and enthusiasm were beginning to build the week before the Railfest 2003 event
was to take place and all eyes and ears were watching and listening to all
broadcasts on the weather reports for the week. Fingers crossed and toes as
well, we all were all hoping for the best weather Mother Nature could bestow
upon the Altoona area. The morning of Oct. 4th,you guessed it, we were all wet
and then some.
Keeping our fingers crossed again we were praying that it would be a shot
lived downpour and clear up for the possibility of firing up the steam
locomotives so we could hit the mainline and haul some revenue for the Museum.
Four hours later we got our wish and our prayers were answered. The rain stopped
and the skies started to brighten up a bit and the fires were lit in the boilers
and the running commenced.
The balance of the day seen a lot of steaming activity and a lot of smiles
from the engineers and the riding public. The following day Oct.5th started off
cool but the skies were a welcoming shade of blue and the live steamers were all
smiles from ear to ear. It wasn't long before the pleasant aroma of coal smoke
was filling the air. Like the day before the trains were hauling passengers
young and old alike, all having a good time. Many were riding for the first time
behind a real fire breathing locomotive. The Railfest days have been going on
for about 8 years in the Altoona, Pa area and is produced by the Altoona
Railroaders Memorial Museum.
This is the second year that the Independent Live Steamers
of Pennsylvania, Middle & Pittsburgh Div. have participated in the Railfest
event in Altoona. The first year we had 5 - 1 1/2" scale steam locomotives
consisting of a PRR B6sa, PRR G5s, PRR K4sa, PRR I1sa, PRR M1b. The second year
has seen a growth in locomotives and rolling stock. For Railfest 2003 we had a
PRR FP7 w/stripes, passenger service, PRR B6sa, Reading A5a Camelback, PRR G5s,
PRR K4sa, PRR I1sa, PRR M1b, PRR GEG415, Gas-Electric Doodlebug and 1 speeder.
The cars consisted of a complete PRR Express Train with 3 B60b Baggage Cars
and a P70 Coach (all riding) and various freight cars (all riding) with a
beautiful PRR N5c Cabin w/ antenna. We also had Ed Woodings' beautiful 1" scale
PRR T1 No.6110 along with Joe Mastroroccos' 1 1/2" scale PRR Q2 on display in
Memorial Hall at the Museum. We are hoping that all live Steamers interested in
participating in the 2004 Railfest contact Jack W, Miller Sr. at 814-495-5277 or
or Ed Wilt at 814-943-5952 or E-Mail at
operating an 1 1/2" scale,7 1/2" gauge railroad in the Museum yard along with
the static displays in Memorial Hall.
is an annual celebration of railroading that won't be forgotten. 2004 brings the
150th Anniversary celebration of the famous Pennsylvania Railroad Horseshoe
Curve. It will be a year long celebration ending with Railfest 2004.
The Curve is noted as the 8th Wonder of the World.
with all these Live Steaming activities at the Museum, one of the sponsors of
Railfest, Bennett Levins' Juniata Terminal Co. traveling from the Philadelphia
area to Altoona with his beautiful PRR E8's and a train to take passengers from
Altoona up and around the Horseshoe Curve and to the top of the hill at
Gallitzin, Pa. and through the tunnels and back down around the curve and into
Altoona to conclude the trip. Three of these trips are done each day of
is Mountain Railroading at it's best.