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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 of the Chapter 2002

2002 was another busy year for the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, usually following a pattern of business meetings on the odd months and social meetings on the even numbered months for a diverse program. Special activities in addition to this schedule, of course, will be described in the following text. All regular business meetings continued to be held in Memorial Hall of Altoona Railroader’s Museum on the 4th Tuesday at 7:30 P.M.

Director and Mrs. Dick Charlesworth hosted the February meeting at their home in Hollidaysburg. Fine food and conversation and a slide program were enjoyed by all. President Frank and Secretary Karin Givler hosted the April 23rd meeting, at their home where great conversation and food were enjoyed by all. The Chapter enjoyed a bus trip to Washington D. C. on April 27, 2002 which included a tour of historical sites and a return trip on the Capitol LTD to Cumberland, MD and return to Altoona by bus. June 8th included another bus trip to Washington and Baltimore hosted by the Keystone Restoration and Preservation (KR&P) group in which many chapter members hold dual memberships. This was highlighted by passage from Washington to Baltimore on the Acela.

The June 25th meeting was hosted at the Alto Model Train Museum Association in the Rockway Bldg where everyone enjoyed the various modular train layouts, good food and conversation, hosted by George and Joyce Thompson. It was a great evening regardless of the fact that we kept setting off the security alarm for the building. Horseshoe Curve Chapter sponsored chapter member Jamey Rickens for a second year at Railcamp in Steamtown. Jamey has demonstrated genuine interest and service to the Chapter and we were glad to extend his participation.

Dave and Virginia Seidel hosted a summer picnic at their cottage in Cambria County on Sunday, August 4th. This was a picnic for both the Chapter and the Altoona-Blair County Photo Society in which some members hold dual memberships. Great food, conversation and tall tales were enjoyed by all. Love the assortment of those covered dishes. The water balloon toss has become traditional and toward the late afternoon, the gals adjourned to their “just because” corner and the guys got into their favorite railroad oriented discussions as leftovers dwindled.

Saturday, August 24th was another journey for Chapter members as we board another bus for Hagerstown, MD to ride the Blue Mountain Express from Hagerstown to New Oxford and return. The early gloom of morning quickly dissipated to a nice warm sunshine type day as we crested the mountain at Fort Richie and descended into and through Gettysburg and on to New Oxford. Lunch was the first order of business upon arrival and after that we all fanned out through town visiting the antique shops seeking that elusive artifact for our collections. A great day was had by all, highlighted by the ice cream parlor opposite the station. Our special thanks to the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum group as well as those who staffed the New Oxford Depot with its fine exhibits.

Director Dick Charlesworth arranged a bus trip to Clearfield, PA to ride the autumn foliage excursion operated by the Clearfield Chamber of Commerce. The Clearfield PA group had chartered the Horseshoe Curve Chapter coaches for part of their consist on the R J Corman lines. This bus trip benefited Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum. Horseshoe Curve Chapter’s 1946 Walter Snow Fighter truck from the former Altoona and Logan Valley Electric Railway participated in various antique auto shows in Blair County. The Antique Truck & Machinery show at Lakemont Park was a highlight, where it once again won the up-hill slow race for the Grasshopper Award for the second consecutive year.

EXCURSION TRAINS were once again operated on the Everett Railroad and we are indebted to the Everett Railroad Company, Mr. Alan Maples, President, and the Everett crews who have worked so well with us in providing these trips. Most trips are based out of Roaring Spring, PA that has the only surviving PRR station in Blair County. These excursions also are operated in conjunction with the Roaring Spring Historical Society with whom we have also enjoyed these mutual activities with the help of President and Mrs. Gene Kurtz, RSHS. The annual “Spring Dam Days” (July 27 & 28) celebrations always provides both groups an excellent venue to provide rides to Hollidaysburg and/or Martinsburg in southern Blair County.

