tuscan Red livery, appeared within minutes of my arrival at the Curve park, too quickly for me to set up the camera. No worries though - the excursion route took the train around a loop track at the summit in Gallitzin, so I simply waited to catch it on its return trip east. The last two cars are the Juniata Terminal's 'Warrior Ridge' and observation car 120.
About 25 minutes behind the excursion was a doublestack train led by C40-9Ws 9469 and 9114, followed closely after by two pairs of light helpers traveling together - SD40-2s 3346 and 3347 and SD40Es 6300 and 6306. The SD40Es are newcomers to helper service in the area, designed to succeed the SD40-2s in that role. They are remanufactured from the frame and body of an SD50 with the original 3,500hp engine replaced with a more reliable rebuilt 3,000hp unit from a retired SD40-2, along with updated wiring, microprocessor management for the engine and other critical subsystems, and air conditioning.
Next around the Curve was a westbound merchandise freight, with C40-9W 9486 and SD60M 6791 on the point and SD40Es 6313 and 6301 assisting from the rear. After the freight was past I got a second chance to capture the excursion train as it made another trip up to Gallitzin.
Finishing off my morning at the Curve was an oddball light engine move westbound, consisting of C40-8W 8365 (note the freshly-shopped trucks), C40-9W 9837, and SD80MACs 7200 and 7203. Having shot plenty of footage at the Curve in the past, I wanted to devote more of my time to other locations on this trip - it was time to move a little further west.
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