Memorable Moments from the Chapter's Past
This page was last updated on: March 06, 2017
|This is a news article that appeared in the Shopper Guide 12-26-98 on member Frank Swartz.|
|"Group Restores Service Truck Left From Railway's Trolley
|Photo of George Thompson exhibiting his extensive collection of O-gauge locomotives for the 30th Anniversary open house at the Eldolyn Terrace, Altoona; 5-16-98|
|Andy Mulhollen displays is collection of old PRR photographs and railroad memorabilia at the Eldolyn Terrace, Altoona; 5-16-98||Photo taken April 24, 1998 at Altoona Station. Conrail Office Car special with Gary Price and Larry McKee on the deck between cars. Special operated in conjunction with Grand Opening of Master Mechanic Building, Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum. Photo by David Seidel.|
December 1998 Meeting
At the regular meeting, held on November 24, 1998, elections were held. At that time, all of the previous officers were re-elected, with one exception . Christopher J. Behe volunteered to be Editor of the Coal Bucket. The Chapter Officers are : National Director: Dick Charlesworth, President: Francis Givler, Jr. , Vice President: Joseph Harella, Secretary/Membership Secretary: Karen Givler, Historian: David Seidel, Treasurer: Bill Mangiacarne, Coal Bucket Editor/Webmaster: Chris Behe
In other news, Frank Givler reports that the Restoration of Altoona and Logan Valley Electric Railway Service truck #18, a 1946 Walter Snow Fighter is still underway. The exterior had been refurbished about a year ago. Frank is currently working on the mechanical systems and recently replaced the gas tank. Jody Kinsel assists him in the project.
Restoration of the Duquesne by the Employees of Union Tank Car Company (Chestnut Avenue and 7th Street, Altoona) is progressing. The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS recently agreed to transfer ownership of the Pullman lounge car "The Nicholas Firestone" and sun parlor lounge " The Union League Club " from the Museum to the Chapter.
Discussions are also in progress for the Chapter to lease a rail siding at the Ward Warehousing Corp (4th Street, Altoona; at "Works") for storage space for the Duquesne, the ex-Erie Lackawanna coaches (currently in service at the WV&N railroad) when returned to Altoona, the" Nicolas Firestone", and the" Union League Club" cars. The Chapter will reinstall a switch at the siding (a two-track siding) in exchange for credit towards the lease." The REX car, currently stored at Union Tank Company, is restored (with the exception of the interior) but not Amtrak certified. You may note that it gets moved around their yard a lot. You may also see workers going in and out of it. It was learned that while Union Tank completes renovations to their shop complex, they are using the car for storage.
January 1999 Meeting
At the regular meeting held on January 26, 1999, it was learned that the West Virginia and Northern Railroad, Kingwood, West Virginia, wished to continue their lease on the Chapter's MU cars. Also discussed was the potential cost of installing the switch for the siding at the Ward Warehousing Corp (4th Street, Altoona; at "Works"). Some of the old switch parts are still present at the site but some "walked off" over the years. Of greatest expense are the switch ties. Treasurer Mangiacarne volunteered to make some telephone calls to try to locate some used (although in good condition) ties and parts. He will also compare the cost of new vs. used.
The committee for the revised AAs will meet in February. Members of the committee are Andy Muhullen, Frank Givler, George Thompson, Leonard Alwine, and Denny Walls.
No work has been done on the Walter's truck recently. Frank Givler (who is conducting the repairs at his automobile repair shop on Logan Boulevard/Rt 36, Lakemont, PA) said that the recent explosion down the street (caused by a natural gas leak) did not cause any damage to the truck.
The Chapter received Christmas cards (or to be politically correct "Holiday Cards") from the Samuel Spencer Chapter, NRHS and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Thank you to both.
Historian David Seidel found an interesting web site on his newly purchased computer. The web site is called "Rail Classics" (http://www.railclassics.com/passenge.htm). The site has HO Scale brass models of various PRR Z-74 passenger cars....one of which is the "Duquesne". The site also displayed photographs of the cars similar to the ones the PRR took of their equipment when new. As it turns out the photos WERE the ones the PRR took. David contacted the web site creator and found out he purchased copies of the photos from the Hagley Museum. David then contacted Barb Hall from the Hagley museum. She indicated that the photos were from the collection which had been at the Altoona Public Library. They have about 7 different views of the Duquesne available for sale. A motion was made for David to purchase the photos (copies) from the Hagley Museum for the Chapter. The cost is $15.00 per 8x10 image. As soon as we get them, I'll be sure to include a version for this web site.
Your Editor/webmaster gave a brief presentation on this web site and agreements made (with Norfolk Southern, the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, etc) concerning it. Andy Muhollen provided a laptop computer and projector for the display. Michael Mandichak (from the Central PA Railfan Guide) also visited us and provided Chapter members with an overview of his web site.
