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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


2005 Annual Report

Horseshoe Curve Chapter enjoyed a productive 37th year of activity and continued growth in the greater Altoona Pennsylvania area.

Officers for 2005: President: Francis X. Givler, Jr.; Vice-President: Joseph Harella;
Secretary/Membership Secretary: Karin Givler; Treasurer: William Mangiacarne;
Historian: David W. Seidel; Newsletter Editor: William Mangiacarne; Webmaster: Christopher Behe.

During 2005, Chapter Activities included: Regular monthly meetings on the fourth Tuesday in Memorial Hall, Railroader’s Memorial Museum, Altoona, Pa at 7:30 P.M. unless a special social occasion was scheduled elsewhere. George and Joyce Thompson arranged for the Chapter to be guests of Alto Model Train Museum in April, and refreshments were prepared or arranged for by the Thompsons. This is always a special treat to be able to experience the multiple modular train operations in all guages at the museum facility.

The Alto Model Train Museum hosted the national S Guage Convention in July and Horseshoea Curve Chapter members and officers assisted Alto Model Train Museum by providing tour escorts for the week-long event. Convention attendees visited all local railroad historical sites on various days and concluded with a tour to Norfolk Southern Juniata Locomotive shops.

Horseshoe Curve Chapter operated a slate of train excursions on the Everett Railroad during the 2005 season, including the ‘Great Train Robbery’, which was sponsored by the Hollidaysburg YMCA to benefit Hollidaysburg’s Canal Basin Park which interprets the canal-era in pre-PRR days. All excursions are coordinated with the Roaring Spring PA Historical Society who own and maintain Blair County’s only remaining PRR station. The most popular trains are the Santa Trains each November on two weekends. William Mangiacarne coordinated all train operations for the Chapter. The Chapter expresses special appreciation to the management and crews of the Everett Railroad Company.

During the year, various members of the Horseshoe Curve Chapter & Keystone Restoration & Preservation (KRP) volunteered on major capital projects at Railroader’s Memorial Museum to rehabilitate the 105 ft turntable bridge which is being installed in 2006. Neil Myers, Frank Givler, Denny Walls, Dick Charlesworth, Ed Wilt, Dave Seidel, ‘Jar’ Nale, Andy Mulhollen, Pat McKinney, Larry McKee, Bill Temple worked in a variety of tasks. The exterior beams of the two-section ex-RF&P turntable was needle-gunned to remove rust and paint scale, and the turntable trucks were disassembled for rehabilitation as were other mechanical appliances. Splice plates were removed as necessary as well. Some of these individuals also traveled to Steamtown to volunteer on the K-4 project at the end of the year. KRP’s RPO “Robert Hannigan” was also moved to the museum property for restoration; the chapter’s solarium-lounge ‘Union League Club’ was moved to the East Freedom siding.

The annual Chapter Picnic was hosted by David and Virginia Seidel at ‘Camp David’ in Dysart on Sunday, August 21, 2006. In September, the chapter joined the Western Md Chapter and Cumberland Valley Chapters in an outing at the East Broad Top RR and Shade Gap Electric Railway.

In September, chapter members Leonard Alwine and David Seidel announced the conclusion of a year-long project to produce a new book, a photographic history of the “Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway”, Altoona’s former street railway system which ceased operations in 1954. Royalties from the book (8% of the net) has been assigned to Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS, to benefit the continued restoration and preservation of Logan Valley Service Truck # 18 owned by the Chapter, which is ongoing with hydraulic systems and winch as well as installing the plow and grader blades. The book is available in all local bookstores, especially at Railroader’s Memorial Museum gift shop. Additionally, it may be ordered direct from the publisher:

Members of the Chapter also volunteered at the annual Railfest Weekend in September sponsored by Railroader’s Memorial Museum, in a variety of capacities. The Chapter operated special excursion trains from Canal Basin Park in Hollidaysburg for the event and there was an addition excursion train on the Nittany & Bald Eagle RR at Tyrone PA, as well as on grounds staffing.

Chapter Historian David Seidel traveled to Renovo PA on 9-18-2006 to speak to the Renovo Retired Railroaders annual meeting. Dave presented a slide program on behalf of Horseshoe Curve Chapter on Renovo’s PRR history. The slide program illustrated the PRR presence in Renovo prior to the Penn Central merger (1968) when all railroad shop facilities were in place, little of which remains today.

The year concluded with our annual Christmas supper at Hoss’s Steak and Seahouse restaurant in their PRR room. We enjoyed great conversation with a great meal while videos of particular interest played on the big screen tv. Various members brought show-and-tell items to share also.


24 January 2006 Business Meeting

The January meeting was convened at the Alto Model Train Museum, where the Chapter were guests for the evening. We all enjoyed the train operational layouts and the refreshments provided. A particular thank you to those who helped in the refreshment department, especially Joyce and George Thompson.