Sunday, September 15th the Chapter hosted a dinner train from Hollidaysburg to Roaring Spring. Passengers loaded at the new Canal Basin Park in Hollidaysburg, traveled pas the recently closed Hollidaysburg Car Shop complex, to Roaring Spring where we were bussed to the Fire Hall for a great Turkey Dinner. The overcast day failed to dampen our spirits as we enjoyed a “full house” aboard the Special.

Saturday and Sunday, October 5th & 6th, Chapter members volunteered in a variety of tasks to assist Railroader’s Memorial Museum with the annual RAILFEST celebration. Most Chapter members worked as car hosts aboard the excursion special with equipment from Juniata Terminal Company of Philadelphia as well as Amtrak. This train was significant this year for the number of extra-fare private cars in the consist including the Dover Harbor, Warrior Ridge, Kitchi Gammi Club, and the Pennsylvania 120. Power for the train were the impeccable restored PRR E-8 units # 5809 and 5711. The courtesies extended by Mr. Bennett Levin, Eric Levin, and Steve Agostini were most appreciated.

Saturday, November 30th concluded the excursion year with the ever-popular SANTA TRAIN. All trips were “sold-out” and Santa traveled aboard with his elves passing out gifts to all the children aboard. Horseshoe Curve Chapter concluded 2002 with a Christmas dinner at the Geeseytown Fire Hall, skillfully arranged by their Assistant Chief, and chapter member, Denny Walls. The guest speaker for the evening was Mr. Scott Cessna, newly appointed Executive Director at Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum and his family accompanied him. 2002 was a difficult year for Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum due to a financial shortfall. This circumstance, partially attributable to the significant drop in tourism/visitors, resulted in a major reorganization at the museum where many Chapter members have served in a variety of capacities over the years, i.e., Board or Directors or volunteer services. Mr. Cessna provided an overview of the difficulties and the proposed solutions, which should result in a more efficient and viable museum facility for 2003. The evening concluded with a slide show by Chapter Historian, Dave Seidel, re-counting Chapter history.

Horseshoe Curve Chapter maintenance activity for 2002 included replacement of airbrake components on the coaches, mechanical repairs to the on-board generator; Jamey Rickens and Joe Harella accomplished vestibule painting. It should be noted that the various train operations, & motor coach trips requires a major amount of logistical planning and support. We would like to recognize Chapter Treasurer William Mangiacarne for coordinating and directing all train operations, including the adjunct Railfest Train for Altoona Railroader’s Memorial Museum annually. The Roaring Spring excursions require much planning and coordination as most tickets are via advance sales. Mr. Mangiacarne and Chapter Director M. Richard Charlesworth coordinate most of these functions with the help of Mr. Gene Kurtz, President of the Roaring Spring Historical Society. While all members help out in a variety of capacities, we also rely on the leadership of President Givler for all mechanical maintenance issues.

Chapter Webmaster, Coal Bucket Editor Chris Behe continues to serve the needs of the Chapter from Newport RI. The geographical separation has little impact on the web page issues but changes may be forthcoming regarding the publication of the newsletter in 2003.


l. Video tape, “The Altoona Trolley Story”
2. Booklet: A post card history of Altoona and PRR

Prepared by Chapter Historian David W. Seidel


January 2003 - Chapter Business  Meeting

Awaiting Report


February 2003 - Social Meeting

The February meeting 2003 was a social meeting with no business conducted. This event was hosted by George and Joyce Thompson, who provided refreshments at the Alto Model Train Museum in the Pellegini Engineers building at 29th Street in Altoona.  The Alto Model Train Museum has two full-functioning train layouts in S and O gauges.  Great food and fellowship was enjoyed by all as well as a program of train videos, most particularly the Rotary Snow Plows in the High Sierras. This was appropriate since Altoona was (enjoying) (enduring) a significant winter season, although nothing requiring the services of Rotary Snow units on the Allegheny Ridge.

