Calling all railroad aficionados.

Johnstown Area Heritage Association once again will offer tours that showcase the region’s railroad history through visits to the Johnstown Railroad Station, the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and the Horseshoe Curve, connected by a round-trip train ride between Johnstown and Altoona.

Tours will be held Sept. 28 and Oct. 12, 19 and 26.

“These tours are always a popular event and a great way for people to become more aware of the railroad history in this area,” said Andrew Lang, JAHA’s curator. “Fall also is a beautiful time to enjoy the scenery on the way.”

As in previous years, JAHA will offer the Ride the Rails Tour on Sept. 28 and Oct. 19, which in addition to the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and the Horseshoe Curve includes the Baker Mansion and Boyer Candy Outlet.

The Oct. 26 Ultimate Rail Fan Tour will be guided by Brian Lehman and includes the rail sites with an extended tour of the Railroaders Memorial Museum.

“Our volunteer guide, Brian Lehman, does a wonderful job of highlighting this history along with unique elements of railroad work and culture,” Lang said. “I cannot thank Brian enough for leading these tours every year. If you have never been, it is truly an experience to learn all that you can about rail history.”

New this year is the Ride the Portage Railroad Tour on Oct. 12, and in addition to the Railroaders Memorial Museum and Horseshoe Curve includes a trip to the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.

The tour will be led by Doug Bosley, a ranger with the National Park Service.

“Doug is a very knowledgeable guide, and those on this trip will get a chance to see the newly renovated Portage Railroad historic site,” Lang said. “We are excited to be able to add this tour to this year’s Ride the Rails experience, and we want to extend our thanks to Doug and the National Park Service.”

Each train tour will begin at the Johnstown Area Passenger Train Station, where guests will check in and have the opportunity to ask questions about the building, including the continued progress of its renovation effort being led by JAHA.

From the station, attendees will take the one-hour train ride to Altoona, arriving at the Altoona Train Station. From there, a bus will transport guests to the different sites. All tours will stop at the Altoona Cracker Barrel for lunch.

Cost for the Ride the Rails Tour is $75 for JAHA members and $80 for nonmembers. The cost for children’s tickets is $50 for JAHA members and $55 for nonmembers. 

The cost for Ultimate Rail Fan Tour and the Allegheny Portage Railroad Tour is $80 for JAHA members and $85 for nonmembers. The cost for children’s tickets is $55 for JAHA members, $60 for nonmembers.

The cost of lunch is not included in any tour.

Booking deadline is the Wednesday before each trip.

To reserve a spot, call 814-539-1889.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

Recommended for you