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Altoona Railway Museum Club: Railfan's Guide - Tipton to Tyrone, PA




Overview - Tyrone to Tipton

Tipton, PA is the current home of Del Grosso's Foods, Inc and DelGrosso's Amusement Park (formerly Bland's Park). DelGrosso's Amusement Park is located along old Rt 220 between River Road and Clearfield Avenue.

"Tyrone Township appears in county records (at the time it was part of Bedford County) that date back to 1787. John Glonninger named his iron forges in the Birmingham and Ironville area after Tyrone Township. The Borough of Tyrone derived its name from these forges. In Ireland, the name means “Land of Owen.” Before Tyrone was incorporated, it was known by a number of names. First, it was called Eagleville; however, the citizens wisely decided another name would be better. It was then called Shorbsville in honor of the Lyon, Shorb and Company, which originally owned the land where the town stands. In 1852, the name Tyrone City was adopted, but when the petition was sent to court, it was shortened to Tyrone. Tyrone, in 1857, had a population of around 700 people. Concerned that being part of Snyder Township would hinder the town’s ability to grow and make improvements to the streets, the citizens incorporated as a borough that same year. At that time, Tyrone was one of four boroughs in Blair County, which had split with Huntingdon County. The other boroughs were Hollidaysburg, Altoona, and Martinsburg. Those first seven years saw Tyrone grow by leaps and bounds. There were many houses built; streets were laid out; and several stores were doing a brisk business. The Pennsylvania Railroad put Tyrone on the map when it brought its Mainline to town in 1855. There were two hotels to service the travelers, three churches to tend to the souls of the town, and one doctor to take care of what ailed the body. There was a drug store, no doubt specializing in the potions of the day; a school taught the youngsters; there was a pokey; and two firemen directed the buckets of the brigade. As 1857, the year Tyrone was born as a borough, came to a close, the citizens undoubtedly were optimistic about the future of their little town." Adapted for the Tyrone Historical Society, from an article by Greg Bock, staff writer for The Daily Herald.



Tipton, PA


Tipton Videos  

Posted by: kirkleidyassociates
Altoona Speedway - Tipton 1922

21J races West through Tipton, Pa

"July 16, 2009 — Turbo howl on 3 SD70M-2 's is prominent, as a Westbound NS 21J races through MP225 Tipton, Pa".

  Tipton Crossing

"East bound coal drag out of Altoona at Tipton crossing milepost 225.9. March 21, 2010



There is a detector at Tipton, Milepost 242.  Both Tipton and Grazierville provide interesting medium speed railroad operations.

Alco FA-2 9631 leads A-B-A set of merchandise freight through Tipton 1961.jpg (36483 bytes)   PRR Alco FA-2 #9631 leads an A-B-A set of merchandise freight through Tipton in 1961. (a postcard) The Altoona Speedway. (Photo by Tom Lynam and Altoona Archives) (NOTE: Tom's pages have been taken off line but can still be found via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.)


There is a grade crossing on Clearfield Avenue, near DelGrosso's Amusement Park. Although not indicated on this map, you could follow River Road to the grade crossing there as well.

There is a detector at Tipton, Milepost 242.  Tyrone, PA marks the interchange for the Norfolk Southern (Conrail/PRR) mainline and the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad.  The Norfolk Southern (Conrail) main line follows the Little Juniata River to the Susquehanna River. 


Tyrone, PA


Maps by

For information on the history of Tyrone, see the Tyrone PA Visitors Guide


Tyrone Videos

Norfolk Southern RR at Barree, PA

"March 2009, Eastbound traffic at Barree Crossing, Huntingdon, County, PA"

Additional Video by Dave Seidel can be found at:

Tyrone PA 10.12.08: Down By The Station, Early In The Morning

"C40-9Ws 9347 and 9383 split the fog and shatter the silence as they lead a trainload of containers west through the station at Tyrone, PA on October 12, 2008."