Addendum:  Plans are underway for the Horseshoe Curve Chapter to finalize proposals for hosting the Spring Directors Meet for April 2004 in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Horseshoe Curve.  Chapter Director M. Richard Charlesworth will attend the Spring Directors meeting April 5th and 6th 2003 at Richmond, Val (accompanied by Chapter Historian David Seidel) to make a formal presentation. (submitted by David Seidel)



March 25, 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

7:35 p.m.  The minutes from the January meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Dave Behe.  The Treasurer's report was given and a motion to approve was made by Larry McKee and seconded by Dick Charlesworth.   

Bill Mangiacarne reported that our insurance with the Everett Railroad only increased 10%.   Alan Maples offered the Chapter the use of the Everett RR caboose free of charge, the brakes will need updated.  Bill suggested we could use the caboose for "special" groups or charter it out.  One of the members will need to be on the caboose on these trips. We may be looking at a $2.00 to $3.00 increase in ticket price for the caboose.  Brake valves are less expensive than we originally thought.   Dick made a motion to spend the money to do the brake work and pay insurance.  Seconded by Denny Walls.  Motion carried.   Plans have been tentatively discussed for Chapter Excursions.  For the Spring Dam weekend, a Friday night train will run from Hollidaysburg to Roaring Spring to see the Flashbacks.  Also a Haunted Train is being planned from the station to Rodman. Santa trips may expand to two days.  We are planning another dinner train.  Bill is also thinking of doing a trip to Pittsburgh on the Pennsylvanian for a Pirate's game.  He and Dick  would work on this together if the members would want to do this as a summer trip.  Dick will speak to the people at the Altoona Curve for advertising help.  Frank read a letter from the National on the passing of Vice Pres. Bob Pinski due to a brain aneurysm.  Frank also reported that the membership this year had 6 non-renewals and 4 new.  

Andy reported briefly on the Museum Grand reopening that will be this weekend.  Building "B" is now Memorial Hall, the interior has been changed and some new things added. There is a new price structure.  The weekend is looking to have live steam engines, refreshments, a slide presentation by Dave Seidel and Saturday will be children's day with crafts and fun things in Memorial Hall.  A founder's reception will be Friday night the 28th from 5p.m to 7p.m.  The K-4 committee has been renamed "Special Project committee".  Frank will represent the Chapter, Ed Wilt will represent KRAP and others will be Andy, Dick Charlesworth and Gary Price.  Andy told the members that the Museum is making a wish list with the possibility to get funding to cosmetically restore the Chapter coaches to match the coaches that Jeff Pontius owns and may be used with the K-4.  Also possibly, the REX car may be displayed in the Museum yard as well as the Duquesne.  

Dick reported that Dave Seidel did an outline of what may occur for the Director's meeting weekend. We have been approved for the first weekend in Apri12004.  Dave and Dick are attending the Director's meeting in April to present this outline. Guests will stay at the Ramada Inn.  We could expect 125 to 150 people.  Friday night will be slides & films of the Curve at the Curve with light refreshments.  Saturday will be an excursion on the Everett Railroad.  The banquet will be Saturday evening with Dan Cupper as the guest speaker, and we are checking for Tom Riley to be the MC for the evening.  Sunday will be the meeting. 

Dick is checking on the plaque we would like to present of the Curve commemorating the 150th anniversary.  Dick will also check to see if the Chapter or the National covers the cost of the plaque. Talks are being held with Sylvania with the Rite Co. and NS to do alighting of the Curve like was done in 1954.  Denny will be in charge of Registration/Admissions.   Other people will be needed to hold other duties that will need done on the weekend.  

Jamie asked about putting a radio at the Museum like we have at the Curve with the railroad frequency on it.  Andy did not think this would be a problem.  Frank did say it would have to be secured and this should be done when the yard plans are final.  The radio at the Curve needs checked to see if it is still working.  

Dick is trying to plan a dinner meeting with the Cumberland Chapter.   Dick said it was mentioned in their newsletter also. He will contact them and try to plan for April.  Cards and emails will be sent out, however if you do not receive any word then plans did not go through.  

