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Altoona Railway Museum Club: Horseshoe Curve NRHS - Memorable Moments from the Past


Memorable Moments from the Chapter's Past

This page was last updated on: March 06, 2017



Annual Report - 2000

During the Millennium Year 2000, Horseshoe Curve Chapter’s agenda was an ambitious one, resulting in many accomplishments, as follows:

Long planned for and discussed, the rehabilitation of a private industry siding in Altoona for the storage of Horseshoe Curve Chapter equipment was completed. The siding at Ward Warehousing, 4th Street, Altoona was rebuilt with installation of a switch to make the track serviceable. Plans call for storage of Chapter owned cars at this location, which provides for a secure fenced in area.

The three coaches owned by the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, former Lackawanna MU electric-motor commuter coaches, returned to Altoona in June after several years absence on lease to other short-line railroads. With the return of this equipment, Horseshoe Curve Chapter initiated a series of summer and autumn excursions on the Everett Railroad utilizing Roaring Spring as the base of operations. This joint venture with the Roaring Spring Historical Society, which has restored the former PRR passenger station at that location for their headquarters, proved to be a great success. Excursion activity began in July to Hollidaysburg and Martinsburg as well as September (Rare Mileage excursion of entire ex-PRR line for railfans), October, concluding with a Santa Claus special in late November.

During 2000, HC Chapter developed a social meeting agenda on alternating-even months during the year. The February meeting was hosted by Chapter Director and Mrs. Dick Charlesworth at their Hollidaysburg residence with a slide program furnished by Chapter Historian, David Seidel. The April meeting was hosted by Chapter President Frank Givler and Chapter Secretary Karin Givler at their Altoona residence, followed by great conversation and a member’s show-and-tell session. The June social meeting was hosted by George and Joyce Thompson at Spring Lake Park, near Bellwood. Member/Artist Robert Hunt displayed some of his recent artwork, and a popular show-and-tell session was enjoyed. August was the occasion of the annual Chapter Picnic with the Altoona-Blair County Photo Society hosted by David and Virginia Seidel at ‘Camp David’. The popular (?) water-balloon tossing contest was held…or, at least it’s more popular than the egg-tossing format. Towels were provided. The October meeting provided a superior slide show by Mr. Bennett Levin of Philadelphia, reviewing the restoration of the former PRR E-8 locomotive number 5809A, formerly Conrail Business Train locomotive 4020, and NS 1000, acquired from Norfolk Southern RR in June. Included in Mr. Levin’s presentation was the prior restoration of ex-PRR office car PENNSYLVANIA (No. 120), both of which were restored by the Levin family’s Juniata Terminal Company. The popularity of this program generated a good turnout since the program was open to the public. The Millennium Year concluded with the Chapter Christmas dinner on December 1st, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Bellwood with special guest speakers, Mr. Ed Albiker and Mr. Robert Ridenour of the Bloody Run Historical Society, Everett, PA. All other meetings during the year (odd numbered months) were standard business assemblies.

As previously mentioned, the Chapter coaches were returned to Altoona in June after several years on lease to other locations. This afforded the Chapter the opportunity, in cooperation with the Everett Railroad Company, to provide excursion activity in southern Blair County at Roaring Spring, PA. The season began in July with public excursions under sponsorship from the Roaring Spring Historical Society. Trips were offered to Hollidaysburg, PA and Martinsburg, PA July 29th & 30th , for Roaring Spring’s annual Spring Dam Days events. A “Rare Mileage Excursion” was held on this former PRR trackage on September 23rd for railfans. Featured, was a tour of the entire line with photo run-bys at the “monastery” crossing near the site of the former “Kladder Station”, and at a private residence; the latter location afforded an excellent opportunity to photograph the train with superior pond reflection. The season continued with autumn foliage trips on October 14th to Hollidaysburg and on October 15th to Martinsburg, PA. Excursion activity on the line was concluded on November 25th with two Santa Claus Special’s sponsored by the Allegheny Mountains Visitors and Convention Bureau. Both trips were sell-outs and well received by all the children and parents. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by horse-drawn carriage and greeted each passenger during the trip with gifts and novelties. Refreshments of hot chocolate were available at the restored Roaring Spring Depot by the Roaring Spring Historical Society and photographs with Santa were available in the station.

The Horseshoe Curve Chapter’s restored 1946 Walter Snow Fighter truck from the former Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway was exhibited at various shows in the Blair County area during the summer season. Of particular note, was the annual Antique Truck meet at Lakemont Park. Our “Walter” won first place in the “uphill grasshopper” event, which is the uphill “slow” race. The truck moving the slowest without stalling is the winner and our venerable Walter did the job; the vehicle is noted for its pulling capacity, and special gearing makes it a workhorse in all situations. Although not currently installed, the vehicle does utilize a nose plow and a mid-chassis scraper blade.

Horseshoe Curve Chapter members volunteered during the annual Railfest held by Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum on October 7th and 8th. In addition, Horseshoe Curve Chapter manned a concession tent with the Chapter’s “for sale” items…the postcard history book of Altoona and the PRR and the video tape of the Altoona and Logan Valley Electric Railway. The Chapter tent was graciously furnished by member/artist Robert Hunt, whose work can be visited at

The Chapter web page ( continues to expand with railroad history and chapter activities, under Chapter webmaster/newsletter (The Coal Bucket) editor, Chris Behe. The web page has one of the most extensive listings of Links to other sites and has become a major source of reliable data relating to the restoration of former PRR Class K-4s steam locomotive No. 1361. The web page features significant information on the locomotive’s current restoration at Steamtown, Scranton, PA, as well as a photographic essay of the prior restoration of 1986-1987. Of particular assistance to visitors to Altoona area, is the Railfan's guide to area attractions with map references. Traction fans will find an extensive photo essay/history on the Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway which operated electric traction until August 1954. This feature, started as a modest local interest department, has expanded significantly with the availability of additional photographic sources.

