With the commemoration of Horseshoe Curve's 150th anniversary this year–a major transportation and engineering milestone in American history–the Railroaders Heritage Corporation today announced that it will "pull out all the stops" with a major evening spectacular on July 4th. This extraordinary event will be reminiscent of the famous 1954 "SYLVANIA Big Shot," which featured the simultaneous deployment of more than 6,500 SYLVANIA Blue Dot flashbulbs to light Horseshoe Curve. This time, OSRAM SYLVANIA and Norfolk Southern will provide technology, equipment, and sizzle for the celebration.
"We are excited to once again help bring notice to such an important moment in American history," said Scott Cessna, Executive Director of the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona. "In 1854, an enterprising young civil engineer named J. Edgar Thomson opened the first railway to scale the mighty Allegheny Mountains in Central Pennsylvania. To avoid a sharp incline, which would be impossible for heavy steam trains to manage, Thomson routed the right-of-way in a horseshoe shape, so the rise would be gradual. The feat was considered a major engineering masterpiece at the time and was pivotal to opening commerce across the continental US."
Recently recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, today an average of 60 Norfolk Southern freight trains and four Amtrak passenger trains operate over Horseshoe Curve daily. This volume translates into more than 100 million gross tons of freight annually. Commodities coming through Horseshoe Curve include mail, consumer goods, coal, finished automobiles, construction material and agricultural products. equipment, and sizzle for the celebration.
SYLVANIA Helps Celebrate
The technology of SYLVANIA, part of the second-largest lighting and materials enterprise in the world, continues to focus public awareness on the remarkable feat of engineering that Horseshoe Curve represents. In 1954, SYLVANIA and the Pennsylvania Railroad captured the imagination of children and adults alike with the illumination of Horseshoe Curve, which was the sixth in a series of 18 photographic achievements known as "Big Shots." All 18 Big Shots were illuminated using SYLVANIA flashbulb technology.
"We recognize the historical significance of the anniversary of the construction of Horseshoe Curve and are pleased to support the recreation of the spectacle of the first lighting. As we did in the past, we will be using the most innovative products available on the market today," said Charlie Jerabek, president and CEO of OSRAM SYLVANIA. "Many of the lighting products available through OSRAM SYLVANIA today were developed within the last five years."
Entertainment will be provided the entire day both at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona and Horseshoe Curve, culminating with the lighting of Horseshoe Curve and a display from Zambelli Fireworks Internationale–the "First Family of Fireworks."
Ticket information is available by contacting the Railroaders Memorial Museum at 1-888-4ALTOONA.
Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American lighting operation of OSRAM GmbH. The company manufactures and markets a wide range of lighting products: automotive, electronic and magnetic ballasts; precision materials and components for industrial and commercial users, original equipment manufacturers and consumers.