I still need to work out the details of both destinations. Back to Cass, The Cass Website links you to operations that we can be involved with. Not only at Cass, but also in in Elkins and Durbin, we have more roailroad stuff. I still need to research it further. It may be that several days may be needed, between these three sites.
Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, is an objective on a trip and this trip sounds good. I could go to Altoona for lodging and than to the curve, or visa versa. Altoona would be a good for a bit of time, it has a railroad museum. Besides visiting Horseshoe curve, I would love to take the train through the curve. There is a daylight train, the Pennsylvanian that goes through the curve, So a trip between Altoona and Johnstown, PA, would lead you through the curve and it is a daylight train. (my first experience in the curve came on the, now extinct Broadway Lmt. between Philadelphia and Chicago. However, it was scheduled to go through the curve during the night. When I woke the next morning, I was talking to the car attendant and told him that I was sorry I could not see the curve during the daylight. He said that we were many hours late and had not gone through the curve, as yet. He even allowed me to go to the old dutch doors at the end of the car, which he opened and let me, look out as we went through the curve).
My first thought would be to take the Pennsylvanian west bound out of Altoona, spend time in Johnstown, and return on the eastbound, again going through the curve. Timing is the real kicker. If I were to want to do any siteseeing in Johnston, there would be very little daylight to take advantage of it. So, let's look at sites to see, around Johnston with Google Maps.
I had placed an another train trip on the trip to Philadelphia. From Philadelphia I leave for home. Than something was remembered. In my New England Trip, 40 years ago, I had stopped by Strasbourg Railroad. I should add that to this trip. Now for the homeward bound. I could come down the Eastern Shore of Virginia, through the Bay Bridge Tunnel, and home that way.
I could add more and more details to this trip but I have not laid out a possible time frame. When I lay out the trip, I use Google Maps. Inserting origin and destination, it will calculate several routes and give an estimate of time traveled. It will even give optional public transit. This will give a better understanding of time frame, and appropriate adjustments will be made. (Be careful, however. I was use to a certain trip but decided to use Maps to see how Maps would do it. I laid in two familiar points and than followed their itinerary. I followed it and at one point it took me down a ugly dirt road. Than it had me cross the railroad tracks but not at a RR Crossing. I scratched my head at this until I notices that I was not looking at driving but walking, in the instructions. What I was seeing as hours, was actually days of walking. In other words, if you set the mode of transit wrong, sometimes you can't get there from here.)
So to sum up: we lay out a general route, of certain key points. We expand that to include details and sites we might as well visit. Get a general day by day travel guide. As to this trip, I am still working it out. Time frame indicated that I might need to do it in twos or take more time than I should. I will work it out.