The Horseshoe Curve Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, continues to participate in the corporate sponsorship program at Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum. This program underwrites, by contribution to the museum, admission costs of students visiting the museum whose school districts or programs lack the ability to pay. This enables students of all ages to experience the “living history” at the museum, and have a better understanding of the heritage and impact of the railroad industry on families and communities. (by David Seidel)

January 12, 2001 Update - Death Notice

ELIZABETH_GARVIN_OBITUARY.jpg (53371 bytes)Elizabeth Garvin Dies

"A longtime friend of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS and of Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum, Elizabeth Garvin, died January 10, 2001 in State College, PA. Mrs. Garvin has been in failing health during the past year, during which time she relocated from Barefoot Bay, FL to State College, PA, to be near family.

Probably not many of the present membership of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter personally knew Elizabeth Garvin, especially if you joined the Chapter after 1980. However, our Chapter's history, and that of Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum, is "eternally" linked and intertwined with the founding efforts of Ray AND Elizabeth Garvin. While we have documented this relationship in the History of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS found on the Chapter's webpage, we realize that not everyone has access to that forum. At the risk of being repetitive, let me recount some of these facts for you since your Chapter Historian has now achieved the dubious distinction of being one of the "old-timers" who go the beginning.

Our organization formed in 1966 as the Altoona Railway Museum Club for the sole purpose to find ways and means to achieve a "railroad museum" for Altoona, after losing the competition for the State funded museum to Lancaster County. Approximately two years later, we became aware of the National Railway Historical Society, and applied for a charter as the Horseshoe Curve Chapter. At about the same time (January 1968), Ray & Elizabeth Garvin relocated to Altoona from Bradford, Pa., Ray to head up the Blair County Tourist & Convention Bureau. Because the Altoona Railway Museum Club had it's origins within sponsorship of the Bureau, Ray and Elizabeth immediately started attending our meetings and, were, in fact, in the original membership when the Horseshoe Curve Chapter charter was effective, May 11, 1968.

Well aware of the goals of our organization, Ray's contacts in the community enabled us to become more visible and added credibility to the effort. The Chapter was afforded many opportunities to display memorabilia on special occasions in the area. During the period 1968-1972, Ray Garvin took a leadership role, always with Elizabeth at his side, to develop plans for that goal of establishing a railroad museum for the greater Altoona area. This goal was "officially" realized with a charter and incorporation for the (Altoona) Railroader's Memorial Museum in 1972. Although it would be an additional 8 years before a museum opened it's doors and became a reality, the effort was well underway.

The history is well known, but, through the period up to 1980 when Ray was forced to retire due to crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis, and seek a warmer climate for his affliction, Ray AND Elizabeth attended and supported the Horseshoe Curve Chapter activities faithfully, as well as the museum project which began a life of it's own. In these formative years, it was difficult to discern the life and line between the Chapter and the museum, an effort we all shared in. Ray AND Elizabeth shared in all facets of their community involvement and participation in various organizations, more so than perhaps many of us who were the "natives" to the Altoona area.

With the passing of Elizabeth Garvin, another chapter is closed in the cherished history of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS and of Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum. Without the substantial contributions and efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond G. Garvin, this community of Altoona would not be enriched to the degree it is today. In those formative early years of effort, while we all "had a dream", no one envisioned the degree to which the "seed planting" phase might lead. This legacy is carried on today as the Chapter proceeds on it's path, continuing to make contributions in the greatest traditions established through Ray and Elizabeth's community involvement for, indeed, Elizabeth was always at her husband's side and always participatory in activities and events. For those of us who knew them, we are enriched by the experience. For those of you who did not have the pleasure, you are also enriched by the facilities and activities we can enjoy today because of their efforts.

Elizabeth had the opportunity to visit briefly with the Horseshoe Curve Chapter (for the last time) in August, 2000, when her son Spence, brought her to the annual Chapter picnic and I, personally, had the opportunity to visit with her in December at Outlook Pointe in State College. I suppose the role of Chapter Historian means searching out the history of our Chapter's roots, or just being around for a long long time, but, more importantly, I can report that we all are enriched by persons we are privileged to have known in our lives. Ray AND Elizabeth had their significant and positive influence on me personally, and the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, and Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum. To this end, this reflection is offered as we remember them, perhaps wondering what it was like to have known them, as well as all those who have gone before on our hallowed Chapter Roll of Honor that hangs in Memorial Hall.

In keeping with Elizabeth's philosophy of life, she has donated her remains to medical science that other's may live....."

by David W. Seidel Chapter Historian


January 23, 2001 Business Meeting

There were 21 members in attendance.  

Chapter Excursions / MU Cars:   Dick Charlesworth and Frank Givler announced that the Chapter will continue to conduct excursions in conjunction with the Everett Railroad.  A tentative schedule has been posted on the Excursions 2001 page of this website.  Exact dates still need to be set.  Regarding the coaches themselves, they are parked on a siding at the Roaring Spring Station.  A resident complained about the storage of the cars and they have been moved further towards the end of the siding.  (Frank indicated that the expense to move the cars back and forth from the newly acquired Ward siding for each trip would be cost prohibitive.)  