President Givler announced that Bill Mangiacarne resigned his membership and position as Treasurer. President Givler has appointed Denny Walls as Acting Treasurer pending formal election. There was discussion on the various accounts. Bills were received for the annual Liability and Physical Damage insurance premium.

Frank Givler and Dick Charlesworth are scheduled to meet with Gene Kurtz (Roaring Spring Historical Society) regarding the excursion calendar for this year.

Discussion on Walter Truck Plow restoration: Frank Givler and Neil Myers will cut old blade sheet off. Will work with Austeel Co. to have a new plow sheeted per the prior authority granted to this committee by the Chapter in October 2005.

2006 Dues statements were received late from National, and were distributed to those present at this meeting.

Len Alwine provided a new "show-and-tell" item, a tablet made from hardwood in the Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway logo, which he obtained at a craft fair the previous autumn. Much interest was generated by other members. Dick Charlesworth offered a motion for club to purchase the item for Len Alwine and David Seidel for the recent book effort, but both declined the offer.

Tim Heidler expressed interest in becoming coordinator of excursion train operations replacing Bill Mangiacarne.

Member Neil Myers, now Director of Operations for Railroader's Memorial Museum, indicated that the Memorial Hall building now has an overhead garage door installed. This will now accommodate storage of the Altoona & Logan Valley Walter truck, as well as the City of Altoona's restored Mack PRR Fire Truck. Also, the museum recently purchased, via ebay, a Railway Express Agency Truck (a 1939 Chevrolet, fully intact, but in need of restoration). This REA truck will be combined with the Chapter's Railway Express Agency boxcar, and an REA baggage cart for a future exhibit at the museum.

Neil also reported on the re-assembly process work on the K-4 # 1361 steam locomotive. The engine is progressing rapidly and volunteers from the Chapter and Keystone Restoration & Preservation have been going to Steamtown to assist.

By David Seidel


28 February 2006 Business Meeting

Notes were read from the January social meeting, taken by Dave Seidel in the Secretary's absence.  There were no additions or corrections. The motion to accept was made by Neil Myers and seconded by Dick Charlesworth.  The Treasurer's report was given. 

George from Austeel agreed to look over the plow for the Walter and give us a price. 


Denny Walls is going to contact the manager at Millenium Railway and discuss work on the REX car. If this should fall through, Frank spoke with Alan Maples, he has a company Schirk Bros. That we could use to do the car and possibly at the Everett Railroad.

Neil discussed the arrival of the 1939 Chevy REX truck that the Museum purchased from Iowa. The truck needs tire, tubes and liners. Universal tire in Penna has recent production tires, 6 tires are $870.00 plus shipping and installation. Dick Charlesworth made a motion we put aside $xxx for the purchase of 6 tires for The truck. Motion seconded by Dave Seidel. All were in favor.  Dick will also be putting together a bus trip with the proceeds going toward these tires.  Dick ask the Chapter for $2xxx to help with expenses on his trip to the Directors meeting.  Denny made the motion to give Dick $xxx to help with expenses, Frank amended the Motion to $xxx. Neil seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Dick brought up the National holding Railcamp again this year and made a motion we give the National $xxx toward expenses. Denny Walls seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Frank announced the dates for excursions this summer as follows at this time: July 29th, October 14, Nov. 18 & 25
Motion was made to adjourn by Denny Walls and seconded by Don Goebel Meeting adjourned

Dave Seidel, Karin Givler, Dick Charlesworth, Frank Givler, Denny Walls, Wayne Burket ,Mike Walls, Will Teeter, Bill Temple ,Neil Myers, Tim Heidler, Niki Heidler, Dave Behe, Larry McKee, Joe Harella, Don Goebel


March 2006 Business Meeting

Minutes from the February meeting were read, with no additions or corrections. The motion was made to approve by Denny Walls and seconded by Dick Charlesworth.

Treasurer's report was read. 

Denny spoke with Jeff the manager at Millennium Railway, they are busy thru June but want the car interchanged and in their yard by May 1st. They are still checking on paint. Their supplier is in Louisiana and since the hurricane they have not gotten paint. They needed to know if the lettering would be stenciled or painted, Denny presumed Stenciled. Alan will need to be contacted about the move, Frank will call Al Novotny.

The tires arrived for the REX truck, the wheels are being primered. There are three wheels that are junk. Frank will check a place called Klinger Salvage in Pine Grove For replacements. When all the wheels are on the truck will be moved to Franks Auto For engine work.

The excursion trip schedule has been finalized: July 29th l0a.m and 1:15p.m. Spring Dam Sept. 9th and possibly Sept. 10th if crew will work on Sunday, times to be finalized. Oct. 14th Robbery Train this will be 3 or 4 trips Nov. 18th and 25th Santa Train 10:45, 1p.m., and 3:15p.m. both days. Dana Shoemaker with the Blair Co. historical Society is planning a possible trip for June 17th. The Society will lease our coaches, Dana will get back to Frank on number of trips and times. Car hosts will be needed. Dana is working with Alan Maples on this trip. Also the Altoona Curve is working on an excursion for the players and their families on Wednesday July 12th. There is nothing official at this time.

We have renewed 50 members and 11 non renewals as of this date.

Dick reported he is planning a bus/train trip to Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad, tour the museum have lunch and train ride or do overnight and include a trip to Strasburg.

A date for the Chapter picnic was set for August 13th.

Dick suggested a dinner meeting for April, several places were discussed, Gary Clare made a motion to go to The Dream seconded by Neil Myers. Date and times will follow on emails and card mailing.

A motion to adjourn was made by Len Alwine and seconded by Will Teeter. Meeting adjourned

ATTENDANCE: George Merritt, Will Teeter , Niki Heidler, Tim Heidler, Denny Walls, Karin Givler, Frank Givler, Gary Clare, Dave Seidel, Dave Behe, Mike Walls, Len Alwine, Neil Myers, Wayne Burket, Joe Harella, Dick Charlesworth, Gary Davis (new member)


April 25th, 2006 - Dinner/social;

Held at Hoss' Altoona.   No regular meeting held in April.


May 2006 Business Meeting

Meeting called to order.   Minutes from the March meeting were read. There are no additions or corrections. Motion to accept made by Larry, seconded by Dick Charlesworth.

Treasurer's report read. Motion to accept made by Dick Charlesworth, seconded by Dave Behe.

Excursion dates are as follows: June 17, 2006 - Blair County Historical Society, July 29, 2006 - Spring Dam Days, September 9 and possibly 10, 2006 - Railfest, October 14, 2006 - YMCA Train Robbery, November 18, 25, 2006 - Santa Trains.

Movement of the REX was delayed. The brakes are waiting on an air test by EVRR. Al is checking with NS to see if they can push it to Millenium. Frank looked at the paint and the darkest green is too olivey. Jeff Yohn is checking to see if they can get Hunter green paint. The car could have gray, green, or silver roof. They have a gray roofing material that is better than tar. Dave is concerned that the stencils will not show on the ice bunker hatches. These markings are purely cosmetic and won't be seen anyways. The trucks could have been green or black. Motion was made by Dick to paint the car with the gray roofing paint, hunter green, and the trucks black (if they will donate the black paint as well). Dave Seidel seconded the motion.

On the REA truck, the last two tires are being painted. They found two more good wheels.

Dick got a bigger bus so that he could sell more tickets for the July bus trip. 55 tickets are already sold. There are several people on a waiting list. He will possibly be getting another bus so that he can sell 44 coach tickets in addition to the diner tickets. Dick will be putting an ad in the Altoona Mirror. The trip will be about 3.5 hours. Adding another bus and coach would double the profit for the chapter. He also may do another trip in the fall.

Blair County Historical Society train - June 17, 2006. There will be three trips. Car hosts are needed - please see Nikki if interested. Alan will have the cars brought to Duncansville. June 10th we will be cleaning them at 9am. We will meet at Sam at Inlow's for breakfast. Spring Dam Days - July 29, 2006. Trips will be at 10:00am and 1:15-1:30pm. EVRR could use their car for the office train because we will probably only need 3 cars. Grace Bible Church may just get a block of tickets. They currently only have 25 people interested. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $8 for kids 15 yrs and younger. We need to have a total and which train they will be riding from Grace Bible Church by June 15th. Dick will coordinate with Gene for the advertising. The Train robbery will be a presidential/1st lady kidnapping this year. The July 12, 2006 trip for the Curve all-stars is not happening.

The chapter picnic is August 20, 2006 at 1:00pm. It will be in Dysart. It was changed from the 13th because of scheduling conflicts.

The last load of trash is out of the Union League.

There are 54 membership renewals and 13 dropouts as of this week. Frank will send this information to the NRHS National.

Len shared an article about Neil Diamond's involvement with model railroading. This will be included in the newsletter.

May 11, 2006 started the Horseshoe Curve chapter's 38th year. Dave Seidel would like to remember members who have passed away since it will be Memorial Day. Dave read the list of names and several were added as well. Harley mentioned putting a memorial in the Altoona Mirror. Dave Seidel will send the list of names to Nikki for the newsletter.

Dave Seidel suggested bringing in a 16mm projector to show films during the meetings. Other members thought that may be better suited for the social meetings. Dave S has numerous reels. Chapter now owns those films and they could probably be transferred to DVD.

The plow was taken to Austeel for an estimate, but Frank forgot to contact them to get the estimate. Frank will get this for the next meeting. The plow just needs to be decorative.

Motion to adjourn made by Harley. Will seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 9:02pm.


June 2006 Business Meeting

The meeting was called to order and the minutes from the May meeting were read with no corrections or additions. The motion to approve was made by Len Alwine and seconded by Dave Behe.

 The Treasurer's report was read & the motion to accept was made by Larry McKee and seconded by Will Teeter.

