Milepost 242: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
A panorama, formed of 33 individual frames stitched together, shows off the entire arc of Horseshoe Curve in its modern form.
This sort of angle was made famous in the late 1890s/early 1900s by then-PRR photographer William H. Rau. At that time, the mainline was still only two tracks wide. But Rau's tenure came during the presidency of Alexander J. Cassatt, and shortly after his 2-track panorama of the Curve, the line was expanded to 4 tracks.
A new photo was taken with the 4 track main by Rau, which also showed one of the mining railroad spurs coming into Glen White Run behind his camera (the remains of which are the bare snow on the right side of the frame).
Later still, in the later 1920s, the coal mining railroad was abandoned and removed, and yet another photo, this time not by Rau (who died in 1920) depicts this difference. But there haven't been many, if any, contemporary versions of that photograph.
In the intervening years since, a lot of details of changed at the Curve. 1361 arrived in June of 1957, Conrail removed Track 4 in the early 1980s, 1361 left in September 1985 and was replaced by the GP9, and the park, now managed by the Altoona Railroader's Memorial Museum, got a new visitors' center c.1994.
The little things can matter, as they mark the passage of time. And it is documenting that passage that makes photos like this valuable.