150th Anniversary of "Horseshoe Curve"
(Norfolk Southern issued the following news release on March 11.)
ALTOONA, Pa. -- With the commemoration of Horseshoe Curve's 150th anniversary this year, the Railroaders Heritage Corporation today announced that it will "pull out all the stops" with a major evening spectacular on July 4th. This extraordinary event will be reminiscent of the famous 1954 "SYLVANIA Big Shot," which featured the simultaneous deployment of more than 6,500 SYLVANIA Blue Dot flashbulbs to light Horseshoe Curve. This time, OSRAM SYLVANIA and Norfolk Southern will provide technology, equipment and sizzle for the celebration of this major transportation and engineering milestone in American history.
"We are excited to once again help bring notice to such an important moment in American history," said Scott Cessna, executive director of the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona. "In 1854, an enterprising young civil engineer named J. Edgar Thomson opened the first railway to scale the mighty Allegheny Mountains in Central Pennsylvania. To avoid a sharp incline, which would be impossible for heavy steam trains to manage, Thomson routed the right-of-way in a horseshoe shape, so the rise would be gradual. The feat was considered a major engineering masterpiece at the time and was pivotal to opening commerce across the continental U.S."
The American Society of Civil Engineers recently recognized Horseshoe Curve as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
during a ceremony in Altoona.
"Horseshoe Curve is a vital component of Norfolk Southern's 22-state freight rail network," said David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The 150th year of operation of this American industrial and engineering landmark, its role in the westward expansion of the U.S. and its continuing importance to the national economy are certainly deserving of celebration."
Today, an average of 60 Norfolk Southern freight trains and four Amtrak passenger trains operate over Horseshoe Curve daily. This volume translates into more than 100 million gross tons of freight annually. Commodities coming through Horseshoe Curve include mail, consumer goods, coal, finished automobiles, construction material and agricultural products.
SYLVANIA technology continues to focus public awareness on the remarkable feat of engineering that Horseshoe Curve represents. In 1954, SYLVANIA and the Pennsylvania Railroad captured the imagination of children and adults alike with the illumination of Horseshoe Curve, which was the sixth in a series of 18 photographic achievements known as Big Shots. All 18 Big Shots were illuminated using SYLVANIA flashbulb technology. Photographs of the 1954 event can be found at www.railroadcity.com/hsc1954.
"We recognize the historical significance of the anniversary of the construction of Horseshoe Curve and are pleased to support the recreation of the spectacle of the first lighting. As we did in the past, we will be using the most innovative products available on the market today," said Charlie Jerabek, president and CEO of OSRAM SYLVANIA. "Many of the lighting products available through OSRAM SYLVANIA today were developed within the last five years."
In order to provide the safest and most comfortable atmosphere for the celebration, the event will be ticketed. Entertainment will be provided the entire day both at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona and Horseshoe Curve, culminating with the lighting of Horseshoe Curve and a display from Zambelli Fireworks Internationale - the "First Family of Fireworks." Ticket information is available by contacting the Railroaders Memorial Museum at 1-888-4ALTOONA.
About Railroaders Heritage Corporation
Railroaders Heritage Corporation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1972 with offices in Altoona, PA. The Corporation owns and operates two significant historic sites in the Altoona area - the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark and the Railroaders Memorial Museum. It is the mission of the Railroaders Heritage Corporation to reveal, interpret, commemorate and celebrate the significant contributions of railroaders and their families to American life, past and present. Please visit us at www.railroadcity.com.
About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates 21,500 route miles in 22 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, serving every major container port in the eastern United States and providing superior connections to western rail carriers. NS operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is the nation's largest rail carrier of automotive parts and finished vehicles. For further information, please visit our Web site at www.nscorp.com.
About OSRAM SYLVANIA
Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American lighting operation of OSRAM GmbH. Together we are the second-largest lighting and materials enterprise in the world, serving customers in more than 140 countries. We manufacture and market a wide range of lighting products, including automotive, electronic and magnetic ballasts, and precision materials and components for industrial and commercial users, original equipment manufacturers and consumers, sold primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, but also under the OSRAM brand. OSRAM SYLVANIA also offers lighting systems installation and maintenance services. For further information, please refer to our Web site at www.sylvania.com.
Friday, March 12, 2004
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