Plan Your Visit
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site is located in southwestern Pennsylvania approximately 12 miles west of Altoona. Today's park covers 1249 acres. The main unit contains the Summit Level Visitor Center, the historic Lemon House, Engine House #6 Exhibit Shelter, the Skew Arch Bridge, picnic area and hiking trails. The Staple Bend Tunnel unit is located approximately 4 miles east of Johnstown, PA.
The Portage Railroad traversed the Allegheny Mountains between Hollidaysburg and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, connecting the Eastern and Western Divisiions of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. The mountains represented a formidable obstacle in early transportation routes. The inclines and planes of the Allegheny Portage Railroad provided a unique engineering solution for transporting the canal boats across the mountains.
Did You Know?
In 1824 an all-water route through the Allegheny Mountains was proposed. A 4 mile tunnel "like a well dug horizontially" would be needed, along with ventilation shafts and support features. A portage over the mountains was built instead.