motor wrote:I watched the eastbound Pennsylvanian come and go from the overhead bridge in Altoona (and repeated the ritual in Tyrone on my way home two days later). Saw lots of trains rounding the HC; saw a teenage railfan with two scanners photographing an eastbound (I wished him well in his hobby); saw action in Cresson too. My apologies for stereotyping about Altoona but it *is* a Rust Belt town, as was evidenced as drove around downtown (getting out of the car once to stop in the CofC [disappointed at its lack of brochure selection]). Nobody bothered me.Went to Altoona last year around October 15th, never once did I feel like it was an unsafe city. The outdoor and indoor pedestrian bridges provide excellent vantage points for watching rail traffic, and the locals are aware that it's a popular railroad hotspot so they don't bother those who watch the trains. Are there parts of the city that might be unsafe, well any city might have those parts. Didn't have the feel of a rust belt town either, reminded me more of a Scranton or Roanoke, a city built around a core industry that fostered it's growth over time. I do intend to travel to and photograph some of those so called "Rust Belt" cities though, as many have great photogenic structures.
I also visited PSU Altoona but was disappointed that their library didn't have a big selection of RR books. On my to do list on my next visit (Lord willing) - the Altoona public library. Also enjoyed Allegheny Portage NHS.
I had a good time. Thanks, guys.