Also, Dick indicated that one or two people doing all the organizing is just too much and things get missed.  He suggests that different members take on different functions.  Individual members will be contacted at a later date.  Functions that need done are the little things like scheduling dates for car meetings/training, scheduling the crew, coordinating box lunches for crew members, etc).  

Walters Truck:  The Walters truck needs an new right drive axle and u-joint.  Frank is making contacts regarding replacement parts (in general) for the vehicle.  Since the oil filter for the engine is unique/obsolete, David Seidel is going to take photographs of it.  Frank will then mail the photos to various filter manufacturers to see if he can get some made.  Duane Miller has located a website whose owner collects Walters Vehicles.  A contact will be made with that individual as well.  The website can be found at:  Jerry's W-I-D-E World of Walters .

Future Social Meetings:  The February social meeting will be hosted by Dick Charlesworth.  April will be hosted by the Givler's.  A picnic in June will be hosted by Greg Thompson.  The August picnic will be at David Seidel's cottage.  October is not yet set.  December will of course be the Christmas party...we would like to have it at the Bellwood Methodist Church again.  Discussion took place regarding having the October meeting as a joint meeting for the Western Maryland Chapter, NRHS, our Chapter, and the Bloody Run Historical Society.  If held, the meeting will probably take place in the Bedford area.

February Social Meeting:  A postcard will be sent out regarding this activity, however, Dick Charlesworth wanted to stress that persons wishing to attend be sure to RSVP.  This is out of courtesy and so that they know how many people will be attending (food needs purchased).  

Film archives:  Discussion took place regarding inventorying the Chapter 16mm film achieves and determining what it would cost to preserve/copy the old format films.  We want to save the movies before it deteriorates any further than they already have.  Specifically, the Chapter owned tape of the last run of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad was discussed.  Frank indicated that he has possession of the tape.  Harley Burket suggested donating the tape to the Bloody Run Historical Society.  Dick Charlesworth suggested that if the tape would be used to raise funds, that the Chapter should get some of the proceeds.  Copyright issues were discussed as well as the Chapter selling them at the Altoona Railroad Museum as a fund raiser.  David Seidel will discuss the issue with Dick Heiler further.

Annual Report:  David Seidel indicated that he is currently working on the annual report which will be submitted to the National.  

Dues:  Dick Charlesworth indicated that he did not attend the last National Director's meeting but was notified of the dues increase for 2002.  Regular and Associate membership dues will be raised by $3.00. (from $17 to $20).  Family membership rates will be raised $1 (from $2 to $3). 

The "Duquesne":    Frank Givler met with Ed Strong regarding the Duquesne after the November meeting.  Union Tank Co will check into working on the sheet metal on the window frames.  There is no insulation there and they can work on this.  The issue is raised in that they are not set up to handle asbestos and we don't know  if the car has any (we don't believe it is believed to be rock wool insulation).  The problem is the work that needs done below the window belt line.  We would run into problems if the sheet metal is removed and the insulation is disturbed and asbestos is present.  The plan currently is to use fiberglass and body filler to smooth out rusted areas.  Note that the car is inside the shop again.  

The "Union League Club" CarThe Union League Club car will need to be relocated to the Ward siding.  Ward will permit us to do light maintenance work on the siding.    The Museum made a request for us to do so as it is sitting on their lead track.  This is something that we have needed to anyway.  No date for the move has been set yet.

Paul Gorchik (814-472-4349) from the Altoona Train Collectors Club visited to announce that their group is planning a bus trip to the Train Show in Allentown, PA.  The date is February 24th.  They will leave from the Museum at 4am, arrive at Allentown around 9am, and leave at 1pm.  Arrival back in Altoona will be at about 7pm.  Breakfast and dinner stops are planned.  There were 10 seats left.  The cost is $25.  The money is to be submitted by February 1st.  

Tossed around:  A Valentines Day trip to Bellefonte on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad is being discussed.  No plans have been made yet.  

Note that Harley Burket has created a website based on the Huntingdon and Broad Top RR.  It can be found here.  He also created one about his Modular HO Model RR display.  It can be found here.  Additionally, check out  Wayne's History of the Bellefonte Central RR - By Harley Burket.


February 27, 2001 Social Meeting

The February 27, 2001 Social Meeting was held at 6:30 PM at the home of Dick and Toni Charlesworth.


March 08, 2001 Update - Death Notice

CHARLES GORSUCH OBITUARY.jpg (52189 bytes)The Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS lost another member this year with the death of Charles J. Gorsuch on March 8, 2001. A regular presence at Chapter meetings until the past year, Charles enjoyed the monthly opportunity to participate in the Chapter's camaraderie and activities which paralleled some of his interests in railroading.  He was also a Life Member of Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum.

With a history of heart problems, Charles recently entered the Altoona Hospital for a Heart Catheterization and, subsequently, heart by-pass surgery. While initial progress was positive, his condition deteriorated after returning home.