February 1999 Meeting
February 14, 1999 Update
March 1999 Meeting
March 15, 1999 Update
April 1999 Meeting
Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS participates in May 1999, Altoona, PA Sesquicentennial
August Chapter Meeting - August 24, 1999
Chapter Members Participate in Altoona Railfest '99 (October 2 & 3, 1999)
Members of Horseshoe Curve Chapter NRHS aboard NS Office Car at the Juniata Locomotive Shop during Railfest '99, 10-2-99: Andy Mulhollen, Chapter Surgeon General (& ARMM Board Member); Karin Givler, Chapter Secretary, and Dick Charlesworth, National Director. Photo by David Seidel, Chapter Historian Maryland Rail Commuter / Railfest '99 Excursion Train at Horseshoe Curve. Photo By Roger Lord Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS, President Frank Givler distributes visitors guides on the Sunday, 10/3/99, 3pm excursion train. He also acted as conductor. Passengers disembarking the Sunday, 10/3/99, 1pm excursion train at the Altoona Station. Officers from the Altoona Police Department assisted in crossing them across (10th Avenue aka the PRR Expressway). Walters Snowfighter, Restored by the Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS The 3pm, Saturday, MARC (Maryland Rail Commuter) Train at Altoona Station. On Sunday, 10/3/99, the Chapter's booth was staffed by Charles Gorsuch (seated right) and Denny Walls (seated left). Joe Harella also assisted on Saturday, 10/2/99.
October Chapter Meeting - October 26, 1999
Reading of Minutes of previous meetings by Karin Givler; approved.
Reading of Treasurer's report; approved.
- Ward Siding: Frank talked to Alan Maples of the Everett RR. Switch parts are being donated (unknown by whom at the time of this writing) and we will proceed according to prior authorization levels to complete the job.
Mr. Maples is receiving anonymous complaints from residents of Freedom Twp. about kids playing in or near the Chapter's equipment at the East Freedom siding. The cars at this location are generally secure although there is a history of break-ins and theft of stored materials. Interestingly, residents nearby are ready to complain about some things but no one observes anything during thefts which have involved considerable activity to gain access. Discussion took place on the relocation of Chapter equipment. The Chapter has the REX car at this siding along with Keystone Restoration & Preservations ex-PRR RPO, the "Robert Hannigan". The consensus is that if this equipment is removed from the siding in East Freedom, The Everett RR will probably remove the siding entirely from its line. A decision will be made after the renovation of Ward Siding.
Complicating this discussion is information gleaned from the Internet by Duane Miller as well as information to President Givler, that the West Virginia & Northern (WGN), which currently leases three passenger coaches from the Chapter at Kingwood, WV, may be ceasing operations at the end of 1999. (see article above). This obviously, unless a new lessor is found, could return the coaches to Altoona, making the need for storage space critical. The Freedom siding is not considered secure any longer, and the WARD siding work needs to be expedited, but could be immediately filled to capacity. There was an indication of possible interest by the Walkersville Southern RR to lease two of the coaches at their operation north of Fredrick MD on a former PRR branch line. We prefer to keep the trio together as a unit, but will consider any offers. It is anticipated, WGN will move all equipment on their line from Kingwood WV to Tunnelton Interchange (CSX) by end of December.
A new project headed by Richard Vinglas. Samples were circulated for consideration. It is a Nylon shell with fabric lining, waist length, zipper collar with hood inside, and color maroon with chapter logo and personal name embroidered (Silver Horseshoe, black engine insert, and gold lettering). The price is approximately in the $35.00 range via Len Snowberger at the Antique Depot. This will cost $200 initially for the artwork fee (rebated). Pre-order and payment. Discussion was held on the subject. Place your order with Richard Vinglas. (814) 943-5750.
NEW CHAPTER BOOKLET:
The booklet "Greetings from Altoona: A Postcard History of Altoona" illustrates older Altoona's development, the PRR, and the Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway. Sales are slow. Other than direct sales at $10.00 each, the publication is in the ARMM gift shop but the main traffic season is essentially over. We need to promote and sell this item as much as possible to recoup publication costs. Dave Seidel will check with another outlet at "The Book Store" in Altoona.
Those selling books should turn in revenue to Bill Mangiacarne in a marked envelope with your name and the amount. Do not just hand in loose $$. Must maintain accurate records for sales tax reports.
A display add will be (was) in Altoona Mirror 10-27-99 advertising the book. In addition, Dick Charlesworth and Frank Givler joined the Southern Alleghenies Tourist and Convention Bureau for an additional outlet on the booklets at their location in the Logan Valley Mall. This may help holiday sales. Bill Mangiacarne entered a motion that Chapter reimburse Dick and Frank for this membership. The motion passed.
Chapter Historian, Dave Seidel, will re-submit news release story to Altoona Mirror on the booklet. It was previously submitted (10-5-99) without results. Dave also suggested that anyone holding membership in any other civic groups promote the booklet to those organizations. It has particular relevance for Altoona's sesquicentennial year. Gregg Miller will promote book via Blair County Historical Society.