Everyone would like to thank George and Joyce Thompson for a great evening and wonderful food at the gathering in February.  With no further business to discuss a motion was made to adjourn by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Andy Mulhollen. 


April 22, 2003 - Social Meeting

The "Just Because" sub-group of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, gather for conversation at the April 2002 Social Evening with the Alto Model Train Museum Club at their headquarters.  Photo by David Seidel


7:43 p.m. The minutes from the previous meeting were read and a motion was made to approve by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Denny Walls. 

Due to the absence of the Treasurer there was no report given this month. 

Dick Charlesworth reported that he and Gary went to the Cumberland Chapter's meeting and discussed  the possibility of a  dinner meeting with them.  It will be May 28th, the fourth Wednesday, at Hoss' in Bedford at 7p.m.  We will order off the menu and gratuity will be included.  It was decided to ask the Cumberland Chapter to do a short slide program.  Emails and cards will be sent.  

Cumberland was approved for the Spring 2005 Directors meeting.  

Dave Seidel and Dick Charlesworth spoke with Greg Malloy and Larry Eastwood about the plaque for the Horseshoe Curve, the National will pay for the plaque. Dick is still looking into a sponsor for the plaque and we can then reimburse the National. The plaque will be displayed and presented at the banquet of the Director's meeting.  Scott Cessna suggested that the plaque could be set in stone at the Curve with lighting and a flag. 

The Directors meeting will be held April-4th 2004.  The contract is set up for the Ramada Inn.  There will be activities Thursday night, Friday and Friday evening, Saturday with the banquet Saturday night and Sunday will be the meeting.  Dick spoke with Rudy Husband about a shop tour and possibly using the lead track to leave Altoona for Roaring Spring.  Dick is waiting to hear from Rudy.  

Bill reported on the Father's Day trip and informed us that the discussed trip to Pittsburgh for a ball game has been decided against due to the costs and limited number of cars.  

On Sunday May 8th Dick Charlesworth, George Merritt, and Frank will go to the Curve to check the radio.

 Jamey Rickens will be taking over the Coal Bucket since our current editor Chris Behe left the area.    ( Webmaster's NOTE :  Although I am no longer compiling the newsletter, I am still maintaining the web page.)

Denny Walls talked with John Miller about props for the Haunted train and he is willing to help.  A meeting will need to be set up with him so he knows if he will need to create anything new.  Frank presented Fred Moyer with his 25 yr pin. 

Dave Seidel brought a cake to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, which will fall on May 11th 2003. 

With no further new or old business to discuss a motion to adjourn was made by Denny Walls and seconded by Jamey Rickens.  

May 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

Awaiting Report


May 2003 - 35th Anniversary of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS

35th_Anniv_Cake.jpg (145046 bytes) The attached photo is of the 35th Anniversary Cake. The Chapter's anniversary was May 11, 2003.  The date of celebration was May 26, 2003, following adjournment of our regular meeting at ARMM "I had the cake there), we went to King's and they served it for us."  (by D. W. Seidel_


June 24, 2003 - Chapter Social Meeting

The minutes ftom the April meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Larry McKee and seconded by Joe Harella.  The Treasurer's report was read.  A motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Dave Behe. 

Dick Charlesworth reported on the plans for the Director's meeting; we cannot use the lead track for excursions.  A letter was sent to Calvin Cox, N.S. Superintendent to have a shop tour.  However, Mr. Cox needs to speak with Roanoke.  Contracts with the Ramada were signed and turned in. Dick is starting to work on a non-
rail tour.  Job assignments will need to be is very important for this to be a success that you help with whatever job you can.

Bill Mangiacarne reported  we are getting requests for the Halloween and Santa trips. The Father's Day trip had to be cancelled.  All the public service announcements were sent.   The Bedford Gazette and Altoona Mirror had ads in today (6-24-03).  Bill suggested again that we need something on the train to draw the people. If you have
any ideas please bring them to Bill's attention.

