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Allegheny

Horseshoe Curve
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Rail TransportationEra: 1840-1849DateCreated: 1847-1854Horse Shoe Curve ParkAltoonaState: PAZip: 16601Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/horseshoe-curve-pennsylvania-rr/Creator: Consolidated Rail Corporation

One of the earliest and most impressive of America's great railroad engineering feats, the Horseshoe Curve was built as a means of overcoming a straight-line grade over the geological feature known as the Allegheny Escarpment or Allegheny front, which separates the ridge-and-valley section of Pennsylvania (on the east) from the Allegheny Front (on the west). Such a straight-line route would have made commercial railroad operations unfeasible from both and economic and technical standpoint.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/US Geological SurveyImage Caption: The Horseshoe Curve was built as a means of overcoming a straight-line grade over the geological feature known as the Allegheny Escarpment.Era_date_from: 1847
Allegheny Portage Railroad
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Roads & RailsEra: 1830-1839DateCreated: 1834Hollidays burg to JohnstownDuncansvilleState: PAZip: 16635Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/allegheny-portage-railroad/Creator: Private Contractors

In an era when roads and canals were the most common means of overland transportation, the Allegheny Portage Railroad provided a novel alternative. The railway carried fully-loaded canal boats over the steep grades of the Allegheny Mountain. The 36-mile system rose almost 2,300 feet above sea level at its summit - the highest level to which canal boats had ever been carried. The project included ten double-tracked inclined planes, powered by steam engines. Its 900-foot Staple Bend Tunnel, cut from solid rock, was the first railroad tunnel constructed in America.

YearAdded:
1987
Image Credit: Public Domain (National Park Service)Image Caption: The Staple Bend Tunnel, completed 1834 for the Allegheny Portage RailroadEra_date_from: 1834
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