Posts Tagged ‘East Broad Top Railroad’

EBT Receives 1st Wrinn Preservation Award

October 3, 2022

The East Broad Top tourist railroad has received the first Jim Wrinn Award for Biggest Railroad Preservation story. The award was presented during the HeritageRail Alliance meeting last month.

The Pennsylvania-based narrow-gauge railroad was honored for its efforts to restore the historic line and its locomotives and rolling stock to operating condition.

The award was presented to the Friends of the East Broad Top and the EBT Foundation.

HRA is a professional trade group for tourist, scenic, historic or excursion railway and trolley operations in the United States and Canada.

Also honored during the meeting was Andy Muller, owner and CEO of the Reading & Northern, for his work in steam locomotive preservation

Works Continues on EBT Steam Restoration

August 21, 2022

Although no date has been set for East Broad Top 2-8-2 No. 16 to return to service, work continues to bring the Baldwin-built steam engine into operating condition.

Trains magazine reported on its website that No. 16 passed a hydrostatic boiler test last May and since then has been test-steamed under the observation of Federal Railroad Administration staff.

EBT master mechanic Dave Domitrovich told the magazine that FRA personnel were satisfied with the tests.

He said workers will be able to install everything back on the boiler but a considerable amount of finishing work remains to be done on the engine.

No. 16 last operated in 1956. The EBT has four other steam locomotives that operated between 1960 when the EBT became a tourist railroad and 2011 when steam operations shut down.

In recent weeks, workers have painted the dome covers of No. 16 and remounted two of them. Also overhauled or replaced have been major fittings and appliances such as the bell, whistle, sight glasses, tri-cocks (additional boiler-level checks), air pumps, air tanks, Hancock injectors, and boiler-pressure and brake-pressure gauges.

Painting has been completed on the smokebox, pilot and tender are painted.

Domitrovich said the next major tasks include reinstalling the main and side rods and timing the valves. Also yet to be completed is painting and remounting the locomotive cab.

Once work on No. 16 is completed, workers will turn their attention to restoring No. 15, which was the locomotive last used in revenue tourist train service.

The original plan was to restore No. 14, but an inspection determined it needs more work than that initially thought.

Whereas No. 15 simply need running gear work, No. 14 need major boiler work and running-gear work.

In other developments at the Pennsylvania-based EBT, a second new coach has arrived from a vendor located in Washington State.

The car, built by Hamilton Manufacturing, has been placed on its new trucks, and work is continuing to set it up with new couplers, truss rods, air hoses, and heating and lighting equipment. It will be numbered 22.

EBT has ordered four coaches from Hamilton with the first of them, No. 21, having already undergone a test run.

The railroad’s general manager, Brad Esposito, told Trains the EBT may be looking to acquire more carbody shells in the future that would come without coach seats, they can be reconfigured as first-class and parlor-car seating, or as dining cars.

The article can be read at

EBT Takes Deliver of New Passenger Car

July 21, 2022

New passenger cars designed to appear to be from the 19th century have begun to arrive at Pennsylvania’s East Broad Top Railroad.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the dark green cars are being built in Bellingham, Washington, and transported by truck to the EBT.

They are being built by Hamilton Manufacturing and resemble cars built in the 1890s that were used by the EBT in the first half of the 20th century. They are the first new passenger cars for the EBT in more than a century.

EBT’s existing fleet of passenger cars include open air cars built from former boxcars and flatcars. The railroad also uses two cabooses to carry passengers.

The narrow-gauge EBT has a Billmeyer & Small office car built in 1907 and a 1926-built Brill steel gas-electric car that are operable.

Three 19th century passenger cars are still on the property but were described as well worn even as they are being restored to operating condition.

EBT plans to buy four of the Hamilton cars, which are 53 feet in length.

The new car order will include three coaches and a combine that will have a wheelchair lift and meet federal standards for accessibility.

The coaches will be numbered 21-23 while the combine will carry roster number 17.

All of the new cars will have steel underframes  and are constructured with a composite material that provides the appearance of tongue-and-groove wood siding. Wood paneling in the interiors of the cars gives the appearance of a vintage look.

The first of the new Hamilton passenger cars is expected to begin revenue service next week.

To read more visit

EBT No. 16 Fired Up This Week

June 25, 2022

Pennsylvania narrow gauge tourist railroad East Broad Top fired up one of its steam locomotives this past week.

On Wednesday 2-8-2 No. 16 was placed on the roundhouse turntable and operated in steam for the first time since 1956.

However, much work remains to be done before the 16, which never pulled any trains during the first tourist train era on the EBT, is ready to move under its own power.

On the “to do” list is installation of the superheater, throttle, cab and a new boiler jacket.

Additional work remains to be done on the locomotive’s tender as well.

For more about the firing up of EBT No. 16 visit

EBT Begins to Restore Southern Half of its Route

June 7, 2022

Pennsylvania-based tourist railroad East Broad Top has begun restoring its southern mainline.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the line, which has been out of service for about 70 years, is being rebuilt with workers from the EBT Foundation, volunteers from the Friends of the East Broad Top, and workers employed by contractor G&H Anderson Excavating.

Plans are to remove brush and trees, replace damaged culverts and install new ties along with other track work. The existing 85-pound rail was described as being in good condition.