While awaiting the Heart Catheterization procedure at Altoona Hospital, Charlie and your Chapter Historian has an opportunity to enjoy a good conversation.  Charles served in the United States Navy for 3 and a half years until 1945, serving in the South Pacific on the USS Bon Homme Richard, an aircraft carrier accommodating a crew of 2500. The Bon Homme Richard's sister ship, the USS Franklin was lost at sea during the war. Charles worked with aviation ordnance involving guns, cameras, bombs, and ammunition for F6F Hellcats. Charles recounted that the ship was able to make good speed and that Destroyers had a hard time keeping the same pace. At the conclusion of WWII, Charles was aboard when his ship sailed into Tokyo Harbor from where he returned home.

Following WWII, and military discharge in 1945, Charles returned to his home in Altoona, and rehired on the PRR as a Laborer at 68 cents an hour, working with the overhead crane crews in the shops where they lifted, and dipped steam locomotives into lye vats at the 12th Street Machine shops; his work also took him into the car building areas also, keeping work stations supplied with material. The work with the PRR lasted from October 1945 to June 1946, until being furloughed. The slowdown in work on the PRR and the limited employment opportunities elsewhere in the Altoona area, led him to relocate to the Toledo, Ohio area for work.

One of Charles' first jobs in Toledo included employment with the Railway Express Agency (1947 or '48, as Charlie recalled), starting as a dock worker; he then bid a job on the road (PRR mainline and the "old road") as an Express Clerk/Messenger aboard the REA cars on runs between Toledo and Elkhart, IN. This work involved working alone or with a partner and necessitated that the Clerk/Messengers be armed at all times because of valuables aboard. As a Navy Veteran of WWII, Charles was all too aware of the tragedies of war and he recounted the sad task aboard the express cars of transporting the remains of returning servicemen, accompanied by a military escort and observing the grief of the families on arrival at destination.

Around 1948-1950 there was a tendency to phase out some of the REA services, so Charles hired on the New York Central at Toledo working in the coach yard which lasted about a year.
  Charles left the New York Central Railroad around 1950, subsequently going to work for the City of Toledo working in city maintenance with the electrical department, maintaining lighting fixtures, & traffic signals. He retired after 21 years service plus military credit time for his pension.

During his youth, Charles grew up at his home at 2206 10th Avenue, attending St. Leo's Elementary School, and watching those Pennsy steam locomotives pound by his house on their assault of the Allegheny Ridge and Horseshoe Curve, or holding those long trains back on their descent into Altoona. Back then I know we all thought of those magnificent trains as dirty, smoky behemoths, but today wouldn't we all welcome the opportunity to experience that once again? Charles recounted a train wreck in the vicinity of his home (year ?). He remembered a boxcar with men's clothing in one end and mixed merchandise in the other end.

11-9-97 CHARLES GORSUCH.jpg (31432 bytes) Nov 9, 1997: Charles J. Gorsuch enjoys a Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS sponsored trip aboard Bellefonte Historical Railway RDC car enroute to Bellefonte, PA from Tyrone for a Sunday dinner outing. Photo by David Seidel CHARLES_GORSUCH_GARY_PRICE_WORK_ON_HARBOR_SPRINGS.jpg (40354 bytes) 2-19-96: Charles Gorsuch (left) works with Gary Price on interior renovations of ex-PRR Bedroom-Lounge car "Harbor Springs", at Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum. The "Harbor Springs" is a Raymond Lowey designed mid-train bedroom-lounge car from the 1938 "Fleet of Modernism" in the streamlining era on the PRR.  Photo by David Seidel.

Charles was twice married, first to Nora Spitler in Toledo, Ohio who preceded him in death, and then to Mary Elizabeth Airhart who survives. Sadly, Mrs. Gorsuch suffers from Alzheimer's and will now reside at Garvey Manor.

Charles and "Libby" were great friends and across-the-alley neighbors of your Chapter Historian and will be greatly missed. I only knew Charles and Libby since Charlie's return to Altoona (1986?) but we developed a bond and enjoyed each other's company a great deal. It is hard to realize that last week through March 8, 2001, my friends lived across the alley. Less than one week later, no one lives there. One of Charles's passions was singing in the church choir, first at St. Therese' Altoona and, in later years with the choir at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament where his mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 12, 2001.

It was a privilege to have known him these few short years. And while there is always a risk in heart surgeries, the unexpected is always out there. Unfortunately we won't be able to keep what was to be a one-year anniversary of the surgery, to go back into the Altoona Hospital on Valentine Day 2002, and climb the stair tower to the 14th floor to demonstrate the return to health and fitness. By: David W. Seidel

Addendum: Reflection: Everyday is Memorial Day at Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum as well as those enlisted on the Horseshoe Curve Chapter's Roll of Honor plaque in ARMM's Memorial Hall, where the name of Charles J.Gorsuch is being added.  (by David Seidel; Posted 3-26-01)


March 27,2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

 7:40 p.m.  The minutes from the January meeting were read and a motion was made to approve by Dick Charlesworth seconded by Larry McKee. The Treasurers report was read.    Cards have been passed out to members present for a trip to Lock Haven. This trip is to benefit Keystone Restoration.  It will be on Fathers Day June 17th.  The train will leave Tyrone station with a stop in Milesburg, where box lunches will be put on the train and then on to Lock Haven.  There will be photo run by at the Howard Dam.  

Frank and Denny have located two rear axles and parts for the Walters truck at Dell's Truck Service at Brooksmills.   Frank emailed information from the numbers on the truck at Dell's and they match our truck so as soon as the weather permits they will be going to get those axles and other accessories.  Also pictures and measurements of old oil filter were sent to Wix Filter in North Carolina to see if they have any available, but we have not heard back from them as of yet.  