In Town Running

"December 10, 2007 — On the former Pennsylvania Bald Eagle Branch, now run by the N&BE. Two Lycoming Valley locomotives with a northbound freight slice through the middle of town"



"....when the great Pennsylvania R. R. was projected and surveys were made to ascertain the most eligible route, the gap between the mountains where the Little Juniata cleaves its way through the ridges, changing its course abruptly from northwest to southwest, was recognized as the natural gateway between the populous East and the undeveloped West. At this point, midway between the capital of Pennsylvania and its western metropolis, being 117 miles by rail from Harrisburg and 131 miles from Pittsburg, was started and has grown up the embryo city of Tyrone....Situated near the center of the state, at the most northern point of the main line of the P.R.R., nature and the contrivances of men have united to make it a convenient distribution point for commerce. The coal fields of Clearfield and adjoining counties are reached by the T. & C.R.R. and through Bell's Gap by the Penn'a & N.W.R.R. The Bald Eagle Valley R.R. leads to the valley of the Susquehanna, connecting there with other lines of the P.R.R. extending to the Hard Coal region on the East and the Lake country in the North and West. The main line of this system gives access to the great cities of the Atlantic coast and to those of the middle states, being the highway of travel between New York and Chicago and St. Louis...Tyrone lies spread out before the eye, though not all of it can be seen from any one place. It stretches in an oblong shape, nearly north and south, along the river and creek, having an average width of about half a mile within the borough limits, reaching out toward the suburbs of Greensburg on the north, Northwood on the northeast, Nealmont on the southeast, and Thomastown and Grazierville on the southwest." ("Tyrone of To-Day, The Gateway of the Alleghenies" By Rev. W. H. Wilson, Tyrone, PA., Press of THE HERALD, 1897)


Walter L. Main's Great Circus Train Wreck

"On the morning of May 30, 1893, a heavily loaded train bearing Walter L. Main’s great circus, while descending the curves of the T. and C.R.R., three miles above town, was hurled from the track and unreported number of animals wild and tame were either dead or missing.  Four of the employees of the circus were killed and two of our citizens.." ("Tyrone of To-Day, The Gateway of the Alleghenies" By Rev. W. H. Wilson, Tyrone, PA., Press of THE HERALD, 1897)

The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum maintains an exhibit on this incident.

The following sites have addtional information on the Walter L. Main Circus and the accident: Circuses and, Hollow Lands: Circus Train Wreck, and the Tyrone Area Historical Society.




Tyrone Station

The former PRR Tyrone Station was demolished in the 1970's.  Its replacement was an Amtrak "bus shelter" (as seen below).  At the interchange, you will observe an Amtrak "bus shelter", which served as the "station" for several years.  Although Amtrak does not have scheduled stops here, passengers occasionally request to de-board at Tyrone.   A new transportation center (bus and train) was constructed during 2000

tyrone 1912.jpg (56234 bytes) Postcard view of the Tyrone Station, 1912 Tyrone Station 1907.jpg (76412 bytes) Postcard view of the Tyrone Station, 1907.
Tyrone_station.jpg (106318 bytes) The "Station" at Tyrone  6/11/98    

 "The architectural detail and embellishments being incorporated in this structure are definitely old PRR design...Although it does not resemble the prior 2 + 1/2 story brick edifice (which should have been preserved and fell to the wrecker's ball immediately after the Penn Central merger), the new passenger station is, nonetheless, being constructed in the best example of PRR architecture. The new station is rectangular, with a striking hip roof design in Vermont Green with vertical seams. The windows have definite PRR architectural details and are painted in three colors: Hunter green , trimmed in tan, and outlined in maroon (we'll say Tuscan Red). The exterior walls appear similar to wainscoting from floor to roof in light cream. The west end of the building has an extended platform canopy with an expansion on the extreme west end. The east end of the building has a circular drive/turn around for vehicles. The entire area is referred to locally at Railroad Park and has two cabooses (actually, a Conrail Caboose and a PRR Cabin) across the street from the station, as is a nicely designed oval gazebo with seasonal flowers planted around the perimeter. While the station boarding area is far from complete, the two single tracks passing the site are a far cry from the 5 that dominated the area pre-1968. It's still a great place to watch trains. Tyrone will, no doubt, continue to be a flag stop, but, at long last, there is a suitable structure to garner community pride and, perhaps, increase boarding's at this location. " Dave Seidel, 28 Aug 2000


Tyrone Station Dedication 

8-27-00_WEST_END_OF_NEW_TYRONE_STATION.jpg (68743 bytes) 8-27-00 View of west end of new Tyrone Station. Photo by David Seidel 8-27-00_EAST_END_OF_NEW_TYRONE_STATION.jpg (74639 bytes) 8-27-00 View of east end of new Tyrone, PA station. Photo by David Seidel