The first phase of the restoration project will involve a nearly 8-mile stretch between Rockhill Furnace and Saltillo.

Eventually, EBT wants to reopen the route for another 12 miles to Robertsdale and Woodvale.

The southern end of the EBT contains some of the best scenery along the 33-mile narrow gauge railroad.

The report can be read at

EBT 2-8-2 No. 16 Getting Closer to Running

June 1, 2022

No operating date has yet been set but East Broad Top 2-8-2 No. 16 is nearing completion of its restoration, Trains magazine reported on its website.

The Baldwin-built Mikado type locomotive is one of six on the roster of the historic Pennsylvania narrow gauge railroad.

An EBT official told Trains that work on the boiler is complete and the locomotive successfully passes a Federal Railroad Administration hydrostatic test.

EBT master mechanic Dave Domitrovitch told Trains the next steps include timing the engine and finishing the air-brake work.

That will be followed by reinstalling the locomotive cab and painting the firebox with heat-resistant stove paint.

The tender for No. 16 has been painted with a flat-black base coat but still needs a finish coat and orange “E.B.T.” lettering to be applied.

EBT began its 2022 operating season on May 6 with diesel motive power pulling trains on Wednesday through Sunday.

The story and photographs can be viewed at

EBT Uses Drone to Inspect Tunnels

May 27, 2022

East Broad Top Railroad officials this week used used a drone to inspect and document the condition of two tunnels.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the drone flew into Ray’s Hill and Sideling Hill tunnels, both located on the southern end of the railroad.

The drones were used because previous collapses in both tunnels led officials to conclude that exploring them in person was too risky.

Instead the drone was used to digitally map and video-record the condition of each tunnel.

This included documenting earthen collapses, rockfalls, shifted strata and sources of underground water seepage.

The 830-foot-long Sideling Hill Tunnel contains a curve whereas the 1,100-foot-long Ray’s Hill Tunnel is on straight track.

More information, including photographs, of the work can be found at

Local Groups Get Emery Trust Grants

March 19, 2022

Two Northeast Ohio organizations were among the 22 recipients of grants announced this week by the John Emery Rail Heritage Trust for 2022.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will receive $15,000 to help pay for interior renovation of former Burlington baggage-coach Silver Salon for ADA accessibility.

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society of Cleveland will receive $ 10,000 for further work on 1924 Pullman car Mount Baxter.

Other groups that were awarded grants included the East Broad Top Railroad, $15,500 for truck and traction-motor maintenance for gas-electric car M-1; the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society,: $10,000 for continued work on baggage car No. 3671, built for Santa Fe by American Car & Foundry in 1955; and the Pennsylvania-based West Chester Railroad Heritage Association, $10,000 for continued renovations of Reading Blueliner coaches.

The Emery Trust will award $350,000, for rail preservation projects this year. It received

34 applications requesting more than $1 million.

In a news release, the Emery Trust described itself as the largest in the United States whose grants are solely for rail restoration projects.

The trust was founded by John Emery of Chicago who rode trains around the world between 1920 and 1960.

EBT Buying 4 New ‘Vintage’ Passenger Cars

February 26, 2022

Pennsylvania narrow gauge tourist railroad East Broad Top has ordered four new passenger cars, Trains magazine reported on its website.

The cars are being built by Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Three of the cars are coaches while the fourth will comply with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. All of the cars will feature a vintage appearance.

EBT has three passenger cars built in the late nineteenth century and all of them are out of service for rebuilding.

Currently EBT is using converted boxcars and flatcars with seats to carry passengers. It also has a caboose that accommodate riders.

Parlor car Orbisonia, is operational but only used during special events.

EBT Sets Events for Winter Spectacular

February 5, 2022

Historic Pennsylvania narrow gauge East Broad Top Railroad has announced the schedule of activities for its annual Winter Spectacular to be held Feb. 18-19.

Events include a two-hour photographers’ event featuring posed scenes with steam engine No. 12; rail car trips with a caboose between Rockhill Furnace station and Colgate Grove; trips on a motorcar between the same points; tours of Orbisonia station; and a roundhouse tour.

Tickets for the events range from $50 to $30.

Photography and videography will be prohibited during certain areas of the roundhouse tour.

EBT spokesman Jonathan Smith told Trains magazine that this primarily applies to locomotives and rolling stock that is being restored.

He said the restrictions were put into place to allow EBT to “show the public our progress but channel the excitement [of restoration] appropriately at the right time.”

Tour participants will be permitted to photograph equipment that is not in the process of being restored.

Also slated for the weekend is an archives benefit fundraising dinner and movie night to be held at the Orbisonia-Rockhill Furnace Volunteer Fire Company dining hall.

Tickets for that event are $50 per person. The dinner will feature a presentation by archivist Julie Rockwell, who will describe her work cataloging EBT records.

The movies are 16mm color films shot by the late Clarence Weaver and will show original EBT operations as well as those of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and assorted short line railroads.

More information and ticket sale links can be found at

Concurrent with the EBT winter event the Rockhill Trolley Museum will operate its Winter Trolley Spectacular that will feature historic and modern streetcars running  on the former EBT Shade Gap Branch

Tickets for that event are $15 for adults and $10 for children. There also will be car barn tours. More information is available at