All present received the first edition of the new editor's Coal Bucket; all applauded his work.

Jamey Rickens, New "Coal Bucket" Editor

August 3rd is the Chapter picnic at the Seidel cottage; bring a covered dish, RSVP by end
of July with number attending and covered dish.  Emails and cards to be sent.

The Walters truck is out of storage and will be taken to Lakemont Park for the annual Antique Truck and Machinery

The subject of the Duquesne was brought to the members' attention; the car has been sitting outside and has been sandblasted.  Frank needs to speak with Ed Strong again to see if work can progress in some manner or should we decide to just restore it cosmetically.

Frank introduced Dave Smith, a potential new member who joined us this evening, we all would like to welcome him aboard.

Disscussion followed on various subjects for the good of the Chapter.


July 22, 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

The minutes from the June meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Joe Harella.  The Treasurer gave his report and was approved.  The books were available during the meeting for review. 

Bill Mangiacarne and Dick also spoke with Allen Maples, he would like us to do a Fall Foliage trip from Hollidaysburg to Rodman.  He would charge us half of what we net after expenses. Some discussion followed.  Ideas of when and serving refreshments followed. The trip was set for October 11th.  The entertainment train from Hollidaysburg to Roaring Springs was cancelled.  Bill also gave recognition to George Merritt for hosting the caboose on the fishing trips.

The air reservoir on the Walter Truck will need replaced as it has a small leak. Frank has made a temporary patch.

Len Alwine suggested that he could conduct a slide program for one of our meetings on Railroad owned bus companies; it was decided to do this for the November meeting.

Those present were reminded about the Chapter picnic, RSVP Dave Seidel with number attending and your covered dish.

Frank read a letter he received from Philip Faudi concerning information he saw on the web site about the Gallitzin tunnels and he was asking if it was correct.  In the discussion that followed it was decided that Chris will need to delete this information from the website.

Dick gave an update on Directors meeting in 2004, it is a definite for the shop tour that weekend. A letter was sent to Hoss' s asking for a donation to the plaque.  Hoss's and Frank's Auto both submitted donations.  Dave Seidel and Dick will be on "Froggie" and "Magic" for a 3 to 4 minute promo on the excursions that weekend.

A motion to adjourn was made by Bill Mangicarne and seconded by Denny Walls.


July 2003 Supplemental - Mary Josephine Wahl

ALBANY, GA — The graveside funeral service of Mary Josephine Wahl, 62, of 705 S. Magnolia St., who died Thursday, July 31, 2003, will be conducted Monday 3 p.m. at Floral Memory Gardens Cemetery. The Rev. Finnbar Stanton will officiate.

A native of Altoona, PA, Mary Jo had resided in Albany for the past 27 years. She was a platform secretary in banking before moving to Albany in 1976, she had served as tour director for the Lewis Bus Company, in Augusta. She owned and operated the V.I.P. Tours in Albany, and was inducted as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2003. Mary Jo was a founding member of The Altoona Railway Museum Club 1965-1968, and a founding member of it's successor, the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, Altoona, PA, from 1968 to present. Miss Wahl was also a founding member of Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum, and the first secretary to the Board of Directors from 1972 until relocating to Georgia in 1976. She was a graduate of Altoona Catholic High School and was of the Catholic faith.

Survivors include her father, Joseph F. Wahl of Albany; and two sisters, Susan D'Ambrosio of San Antonio, TX, and Anne G. Dixon of Hackettstown, NJ.

COMMENT:  It should also be noted that Mary was preceded in death by her mother, Bernice Mary (Babe) Wahl who served the needs of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter for many years, along with her husband Joseph F. Wahl, who survives.  A review of the Memorable Moments from the Past photographic archives on the Chapter webpage, will reveal many Chapter activities in which the Wahl family was instrumental to the development of Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS, as well as the early beginnings of Railroader's Memorial Museum, during their years in Altoona preceding their relocation to Albany, GA in 1976.  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Wahl and Mary Jo Wahl are Aunt, Uncle and first cousin of Chapter Historian David Seidel.


