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Guess the City 170

Gedunker

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36
Wilkes -- Barre, Pennsylvania.

(pronounced "burrah") ;-)
 

The One

Cyburbian
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8,289
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29
Asheville NC?

Maybe :

Bristol TN

Blacksburg VA
Roanoke VA
Charlottesville VA

Maybe I'll get lucky......

Parkersburg WV
Harrisonburg VA
 

JNA

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25,093
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54
The second photo made it easy.
Horseshoe Curve just west of Altoona, PA
 

DecaturHawk

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880
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22
JNA said:
The second photo made it easy.
Horseshoe Curve just west of Altoona, PA
JNA has it right, it's Altoona, home of the Altoona Curves, AA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. I kinda figured that photo would be a dead giveaway. Way to go JNA!
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
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407
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13
I believe that Altoona is most significant for being the Easternmost PA town to use the word "pop" instead of "soda."
 

JNA

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25,093
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54
This was on the AP Wire, June 30, 2004 -

Penn. Railroad Marvel 150 Years Old
By Dan Lewerenz

ALTOONA, Pa. -- On a green mountainside, four men wait with still and video cameras for a train that's already late. But for railroad fans alongside one of the world's most famous rail lines, an extra hour isn't enough to discourage them.

"It's just the history of it all," said Bob Hershberger, of Freeport, Ill. "I'm just beginning to realize how strategic this place was for the history of this country."

This year, railroad enthusiasts will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Horseshoe Curve, a simple yet groundbreaking piece of engineering just west of Altoona that turned the Pennsylvania Railroad into a national player and forever changed the way railroads did business.
Before railroads, travel from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh often took 20 days or more in horse- or ox-drawn wagons. But as the Ohio Valley and the Midwest emerged as the nation's new growth corridor, there was money to be made in getting people and goods across the Allegheny Mountains.

The Erie Canal through New York quickly established itself as the easiest route to the Midwest, attracting both freight and passenger traffic.

That was the impetus for the creation of the Main Line of Public Works which connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh via a system of railroads, canals and inclined planes, said Bill Withuhn, curator of the history of transportation for the Smithsonian Institution. It was a publicly funded enterprise like the Erie Canal.

But even with the Main Line, cargo took more than four days to cross the state.

"Between the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the south and the Erie Canal to the north, those systems were funneling the trade to New York City and to Baltimore and not into Philadelphia," said Dan Cupper, a historian and author of "Horseshoe Heritage: The Story of a Great Railroad Landmark."

The Pennsylvania Railroad was created in the 1840s to bypass the Main Line, but when it ran out of money in 1848 the owners were content to pay tolls to cross the mountains via the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

J. Edgar Thomson, the railroad's chief engineer, successfully made the case for going into debt to finish the line.

"He was the one who came up with the idea of taking a detour in order to gain elevation," Cupper said. "It would have been far too steep a grade to just attack the mountain head-on, so he took the diversionary tactic of routing it out around a valley, down one side of the valley, up the other side of the valley, climbing all the time that it went to gain elevation."

The result was a gradual, 1.8 percent grade, completed Feb. 15, 1854, that enabled trains to cross the mountains without stopping -- and to make the Philly-to-Pittsburgh run in a mere 13 hours.

"By about 1874, after about the first quarter century of service, it had become the dominant system," Cupper said.

It also changed the way transportation projects were financed, Withuhn said. Before the Horseshoe Curve, most large-scale projects were financed at least in part with state funding.

"They made it perfectly clear that there's no need, because private capital would do it, and they would get their money back in short order," Withuhn said.

In 1879, the railroad created the first park to be built exclusively to allow people to watch trains, Cupper said. Tens of thousands of people now visit the site every year.

In 1954, Sylvania helped to celebrate the Curve's centennial by stringing some 6,000 flash cubes for what was billed at the time as "the world's largest flash photograph."

:cool: This year, Sylvania will repeat the feat, using a combination of flood lights, strobes and in-car lighting to illuminate a train during the Curve's private July 4 celebration.

"It will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime event for some of us," said Scott Cesna, executive director of the Pennsylvania Railroaders Memorial Museum.

On the Net:
Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark: http://www.railroadcity.com/curve.htm
 
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