Altoona (Pennsylvania)

Blair County


Altoona is a city in Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA, with approximately 49,500 inhabitants. It is located in the Allegheny Mountains and is on population size, measured the ninth largest city in the state. Her story was like the few other cities in the U.S., significantly influenced by the railroad.


Even before reaching the first settlers around 1700 Indians inhabited by the tribe of the Iroquois, the region around Altoona.

When choosing for a cheap route of a railway line from the East Coast to Pittsburgh on the Allegheny Mountains, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR ) decided to choose the place Altoona as an important station along the route, to overcome the mountain range at cheaper place. In 1849, Altoona was founded and registered on 6 February 1854 as municipalities with over 2,000 inhabitants. The place name is derived from the Latin word Altoona altus ( = high). However, the strong growth of the city, the community was already in 1868 the municipal law. The Logan House was the best known buildings in the city. Moreover, major depots, which also served as a locomotive factories emerged, with the Lokwerkstatt Altoona meantime the fourth largest locomotive manufacturer in the United States was.

1880, the local horse-drawn railway was put into operation, which was electrified in 1891 and under the name The Altoona and Logan Valley Electric Railway as local tram was until September 7, 1954 in operation.

The significant influence of the railroad on the urban development led to the slow decline of this mode in the second half of the 20th century, while a drop in local farms and urged major structural changes. The Locomotive Works presented their last locomotive forth in 1946. 1990 Altoona received with access to Interstate 80 and Interstate 99 connect to the interstate highway system.


In the city center new shopping district, as well as educational institutions such as the Penn State Altoona emerged. Among the attractions still preserved next to the Mishler Theatre include the town hall and the cathedral. Even today, Altoona is a popular destination for rail enthusiasts from around the world.

The Railroaders Memorial Museum recalls the importance of the railway in Altoona. About eight kilometers west of the city also houses the famous Horseshoe Curve ( Horseshoe Curve ), a 220 -degree curve at the eastern ramp of the PRR Main Line, which takes you in a very curved route through the Allegheny Mountains and is a popular destination for rail enthusiasts.


The brought out already since 1876 Altoona Mirror newspaper today has a circulation of 32,000 copies.

The local baseball team is called Altoona Curve.

From Regional Airport Altoona Blair County Airport ( IATA: AOO, ICAO: KAOO ) there are connections to Washington, DC and Pittsburgh. The airport is located about 19 kilometers south of Altoona in the town of Martinsburg.

Sons and daughters of the community

  • Stan Jones (1931-2010), American football player and coach


  • Sankt Pölten, Austria