The borough of Tyrone held dedication ceremony at 10:00 AM Monday (September 11, 2000) for the nearly completed "Tyrone Historic Railroad Park and Bud Shuster Intermodal Transportation Center". According to reports in the Altoona Mirror, "the project had been delayed for several years because of lack of funding. It has been greatly scaled down from the multimillion-dollar project first proposed in the early 1990's."  "When first proposed, the project was to include a historic station, an observation tower, a museum, shops and outdoor recreation facilities. However, the scaled-down version includes the station, two historic cabooses, a gazebo, a brick memorial wall covered with a canopy, fencing, benches and landscaping for train enthusiasts." "U. S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, was instrumental in providing about $400,000 for the project through the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act."  (David Seidel, 9 Sep 2000)  

"Tyrone, PA's new passenger station has now been officially dedicated and is a fine example of such a facility in the best traditions of PRR architecture. However, the building, though seemingly complete, is not yet released to the Borough of Tyrone from the contractor, pending final inspections. While the building is complete, to include reproduction PRR style station signs, additional funding is required to construct the boarding platforms. The building features a large room on the west half of the structure, complete with perimeter track lighting on the ceiling, which will be used for Tyrone community memorabilia, especially relating to the old station and the railroad's influence on Tyrone. The community is currently receptive to donations of Tyrone related memorabilia in this regard via the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce (1012 Logan Avenue, Tyrone, Pa., 16686, or, via Mayor Pat Stoner, Municipal Office, 1100 Logan Avenue, Tyrone, Pa., 16686 (814) 684-1330).... The Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Tyrone offices are expected to be relocated to the building in the near future. Another feature of the new station are two brick memorial walls with names of groups and local citizens who have or will contribute a donation of $40.00 to the Tyrone Railroad Park and Transportation Center. Applications may be obtained via the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce also. "  (David Seidel, 12 Sep 2000)  

"At the (Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS)  meeting we voted to purchase a "brick" engraved with Chapter's name for the Tyrone RR Park/Station. The Lancaster Chapter already has one."  (David Seidel, 23 Sep 2000)  


The Station Park

tyrone_park2.jpg (57218 bytes) The Gazebo at the Rail park at Tyrone.  This is located across from the New Transportation Center Construction.  Looking West.  5/18/99. Tyrone_park.jpg (80515 bytes) The cabooses at the Rail park at Tyrone.  This is located across from the New Transportation Center Construction.  Looking NE.  5/18/99.


The Mainline at Tyrone

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On Tuesday, 5-18-99, I trekked to Tyrone, PA to view the Final Office Car Special (OCS-401-18). According to the schedule (below), the train was one and a half hours late. I got some great   photos of the train as it headed east towards Harrisburg. The consist, powered by E8a 4020, featured office cars 5, 4, and 10. Car #10 departed 30th St on Amtrak #91 Thursday, 5-20-99, bound for Jacksonville, Florida.
Tyrone_station_west.jpg (76792 bytes) An Eastbound Intermodal Train approaches the grade crossing at Thomastown Road.  Looking West.  6/11/98

Tyrone_yard.jpg (132853 bytes)

A Conrail local drops off loaded cars at the yard / interchange at Tyrone.  The Nittany Bald Eagle RR will pick up the cars for delivery.  Looking SW.  3/24/97
Tyrone_station_crossing.jpg (118615 bytes) An Eastbound Freight passes the Station and Grade Crossing at the Tyrone Interchange.  Looking East.  3/24/97

Tyrone_station_east.jpg (120862 bytes)

A Westbound Coal Train approaches the Station / grade crossing Tyrone.  Looking SE.  5/18/99


There are various grade crossings and many viewing opportunities exist with most of them being at the " wye " (only one of the tracks on the wye are in operation).  Note that the "Wye" is constructed on bridges.  


The Wye

Tyrone_wye-4.jpg (145877 bytes) Looking NE to the active leg of the "Wye" at Tyrone.  3/24/97 Tyrone_wye-2.jpg (91904 bytes) The inactive leg of the "Wye" at Tyrone.  Looking North. 3/24/97
Tyrone_wye-1.jpg (89563 bytes) A Nittany Bald Eagle RR "local" is traveling West on the Bald Eagle Secondary (on the active leg of the "wye" at Tyrone.  It is approaching the interchange tracks.  Looking North.  3/24/97 Tyrone_wye-3.jpg (78082 bytes) A Nittany Bald Eagle RR "local" is traveling West (left) on the Bald Eagle Secondary (on the active leg of the "wye" at Tyrone.  It is approaching the interchange tracks.  Looking North. 3/24/97


The Secondary to the left is the former PRR Bald Eagle branch, now owned by SEDA-COG, and operated on by the Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad.   A limited number of NS trains operate on this branch as well.   It has also been used by NS as an alternative route to Harrisburg (via the Buffalo Branch) when derailments have blocked the mainline.  