The REX car should go to Millennium after the Everett does the 2nd air test. Denny and Frank did work on the air hoses and angel cock. Contact was made with Rudy Husband and the move will be down when Everett gives the okay.

Dick reported on the Potomac Eagle trip, 54 dinner tickets and 49 coach tickets have been sold. This trip is turning out to be very successful. Dick also feels we could sell it out again in the fall. Dick said a thank you to Dave Seidel for the article in the Sunday paper at the last minute.

July 29 trip 5 or 6 car hosts will be needed. The train should arrive in Roaring Spring about 9a.m. Car hosts should be there to get the windows open. Mike Albanese finished the tickets; Dick will get them to Wicks for printing. Frank reviewed the excursion schedule for the rest of the year. Tim reported that the church has sold 25 adult and 5 children. Dick had a phone call for a family reunion that requested 30 to 40 tickets; both of these groups were given a .50 discount. The trips on Sept. 9th & 10th will be a lead up to Railfest weekend. The trip on the 9th the first trip will be a short trip and the second will be from the Canal Basin to Roaring Spring station, a box lunch will be served and then on to the "wye" at Martinsburg. The train will then back up to Ritchey's Dairy.

Tim reported on the Blair County Historical trip. Norm Callahan interpreted the trip and gave out maps. The trips were 10a.m. 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Alan engineered for the first time and Tim conducted for the first time. Both did a fine job. The Secretary mentioned needing first aid kits for the coaches. In the event someone would get hurt whether seriously or a minor injury, one is needed in each coach. In discussion of possible injuries, it was mentioned that Alan has discussed building a platform at the Canal Basin. Dick suggested that if this would happen maybe the Chapter, the YMCA and the Museum could all donate money toward whatever Alan would want at the site. Nikki ask that anyone interested in car hosting for the July 29th trip, please let her at the next meeting.

Dick mentioned about the picnic last year at East Broad Top with the Western Maryland and Chambersburg Chapters. Dick mentioned to them about our Chapter hosting one this year, we need to set a date and place for this event.

Barry Kaufman may have a source to convert reel footage to DVD at the Media Center but they would like to test a small part first.

 Frank had no more new or old business to discuss and motion was made to adjourn by Len Alwine and seconded by Nikki Heidler.

Meeting adjourned. 

ATTENDANCE: Frank Givler, Karin Givler, Denny Walls, Dave Seidel, Dave Behe, Tim Heidler, Nikki Heidler, Dick Charlesworth, Len Alwine, Larry McKee, Neil Myers, Mike Walls, Will Teeter, George Thompson, Wayne Burket, Guests: Mike Albanese and Barry Kauffman.


July 29, 2006  

Spring Dam Days excursions at Roaring Spring Excursions

-- l-r: Joe Harella (maroon hat), Greg Miller, Nikki Heidler, Marge and Don Goebbel, Frank Givler
Passing Appleton Paper Mill enroute to Rodman siding for reverse move to change ends for locomotive. Passing Appleton Paper Mill enroute to Rodman siding for reverse move to change ends for locomotive.
Conductor Tim Heidler --
Power for OCS couples onto power from NRHS excursion train following conclusion of public rides. --
End of day as conductor Tim Heidler observes. The Chapter train has been placed on the appropriate siding south of the Roaring Spring Station in time for an Everett Office Car Special to clear. The special's power and cabin was coupled on and added to the OCS waiting in the station area. --
-- --
-- William H. Johnson Jr, Engineer, Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Lexington KY, guest of Alan Maples and Everett RR on the OCS.


August 2006 Chapter Picnic and Business Meeting

This meeting was held at the annual Chapter picnic and will take the place of the regular monthly meeting; it was called to order at 5:10 p.m.

The Treasurer's report was read.  A motion was made by Dick Charlesworth to accept the Treas. Report and seconded by Diesel Dan.

Dick reported on the up coming trip on the Potomac Eagle, this will be October 14 . \/ Dick will not be on that trip so Dorothy Vinglass will be hostess. There are 54 tickets at $83.00 per person.

Tim reported on the July 29th trip, trips went well, ticket sales went well. The car hosts did a fine job. The next trip will be Sept. 9th. First trip will be the short trip at 10:00 am and the second will be the longer trip with box lunches and Ritchey's Dairy ice cream at 11:30 am.

Nikki went to New Look for information on shirts. They can be ready by the trips on the 9th if orders are taken now and turned in this week. They will be navy golf shirts with a white Horseshoe Chapter, N R H S logo. It will be a $48.00 set up fee and $5.00 to $6.00 for logo. Shirts will be S-XL $10.50 XXXXL 16.50, XXL $12.50, XXXL $14.50.  Dick Charlesworth made a motion that the Chapter pays the set up fee and each individual will pay for their shirt. Gary Clair seconded motion. All voted in favor.  Nikki will need names and sizes today. The bill will be sent to Denny and payment can be given to Denny, Frank or Nikki.

