Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site Visitor Center

Culture / Visitor Center

Gallitzin, PA

Engineering and innovation allow diverse travelers to cross the Allegheny Mountains.

In 1840, canal travel was giving way to steam railroading. This national historic site preserves a unique engineering solution to get passengers over the Allegheny Mountains—combining early steam locomotive technology with canal travel. Exhibits include an exploration of the important role this system played in transporting enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Other elements include an immersive, life-size canal boat, a tactile model of the portage railroad, STEM interactives, AV media, tactile and scale models of canal boats, trains, and steam engines. For cost effectiveness, nearly half the exhibit consisted of updated and re-used portions of the previous exhibits.