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Bennington Curve: Train Watching Near Horseshoe Curve and the Galitzin Tunnels

The area around Bennington Curve is beautiful. This is located in the small area in between Horseshoe Curve and the Galitzin Tunnels. Trains navigate the tightest curve on the entire main line in this spot, after heading through Horseshoe Curve. Additionally, you can see the rails split to head through the Allegheny and New Portage Tunnels, also known as the Galitzin Tunnels. Bennington was home to a ghost town and a major train wreck in 1947, "The Wreck of the Red Arrow," leading to a myriad of different mythical sightings of ghosts. The main thing that remains of the town area is an old cemetery. Aside from that, the land consists of the right-of-way and State Game Lands. It is only accessible by way of a rough road that is susceptible to muddy conditions. You will need to park your vehicle at some point and walk the rest of the way in. It is well worth the effort if you love trains. While we were there, we saw some people doing some ATV riding.
We visited the tunnels right before our stop here, and this mystical fog had filled the valley. It was completely clear the other side of the tunnels, and no rain was in the area or forecasted.
A remnant of the past. The cemetery of the the ghost town of Bennington remains here. 
On the other side of the mountain at the eastern portal of the tunnels, the skies were absolutely clear.
The fog was rolling in to the area of Bennington Curve as we got further in. 
Seeing the locomotive lights illuminating the fog was really a sight to behold.
This is Norfolk Southern's locomotive number 9900. This website for railspotting shows locomotive photos and where they were spotted. I always love looking and seeing where these locomotives have gone. It has photos of locomotive 9900 working from Minnesota, all the way down to Florida. This locomotive has travelled the old main lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the New York Central, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and others that have all been absorbed into the Norfolk Southern Network.
More fog and darkness settling in as we await a sighting of the Amtrak Pennsylvanian.
The headlights of the next approaching train
So exciting!
A unit lead by Norfolk Southern 9264. Another train approached from the opposite direction. At this point, the other line is roughly 20 feet higher up, providing for a pretty exciting experience.
This train was carrying lots of tractor trailers, most with Thermo-King refrigeration units.
There is the train on the rail line above, traveling in the opposite direction with double stacked containers.
Here comes the Amtrak Pennsylvanian! Locomotive 123 was pulling the train on this day. This locomotive has been documented on runs all the way out to California and down to Florida. 

The area of Bennington Curve is a must to explore for any rail fan. Just be aware that the State Game Lands Road is treacherous and a little walking is involved in getting to where you would like to go. This spot is a ton of fun, for it gets so much rail traffic and it is absolutely beautiful. It is located right between the Galitzin Tunnels and Horseshoe Curve, in the darkness on the edge of town between Galitzin and Altoona.  If you plan on visiting this, ensure that you have a vehicle with aggressive treads and ground clearance, and know that you will be doing some walking. This spot requires quite a bit more work to visit than Horseshoe Curve, but visiting is certainly a must for people who are into railroading. 

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