There have been no further problems concerning the cars on the siding at Roaring Spring. They have been moved as far south as possible.  Frank has been to check on them and all seems fine.  The roofs should be coated on the cars sometime this year. The following dates were set for the trips in Roaring Spring this year: July 14, July 28 & 29,  September 15,  Oct 13 &14, & the Nov 24 Santa Claus trip.  No definite date for a possible Halloween trip this year .  Bill is also planning to offer a box lunch on the Railfan trip in September .  

Frank acknowledged the passing of one of our members,  Charlie Gorsuch.  His name will be added to the wall plaque and Mrs. Garvin was already added.  A Thank you was sent to the Chapter for the flowers that were sent to Charlie. 

All members should have received a card or saw the trip to Bellefonte on April 22.  Bill Mangiacarne announced the trip is sold out.  Bill is in discussion with Amtrak about a trip from Harrisburg to Altoona in August.  The trip will travel the main line to Altoona, visit the museum and the curve and return to Harrisburg via the N & BE and Buffalo line.  Car hosts will be needed out of Harrisburg.  More details will be forthcoming as things proceed.   

A letter from the Museum was received about the School Scholarship program. They are asking for the Chapters support again this year.  After much discussion Dave Seidel made a motion to consider supporting this program and to increase the amount given to $500.00.  More discussion followed and a vote was taken and Denny Walls seconded the motion.   All in were in favor. Discussion was held on a young person being sent to Rail Camp this year.  Bill would like to submit Jamie Rickens to go.  No paper work has been received for this year but Dick will contact the National Office to get the paperwork started.  

Denny Walls suggested setting up a work date to do general work and coat the roofs of the coaches, weather permitting.   It was decided to set the date for May 5.  Frank will talk to Al Novotney and see if cars can be brought to Duncansville for work.  Cards will be sent out as a reminder. 

Len Alwine brought to the Chapters attention that the plaques on the 7th Street bridge should be preserved when the bridge is tom down.  Bill volunteered to start with the City Clerks office to find out what we need to do if this is possible.  

A big thanks to Dick and Toni Charlesworth for the February social meeting that was held at their home. The April social meeting on the 24th at 6:30 p.m. will be held at the Givler's.  The June social will be held by the Thompson's on the Saturday June 30th at the Bellwood picnic site.  


22 Apr 2001 Rail Excursion


4-02_Bellefonte_excursion.jpg (39626 bytes) This photograph shows Chapter Treasurer William Mangiacarne addressing passengers aboard the Bellefonte Historical Railway RDC car on Sunday, April 22, 2001.  Bill arranged an afternoon train trip from Tyrone to Bellefonte, PA where Chapter members and friends enjoyed an excellent stuffed chicken breast dinner at the Bellefonte Moose hall.


Tue, 24 Apr 2001 Update

The UNION LEAGUE CLUB  was moved from the approach siding at the ARMM this afternoon to the Ward Siding.  This move was coordinated and arranged through the efforts of Chapter Treasurer, William Mangiacarne who handled all arrangements with Norfolk Southern. While the move was only approximately one mile, the cooperation of NS was appreciated. 


May 22, 2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:36 p.m..  Due to the absence of the Secretary, Frank read the minutes from the previous meeting of March 27th.  A motion was made to approve by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Dave Seidel.  The minutes had one correction concerning the bridge plaque. The Treasurer's report was as read with a motion to approve by Larry McKee and seconded by George Thompson.   Bill is putting the treasury books on his computer for record keeping purposes.  He also gave a report on the Bellefonte trip.  Norfolk Southern ran a train and delayed our trip so some of the people did not stay and ride.  However they were refunded the trip money but had to pay the meal portion.  Bill Manigicarne reported the Pittsburgh trip is sold out.  

The Penn Lincoln school was sponsored for the Museum tour and the kids sent letters to the museum.  These were passed around to be seen.  Frank received a thank you form Cheryl Smith for the donation.  The Museum gave the Chapter half price coupons to pass out to the members.  Bill reported the Lock Haven trip is cancelled due to operation problems and the Harrisburg to Altoona for Railfest is on hold.  Dick reported that everything is taken care of for the Railcamp at Steamtown.   Jamie Rickens will be going August 14th.  Jamie was introduced to all present and will give a report when he returns.  

Frank reported that oil filters were found for the Walter truck., these filters are obsolete but he found 10 at Stoychef Auto Parts in Lewistown.  Denny and Frank are going to go this weekend and get the axle parts that are needed.  Bill made an official commendation and thank you to Frank and Denny for all the time and work they put into this truck.  

Dick wanted to set another work day for the coaches,  possibly a Saturday in June.  The cables are not done yet, these need finished.  Frank reported the Union League is now on the siding at Ward's and thanked Bill for / handling that movement.  

There is nothing new at present to report on the bridge plaques. The Social for June will be held on Saturday the 30th by George and Joyce Thompson at Spring Lake after 1 p.m.  Frank already sent out the cards and directions were once again reviewed.  Ed Brinkel from the Museum came to speak to the Chapter about doing a joint venture with them when we hold the Santa trip on November 24th.  They are having a train layout and would like to include the Museum, Curve, and layout for an additional $3.00 along with our ticket for the train ride.  The Pass from museum would be good Saturday and Sunday.  Len made a motion that we work with the Museum on this venture.  Motion seconded by George Thompson.  Motion carried with one abstaining. 


