Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania tourist railroads’

EBT Opens Season Behind Steam

May 8, 2023

Pennsylvania narrow gauge tourist railroad East Broad Top opened its 2023 season last Friday and for the first time in 12 years trains were pulled by steam power.

Pulling six-car trains was 2-8-2 No. 16, which earlier this year pulled a handful of February excursions after being restored to operating condition.

This past weekend’s trips were the first regularly scheduled outings behind steam since the EBT ceased operating in 2011.

The weekend also saw the first trip of accessible combine No. 17. The combine is one of four new cars EBT ordered that come with roller bearings.

In a story posted on the website of Trains magazine, EBT officials said the Colgate Grove picnic area is expected to open late this month.

For an account of other restoration projects on the EBT, visit

Colebrookedale Acquires ex-CN Steamer

April 11, 2023

A Pennsylvania tourist railroad has acquired a steam locomotive from a Tennessee museum.,

Former Canadian National 4-6-2 No. 5288 has been at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum for two decades but will move within the coming weeks to the Colebrookedale Railroad.

Colebookedale officials say they hope to someday restore the 5288 to operating condition.

The railroad has two other steam locomotives in its collections that it also hopes to restore to operating condition.

The Colebrookedale is based in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, located northwest of Philadelphia.

The 5288 was built for the Grand Trunk in 1919 and later would up in the collection of Steamtown when it was owned and operated by F. Nelson Blount. The TVRM acquired the 5288 in 2001.

The other two steams in the Colebrookedale collection are Grand Trunk Western 4-6-2 No. 5030 and Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 No. 18. 

EBT No. 15 Next up for Restoration

March 20, 2023

Pennsylvania tourist railroad East Broad Top said the next steam locomotive that is expected to be restored to operating condition will be 2-8-2 No. 15.

The locomotive last ran in 2011. It was built in 1914.

In February the EBT operated 2-8-2 No. 16 following the completion of its restoration.

No timeline for the restoration of No. 15 has been announced, but officials hope restoration work can begin this year.

EBT has six 2-8-2 steam locomotives and it hopes to eventually restore all of them to operating condition.

Scenes From the EBT Winter Spectacular

February 28, 2023

There may not have been any snow on the ground to indicate that it was still winter, but the Winter Specular at the East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania was, in a word, spectacular. Scores of traveled to the historic narrow gauge railroad to witness and photograph the triumphant return of steam to EBT rails. Here are some of the many scenes from the event.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Looking at EBT Infrastructure

February 27, 2023

During my visit at East Broad Top Railroad I took a little time photographing the right of way details.

The top image is Pogue Trestle which will be restored hopefully later this year. The railroad is making great progress working south from Rockhill Furnace in this regard.

The second and third imagea are in the yard at Rockhill Furnace.  EBT used Harp switches, which don’t have points like regular switches but instead the rails move to line up the route.

This an example of a 3-way Harp switch, which is very rare.

The third image is the old coal dump at Mt. Union. This is not owned by the EBT Foundation so I’m not sure what the future holds for this but it is in a deteriorated state.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Daybreak Tour on the EBT

February 22, 2023

Sunday morning at the East Broad Top Railroad Winter Spectacular was an early start, arriving at Rockhill Furnace at 5:30 a.m.  We were part of a limited group called the hostler tour.

This would give us access to the EBT crew doing early morning maintenance and getting ready for the day’s runs.

Of course this made for some excellent photo opportunities as well.  Here’s a few.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

More from EBT Winter Spectacular

February 21, 2023

Here are some more highlights from the Winter Spectacular on the East Broad Top Railroad starting at 8 a.m. with a photo freight and then at 10 a.m. with a passenger train evert two hours after until the last trip at 4 p.m. was pulled by East Broad Top No. 16.  The alternating hours starting at 11 a.m. were run by the M-1 a Brill doodlebug. The photos shown here were made on Saturday.

The top image shows the train Rockhill Furnace just after 8 a.m. The next two images are returning at Runk Road. The last two photographs were made of the passenger at an overhead bridge.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Colebrookdale Receives $2.25M State Grant

January 17, 2023

Pennsylvania-based Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust has received a $2.25 million grant from the state.

The funding will be to create a new event space and market area in the yard of the Colebrookdale Railroad in downtown Boyerstown, Pennsylvania.

Aside from a market building the project will create a café, stage, restrooms, flagpole plaza and event support space. Work is expected to begin in 2024.

The grant is being awarded by the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Matching funds for the grant will be provided by federal, county, and local funds.

EBT to Create New Facilities at Colgate Grove

November 9, 2022

Pennsylvania tourist hauler East Broad Top Railroad is planning to construct new facilities at its Colgate Grove picnic area.

Trains magazine reported on its website that EBT will create two small pavilions, a boarding platform and restroom facilities at the site, which has historically been where trains turned to return to Rockhill Furnace between 1960 and 2011.

The new facilities will open next year. The Trains report noted that what will be built will be a smaller scale project from the original concept that included a large event center.

The previous pavilions at Colgate Grove have been razed after falling into decrepit condition. There has never been a boarding platform at Colgate Grove.

EBT resumed operating trains to Colgate Grove in October 2021 although without giving passengers a chance to disembark there.

N&W 475 Back in Steam on Strasburg Rail Road

November 8, 2022

A Strasburg Rail Road steam locomotive that collided with an excavator is back in service.

Former Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 No. 475 was repaired by the railroad’s shop forces and ready to resume revenue service for the Pennsylvania tourist railroad.

The engine was running around its train on Nov. 2 when it struck the excavator on a spur track in Paradise, Pennsylvania.

The collision was seen live via a webcam operated by Virtual Railfan. The switch had been left open and the locomotive engineer can be seen waving at passengers aboard the train before the collision.

The bucket of the excavator punched a hole in the locomotive’s smokebox.