August 2003 - Annual Chapter Picnic

Canceled due to the death of  Mary Josephine Wahl.


August 20, 2003 - Norfolk Southern to Sponsor the ARMM/Railway Heritage Scholarship Program

Horseshoe Curve Chapter's relatively new editor for the Coal Bucket, the official Chapter newsletter, was on the job August 20, 2003 for press conferences at Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum.  Editor Jamey Rickens was present when NS Corp spokesperson, Rudy Husband, presented Railroader's Memorial Museum with a check for $50,000 for sponsorship of the Railway Heritage Scholarship Program at the Museum, which will sponsor students for several years.. The Railway Heritage Scholarship Program will provide funding for students in area school districts to visit and tour the museum as on on-going educational process, that will educate young people about the heritage of the railroad industry.

NRHS-ARMM_8-20-2003.doc.jpg (101148 bytes) Article from the 8-20-03 issue of the Altoona Mirror. NRHS-ARMM-8-20-2003_1.jpg (28742 bytes) Editor Jamey Rickens interviews Mr. Rudy Husband of Norfolk Southern Corporation for the Coal Bucket, following the check presentation August 20, 2003.
NRHS-ARMM_8-20-2003_2.jpg (24157 bytes) Ceremonial NS Check for $50,000 for sponsorship of the ARMM/Railway Heritage Scholarship Program       


August 26, 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

The meeting was called to order and the minutes from the July meeting were read a motion was made to approve by Jay Fornwah and seconded by Dave Seidel.  The Treasurer gave his report.  All bills are paid up to date and the report was made available on the excursions trips for the members to view.  Motion to approve Larry McKee and seconded by Don Gobel.

Bill reported that the dinner train was at about 60 tickets sold and we would run the trip to with enough people to break even.

October 12th, the Sunday after Railfest, will have three excursion trips: 11a.m.,lp.m. and 3p.m; Hollidaysburg to Rodmen.  Halloween trip ticket sales are going well. 

Bill also asked that anyone car wishing to be a car host for Railfest to please sign up tonight.   A Station Coordinator is needed to make announcements and communicate with Bill on the train. The three trips on Saturday will be at 10:20a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30p.m.

Frank reported that Denny Walls will be driving the Wather in the Railfest parade.  Frank displayed the two trophies that were received this year for the truck, one was for the 20th annual Night Out Against Crime held in Duncansville and the other is the Grasshopper award from the Antique and Machinery Show at Lakemont Park for the third consecutive year.

Frank reported that he has spoken to Ed Strong concerning the Duquesne. It will be setting outside for the winter.  Frank and Dick will see that it is covered with blue plastic tarps in order to give it some protection from the weather.

Dick requested the Chapter give him money for one nights lodging at the Fall Directors meeting.  Len Alwine made a motion to give Dick, money for one night. Seconded by Dave Behe. All voted in favor. 

For anyone that might be interested, Larry McKee reminded us of the Logan House Dinner again this year, it will be Nov.22 at 6:00p.m. or Nov.23rd at 5:00p.m.  Tickets are available at St. Luke's Church Office.

It was discussed about lowering the price of the post card books as we still have a great number in supply. It was also discussed about letting others sell them. There is currently money owed the Chapter from the Museum from the last invoice.  This has been brought to the Museum's attention and new invoices turned in.  If the cost of the books has been covered already, Frank suggests reducing the price.  Bill will check this and he suggested selling them on the Santa trips as a sale item for the cost of $5.00.

Jay Fornwalt will check with Cumberland to see if they would be willing to sell them on consignment at $7.00.

The paper work has been completed and sent to Colorado regarding the plaque for the anniversary of the Horseshoe Curve. Letters and Photos to be included, Dick will report this at the fall Directors meeting.