July 24,2001 7:37 p.m. The meeting was called to order by President Givler and the minutes from the May meeting were read and a motion made to approve by Dave Seidel and seconded by Larry McKee. The Treasurer's report is as follows: .Checking $ 1961.42 .Savings $ 1113.18 .PrudentialBach$12711.14 The Pittsburgh trip made $704.92 a report of expenses and such is available to be viewed. The Walter Truck and it's driver Frank Givler made the TV10 news on Monday night for advertising on the Antique Truck & Machinery Show at Lakemont Park July 27th & 28th. Frank also found Bob's Speedometer Repair in Missouri, for the repair of the speedometer in the Walter Truck. Bob cannot give us a price until he sees what kind of shape it is in. Bill had a suggestion of sending pictures of the gauges to get the lettering on the speedometer as close as possible. Bill made a motion to move forward with this project and okay expenses up to $500.00.Denny seconded the motion adding a stipulation that the mileage on the meter come back the same or close to the same that it is now. Lenoard called to give a report on the bridge plaque. He was in contact with Karen Reese who is the Penn Dot project manager, she told him that the best one of the two plaques was earmarked for the City of Altoona but that the other she would earmark for us but we can not take possession until the bridge is tom down. They have no idea when this will be. Frank suggested that we may be able to find someone to fix the plague. Frank reported that Ed Wilt is trying to speak with Steve Goridy at Rose Tower about moving the Krap's RPO and the REX cars to the Ward siding. J Frank ask Bill to check with Mike Ward about an available space to store the Walter with accessibility. Joe will also check with Eric at the bus garage. Dinner Train Trip at Cumberland sold out. Year 2002 National dues will increase $3.00. Also mid year halfprice will be eliminated, if members join in the mid year they will pay full price of current year and following year dues will be paid again. Applications will be changed to for each chapter and we can have a single sided application to print what we want on the blank side. Denny brought to the members attention that the first two cars were worked on in May, roofs coated, generator tested, electrical work done and PA system hooked up and seats and traps oiled. One car still needs to be have the roof coated and the buffer plate needs work. Frank also wanted to Thank George for the PA system and the also again for the great hospitality ofhim and Joyce on the social meeting picnic in June. Frank also told the members present that he held an informal meeting at the June picnic with those present concerning the purchasing of the brake valves. The cost for 3 sets will be $2850.00, each set is $950.00. If these are not purchased the Santa trip in November cannot run this year .There will not be enough time to get the present set off, taken to Pittsburgh Air Brake wait for them to fmish them, return for them and have them back on the cars. All present voted in favor of purchasing the brake valves. Frank will handle delivery and pick up and speaking with Pittsburgh Air Brake. After some open floor discussion a motion to adjourn was made by Bill Mangiacarne and seconded by Dave Seidel. Meeting adjourned ;:-~ ~ ATTENDANCE Bill Mangiacarne Duane Miller Frank Givler Karin Givler Dave Seidel Dave Behe Denny Walls Les Shaffer Jamie Rickens Joe Harella George Merritts Larry McKee


Sat, 21 July 2001 Update

The annual Chapter picnic is in two weeks, Sunday August 5th.   Frank Givler,  Denny Walls, and Jody Kinsel completed repairs to the Walter truck this summer and it's back on the road to antique auto and truck shows promoting the Horseshoe Curve Chapter.  An eye-turner everywhere it goes.  George and Joyce Thompson hosted the Chapter for the June social by having a picnic at Bellwood sportsman's park, similar to last year.  A pleasant afternoon of good conversation, show-and-tell, and great food prepared by the Thompson's.  A late afternoon downpour failed to dampen anyone's spirits and the pavilion roof did the job.  A big "thank you" to George and Joyce for their supreme effort after returning from an extended trip the day before. (David Seidel)


August 2001 Update

SPECIAL NOTICE The Horseshoe Curve Chapter WILL have a meeting in August on the fourth Tuesday....August 28, the ARMM as usual...7:30 P.M. August was deemed, initially, to be a social meeting month and we DID have a picnic. However, a REGULAR meeting will be held also, due to business at hand and by popular demand.  SEE YOU TUESDAY, AUGUST 28TH !


August 28, 2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

7:30 p.m.  The month of August has always been a social meeting month with a picnic held at the Seidel cottage, which took place on August 5th.  We would like to thank Dave and Virginia for their great hospitality and a wonderful time as usual, and in line with this the minutes from the July meeting were not prepared so two sets of minutes will be ready for the September meeting.  The Treasurer's report was read. 

The Dinner Train trip at Cumberland was a great success and everyone had a great time.   Bill suggested we should do this again some time next year. The Chapter was asked to donate toward the Museum's volunteer picnic.  Bill suggested a donation of $25.00.  George Thompson made a motion to donate $25.00 to the Museum Volunteer Picnic.  Seconded by Barry.  All voted in favor, with one vote abstaining.  

We welcomed our Regional V .P .John Swigert to the meeting and he spoke briefly about the up coming Convention and the dues increase for this year.  He also spoke on the grants that the National awards to different Chapters.  Wayne Burket asked  if we would be eligible, as we would like to cosmetically restore the Union League.  John felt we would very likely be able to apply.  Frank was asked by Greg Miller if the Chapter would place an ad in the booklet again this year.  Dick made the motion to continue the ad, Bill seconded the motion.  All voted in favor. 

