what is your favorite horseshoe, loop or curve?

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yarrow

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i am a big lover of curving track. just returned from a cz journey that was 8 hours late crossing eastern nevada so we got to see the nighttime portion in the daytime. previous to this, the horseshoe at the bottom of cuesta pass on the cs going into slo was my favorite. but after seeing and riding the arnold loop going up silver zone pass in the mountains of eastern nevada i hold this as "big-time railroading at its finest". what is your favorite spot of curvy tack?
 

Bob Dylan

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i am a big lover of curving track. just returned from a cz journey that was 8 hours late crossing eastern nevada so we got to see the nighttime portion in the daytime. previous to this, the horseshoe at the bottom of cuesta pass on the cs going into slo was my favorite. but after seeing and riding the arnold loop going up silver zone pass in the mountains of eastern nevada i hold this as "big-time railroading at its finest". what is your favorite spot of curvy tack?
I'll take the Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania but a Close Second to the Horseshoe Curve on the CS Route! :cool:
 
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JayPea

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I too like the S curves on the CS near San Luis Obispo. An honorable mention for a hidden gem, for me, goes to the horseshoe curve between the EB stops of Ephrata and Wenatchee. This one is also traveled, for the most part, during the dark, but I've seen it in full daylight on a late EB to Seattle, and it is, as I say, in my eyes anyway, a hidden gem.
 

VentureForth

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I love the Georgetown Loop. But it's not on Amtrak, just a tourist jaunt in the middle of the Colorado Rockies.

I really enjoyed my ride along the Youghiogheny and the Potomac on the Capitol Limited. It's pretty fast running and a bunch of pretty tight but smooth curves.
 

jis

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The Horseshoe Curve hands down!

The other Horseshoe curve I like is the one in Marias Pass between East and West Glacier.

Though not quite Horseshoe, but about 90 degree only, my two honorable mentions are on the Northeast Corridor in the New York area!

The first one is the Bergen Curve on the High Line between Secaucus and the North River Tunnels. There is something about a train sweeping around a curve at 70mph and diving into a tunnel. And specially on a weekday morning when a train does so every two minutes or so.

The second is the curve on the North side of Hell Gate Bridge where the train seems to be more like a plane, flying high above Bronx leaning into the curve, with a view of the New York City skyscrapers ahead behind the Hell Gate and Robert F. Kennedy/Triboro Bridges.
 
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amtkstn

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The many curves that the SWC goes through Raton pass in New Mexico. It includes a few s-curves where you can see the entire train.
 

Shanghai

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I've only experienced the Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona, PA.

I even rented a car and drove to the curve and the museum.

Very interesting. There's also a great museum at the Altoona station.

I'm not familiar with the Bergen Curve, but it may be the curve

in New Jersey before entering the tunnel to Penn Station. If one

sits on the right side of the train, you can see the engine and

other cars ahead.
 
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i am a big lover of curving track. just returned from a cz journey that was 8 hours late crossing eastern nevada so we got to see the nighttime portion in the daytime. previous to this, the horseshoe at the bottom of cuesta pass on the cs going into slo was my favorite. but after seeing and riding the arnold loop going up silver zone pass in the mountains of eastern nevada i hold this as "big-time railroading at its finest". what is your favorite spot of curvy tack?
Hey Yarrow, I think we were on the same train -- not only did we get to see the arnold loop, but we sat for an hour on the downhill portion of the loop watching a stalled freight ahead and uphill from us. I agree that curve is a fine one -- and I was happy to see more of Nevada than usual on the CZ. (Less happy about the midnight arrival into Emeryville, but oh well.)

But my favorite is still the big ten curve coming out of Denver. The fact that I grew up in Boulder of course has nothing to do with this...
 
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I'm not sure if this counts but the spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse pass in the Canadian rockies are an amazing thing to see. I haven't ridden it yet but I've always wanted to take the route from Vancouver to Calgary. Maybe after my CS trip this summer. Watching from the highway overlook as the train cars cross over entering and leaving the tunnel is great fun.
 
