Altoona to Bellwood

The Bellwood Branch

The abandoned railroad route between Altoona and Bellwood, known as The Bellwood Branch, of which 9.26 miles have been abandoned, was once operated in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 13091 Date: 11/12/1940 Section: 1
Application for authority to abandon Bellwood Branch, a distance of 9.26 miles in Blair and Cambria Counties; Tearing Run Branch, a distance of 2.70 miles in Venango County; total distance of 15.60 miles all in the state of Pennsylvania.
Length: 15.6 miles Citation: 244 ICC 224  
Also under this filing: The Tearing Run Branch   

Hello, I just discovered this site, and am very excited to explore! I have a question about this particular branch just outside my hometown. I've been to an area between Altoona and Antis Township that is currently an ATV trail, and it contains several pieces of derelict rolling stock dating from the PRR/NYC all the way to Conrail. There is one track still intact. Is this part of it? Is there any other information anyone can help me with?

Jacob Boslet
Altoona, PA
9/7/2012

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Where exactly are you referring to? I'm an engineer out of Altoona and am unfamiliar with any such location that is not in Altoona Yard, or the display at Bellwood Park.

J.D.
Houtzdale, PA
10/7/2012

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Last time I was in the area, the abandoned, overturned cars where still there. And you can still access it off Riggles Gap Road coming north from Pinecroft. I park just north of the main line and walk up the access road by the water treatment facility ~ you get to see the stone work on the culverts there before climbing the grade north to the cars.

Bob
Duncansville, PA
2/21/2017

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Does anyone know exactly what the PRR would have used the area back there for including the bridge that crosses over the current mainline? My friends and I just explored there today and a lot is unknown and makes no sense about the abandoned tracks south side in Juanita Twp.

Tyler Stauss
Altoona, PA
2/23/2017

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Don't know if that's the branch they are talking about. Where the derelict cars are (they can be seen from Google Maps) was intact well into the Penn Central days. This was once the northern part, and exit, of the yard.

Walter Imhof
Manorville, NY
2/24/2017

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This took some research. The railbed you've seen was originally the line(s) leading into the westbound Altoona classification yard. They diverged toward the north just west of Bellwood at Bell Tower ~ the hump was around Antis. The "Bellwood Branch" was over 56 miles long starting in Bellwood, going up Blandburg Mt., over to Coalport, and ending in Punxsutawney. The PRR ran passenger trains from Altoona to Punxy well into the 1930s and that route was known as the Bellwood Branch. The abandonment noted was probably a section of track north of Bellwood. My 1972 map indicates the tracks from Altoona to Bellwood were still in place but nothing to the north.

Bob
Duncansville, PA
2/25/2017

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