Frank reported that he spoke to Alan about the REX car getting moved to Millennium. Their work is slow right now and they would like to get started. The paint for the car will be at no cost to the Chapter, the roof will be done gray.

The Walter truck will be going to the old museum building for the winter to set on display. The Duquesne and the B-60 will be moved to the Museum yard for display in the near future.

The motion was made to adjourn by Frank Givler and seconded by Neil Myers.  Meeting Adjourned

Duane Miller, Denny Walls,  Neil Myers,  Diesel Dan, Nikki Heidler, Tim Heidler,  Dick Charlesworth,  Dave Behe, Dave Seidel,  Gary Clair,  George Thompson,  Bill Burket, Andy Mulhollen, Karin Givler,  Frank Givler

Julie and Macyn Behe Tim Behe
Macyn with Ron Givler Nellie Turkeli; Cynthia and Dan Moringiello, new chapter members. Welcome! Dan is a retired LIRR engineer now living in Hollidaysburg. Nickname: Diesel Dan
Les Shaffer, Nellie Turkeli and (Lauren or Leah) Behe John and Charyl Gardner
Ron Givler, Mark Yingling and Joe DeFrancesco A brief Chapter meeting
A brief Chapter meeting face="Palatia"> Duane Miller, Joe DeFrancesco (soon-to-be-new -member) & Frank Givler. Joe is a student at Juniata Valley HS and a volunteer at RR Memorial Museum. Joe was illustrating his artwork, a pencil drawing of a PRR class M-1a locomotive, and shared photographs of his model train layout in HO.
Supervising the BBQ: Charyl and John Gardner, David Behe, Larry McKee We always like 'show-and-tell'  !

Photographs by David Seidel


26 September 2006 Business Meeting

The meeting was called to order; the minutes from the August meeting were read and a motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Larry McKee.  The Treasurer's report was read. The motion to approve was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Dave Seidel.

Dick reported that the Potomac Eagle trip is sold out. A few people from the Homewood Retirement Village made arrangements to meet the bus at East Freedom Exit. It was suggested that the 14 people should all have seats together on the bus; Dick will take care of that. He thought about planning this trip again next year, and asking the Homewood Retirement Home and Morison's Cove. The revenue from this trip will be earmarked for paint and materials to do some work on the Union League.

October 14th trips 10:00 am, 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 pm, car hosts will be needed, let Nikki know by the 7th so she has a lunch count. Car hosts can meet at the office in Duncansville at 8:00 am. Frank expects the cars to be at the office that week for cleaning.

Scott reported that Railfest went well all trips were run to capacity, he thanked the Chapter for a job well done.

Santa trips will be November 18th and 25th. 10:45am, 1:00pm and 3:d$pm. There will be a notice to meet and do the goodie bags. Nikki will make posters and George will pass some out at the train meet show. Karin will speak with Scott Beverage about the fire truck ride to the station with Santa.  The Museum will sell tickets with 10% going to them; the tickets will say good for admission to museum and curve through the end of the year, not just that weekend. Tickets are Adult $13.00 and Child $9.00 up to age 12. Rich will be Santa again this year.

Nikki has Chapter shirts to pass out and anyone who did not get and would like to order, please see her after the meeting. Along with the price of the shirt, $4.80 was added for logo and $1.95 for your name.

Walter truck will be moved into Memorial Hall for the winter, Frank suggested buying a floor mat to be put under the truck. Dick made a motion the Chapter purchase this floor mat. Motion seconded by Dave Seidel. All voted in favor.

Frank left a message with Dave Gildea at Union Tank to have the Duquesne grit blasted. Do not know when this will be done.

The REX is at Millennium; it is on an accelerated schedule. Amron Co. donated paint and is sending a rep to watch the process.

Thank you letter from the National for our donation to Railcamp this year. Dave Seidel suggested that next year's camp we send our newest future member Joey DeFrancisco.

Motion made to adjourn by Don Goebel and seconded by Denny Walls.  Meeting Adjourned.

Frank Givler, Karin Givler, Deisel Dan, Barry Kauffinan, Thompson's, Len Alwine, Denny Walls, Dick Charlesworth, Dave Seidel, Bill Temple, Dave Behe, Nikki Heidler, Tim Heidler, Neil Myers, Duane Miller, Scott Cessna, Wayne Burket, Pat Mckinney, Larry McKee, Wil Teeter, Don Goebel


David Seidel writes: "We had a nice meeting this month with somewhat of a record attendance...23.

Photographs by David Seidel

Bus Trip to Potomac Eagle dinner train on October 14, 2006; to be escorted by Dorothy Vinglas. Sold out.

Chapter rolling stock: (Preamble: Turntable was finished on September 20th and all of the museum's rolling stock has been relocated in the new locations around the table, concluding on Monday, 9/25 when Neil used the derrick to lift 'Nancy', which was subsequently towed by the derrick onto the table and re-located; Scott Cessna sustained a broken finger and a bruised finger in the effort-the first casualty).