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The second is the curve on the North side of Hell Gate Bridge where the train seems to be more like a plane, flying high above Bronx leaning into the curve.
I have to agree with you on that. There are some great views of the NYC, and with the nice large windows on the Acela you really get a chance to take it all in.
 

the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I also like the Big Ten curve in DEN. Going eastbound from the Front Range coming into DEN, you feel like your on a plane, being above the city, and then making all those twists and turns prior to "landing"! That's the only kind of "flying" I want to do!


I'm not familiar with the Bergen Curve, but it may be the curve

in New Jersey before entering the tunnel to Penn Station. If one

sits on the right side of the train, you can see the engine and

other cars ahead.
That's the one!

And I do agree with the Hell's Gate bridge curve too!
 

jis

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I also like the Big Ten curve in DEN. Going eastbound from the Front Range coming into DEN, you feel like your on a plane, being above the city, and then making all those twists and turns prior to "landing"! That's the only kind of "flying" I want to do!
I agree about the Big 10 down the Front Range starting down from South Boulder Canyon, including the curve around Coal Creek Canyon where they keep an entire train of loaded hoppers in place to protect trains from toppling over by high wind down the canyon!
 
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I've only experienced the Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona, PA.
I've only been over this once, in 1974, but I remember it sweetly.

I'm not familiar with the Bergen Curve, but it may be the curvein New Jersey before entering the tunnel to Penn Station. If one

sits on the right side of the train, you can see the engine and

other cars ahead.
Yep, another great sight, and one I've seen a lot more often.
 

DET63

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I've been through the double horseshoe on the SWC in New Mexico. I've also been around the horseshoe above San Luis Obispo on the CS. The CS goes through at least four other horseshoe curves, however, including the so-called Cantara Loop above Dunsmuir, as well as couple of horseshoe turns while climbing Pengra (or Willamette) Pass in the Oregon Cascades. One of them includes a trestle over OR 58 and Salt Creek.
 

DET63

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An honorable mention for a hidden gem, for me, goes to the horseshoe curve between the EB stops of Ephrata and Wenatchee. This one is also traveled, for the most part, during the dark, but I've seen it in full daylight on a late EB to Seattle, and it is, as I say, in my eyes anyway, a hidden gem.
This is actually close to the town of Quincy, which is not a station stop. Baird Springs Road goes through a tunnel under the curve. I don't know how accessible the area is for taking pictures of either delayed EBs or freight trains.
 

TVRM610

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My favorite is "big 10" headed west outside of Denver on the Zephyr. My 2nd favorite on mainline railroads is the Asheville Loops in Asheville NC, which aren't part of the Amtrak system... yet (I can dream right?). Some of these configurations are just such amazing engineering marvels. (both the engineers who designed them, and the engineers who navigate the trains safely through them!)
 

EMDF9A

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I'd have to say the Borup Loop on the NP Stampede line between Lester and New Stampede. (Yeah I know there are no AMTRAK trains over this section of track... and hardly any Freight either.) But I have fond memories of sitting in the dome of #25 or #26 traversing this beautiful section of the Northwest.

For currently active track, it has to be the Cuesta Grade climbing up past the California Men's Colony.
 

zephyr17

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Tehachapi Loop. There is no substitute.

For routes with passenger service, I'd have to agree with those who like the Goldtree Horseshoe on Cuesta Grade outside SLO.
 
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FrensicPic

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Besides the horseshoe on Cuesta Grade near SLO, also on the Coast Starlight are a couple of curves north of Dunsmuir (Cantara Loop had another derailment last week) and a couple more in the Cascades.

As a teenager, my father and I did the Tehachapi Loop while riding on Southern Pacific from LA to Fresno and return. That was in the early sixties.
 

Notelvis

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My favorite is "big 10" headed west outside of Denver on the Zephyr. My 2nd favorite on mainline railroads is the Asheville Loops in Asheville NC, which aren't part of the Amtrak system... yet (I can dream right?). Some of these configurations are just such amazing engineering marvels. (both the engineers who designed them, and the engineers who navigate the trains safely through them!)
My avatar photo is a 1990's excursion train using an Amtrak Superliner consist on the loops below Asheville, NC.

I agree with you that it's a shame this is just happenstance and not part of the Amtrak system.
 
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