The motion was made to adjourn by Jamie Rickens and seconded by Jay Fornwalt.


Karin Givler and Bill Mangiacarne.  Photo by David Seidel. L-R, David Behe, Jay Fornwalt, George Merritt.   Photo by David Seidel.
L-R:  Leonard Alwine, Duane Miller and Barry Kaufman in foreground  Photo by David Seidel.    


  Railfest Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to Staff the Station and Rail Excursions for the upcoming Railfest Celebration in Altoona on Oct 4 and 5. Volunteers are needed between the hours of 9am and 5pm Saturday and 9am and 3:30pm on Sunday. You may work one or both days. ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AVAILABLE for a MANDATORY orientation meeting one evening at 7:30 at the AMTRAK STATION in Altoona one week before the event. ( Usually the Tuesday before Railfest).  If you are interested please contact Bill Mangiacarne at 814-943-6784 or EMAIL him at ( Please reference RAILFEST as the subject of your email.) (07SEP03)


September 23, 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

The minutes from the August meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Larry McKee and seconded by George Merrit.  There was not a Treasurer's report given at this meeting.  Frank announced that a check was received from the Museum, for past invoices due. The full amount  was paid. This was for books and tapes that had been sold.  Dick suggested checking with the Museum Gift Shop to see if they are interested in restocking.

Frank and Dick discussed going to Union Tank after Railfest and covering the Duquesne.

Dick reported on the Dinner Trip to Roaring Spring, the trip had about 85 or 90 people.  Alan Maples reduced the cost of the train.  Tickets for the Fall Foliage trip seemed to be going well, numbers not available at this meeting.  Some discussion followed about ticket sales for the Halloween train, and preparations that will need to be made.  We should talk with Bill as a decision needs to be made to follow through or cancel this trip.

The Walter was at Bland's Park for Harvest Fest where the Antique Auto Club of America held a show. The truck will be put in storage after Railfest.

Dick reported on the itinerary for the Director's meeting next year:  Friday afternoon: Gallitzin Tunnels, Allegheny Portage Railroad, Cresson Station
Inn for lunch, and then to Cassandra.  Friday evening: The Curve for slide show, train watching, and refreshments.  Saturday morning/afternoon: Non-rail tour to Cathedral, Mishler Theater, Baker Mansion, Wall that Heals, tour of Juniata Shops, and to the Canal Park to ride the Everett R.R. to Roaring Spring (with a photo run by at the Monastery).  Saturday evening: Banquet at the Ramada with guest speaker Dan Cupper .  Sunday morning: Director's meeting.  Dick asks Karin Givler and Virginia Seidel to help with meal selection and decorations. Gary Clare was asked to gather door prizes. 

Len Alwine will host a slide presentation at the November meeting.

Denny Walls asked Karin to bring to the members' attention what plans would be for a Christmas party.  It was decided to hold it at the Geeystown Fireball again this year. If Denny can make arrangements, the date will be Friday Dec. 5th or Sat. Dec 6th.

Motion was made to adjourn by Gary Clare and seconded by Bill Burket.


September 2003 Supplemental

Tyrone-wall.jpg (17957 bytes) This is photo of one of the Memorial Walls at Tyrone Railroad Station. This view indicates the brick representing Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS.

Photo by D. W. Seidel



October 28, 2003 - Chapter Business Meeting

The minutes from the September meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dave Seidel and seconded by Larry McKee.

The Treasurer was absent and the monthly account figures were given to the President. 

Dick reported on his trip to the Fall Directors meeting in Long Island. The presentation for the Directors Meeting Aprill-4, 2004 was given and Dick feels a good attendance is possible.  A meeting of a few officers was held at the Givlers' to finalize itinerary and start pricing events.  It was decided registration packets would need to be sent by January.  Joe Harella offered to donate his time to drive a bus on the Saturday tour, which will help with our costs. Thank you Joe.  Denny Walls will be helping with registration send backs; others will be needed to help at the registration desk Thursday and Friday. Car hosts will also be needed.  Frank noted a Thank you to Dick and Dave for all their work. 