Union League Club, now at East Freedom siding is to go into the museum for display as well. Note: The Union League Club is only one of two surviving such class cars. The other is the 'Anthracite Club' ...somewhere in Arkansas, which is currently on the market. [The PRRT&HS 'Keystone' did an article on these cars a few years ago.]

All Chapter owned equipment will therefore, be on permanent loan/display at Railroader's Memorial Museum excluding the coaches utilized for excursion service.

The Walter truck will move to the museum for winter storage in October and be displayed in Memorial Hall along with the 1941 PRR Fire Engine.

EADS is currently surveying the museum property. It is hoped that bids for the roundhouse will be advertised in October and construction over the winter months.

Railroader's Memorial Museum is tentatively planning Railfest for July 7-8 2007.

Thats it ! Fort Pitt !"


September 2006 - Railfest

Chapter members getting ready for the day's excursions at the home office of the Everett RR, Wye Switches (ex-PRR), Duncansville, PA. At the Everett RR offices at Wye Switches, Duncansville.
Everett RR offices at Wye Switches, Duncansville New member, Joe DeFrancesco
Conductor Tim Heidler (Horseshoe Curve Chapter) Conductor Tim Heidler accompanied by Gary Clare
Open-air car (converted ex-PRR heavyweight sleeper) owned by the Everett RR. This car was used for observation purposes and refreshments. Although equipped with friction bearing trucks. this car rides superbly. Former passengers in the sleeping car days would have enjoyed long distance travel on this car. Excursion train inbound from Brooks Mils toward Hollidaysburg.

Photographs by David Seidel


October 2006 Business Meeting

The meeting was called to order; the minutes from the August meeting were read. 

Estimate is not ready on the plow - it needs to be figured out what to do with the cutting edge. 

Dave Guildea (Union Tank) - Duquesne is sand blasted and will be moved to the museum, as will the B60 once it's done
REX car - Jeff Yohn says that the roof is done. It is sprayed with GE coating. It was in primer, but should be in green now. It should be completely done in a week or two.  The UC valves on the Erie-Lackawanna cars expire after the end of the year. Frank submitted a letter last week to the FRA asking for details on the extension. The UC Valves will probably need to be changed one more time for the extension.

Santa Trip:  -Karin is doing the candy bags while she's off work; -apples and oranges will be purchased a week before the first trip, they should be okay until the trips; -making 600 bags total; -tickets available online at the museum web site.

Potomac Eagle trip:  -will probably do another trip in the spring.

Rail Camp:  -Joey DeFrancesco is probably interested in going to camp. Dick will talk to Barry Smith and let him know that we will be sending someone next year.

Christmas party:  Joey's grandmother owns a Bed and Breakfast in Tyrone/Spruce Creek area - holds 60 people @ $8.00/person - will schedule for 12-1-06 @ 7:00. Cost will be $10.00/person (includes gratuity).

Dick made a motion to donate $xxx to Toys for Tots, 2nd by Neil Myers.  Dick made a motion to donate $xxx to the Roaring Spring Historical Society, 2nd by Neil Myers.


Chapter recognized Joe Harella for replacing the window in the Loretto car. 

The Bridge is almost finished on the turn table - hand rails are on and should still be painted before winter.  Scott gave an update on the progress being made on the cars in the museum yard:  -things moving along well; -yard has been rearranged; -room in the yard for the Union League, Duquesne, REX, B60. Scott handed out an article on the Union League - Classic cars on the Pennsy.   The museum is taking delivery on a F30A flat car from Caracciolo Museum may get a heavy weight 12-1 sleeper to be named "the Cessna."

YMCA Train Kidnapping report:  -Tim reported that there were over 900 people on the trips thru the day; -trip went excellent;  -cars need to get some work done on them, especially the vestibules;  -Alan Maples is getting the information to Frank for the people who did the welding work on his cars.  Denny made a motion that Nikki be permitted to being grant research, 2nd by Tim Heidler.  The vestibules are the worst; -roofs are in need of attention as well;  -Frank will email Al at the EVRR for the information on their sources.

Nikki announced that the new batch of shirts are in and can be paid for whenever possible.

In attendance:  Dan Moringello, Cynthia Moringello, Neil Myers, Dave Seidel, Len Alwine, Mrs. Alwine, Larry McKee, George Merritt, Scott Cessna, Wil Teeter, Tim Heidler,Nikki Heidler, Don Goebel, Joe Harella, Frank Givler, Dick Charlesworth, Denny Walls, Dave Behe.


