The Railroad Sights of Gallitzin, Pennsylvania

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Little more than a speck in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountain region, Gallitzin provides a significant draw to both railroad and history buffs. It is the very mountains surrounding it, once conquered with track, which sparked the engineering feats to be seen today.

 

The area's railroad heritage can be experienced-in motion-at the Gallitzin Tunnels Park and Museum. Its Community Heritage Museum, sharing the center with borough offices, the library, and the police station, displays railroad memorabilia and model trains and shows the "Once Upon a Mountain" film in its 24-seat theater room.

 

The park, located across the street, between the museum and the actual Round Fire Pit Crew Pennsylvania Railroad NSC caboose. Originally built in Juniata Shops and acquired from Conrail, the car, bearing number CR23081, features a 36-foot length, ten-foot width, 15-foot height, and 40-inch wheel width, and was restored by Pennsylvania Railroad volunteers. Its interior, alive with radio transmissions from trains using the tunnels, sports signal lights, an air brake system, sleeping quarters, a rest area, a pot bellied stove for heat and cooking, and the caboose-characteristic cupola.

 

An observation platform overlooks the once-identical twin tunnels-the Gallitzin, on the left, sporting its original height and width, but now trackless with only its dirt bed remaining, and the Allegheny, on the right, displaying its higher and wider "mouth" and projecting two tracks.

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