Jamie Rickens gave his report on his trip to Rail Camp. He very much enjoyed the time there especially running the engine. Jamie was a great candidate to send as he is an avid railfan.  Dick reported a trip to Steamtown for the Museum.  He discussed that he would like to run the expenses through the Chapter to do paid advertising.  The Chapter would be out no money.  All proceeds will go to the Museum.   Tentative date for the trip is October 27th.   

Frank reported that the reconditioned brake valves for the coaches have been ordered, and Pittsburgh Brake will call when they are finished.   The valves will need to be changed after the October trip.  After some general discussion a motion was made to adjourn by Dave Seidel and seconded by Kevin Burket. 


September 25,2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:37 p.m. The minutes form the July and August meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by George Merritts. The Treasurer was absent at this meeting so the financial report was given by the Secretary.  A motion to accept this report was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Greg Miller.  Frank welcomed a guest, Paul Bergdolt, visiting from the Walkersville Southern Railroad and also Gar Forsht, who has become our newest member.  There has been a storage space found for the Walter truck.  Mike Ward put us in contact with Zeigler tire that is located at the old Howdy Ellenberger quarry.  Frank will be speaking with someone there after Railfest.  The brake valves on the coaches are finished and a trip to Pittsburgh is being planned.  The buffer plate is on the car at Duncansville but the roof will need coated and this needs to be done on a Saturday after Railfest before the weather get bad.

 There is no report on the movement of the RPO and REX cars at East Freedom. The movement of the REX is questionable due to it not having brakes.  Bill, Dick and Frank have discussed canceling the October trips in Roaring Spring as the ticket response is very low.  Count to date approximately 50 sold.  The 27 / 30 second radio spots did not give us the response we had hoped for .  Greg Miller suggested doing one trip at noon on Saturday.  Dick Charlesworth made a motion that we cancel all the October trips but the one on Saturday October 13th at noon.  Motion seconded by Greg Miller.  All voted in favor.  The Santa trip in November is still under discussion and plans are still being worked on.  A decision will be made at the October meeting.  Dick reminded the members present about the trip to Steamtown on October 27th.   Anyone interested please contact him for your reservations. 

Greg Miller showed the Toy Train Museum calendars that are being sold as a fund raiser. Andy asked the members to contact him with any group of 15 that would be interested in reservation to ride on the Pennsylvania 120 at Railfest.  The cost is $3000.00 and all profit goes to the Museum.   The motion to adjourn was made by Greg Miller and seconded by Dave Behe. 


October 23, 2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. The minutes from the August and September meetings were read and a motion to approve was made to approve by Larry McKee and seconded by Joe Harella.  The  Roaring Spring summer and fall trips lost money this year.  There will be two trips this year for the Santa train ride, 12:30 p.m. ( sponsored by the Chapter)  and 3:00 p.m. (sponsored by the Roaring Spring Historical Society ).  Gene is supplying all the treat bags for the kids and will be paying the Chapter for the use of the car on the 3:00 p.m. trip.   Volunteers are needed to help on both trips, please contact George Merritts if you are available.   An ad will be in the Altoona Mirror Sunday Oct. 28th.    Bill Mangiacarne extended his thank you for all the train and station crew that helped with Railfest this year.  Amtrak and Norfolk Southern complimented on the great work we did.  Dick gave a thank you to Bill for all his hard work that went into putting things together.  

The Walter truck will be stored for the winter next week. The tailgate mechanism will be made over the winter. The speedometer has been sent to Michigan, the graphics are not exact but can be used. Frank reported that he will be going to Pittsburgh to pick up the brake valves on Tuesday the 30th. 

A workday is needed for Saturday November l0th to coat the roof on the remaining coach and change and test the brake valves.   Work should start about 9 a.m. - Anyone that is available would be a great help. 

Denny Walls mentioned plans for a Christmas party.  After some discussion George offered to ask the ladies at the Bellwood church and if they will not commit he will make arrangements with Hoss's.   Les Shaffer mentioned that in conversation he asked  Diane about moving the cars at East Freedom.  She said to let her know as soon as possible as she may be gone by the end of October due to the closing of Sam Ray shop.  Frank will get a number at the Jones street yard office and call her.  Ed Wilt did tell Frank that he askd Steve Gordy and he would not commit to moving the cars for us.  The Secretary reminded the members that elections are in November and that any nominations must be brought forward at this meeting. There were no new nominations for any office made.   Motion was made to adjourn by Les Shaffer and seconded by George Thompson. 


20 Nov 2001 Update


Mr. Conlon has a vast knowledge of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  A very articulate speaker, Mr. Conlon has spearheaded efforts in the formation of the Middle Division Transportation Committee to record and preserve, through oral history interviews, the recollections of former Yardmasters, Clerks, Enginemen, Firemen, Brakemen of the former Middle Division, Altoona Yard Operations.  Please come and enjoy a very special evening learning the history of the P R R from the perspective of experience and knowledge. And don't forget to bring a "Toys for Tot" to share the Christmas season


24 Nov 2001  Santa Claus Special

NRHS_SANTA_SPECIAL_ROARING SPRING_11-24-2001-A.jpg (39282 bytes)


Photograph of Horseshoe Curve Chapter volunteers and friends at the conclusion of the two-trip day of the annual Santa Claus Special from Roaring Spring, PA. The excursion from Roaring Spring PA to Martinsburg and return was sold out for both occasions with Santa Claus arriving at the station with the Roaring Spring Volunteer Fire Department and distributing gifts to the children during the journey.  Locomotive power and crew were provided by the Everett Railroad Company.  Photo by David Seidel

NRHS_SANTA_SPECIAL_11-24-01-D.jpg (34353 bytes) Horseshoe Curve Chapter Treasurer William Mangiacarne collects tickets and greets guests aboard the annual Santa Claus Special, jointly sponsored by the Chapter and the Roaring Spring Historical Society. Coach equipment is owned by Horseshoe Curve Chapter and power and crew, other than volunteers, provided by the Everett Railroad Company.

