Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania tourist railroads’

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

R&N Sets 4 Excursions for Reading 2102

January 22, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern will begin selling tickets next month for a series of excursions pulled by former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102.

The trips will be dubbed “Iron Horse Rambles” as a nod to the name used by the Reading Lines in the early 1960s for its own steam excursions.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported on its website on Friday that trips pulled by the 2102 are expected to run from Reading to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on May 28, July 2, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3.

Tickets are expected to go on sale on Feb. 15. R&N officials told the magazine that more excursions are expected to be added to the schedule with many of them operating in the fall.

The R&N has been restoring No. 2102 to operating condition in recent years and that work is nearly finished.

The 2102 has not operated for 30 years. It pulled a few excursions on the R&N in the 1980s and early 1990s before being retired in 1991.

As part of the restoration efforts, R&N workers fired up the 2102 in January 2021 for the first time since its retirement.

For more information visit

To view announcements and information about the R&N excursions visit

EBT Announces 2022 Schedule

January 11, 2022

The East Broad Top narrow gauge tourist railroad in Pennsylvania has announced its 2022 regular operating season.

It will kick off on Feb. 19 with the Winter Spectacular event, Trains magazine reported on its website.

Regular excursion trips will operate five days a week on Wednesday through Sunday May 6 through Aug. 28. The schedule will shift to Friday through Sunday operation in September and October.

EBT also announced a slate of several theme trains that will operate from early April to mid December. Those events are described at

The Friends of East Broad Top recently said it has topped its fund-raising goal of $100,000.

Donations have totaled $163,777.19 and will be used to assist the EBT with historic preservation and renovation of various buildings and facilities.

More information is available at

Tourist Railroad to Restore Wood-Sided Gondola

January 11, 2022

A wood-sided gondola will be restored by a Pennsylvania tourist railroad for use in bike train service.

The work is contingent on the Northern Central Railway raising $9,000 to match a $40,000 grant it received for the restoration project from the York County Community Foundation and the York County Economic Alliance.

The car was built by American Car & Foundry and operated as Delaware & Hudson No. 8148.

At one time it was part of the collection of the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg.

Northern Central operates excursion trains from New Freedom to a tunnel near Seven Valleys.

The tracks run parallel to a hike and bike trail and the Northern Central to launch in April a bike aboard program.

R&N Begins 2022 Excursions

January 4, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern has begun operating excursion trains on its Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

The trips will depart from Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, for 70-minutes rides through Lehigh Gorge State Park in the eastern region of the state.

Departures will be on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The first trips operated on New Year’s Day.

Seating options include standard coach; crown class coach, with larger, reclining seats; and first class dome seating for $35 per person.

Standard coach seats are $17 per adult and $9 per child ages 3-12; Crown Class Coach seats are $18 for adults and $10 for children 3-12; childen ages 2 and under are free.

EBT Gets State Grant for Track Repair

December 12, 2021

Pennsylvania tourist railroad East Broad Top has been awarded a $1.1 million state grant for track rehabilitation.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the funding will be used to rebuild 7.8 miles of track between Rockhill Furnace and Three Springs and Saltillo.

In time EBT is eyeing reopening a section of the railroad that has not been used since the original 33-mile EBT ended operations there in April 1956.

Other work that the grant will support includes improvements at the Colgate Grove picnic area and in Rockhill yard.

In a related development, the support group Friends of the East Broad said it has raised $86,675 thus far this year.

The group’s goal is to raise $100,000. Donations have been made by 322 donors.

Money raised by the group will be used to pay for stabilization and restoration of the Rockhill machine shops complex

Next year the Friends group will seek to raise funds to pay for repairs of the Rockhill coal tipple and to improve programming at the Robertsdale station.

Additional information is available at

In other EBT news, Railfan and Railroad magazine reported on its website that the tourist railroad handled more than 10,000 passengers in its first year of renewed operations.

The EBT resumed carrying passengers this year after being out of service since 2011.

Railroad general manager Brad Esposito said EBT operated 42 excursions and plans to increase that number in 2022.

Officials are optimistic that some 2022 trips will be pulled by restored steam locomotives.

Although a full schedule of 2022 excursions won’t begin until next May, EBT plans to offer a few trips during the winter and early spring.

Esposito said about 20 percent of EBT passengers have participated in shop tours.

As for when steam will return, Esposito could give no date but said restoration work is going well on Baldwin-built 2-8-2 No. 16.

BT schedules and ticket information is available at To read more about recent developments involving EBT, visit

EBT Restoration Work Continues to Progress

October 5, 2021

Officials of the historic East Broad Top narrow gauge tourist railroad in Pennsylvania said track repair and restoration of shop facilities continues at a rapid pace.

Track work has involved replacing thousands of crossties while the shops in Orbisonia have been stabilized.

EBT has purchased a standard-gauge tamper that it converted to narrow gauge use.

Excursion trains are currently operating over 2.5 miles of track between Orbisonia and Runk Road fill.

Work on the Orbisonia shops has included restoring line shafts in the main building and stopping the structure from sinking further into the ground.

Officials said the shops were built over a marsh and in some places structures had sunk as many as 3 feet.

Every building in the complex has been restored to a level footing.

On Sept. 16, EBT held a golden spike ceremony to mark the first time since 2011 that a train has operated to the Colgate Grove picnic area where trains have traditionally been turned.

EBT hopes to be able to resume regular excursions to Colgate Grove by late this year.

No date has been announced yet when steam operations will return to the EBT although shop forces continue to work to restore the railroad’s fleet of five steam engines.

The first steamer expected to return to operation will be 2-8-2 No. 16, which last steamed in 1956 and never operated during the tourist era.

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.