Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
4.5
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A museum celebrating the history of the railroad in industrial America.
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  • johirsh
    Cape May County, New Jersey17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the visit. Great staff
    Simply unbelievable. And only going to get better. The staff is friendly knowledgeable. The rolling stock is actually not the major attraction their representation of the area history and of Altoona is and the people of the prr is unforgettable . As stated else where you don’t have to be a railroad buff to enjoy and appreciate. Their round house has a steam locomotive they are rebuilding. Giving a fantastic in sight to how they were originally done and leaves you in awe of what the shops were like at its prime
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 10, 2023
  • John L
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very enjoyable trip to the Museum
    It was our first time to Altoona. We were very excited to visit the Railroader Memorial Museum. We were not disappointed. The exhibits are very professionally done. The details about the community of Altoona and how the railroad industry grew was very interesting. We spent quite a few hours both in the museum and the roundhouse. There is so much to see and learn that we hope we can make a return trip. Another note is that all the staff were very friendly, informative and helpful. Made the visit that much better.A
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 13, 2023
  • Lee369444
    East Rockaway, New York428 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful museum
    This is one of the most beautiful museums I have visited, with an exceptionally nice staff. If you are a railroad enthusiast, you can spend hours here. We bought a combo ticket which allowed us to also go to Horseshoe Curve. Climbing all of those steps was worth it, both to see the trains and for the views.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2023
  • Dustoff_8
    Great Falls, Virginia128 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Compact but detailed museum
    All of the museum is on three floors of a building which is good when it is cold. This is a must visit museum for a rail fan. I never knew Altoona was THE hub for steam locomotives manufacturing. Lots of exhibits. I think it would take 2-4 hours if you read everything in detail.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 26, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
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2CAtravelers
Brattleboro, VT835 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
We arrived here after visiting the Horseshoe Curve where we purchased the combination ticket good for both sites. It's a large building with exhibits on three floors. Much of it is geared towards kids interacting with the exhibits. The most interesting for us were some of the videos within the exhibits themselves where you could hear the personal stories of the people who grew up in Altoona at the height of the railroad days. You can go through the museum quickly or spend lots of time reading all the plaques. There was supposed to be a video shown in the theater lasting 25 minutes but the equipment wasn't working.
Then you can go outside to view some of the train cars, although none appeared to open to go inside. The roundhouse is also open to view inside.
Written September 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sundncr
Washington DC, DC1,094 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
It is a unique museum dedicated to Railroad worker life and rail operations. I learned quite a bit about the rail life from this museum. There 3 floors worth of museum space along with a roundhouse on the outside to see how rail engines were turned around.

It will take you a good hour and a half to go through the museum and visit a fair amount of exhibits. There layout is well planned. You get audio and visual props.

There is a entrance fee and a gift shop. You can combine your entrance with a visit to the horseshoe curve 5 miles away.
Written October 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

briankeh
Waterford, MI386 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
The museum is in part of the Pennsylvania Railroads Altoona shops. It consists of two sections. The first is a set of well done indoor displays covering the life around and operation of the railroad. They cover all kinds of things that are not normally covered in museums. They have the cab of a steam locomotive and a model railroad.

The outdoor section also has a few things that are not commonly seen. There is a car for transporting heavy loads, a scale test car, and a GG1 locomotive.
I definitely recommend this if you are interested in railroads.
Written May 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara N
Groton, CT177 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
There are static exhibits, lots of text, hardly any staff on hand, so there was no one to talk to if you had a question. Very few visitors, too. We accidentally took the elevator to the top floor (staff only) and were told in no certain terms that it was off limits.

The introductory video was good; it gave us background on Altoona's railroad history. But the exhibits themselves felt like they'd been there for decades. There were a few (mostly rusting) railroad engines and cars and you couldn't go into any of them. There was no one in the roundhouse to talk to.

You'd be better off doing some online reading about Altoona and then driving around the city to see the railroad sights. There's still an active train yard; if you're lucky you can see engines and cars being moved around. You can also easily see the old yard. It was fun walking around.

There are also many places in Altoona to watch the trains go by. Some are bridges where you can see freight trains lumbering by below you. You don't have to wait long to see (or hear) a train in Altoona! There are also train-watching sites in many other local towns and at Horseshoe Curve (you have to pay, but you can see a train fairly close-up).
Written June 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott S
Swartz Creek, MI175 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Family
My wife , 13-year old son and I visited this museum while passing through the area on a Thursday (March 30). We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the displays. The museum was laid out very well (3 floors of history) and technology/cultural discussions. The displays were very interactive and informative. The information shared was done so in a way that gave you a sense of the era being discussed, and how Altoona was root to much of the main railroad birthing. The rail yard and the roundhouse were under construction, so I can’t give it a 5-star rating, but based in n the quality of the displays I am sure that it is going to be amazing when completed. Very cool place for sure:)
Written April 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

judylaper
Markesan, WI45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
A very impressive museum. Well worth the stop. Even if you’re not into trains, the history given here is amazing. A lot of interactive portrayals of railroad workers. Tying this in with the Horseshoe Curve museum/observation area only enhances the importance of railway to the expansion of the west and the effects to the city of Altoona.
Written October 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sybernet
Valencia, PA90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
We loved this museum! We had travelled from the Pittsburgh area to see the Altoona Curve like we do once a summer. We always try to see some other attractions. Having already been to the Horseshoe Curve, we wanted to see this museum too.

I have to say that we have the wonderful Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, which is awesome if you have never been there. This museum is not as big, but it definitely is just as awesome. We had such a good time! Lots of stuff we never knew about Altoona and the railroads and the manufacturing there. Loved going out into the yard to walk around the old railcars.

Since you cannot possibly enjoy everything in any museum, we definitely will be back on a future visit to Altoona.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johirsh
Cape May County, NJ17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
Simply unbelievable. And only going to get better. The staff is friendly knowledgeable. The rolling stock is actually not the major attraction their representation of the area history and of Altoona is and the people of the prr is unforgettable . As stated else where you don’t have to be a railroad buff to enjoy and appreciate. Their round house has a steam locomotive they are rebuilding. Giving a fantastic in sight to how they were originally done and leaves you in awe of what the shops were like at its prime
Written August 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Justin W
York, PA5,309 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Solo
You'll learn a lot. While most of the museum is about rail there's a section about life in Altoona during the railroad days. There's also sections and how trains were repaired an area where they experimented to improve trains, explaining railroad stock holdings not surprisingly railroad was big business as well as a model train display and models of rail yards. Artifacts into oil cans, shovels, luggage, and tableware from cars.
Written June 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chuck R
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Solo
Being a lover of trains since I was a little kid, this place was a must stop during my trip to Altoona this summer. It surely did not disappoint! Three floors of fascinating and one of a kind exhibits about the Pennsylvania Railroad, plus a beautiful train yard and round house full of locomotives and rail cars. Wonderful gift shop on the first floor and staff was very pleasant. Will definitely be back. Thank you!
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

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