Thursday, August 4, 2011

Horseshoe Curve Illustrated

 An 1875 woodcut illustration of the Horseshoe curve. This view is from Kittaning Point looking east. It is apparently early morning. A steam locomotive's smoke plume ascending the grade is to the left. A steam locomotive smoke plume can be seen on the right on the higher level of the grade west. Tracks can be seen in the left foreground. The height of the higher track compared to the lower track is 122 feet. The track alignment is the same today with 3tracks instead of the  2 tracks of 1875. From "The Pennsylvania Railroad" by Sipes.
This is the 1952 PRR Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar illustration of the Horseshoe curve from the Kittanning Point cut. Looking easterly from the vicinity of milepost 242. The 9 to 9.4 degress curve in the center of the curve is shown. At that time the curve had 4 tracks. Toady it has 3 tracks. An eastbound passenger train powered by a diesel locomotive is meeting a westbound freight train also powered by a diesel locomotive. In the right distance a steam powered train is eastbound and just beginning its descent of the Allegheny frontal.
The above etching was done by Joseph Pennell circa 1925. The perspective is from Kittanning Point looking east. It projects the energy of steam locomotives and multiple trains crossing over the Horseshoe curve.

This 1875 woodcut illustration views the Horseshoe Curve looking southwest. The cut to the right center is Kittaning point. Its excavation was used to create the fill in the foreground. The passenger train is climbing the grade west. From "The Pennsylvania Railroad" by Sipes.

This woodcut was published in a periodical called "Every Saturday" in 1871. The perspective of the artist is from the locomotive engineer's seat looking backwards and westerly downgrade towards Kitanning Point. The fireman has just scooped a shovel of coal for the firebox. An artist leans on the edge of the locomotive cab. A writer, the man seated holding a pen / pencil, is seated where the fireman might sit when he is able.

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