Posts Tagged ‘East Broad Top Railroad’

EBT 16 May Steam This Year

August 22, 2021

East Broad Top Railroad officials won’t say when its first steam locomotive will be restored to operating condition, but indicated it could be this year.

The locomotive, Baldwin-built 2-8-2 No. 16, continues to progress with work completed on its air tanks, dynamo, piping, two air pumps, two Hancock Inspirator injectors, new ceramic insulation, and new boiler jacketing.

Trains magazine reported on its website on Saturday that the tender tank for No. 16 was returned to Curry Rail Services for additional work.

EBT workers are rehabilitating passenger cars at the rate of one car every week or two.

Workers also are seeking to finish rebuilding the track in a quarter-mile section to enable trains to reach Colgate Grove, the traditional northern terminus for trains between 1961 and 2011.

The work includes replacing ties, improving drainage, and clearing brush on an S-curve north of Runk Road Bridge.

EBT Acquires ex-PRR Steel Boxcar

August 21, 2021

Pennsylvania-based East Broad Top Railroad has acquired a standard-gauge 40-foot steel boxcar that it will use to show how such cars were once handled on the narrow-gauge railroad.

The car is a former Pennsylvania Railroad X29-class car that EBT got from the now defunct Kiski Junction Railroad in Schenley, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.

EBT staff will show visitors how the railroad avoided a costly and time-consuming transfer of freight between standard and three-foot narrow gauge cars.

The car the EBT received will need to be restored before it can be used for that purpose.

Back when it was still a common carrier freight hauler, the EBT used its Timber Transfer crane at Mount Union, Pennsylvania, to transform the car to narrow-gauge operation.

The car was built for the Pennsy in 1934.

EBT officials hope to eventually acquire two more standard-gauge cars, perhaps a covered hopper, gondola, or tank car to use as examples of cars that traveled on the EBT.

EBT Hires Archivist to Sort Through Records

June 24, 2021

Pennsylvania-based East Broad Top Railroad has hired an archivist who will begin the process of organizing and cataloging hundreds of cubic feet of company records.

Julie K. Rockwell of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, is overseeing the archiving process, including sorting through the records that document operations between 1873 and 1956.

The archivist position is jointly funded by $10,000 each from the 1,500-member Friends of the East Broad Top volunteer organization and an anonymous donor.

Rockwell holds a master’s degree program in museum studies and digital archiving from Johns Hopkins University.

She has worked on programs to interpret and curate displays on the history of canals and the Pennsylvania Railroad photography of William H. Rau.

She is being assisted by an intern, Sammy Bellin, who is a history major at Juniata College in Huntingdon.

Rockwell said most of the material is well-kept because it was stored in controlled conditions.

The records are being stored in three brick-lined fireproof vaults that are at least 12 feet tall.

The records include right-of-way maps, building and rolling-stock blueprints and linen drawings, deeds, photos, board of directors minute ledgers, mortgage documents, correspondence, train orders, clearance cards, daily locomotive inspection reports, purchase orders, payroll time-slip records, shop invoices, tax records and news clippings.

However, Bellin said the EBT may have been meticulous in keeping records but was less conscientious about organizing them.

EBT Launches Scheduled Excursion Service

June 16, 2021

The historic Pennsylvania-based East Broad Top Railroad inaugurated scheduled service on June 11.

Although the narrow gauge railroad has offered a handful of excursions during special events, it was the first time that it has operated scheduled public passenger service since 2011.

The first train was pulled by General Electric center-cab diesel switcher No. M-7 and ran from Rockhill Furnace for about 3½ miles to Runk Road Bridge.

The train operated three round trips over the weekend.

Special movements ran earlier in the week to Colgate Grove using gas-electric car No. M-1 and parlor car No. 20, the Orbisonia.

One of those trips, on June 8, carried the EBT Foundation’s board of directors who inspected the progress made in rebuilding he railroad.

EBT officials have said they hope to begin scheduled service to Colgate Grove within a few weeks.

Track on the wye at Colgate Grove is being relaid with work almost complete on the south leg.

Trains will depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on June 25-27 and July 9-11 and 23-25.

Service beyond those dates has yet to be announced but special runs are set for events being held

Aug. 12-15; Sept. 11-12; Oct. 9; Oct. 16-17, 23-24; Dec. 4; and Nov. 26-28, and Dec. 3-5 and 10-12.

EBT Rebuilds Bridge, Lays Ballast

May 15, 2021

Workers at the East Broad Top Railroad have repaired a damaged bridge and are laying ballast on the mainline in preparation for the resumption of regular service next month.

The historic narrow gauge Pennsylvania tourist railroad is seeking to reopen much of the original 33-mile main line.

The replacement bridge is located about 3.5 miles north of EBT’s yard and headquarters at Rockhill Furnace.

It was damaged last year when struck by an over-height truck. The collision dented a girder and knocked the track out of alignment.

The repair work included concrete and stone abutment work, and placement of new I-beams and bridge timbers on the 12-foot span.

