“The History of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Altoona,” produced by students enrolled in COMM 490A, explores the origins of the industry in central Pennsylvania and explains how the railroad in the Altoona area served as a major contributing factor to the nation’s industrial, commercial and cultural development. It also details the early 19th-century origins of railroad construction in Pennsylvania while exploring the complexities of 20th-century transportation challenges. The documentary concludes with an investigation of the importance of today’s railroad industry.
The video was produced in COMM 490A, a senior-level capstone course. Student contributors are Kolby Cowher, Michael Filardi, Samantha Mohney, and Brittany Schroeder, all communications majors at Penn State Altoona.
The documentary was produced by Troy McCarty with historical research supervised by Jewel Weyandt. The project was narrated by Isaac Swanson. In addition, Mark Frederick, a local documentary producer and Penn State Altoona graduate, served as executive producer and mentor on the project.
The documentary aired on WPSU-TV on Saturday, November 4, 2023.