Discussion on return of the printing overrun copies as the additional cost was not in proportion to monies previously discussed with the contractor.
CHAPTER TRIP TO DC
The trip was essentially a success. But, as reported below, the arrival at Washington's Union Station resulted in the news that a hazmat derailment at Rockville, MD closed the CSX mainline and the Capitol Limited on which departure was scheduled, had been annulled. Bill Mangiacarne stated he would refund that portion of the trip costs related to the Amtrak passage.
ANNUAL ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Inquiries were solicited from anyone interested in running for any position. Nominations are received at this time with election at the November meeting and assumption of office in January.
POSSIBLE BUS TRIP:
If there is sufficient interest in a bus trip to Pittsburgh to visit the Carnegie Science Center and their annual model railroad display. there will also be a stop at the Phipps Conservatory which is featuring the inclusion of a garden railroad this year. Contact Bill Mangiacarne. 814-943-6784
DISCUSSION FOR 2000:
The Chapter may try an alternating meeting arrangement, i.e., Business meetings every other month, and program meetings every other month.
Harley Burket reported on his successful HO modular RR show at the Cresson, Pa., fire hall the first weekend in October. As previously reported, Cresson and Gallitzin both have concurrent railroad theme town celebrations annually the same weekend as Railfest at Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum which is a great regional experience (especially for the guests at Cresson's Station Inn). Unfortunately for those of us who volunteer at Railfest, we rarely have the opportunity to see or participate in the other regional activities.
AATCC NEWS: Gregg Miller reported their annual calendar will be published shortly. It will feature photographs contributed by Dave Seidel with calendar annotations of major club and activity events of particular interest to both clubs.
(L to R: Kevin Burket, Ed Weaver, Harley Burket)
David Seidel reported that the Chapter is thinking about purchasing jackets. "A nice jacket design was approved...nylon windbreaker with hood in color and light cotton liner. Maroon with the embroidered Chapter logo on left breast...the Chapter logo will have the horseshoe in silver, the engine in black, with gold lettering to include your name." More information as it becomes available. (posted 11/2/99)
On October 17, 1999, David Seidel reported the following:
"The Chapter trip to D.C. went well, almost. Great bus, good weather etc. But, we pulled up in front of Washington Union Station and were informed of a "hazmat" derailment on CSX at Rockville. The Capitol Limited was annulled. Passengers were being bussed to Pittsburgh, but there were no other charter buses left in the DC area. Fortunately we were still on our own bus, so that's how we had to return; continued. When we arrived back at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum around 7:30 PM, it was dark, but the Fall Foliage Train of the Lancaster Chapter NRHS was in the station just loading up to return; They were in Altoona all day to visit the ARMM and the Horseshoe Curve, but we were all in DC. (They unloaded all in Altoona and toured the facilities by bus.)
David also said that he has been photographing the mainline from the Horseshoe Curve to Conomaugh. "West-Sylvania Magazine" asked him to do a photo shoot for the October 2000 issue. "I sure hope this stuff comes out, because there was some great situations with the foliage. I also found some great and unusual photo locations. The one for Conomaugh Viaduct is particularly spectacular (had never been there before). It takes 30 minutes to walk in to it on old Southern Cambria Trolley line right-of-way from Mineral Point."
The Chapter's publication "Greetings from Altoona...A Postcard History" is in the ARMM gift shop now. David hopes to approach the Book Store at Park Hills Plaza as they carry items of local interest. There were two mail orders from the internet.
Wednesday, Oct 13th featured an evening reception for Peter Barton and Cliff Kendall at the ARMM honoring them for distinguished service; both left ARMM end of the month for other positions/career changes. Both were honored by their peers with particular complimentary remarks by William W. Withuhn, Curator/Director of the Transportation Hall, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. Mr. Withuhn's remarks indicated a forthcoming re-design of the Smithsonian's Transportation Exhibits, which will incorporate the many technological enhancements and interpretative displays found at Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum; ARMM is now the model to be imitated in museum design. Surprise guests for Peter Barton were his parents, from New York State. (posted 11/2/99)
Chapter Historian's Photographs on Display
November Chapter Meeting - November 23, 1999
December Christmas Dinner
Miscellaneous Photos - 1999
|A photo of Andy Mulhollen during the selection and layout phase of preparing the Altoona postcard book. This evening, Andy and David Seidel were doing a final selection of the postcards to be used. 05-1999 (photo by David Seidel)||Father's Day trip to Bellefonte, PA (6-20-99). The Chapter rode the Bellefonte Historical RR's RDC cars from Tyrone to Bellefonte, PA. Dinner was served at the Bush House and members (and guests) rode the train back to Tyrone.|
|Here, David Seidel (in red) speaks with railfan Mark Wurst (R). 6-20-99||Bellefonte Historical RR's RDC car. 6-20-99|
|Bellefonte Historical RR's RDC car leaving Bellefonte with Chapter members on board. 6-20-99|
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(All photos are by David Seidel unless otherwise indicated. )