Last week a ballast train dumped about 500 tons of crushed limestone along the track, including at “Long Fill,” a popular site for photographers shooting from nearby U.S. Route 522.

EBT has ordered a ballast tamper that should arrive soon.

There remains about a mile of track to be rehabilitated with gauging, tie replacement, and surfacing to make the line usable to Colgate Grove, where locomotives are turned on a wye.

Work being done along the right of way also includes creating ditching in cuts and placement of new culvert pipe to improve drainage.

In Rockhill Furnace, concrete pavement has been poured at the station loading area, stone have been placed for a new parking area north of the station, and low wooden split-rail fences have been placed to guide pedestrian traffic patterns.

Plans are to use the freight station as a staging area for shop tours.

EBT Receives Grant from Pittsburgh Foundation

May 8, 2021

The East Broad Top Foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the  Allegheny Foundation of Pittsburgh that will be used to support rehabilitation of the Colgate Picnic Grove

EBT locomotives have turned on a wye at the site since 1961. Part of the the wye was originally a line to a clay pit near Shirleysburg.

EBT said the grant will be used to make better use of Colgate Grove. They said such events as musical performances and food tastings are being considered.

A new platform will be built and plans are in the works for a new pavilion.

Officials also said the grant was unusual because the Allegheny Foundation concentrates its giving in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The EBT Foundation operates the historic East Broad Top narrow gauge tourist railroad, which will begin regular operations in June.

EBT Scheduled Excursions Return June 11

May 3, 2021

The East Board Top Railroad will begin scheduled operations on June 11.

The Pennsylvania historic narrow gauge railroad has been out of service since 2011 and is now owned by a nonprofit foundation.

The initial schedule shows one-hour diesel-powered trips on alternate three-day weekends in June and July.

Train departures from the Rockhill Furnace station will be at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on June 11-13, June 25-27, July 9-11, and July 23-25.

Tickets will cost $20 for adults, $18 for children age 11 and under. Passengers can also charter a caboose for $200 for a party of eight.

A series of special events have been scheduled through the end of the year.

Trains will be powered by No. M-7, a 1964 center-cab General Electric switching locomotive formerly owned by Algoma Steel.

Restoration work continues on two of the railroad’s  six Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-2 steam locomotives but no date has been set for their return to service.

One hour guided tours of the Rockhill Furnace shop complex will be available for $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Visitors will have the option of purchasing a ticket good for a ride on the EBT and a visit to the adjacent Rockhill Trolley Museum, an electric heritage railway that uses part of the EBT’s former Shade Gap Branch.

A visitor parking lot has been established on the north side of the Rockhill Furnace station.

EBT Winter Excursions Sell Out

February 21, 2021

Additional trips were added on Saturday to the Winter Spectacular event held at the East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania.

Excursions operated with Brill gas-electric car M-1 and a caboose.

After those trips quickly sold out, the additional trips were added. All of the trips were reported to have sold out.

The EBT also offered trips aboard its railbus/motorcar M-3, which had been built from a 1928 Nash.

Also operating on Saturday was the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

EBT Workers Find Century Old Explosives

February 7, 2021

Workers at the East Broad Top Railroad recently uncovered decaying dynamite as they performed stabilization work on a building.

They found five cases of materials labeled as explosives that experts determined were about a century old.

The discovery halted the work being done and led to law enforcement agencies being called in.

Officials said the explosives posed no imminent danger.

Specialty Professional Services of Washington, Pennsylvania, was called in to remove and dispose of the explosives.

Reviewing the situation has been the office of the Huntingdon County Commissioner, the Huntingdon County Emergency Management Authority, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Authory, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and Orbisonia Volunteer Fire Department.

EBT Winter Event Set for Feb. 20

February 3, 2021

The East Broad Top Railroad will conduct a one-day “Winter Spectacular” on Feb. 20 featuring a gas-electric car and a coal stove-heated caboose.

The event is a rivival of a similar seasonal festival held between 1966 and 1981.

Tickets are $30 for a ride aboard car M-1 and $20 to ride in the caboose. Children’s tickets for the same rides are $28 and $18 respectively.

Trains will travel about 2.4 miles from Rockhill Furnace to McMullin’s Summit, the limit of operable track. Departures will be hourly between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Ticket will go on sale at noon EST on Feb. 5 at

The nearby Rockhill Trolley Museum will be operating that day with a separate fare required.

Noted event photographer organizer Peter Lerro is holding a photo shoot for photographs costing $250 per person.

That event will begin at 3 p.m. and run through 8 p.m. with photo opportunities set up on the mainline, in the Rockhill Furnace Yard, and around the roundhouse.

None of the EBT’s six Baldwin 2-8-2 steam locomotives are expected to be posed during the daytime events, but one might be staged for the photographer’s special.

Other scheduled events on the EBT docket include Easter on the Rails, held in conjunction with the Rockhill Trolley Museum on March 27; EBT Goes to War – A Living History Event, on May 22-23; and limited M-7 diesel excursions in May.