Photo by David Seidel
NRHS_SANTA_SPECIAL_11-24-01-C.jpg (35417 bytes) Santa Claus visits and distributes gifts to children aboard the annual Santa Claus Special sponsored by the Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS, the Roaring Spring Historical Society. Trips departed Roaring Spring PA on Nov 24, 2001 utilizing crew and power of the Everett Railroad Company.

Photo by David Seidel 
Santa_2001.jpg (42523 bytes)   


November 27, 2001 Regular Chapter Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:34 p.m. The minutes from the October meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Joe Harella. The Treasurer's report followed.   The figures were not final yet for the Santa trip, some bills are still outstanding, Bill estimates we made a profit. If we factor in the brake cost we lost money and next year should consider a third trip. Motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Dave Seidel. Bill also gave a Thank you to Frank and Denny for all the time put into the mechanical work that needed done with the brake work. Frank also thanked all the members that helped work on the cars for this season and also thanked Bill for the great job he does as a Conductor on our trips. Frank reported that the Walter truck is stored for the winter. Speedometer is in Michigan. The members had voted to give Frank authority to spend up to $500.00 on the speedometer. The cost came in days after the October meeting at $900.00. Frank had Dave Seidel contact members on the email list for a vote to approve spending. Sixteen members approved the spending and gave Frank the okay. Andy reported he is to attend a presentation before a group that will approve the money for the grant we are helping the Museum get for Memorial Hall and the wall in Building A. Museum ask Andy to extent a Thank you to the Chapter. The Christmas dinner will be held at Hoss' s November 30th at 7 :00 p.m. You will pay individually. Dave and Virginia Seidel ask that you bring a small inexpensive toy for a child, they will see that the toys are delivered to Toys for Tots. Dave Seidel has also invited John Conlon to join us and share with us some of his experiences. Bill Mangiacarne suggested that we make note to start planning in March or April for our Christmas dinner next year . Frank did not get to contact Diane about the moving of the cars at East Freedom, this will wait until spring. The Secretary reinstated all those presently holding office for the year 2001 for another term in the year 2002. Bill Mangiacarne brought to the Chapter's attention that the Museum is in need of Docents to help with tours. Bill and Cummins have spoken about the Museum not being able to put out any paid advertising and offered with the Chapter's approval to place an ad in the Altoona Mirror asking for Docent help. The ad may cost $130.00. Dave Seidel made a motion that the Chapter Help the Museum by placing an ad in the Altoona Mirror asking for any people interested in being a Docent. Dave Behe seconded the motion. After some discussion all voted in favor . Dave Seidel will also put in a Club News ad for a Sunday paper . Denny Walls reported that he spoke to Denny Smith as per Frank's request. Denny Smith would supply us with buses from the Roaring Spring station to the Fire hall free of charge if we would like to do a dinner train ride. More discussion and plans will be made closer to spring Frank wanted the members opinion on what to include on the new applications for the National. They will now be blank on one side so that each Chapter may use it for their own purpose. It was discussed and decided to use apart of the tri fold flyer we had done before. It will include general information about our Chapter . Also, renewals will be out the beginning of December, please pay attention when sending your dues; the cost is now $35.00 single and $40.00 with spouse. When marking your return portion do not place an amount on the contribution line unless you are making a contribution to the Chapter or the National. Frank read a letter sent from the Museum thanking us for the $25.00 donation to the Volunteer Picnic. 


30 Nov 2001  Chapter Christmas Dinner

The Christmas party was held at valley view Hoss's and was well attended.  We had a guest speaker, Mr. John Conlon, who has done alot of research on the Pennsy, Conrail, etc.   He told the group a number of stories about the "old days" around Altoona with regard to the railroad.   He was a very interesting person to listen to and a number of members asked him questions.   Chapter members brought a number of gifts for the Toys for Tots program.  David and Virginia Seidel  then had them wrapped and distributed .   (Frank Givler)


NRHS_CHRISTMAS_DINNER_11-30-01-A.jpg (50905 bytes) Photo of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter annual Christmas dinner in the PRR room of Hoss's Steak and Sea house, Altoona. Addressing the gathering is Mr. John Conlon (wheelchair), former Assistant Yardmaster, Altoona Yard, PRR-PCRR-CONRAIL. Mr. Conlon is well versed in local railroad and community history and imparted many of his recollections from those years.  Photo by David Seidel  NRHS_CHRISTMAS_DINNER_11-30-01-B.jpg (30799 bytes) Another view of Horseshoe Curve Chapter's annual Christmas dinner with remarks by Mr. John Conlon (wheelchair) recalling important and human interest events from his career as an Assistant Yardmaster, Altoona Yard operations, PRR-PCRR-CONRAIL.  Photo by David Seidel 




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(All photos are by David Seidel unless otherwise indicated.)