November 25, 2006 Santa Train

Nancy and Logan Behe Dennis and Luke Behe
Luke Behe Santa visits with Luke and Logan Behe held by Mom Nancy.
-- --
Santa Claus takes a rest from his official duties. Conductor Tim Heidler
Santa Claus arrived at the Roaring Spring Train Station aboard this vintage fire engine owned by Chapter Treasurer, Denny Walls, who is active with the Geeseytown Fire Dept. Passengers aboard the Nov 25th train were Bob and Katie Emerson (left and center-rear) accompanied by Bob's father Arnold Emerson rear-right, accompanied by Bob and Katie's daughters. Bob Emerson joined Horseshoe Curve Chapter as a teenager (via parents Arnold and Sylva; after graduation from college became the first Executive Director of Railroader's Memorial Museum in Altoona; Currently Director of Old Fort Niagara in NY State.


November 28, 2006 Business Meeting

David Seidel reports "The regular monthly meeting of Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS, Altoona, PA was held aboard the former observation car from the Broadway Limited...'Mountain View', one of the two observation cars off the famed Broadway Limited.  This car last graced the rear of the 'Broadway' in December, 1967 before the all-bedroom consist was merged with the reserved seat "The General", just prior to entering the Penn Central-era. Refreshments were served and a brief slide program was presented by David Seidel from the late 1967 and early 1968 period, illustrating the large volume of passenger equipment being retired and stored in the Altoona area. Much of this passenger equipment was from the blue-ribbon fleet of Pullmans, parlor cars, diners, observation cars, both heavy-weight and light-weight. During this period, sister car 'Tower View' was retired at Altoona but Mountain View did not make an appearance.

Chapter cars 'Union League Club' and the newly painted Railway Express Agency boxcar (courtesy of Millenium Rail) have been shipped to Rose Yard. In addition, the Chapter's ex-PRR class B-60 baggage car will be shipped from Union Tank Car Co. in Altoona along with office car 'Duquesne' to Rose Yard office. These will then be placed into Railroader's Memorial Museum for permanent display. A bay window caboose is also being shipped to the museum with the above consist for permanent display, purchased for the museum by Chapter (and museum) members Dan and Cynthia Moringiello." 


The meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m. President Givler read the minutes from the October meeting, these minutes were taken by Nikki Heidler due to the absence of the Secretary. Two corrections were made to the minutes.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Dick Charlesworth and seconded by Joe Harella.

Treasurer's report: was read. A motion to approve was made by Larry McKee and seconded by Len Alwine.

The meeting was held in the Mtn. View; Dick Charlesworth brought a cake to celebrate the arrival of this historic piece of equipment to the museum.  Membership renewals were handed out to all of those present, Frank explained the new form and that the two middle pieces be returned with your dues. 

Frank called on Friday before the meeting to Asteel and still no estimate on the Walter plow. Frank will call on Wednesday and then send out an email for a vote as to moving ahead.

The Union League and Cabin car are at Rose yard, the REX car should be in the yard, and Dick said he saw the train today with no car so move may be Thursday. The Duquesne is premiered and the B-60 id trapped, these cars should be at the museum by the New Year.
Frank was out to see the REX car, the paint and stenciling look really good. Jeff will give Frank a list of the guys' names that worked on the car. Dave Seidel made a motion that the Chapter should have a thank you dinner for the workers and Neil added that he thought it should be at the Museum with a catered dinner once the cars arrived. Dan seconded this motion. All voted in favor.

Dick reported the Santa trips this year were successful. 751 Adults, 422 Children was Dick's number of tickets. 800 for the caboose. This count does not include the museum sales. The last trip on the last Saturday ran out of goody bags but thanks to Wendy Traxler who went to the store and got additional things to finish.

Nikki has shirts, if anyone ordered please see her after the meeting.

Dick asked for a count of anyone going to the Christmas dinner. Dick needs to get a final count tonight. As of Now count stands at 37. Anyone wishing to car pool please meet at Frank Givlers house at 6:10p.m.

Nikki talked with the director of Children and Youth Services about a letter for Christmas, which we have donated to the children for the last couple of years. Dick made a motion to donate $xxx. Dave Seidel seconded this motion. All voted in favor. Nikki was given the check tonight.

Len Alwine made a motion that the Secretary cast a ballot for all members holding office to continue for another year. Neil Myers seconded this motion. The Secretary cast the ballot and all persons in office will remain for another year.  Motion to adjourn was made by Denny Walls and seconded by Nikki Heidler.

Dave Seidel, Virginia Seidel, Karin Givler, Frank Givler, Denny Walls, Mike Walls, Mary Walls, Neil Myers, Len Alwine, Dick Charlesworth, JoeHarella, Nikki Heidler, Tim Heidler, LarryMcKe, Will Teeter, DanM, CindyM.


December 2006 Business Meeting

No meeting held due to the Annual Christmas Party.


