In General
Getting Here
Fire & Police


In General

Location / Name:
Cresson PA, Cambria County

What's Here:
NS helper facility
RJ Corman RR
A wye
The Station Inn bed & breakfast
And the Allegheny Portage RR National Historic Site is very close!

GPS Coordinates: 40.28258, -86.51806
Zip code: 16630
Phone A/C: 814
Elevation: 2,057ft
Population: 1,666 (2013)
80 Miles east of Pittsburgh

Access by train/transit:
None - Amtrak comes thru here, but does not stop. Closest city for passenger service is Altoona PA, ~20 miles

The Scoop:

Along with the Horseshoe Curve and Altoona, Gallitzin and Cresson make this part of the country one of the biggest railfan areas to visit in the U.S.

Cresson is home to a Norfolk Southern helper facility, RJ Corman, a wye, and the Station Inn, one of the few places in the U.S. where you can sleep right next to a mainline of this caliber.

Denver Todd
Super Trains video
Geoff Hubbs
Charlie Whipp
the Auran website
Google Maps
Bing Maps

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area: NS freights and catching the signal upgrade in OCT 2018 the flyover bridge oodles of well crafted railroad pix from the Altoona area by railfans



  The Helper Facility and Wye

Ever since Horseshoe Curve became a reality, helpers have always been needed to get the trains up and over the hill.  If you have been taking pictures long enough, you will remember seeing engines in PRR, Penn Central, Conrail, and now, Norfolk Southern livery.  If you can go back a few more years into the 50's, well, you may also remember steam! :-)

The helper facility is nicely planted on the inside of the Cresson Wye, as can be seen from the aerial shots.

      Oct 2004

          Oct 2011
The above pictures are taken from Arch St.

According to the USGS Map at the bottom of the page, there used to be a flyover, over the mainline, that connected the two yards.

  Across from the Helper Facility and Wye

With a great view in both directions, this spot can keep you busy for a whole day by itself!

  Oct 2004

            Oct 2011

      Oct 2011

        Oct 2011

  Heritage Park

  Oct 2004

        Oct 2011

    The Station Inn

This is a great place to stay if you anticipate staying overnight in the area.  More info here.


        Oct 2011

  RJ Corman

This is part of RJ Corman's ever expanding empire.

          Oct 2011

        Oct 2011

    Oct 2011


      To the left is a much larger and newer version of the map below.

  Allegheny Portage Railroad

I used to have this site on this page, but have moved it here

The Allegheny Portage Railroad is part of the National Park system as a National Historic Site.  More info is also HERE and HERE

  Elsewhere in Town - Small Arch Bridge

This small ARCH underpass is on Arch St, off Shakertown Rd as you head over to the west side of the helper facility.


  Elsewhere in Town - Pedestrian Underpass

If you're standing on Front St across from the wye, this underpass would be to your left, directly across from the Station Inn.


Picture by Roger Puta, April 21, 1988, collection of Mel Finzer, via Wikimedia Commons

These pictures are from the Super Trains video from OCT 2018, when NS was in the middle of a signal upgrade.

Bridges and Tunnels

  Flyover the Mainline

Not sure when it was removed, the Bridgehunter page does not mention a date.

  photo by Geoff Hubbs, August 1972

  photo by Charlie Whipp

Above, from the Auran site: The 1st Cresson flyover bridge being demolished, apparently the RR crane toppled over, and the entire town turned out to see ... it was replaced by a 4 pier, through girder span ... and was again demolished in the double stack height program.


  WB - east of Cresson

As you are entering Cresson from the east (coming from Gallitzin), you will pass over the ex-Pennsy mainline before hitting town.  Parking can be found on the Cresson side of the overpass.  It was getting dark by the time I got here in Oct 2011.  By the time I took the last pictures, it was well into darkness.

              Oct 2011

          Oct 2011

  WB - in Cresson

  Oct 2011

  EB - in Cresson

These signals are not native to this region.  They were upgrades during the Conrail era.  They are "trilights", or, to keep the purists maintainers call them happy, triangularly shaped color light signals, "type G", after the GRS designation for them (however, a US&S type "G" signal would be a B&O style CPL signal).

              Oct 2011

  Sorry, last one in the dark is a little fuzzy :-(  Didn't feel like getting the tripod out.  Oct 2011

    A WB freight passes the signals close to the former location of MO Tower.  Oct 2004

All of these shots are from Heritage Park, the aerial shots are from Bing Maps birdseye view!

Fire and Police

Cresson Volunteer Fire Company

Public Safety Building

  The fire house is behind it.


MOW Yard

Below is a section of the USGS map that illustrates the bridge/flyover between the two yards, and the fact that the eastern yard was at one time a much more substantial yard.

Historical USGS Maps


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW 8/22/2010, APR13/2016, FEB14/15/2022
Last Modified  15-Feb-2022