This NPS Site does an absolutely fantastic job of explaining what the "Portage Railroad" was, by means of a great film, lots of models and exhibits, detailed signage, and helpful rangers. The engineering involved in the design and implementation was truly remarkable, and very serviceable for the 20 years it functioned as the best way across the Alleghenies on the way West. Also on the grounds is the Lemon House, an early hostelry, with period rooms and exhibits, and the Machine Shed, which houses the powerful stationary steam engines that powered the rail cars up and down. in each of a series of 10 "locks" (this is only one of them!) A special exhibit demonstrates some of the safety devices developed here. You really need to see the entire place to understand the process - ingenius! In nice weather, you can also stroll the paths and trails thru an old quarry. $4 per person, or use your Senior National Park pass for yourself and up to 3 guests.
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