December 2006 Christmas Party

The annual Horseshoe Curve Chapter Christmas dinner was held on Friday, Dec 1, 2006 at Deer Hollow Bed and Breakfast near Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County, as guests of our newest and youngest Chapter member, Joseph A. DeFrancesco.  Deer Hollow B&B is part of a 400-acre family farm which sits on high ground above what was the Warner Quarry between Tyrone and Spruce Creek. Arriving after dark, the caravan of automobiles of Chapter members streaming into the barnyard, resembled the closing scene in the movie 'Field of Dreams'. This scene is also after dark, and you observe a steady stream of headlights winding their way to the Iowa Farm pursuing the prediction quoted: "If you will build it, they will come". We had a record turnout of about 34 members. The meal was superb, exceeded only by the gracious hospitality of Joe's family. It was an evening we shall not soon forget.  The evening included great fellowship and Joe's great model train layout in HO guage, depicting the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Gary Clare and Joe DeFrancesco
Denny Walls, Dan [Diesel Dan] Moringiello, Bill Burket, Tim Heidler Joe DeFrancesco's HO PRR railroad. 
Joe DeFrancesco (red)explains some train layout info  


 2006 Annual Report

The year 2006 was the Horseshoe Curve Chapter’s 38th year of progress.

Among the principal activities of the chapter were the periodic excursions operated on the Everett Railroad, which included charter trips. The early excursions for 2006 were held on June 17 for the Blair County Historical Society; July 29 for Roaring Spring’s “Spring Dam Days” weekend; and Sept. 9 for public Railfest weekend excursions. There was also an October charter-day for the Hollidaysburg YMCA and Canal Basin Park, as well as the annual and very popular Santa Trains on Nov. 18 and 25.

Chapter member Nikki Heidler assisted with ordering new chapter logo golf shirts. Tim Heidler assumed conductor duties for most of the rail trips, and members worked as coach attendants.

All excursion dates usually include three trips for the operations day. In addition, bus trips were designed by Chapter Director Dick Charlesworth to ride the Potomac Eagle in July and October.

The chapter enjoyed a winter social in January at Alto Model Train Museum, a spring dinner in April at Hoss’ Restaurant in Altoona, and the annual picnic, which was hosted by Dave and Virginia Seidel on Aug. 20.

Many chapter members continue to volunteer regularly at Railroader’s Memorial Museum, especially on the restoration of ex-RF&P 105-foot turntable bridge. Work on the turntable culminated in its installation on Aug. 30 (see photo). Many members worked all year with the effort to restore this circa 1920s table, a product of Bethlehem Steel. They also assisted with the finish work of laying ties and rails, and salvaging an RPO car.

The new alignment at the museum yard allowed for additional storage, and all chapter rolling stock, excluding coaches, were relocated to the museum grounds. This involved office car Duquesne, solarium-lounge Union League Club, class B60B baggage car No. 9055 (all ex-PRR), and Railway Express Agency boxcar REX 7375, freshly restored by Millennium Rail Services. Chapter restoration efforts were featured on <> .

Restoration work on the nose plow for the 1946 Walter Truck of the Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway continues, and the truck was exhibited during the summer months, especially at the Antique Truck and Machinery Show at Lakemont Park. It was also displayed/stored by Railroader’s Memorial Museum during the winter months in Memorial Hall. Chapter members and museum volunteers Dan and Cynthia Moringiello purchased/donated a bay window caboose to Railroader’s Museum to enhance their exhibits. Vice President Joe Harella built a replacement mahogany window for the museum’s private rail car, Loretto.

Chapter members assisted with the repainting of the museum’s PRR dining car, which saw prior service on the PRR’s Red Arrow, and painting of ex-PRR RPO Robert E. Hannegan. In addition, Railroader’s Memorial Museum acquired a 1940 Chevrolet Railway Express Agency truck (February 2006) for restoration. The chapter undertook mechanical restoration and provided six new tires, and this project was continuing at the end of the year at President Givler’s Frank’s Auto Service.

With Railroader’s Memorial Museum’s acquisition of ex-PRR Observation Car Mountain View, the chapter was permitted to hold the November meeting in the car. The meeting included a slide show by Dave Seidel on ex-PRR passenger cars as they were withdrawn from service and stored in Altoona circa 1969-70. Those cars included sister car Tower View. All enjoyed a commemorative cake with the Mountain View image on the frosting.

Horseshoe Curve Chapter made monetary contributions to Toys for Tots and Blair County Children and Youth Services for the Christmas season. A contribution was also made to the Roaring Spring Historical Society, which operates and maintains Blair County’s only surviving PRR rail passenger station, at Roaring Spring, PA.

The year concluded with a Christmas season dinner at Deer Hollow Bed and Breakfast, near Spruce Creek, Pa., hosted and prepared by the family of our newest member, Joseph A. DeFrancesco (grandparents Rachel and Dink Gensimore). This was a record turnout, and we all enjoyed great food, great conversation, and Joe’s model train layout. Our thanks to all of Joe’s family.

Chapter Publications: (1) “A Postcard History of Altoona” covering the PRR, City, and Trolley System $10.   (2) “The Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway,” $19.95. Available at the Railroader’s Memorial Museum ( and (3) Video: Altoona’s Trolleys (1 Hr 15 min) $19.95. (4) Spike track-worker caricature sculptures $20.each. All items add S&H. Order-info:



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