The Secondary follows the Bald Eagle Creek and runs right through the heart of Tyrone, PA's business district, through a residential district, and past a park (located North of Rt 453 near Lincoln Ave).  

For further information on the Bald Eagle Branch, see The Hobo's Guide to the PRR - The Bald Eagle Branch on  Jerry Britton's Keystone Crossings website.  Also see the Hobo's Guide to the Bellefonte, PA Branch (which exits the Bald Eagle Branch at Milesburg, PA), the Bellefonte Central Railroad, and the Clearfield, PA Branch (which began at East Tyrone).

Located along Rt 453 to the East of Tyrone is a portion of a dismantled Railroad Bridge which had crossed over the road.  Underneath that bridge is a bridge which leads to a private grade crossing.  Opportunities exist for viewing the mainline operations on the interesting "S" curve.


Tyrone_bend-2.jpg (77622 bytes) Looking South (RR East) at the private crossing off of Rt 453. A Westbound freight approaches Tyrone.  6/11/98

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Looking South (RR East) at the private crossing off of Rt 453. A Westbound freight approaches Tyrone.  6/11/98
Tyrone_bend-west.jpg (86151 bytes) Looking North from the private crossing off of Rt 453. A Westbound freight approaches Tyrone.  6/11/98    


Tyrone Station Re-visited - By Dave Seidel

The community of Tyrone follows the maxim: "nothing is constant as change". And this is true of not only the core business district, but also of Tyrone Station Park, and mostly all for the better.

A recent addition at Tyrone Station Park is a memorial granite slab installed on a large boulder, memorializing the railroad workers of this community of Tyrone. During the steam era, when the original station stood, a brass plate Roll of Honor of Tyrone's veteran war dead graced this boulder, but was re-located to the Tyrone American Legion Post many years ago. The boulder was conspicuous with the rectangular space vacated by the veterans memorial, especially because of it's prominent position in the park setting of the Tyrone railroad station, even during the era post-Penn Central when the station structures were razed.

The erection of the 'new' Tyrone Station has once again made this park setting a focal point of community pride. The new station, while not resembling the old, as reported on previously, does convey the type and style of architecture of the original Pennsylvania Railroad. With the landscaping enhancements, and the installation of two caboose cars (PRR and Conrail) to the property on what was once the easterly 'wye' at Station Park, both of which are recently restored by local scout troops under adult supervision, the station park gleams with the invitation to visit and watch the trains roll by.

However, thanks to the generous contribution of Mr. and Mrs. William N. Duey, a granite memorial, designed and produced by Richard Stever of Mayes Memorials, has been installed on the boulder which is still the focal point in the park opposite Tyrone Station. This granite rectangle, thanks to modern computer technology, carries a carved scene depicting the 'old' Tyrone station with its station structures and four-track main line, circa 1920. The granite memorial reads:


Presented by Mr. & Mrs. William N. Duey
(P.R.R. Penn-Central 1942-1975)

So, if you're out doing a day of railfanning as we call it, or just out for a Sunday afternoon ride, drop by the Tyrone Station for a little relaxation, especially in-season. Flowers grace the boulder and gazebo adjoining, or the blaze of autumn foliage will dazzle your eyes (they won't be around much longer at this writing). And, downtown Tyrone has been in a renaissance of renewal with new streetscape enhancements. Sadly the ornate Jones Building (aka First National Bank Bldg) has not survived due to deterioration over the years; however, Tyrone is a great place to visit for the antique shops, a visit to the Gardner Candy store and museum and ice cream parlor, a great sense of community, and train watching.

Still to be accomplished once all the 'interested parties' can agree, is the construction of a new station platform for Amtrak passengers and the citizens of Tyrone. But, stop by and enjoy. "

For further information on the history of Tyrone as well as the PRR and the Walter L. Main’s Great Circus Train Wreck, see "Tyrone of To-Day, The Gateway of the Alleghenies" By Rev. W. H. Wilson, Tyrone, PA., Press of THE HERALD, 1897


Photographs are by Chris Behe unless otherwise noted.

Revised April 2017