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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Levels

 
 
Levels Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 6, 2009
1. Levels Marker
Level No. 6 in background.
Inscription.
The tracks of the Alegheny Portage Railroad snaked over the mountains in stair-step fashion. The steep inclined planes were connected by sections with gentle grades called "levels." There were eleven levels, and, like the inclines, each was identified by number.

The railroad trace in front of you was part of Level No. 6, or the Summit Level, the high point of the trip. It ran 1.62 miles between Inclines 5 and 6.

When the railroad opened, horses pulled the railroad cars along the levels. Track was usually laid on stone blocks called "sleepers" rather than on crossties which would have made precarious footing for horses. However, steam locomotives soon replaced horses on nearly all levels.

[Sleeper diagram caption reads]
Rails on levels were set on stone blocks called sleepers. The 32 miles of levels required more than 150,000 sleepers, some of which remain in place today.

[Painting caption reads]
A locomotive pulling a sectional canal boat approaches a viaduct on a level section of the New Portage Railroad. This re-routed version of the old Allegheny Portage Railroad circumvented the bothersome inclined planes, but operated only two years before it was sold to the more efficient Pennsylvania Railroad Co. in 1857.
 
Erected by National
Sleeper Diagram on Levels Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service, undated
2. Sleeper Diagram on Levels Marker
Park Service.
 
Location. 40° 27.394′ N, 78° 33.089′ W. Marker is in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Touch for map. Marker is on the walkway between the portage railway and the Lemon House, accessed by the trail from Engine House No. 6. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Federal Park Road, Gallitzin PA 16641, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lemon House (here, next to this marker); Engine House No. 6 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Allegheny Portage Railroad (about 400 feet away); Inclined Plane No. 6 (about 400 feet away); Skew Arch Bridge Trail (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Lemon House (about 500 feet away); Railroad Stone (about 600 feet away); Summit Level Historic Area (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.
 
Also see . . .  Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. (Submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Painting on Levels Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1856
3. Painting on Levels Marker
Allegheny Portage Railroad Sleeper image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 6, 2009
4. Allegheny Portage Railroad Sleeper
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 420 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
 
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