Dick also mentioned about decorating a small tree at the Rarnada Inn this year for Toys for Tots, the cost would be $100.00. After some discussion Dick made a motion that we donate the $100.00.  He, his wife, and anyone else wishing to do so would see the tree was taken care of.  Seconded by Don Goebel.   Motion carried.

Frank reported that Bill Mangiacarne had approached the Mayor of Cassandra, John Schuniack, about buying a train-viewing bench.  The cost is $100.00.  George Thompson made the motion that we purchase this bench. Seconded by Joe Harella. Motion carried.

Frank received a letter from the Niagara Frontier Chapter, asking for a donation to help them with projects on the purchased tower.  Dick Charlesworth made the motion we
donate $100.00 to the Niagara Chapter.   Seconded by Dave Seidel.   Motion carried.

In the past, we have gathered toys at our annual Christmas party and given them to Toys for Tots but this year Karin received a letter from the Children and Youth Services.  They were looking for individuals or organizations to donate toys, clothes etc. to unfortunate families for Christmas.  After some discussion and a little more
information to be gathered, Len Alwine made the motion to gather gifts or donate money to Children and Youth Services.  Motion seconded by Joyce Thompson.  Motion carried.

It is that time of year again to nominate officers for the Chapter; there were no new nominations so the Secretary asks the present officers if they are willing to hold their
office another year.  Len Alwine made the motion to cast the ballot for all nominated offices the Secretary had brought forth. This motion was seconded by Dave Seidel.
Motion carried.

Frank announced that the Halloween trip was cancelled. The Santa trips are still scheduled for November 22 & 2.  The Fall Foliage trip for Sunday Oct. 12th was
scheduled for two trips, 12 and 2p.m  We sold tickets for about 300 people.

Denny Walls was asking to apply for a grant from the National to use for work needed on our Chapter equipment.  Frank would like to see windows done on the coaches like Jeff Pontius did on his Erie coaches.  The floor was open for discussion.

A motion to adjourn was made by Don Goebel and seconded by Dick Charlesworth.

Railfest Volunteers at Dave's Dream Restaurant


November 2003

       Awaiting Report


2003 Santa Claus Train

The Santa Train excursion of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS and the Roaring Spring Historical Society occurred on November 29th, 2003.  Another train operated on November 22, 2003 alsoThis event is usually a sell out each year due to the popularity of Santa Claus and the many children who ride.  All photos by David Seidel.

Bottom to top:Christy and Judy King, Bill Mangiacarne, Denny Walls, Frank Givler, Robon Pozgar, Dick Charlesworth. Photo by David Seidel



December 2003

December 12, 2003 - Chapter Christmas Dinner

Denny Walls arranged for the Horseshoe Curve Chapter Christmas dinner at the Geeseytown Fire Hall. Denny is Assistant Fire Chief at Geeseytown, and a serious collector of antiques and PRR/Pullman memorabilia as can be demonstrated in this series of photographs.  It was an added pleasure to view some of his collection at the Christmas dinner.

The dinner was followed by a slide presentation on the Horseshoe Curve over the preceding number of years, by Chapter Historian Dave Seidel.

Many thanks to Denny Walls and his family for preparing and serving this particularly nice meal. If you weren't there, you missed a nice evening, good conversation, roast turkey and ham and homemade noodles and all the trimmings. Loved that stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and salads and desserts. Yes, it wasn't that long after Thanksgiving, but it was DEE-LICIOUS !

The evening was especially pleasant to have the opportunity to see Frank Oessenich, who has been battling serious illness this year ...with success ! Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he continues to conclude his treatments.

The "Just Because" group enjoyed their 'conversation corner' also, and it freed the husbands up to talk "trains". A good time was had by all.   Photos by David Seidel.




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