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“great experience -- professionally displayed”

Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
Ranked #2 of 23 things to do in Altoona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A museum celebrating the history of the railroad in industrial America.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“great experience -- professionally displayed”
Reviewed August 31, 2010

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed all three floors of exhibits as well as driving to Horseshoe Curve. All train information was professionally displayed. A+ experience. At Horseshoe Curve, the gift shop staffer was handing out old train schedules for May 21, 2010 (we were there August 28, 2010) and we didn't realize this until we got to the top of the 100+ steps, so we did not have the correct schedule for the trains coming through this area. Everyone up there with us was in the same boat (wrong schedule) but after waiting about 30 minutes, we all enjoyed watching two trains travel around Horseshoe Curve. Highly recommend this experience.

1 Thank patsy1Pennsylvania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Horseshoe Curve Ripoff”
Reviewed October 26, 2009

The curve is part of the Railroaders' Museum. They charge $6 to get in if you haven't bought a combo ticket. The gift shop has a limited supply of items, the interpretive displays don't, there's little to no staffing and definitely no one to whom you can ask questions. You can ride the incline to/from track level each half-hour, or walk the steps, which were covered with leaves and hazardous on our trip. All of the descriptive plaques at track level have been removed. The map there is probably 10 years out of date. Definitely overpriced and over-rated.

5 Thank Curmudgeon15237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Virginia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Loved it! What a bargain!”
Reviewed August 2, 2009

Spent a little over an hour in the railroaders museum and loved every minute of it. Such an interesting place with tons of old stuff in it. Anyone who is going to Altoona this is a MUST GO. Also if you are within an hour of this place and never been you also MUST GO. This place had a little bit of everything. Paid $9 to see this place and what a bargain. I've been to a lot of other museum's and paid much more and wasn't entertained as much as I was here. It's not all just railroad stuff in here, a lot of stuff from the history of Altoona is in here as well. You can avoid the gift shop tho, I didn't see anything interesting to purchase.

Thank banjo60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Rail History "Must See"”
Reviewed May 30, 2009

For a regional museum, presumably funded privately, the ARMM is amazing and--unmistakably--homage to The Pennsylvania Railroad. Well designed exhibits are rich with detail: To read every single word and examine each artifact in detail would require days. The displays expand the context of railroads to include information about workers' families and their community as well as the industry's economic and social impact over time. My favorite section--among many--near the end of the top floor, is devoted to PRR's materials testing and quality control efforts.

Outside--ringing a broad lawn--are a variety of cars: freight, passenger, and rail maintenance vehicles. Farther out, more stock flank the turntable. Many are in sad shape, crying for shelter, stabilization, and restoration. They retain much of their appeal, however, and a sense of power. We were disappointed that not one steam locomotive is among the displayed cars. We thought we would see the K-4 No. 1361 that had been the "sentinel' at Horseshoe Curve until the mid-1980s. According to Wikipedia, 1361 is ("in pieces") at Steamtown National Historic Site, awaiting return to Altoona for restoration when their own shops are ready to undertake the work.

Conveniently, the museum property parallels Altoona's main rail lines. Two footbridges (one open, one semi-enclosed) allow visitors to “stand on top" of passing trains—a great vantage point for photos! On the Sunday we visited, serious railfans and photographers (frequently one in the same) were much in evidence. When you go, be prepared to walk the grounds, plan ample time to soak up all the visuals and text inside, and do not forget your camera!

1 Thank jruthg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Eastern PA
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderfully Interactive Museum! Great for kids and adults!”
Reviewed June 22, 2008

My ancestors are from Altoona and worked for the rail road so I found this Museum to be a wonderful insight into the history of Altoona and the importance of the railroad in shaping people's lives and the city. It has wonderful, engaging, interactive exhibits that appeals to both children and adults . You can go into rail road cars and inside the museum you can see every aspect of life in Altoona from work to home to how people would relax and socialize in the era of the rail road. We went their after seeing the Horseshoe curve and a special very affordable price is given to you when you see both. This is a must see attraction on any trip.

1 Thank Rotorfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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