• Photo of Lemon House, Level #6, and Engine House on a beautiful summer day.

    Allegheny Portage Railroad

    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

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.

Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS is located in Blair and Cambria Counties at the junction of the Appalachian Plateaus and Ridge and Valley Provinces in southwestern Pennsylvania. This area is characterized by high, rounded ridges and valleys divided by streams. The park extends linearly from the southeast facing escarpment that forms the eastern edge of the plateau region, known as the Allegheny Front, to the summit of the Cresson Ridge in the Allegheny Mountains.

 
 

Did You Know?

East Entrance Staple Bend Tunnel

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.