Facebook Page

The Tunnel Inn

plus a return to the Horseshoe Curve 7/16/2006

by Chris Guenzler

After a great visit to both the East Broad Top Railroad and Rockhill Trolley Museum, Chris Parker and I headed north on US 522 back to Mt. Union then went west on US 22 back to Altoona where we headed straight to Horseshoe Curve. We parked but this time since the park was open, we had to pay. I used a coupon out of the Empire State Railway Museum's Tourist Trains 2006 book for a discount. I use these discounts whenever I can and it saves money plus makes the book pay for itself.

A Sunday Afternoon at the Horseshoe Curve 7/16/2006

With the funicular running only so often, we took the stairs to the viewing area at the curve. The lighting was much better for this visit.

I found a table under a tree meeting Karen and Jim Walter who were also visiting the curve.

At 3:15 PM, a westbound train with Norfolk Southern {NS} and ex. Conrail units came by.

We saw the Funicular at the Horseshoe Curve at work.

At 3:41 PM, an eastbound train with ex Conrail and NS units passed.

Seven minutes later, another westbound with NS and BNSF units came by.

At 4:08 PM, we saw a second eastbound train with a pair of NS units and ex. Conrail and NS helpers.

With a couple of minutes between trains, I took a picture of the lake below Horseshoe Curve.

Amtrak 44, the eastbound Pennsylvanian, rounded Horseshoe Curve at 4:10 PM, about twenty minutes late.

I then took a picture of the display engine, PRR 7048.

At 4:31 PM, another eastbound NS train with one locomotive in primer was spotted.

At 4:45 PM was yet another eastbound, led by ex. Conrail and NS units pulling Triple Crown Roadrailers.

A fourth eastbound train came through at 4:53 PM with two NS units.

At 5:30 PM, the helpers returned west around the Curve.

At 6:11 PM, yet another eastbound with two NS units pulling auto racks came by.

Our final train was Amtrak 43, the westbound Sunday Pennsylvanian, at 6:22 PM, about two hours late. After that, Chris and I packed up before walking downstairs. We turned right from the parking lot and passed beneath the railroad through a tunnel. We traveled about two and a half miles to a "T" intersection and turned left towards Gallitzin. When we saw the big blue "Library" sign and turned right.

We went down the hill, turned left and parked at the Tunnel Park Caboose & Museum. We stopped for a look and then I noticed the Tunnel Inn across the tracks.

The Tunnel Inn 7/16/2006

We drove over the bridge across the tracks and pulled into the Tunnel Inn. While Chris stayed in the car I went to check in.

I walked in and saw a board which listed all of the Tunnel's Inn guests and where they were from. I found the innkeeper and she showed me that our keys were on the board by our name. I went with her to check in and we received the Baldwin Suite which was our room for this night.

The door to the Baldwin Suite which was our room for this night.

Two views of our room. The room had twin beds and two windows, one overlooking the tracks and the other overlooking the deck.

The Baldwin Suite Bathroom. I went and got my bags then got Chris to show him the room and he was as impressed as I was. As we were both hungry, we walked down the street to the Iron Horse Cafe for dinner. After returning, we put in our breakfast order before I went out on the bridge for some Norfolk Southern rail action.

A westbound Norfolk Southern train came out of the Galliztan Tunnel.

At the Tunnel Inn, across the tracks I spotted our room on the second floor at the left end.

Another westbound NS train came out of the tunnel.

Since it was getting near sunset, I could not resist taking a photograph of a very good-looking western sky. Later, I was sitting on the deck chatting with some of the guests when we heard something climbing the grade. If a train comes on tracks 2 or 3, it passes the Tunnel Inn but track 1 is about six blocks west. An eastbound train came by then stopped under the bridge for a few minutes before it headed into the tunnel. After that, I walked to a store for some ice for my Coca-Cola before returning to the deck for trains after dark and some good conversation. After having such a great day at the East Broad Top Railroad, Rockhill Trolley Museum, Horseshoe Curve and here, I was one tired Chris. I showered then called it a night.

7/17/2006 After sleeping in, I took a shower and opened the door to find our breakfast in a picnic basket. Chris and I took it out on the deck and I set up breakfast on a table. We enjoyed our hot beverages, Chris coffee and me tea, plus muffins and orange juice. After breakfast I walked over to Caboose Park for another picture of the Tunnel Inn before returning to pack up. I checked us out then waited for Chris to come down.

We drove over to the top of the hill for the last picture of the Tunnel Inn. I would stay here again in an instant as it is a great Bed and Breakfast with a fantastic railfan location. Chris and I drove away heading to New Philadelphia, Ohio for the NRHS 2006 National Convention, with a stop at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington.