Posts Tagged ‘Rockhill Trolley Museum’

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.

East Broad Top Railroad Sold to Foundation

February 14, 2020

Looking toward the shops in Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania, in August 1962. You can see freight and passenger cars, EBT M-1 gas-electric car, two steamers (I believe 12 and 14), and Johnstown Traction 311. (Photograph courtesy of Robert Farkas collection)

The East Broad Top Railroad has been sold to a non-profit group whose backers include Charles “Wick” Moorman, Bennett Levin and Henry Posner III.

The sale was announced on Friday by the EBT Foundation, which will own 27 miles of the EBT from the south end of the concrete-arch bridge over the Aughwick River below Mount Union to the road crossing in Wood Township.

The foundation said it also acquired the narrow-gauge railroad’s shops, rolling stock, and equipment from the Kovalchick family.

In a news release, the parties noted that the EBT is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Although events will be held this year, regular operations are not expected to get underway until 2021.

“This is the best possible outcome for the railroad, which has been in my family for two generations,” says Joseph Kovalchick, whose father, Nick Kovalchick, purchased the EBT after its coal mines closed in 1956.

The Kovalchick family will continue to own coal-company property that had been jointly owned with the railroad.

Kovalchick said in a statement that his father never intended to scrap the railroad after buying it.

“But it is clear that a for-profit business model is not sustainable. Our faith in the new model is reflected in both the sale and the Kovalchick family’s ongoing role on the board of the new non-profit,” he said.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Brad Esposito, a 20-year veteran of the Buffalo & Pittsburgh led the effort to purchase the EBT.

He was joined by EBT enthusiasts David Brightbill, Lawrence Biemiller, and Stephen Lane.

Esposito will become the general manager of the railroad.

He said the EBT Foundation is committed to preserving and operating the EBT as a steam railroad that will provide education about the role of railroads in local and national history as well as help to promote local and regional tourism and economic growth.

The EBT closed in 2011 and work needs to be done to rehabilitate its tracks, locomotives and passenger cars.

This work will also include installation of a fire-suppression system in the shops and roundhouse, and stabilization of structures in the Rockhill Furnace complex.

The foundation plans to work with the volunteer group Friends of the East Broad Top, which has sought to preserve the property since 1983.

It will also work with the Rockhill Trolley Museum, a volunteer organization that since 1960 has operated over the former EBT’s Shade Gap Branch.

Also involved in advising the foundation are Linn Moedinger, former president of the Strasburg Rail Road, and Rod Case, a partner at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman who leads its railway practice.

The Allegheny Ridge Corporation, which manages the region’s state-designated Heritage Area, was also listed in a news release as a supporter of the foundation.

The EBT was built between 1872 to 1874 to haul coal to a new iron furnace in the center of the state. At one time it also interchanged coal with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The 33-mile EBT survived the collapse of the local iron industry at the turn of the 20th century and was purchased in 1956 by the Kovalchick Salvage Company of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

The railroad has a gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches and is the the only original narrow-gauge railroad surviving east of the Rocky Mountains.

Its shops complex dates to the 1880s and was expanded between 1905 and 1907.

Housed in the roundhouse in Rockhill Furnace are six narrow-gauge steam locomotives built for the EBT by Philadelphia’s Baldwin Locomotive Works between 1911 and 1920.

The roundhouse also contains an M-1 gas-electric car built in 1927 with plans and parts from Philadelphia’s J.G. Brill Companyand Westinghouse Electric.

The EBT passenger car fleet is believed to date to the 1890s.

Track remains in place over nearly the entire 33-mile main line between Robertsdale and the former PRR connection in Mount Union.

Norfolk Southern now operates the former PRR mainline between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

The railroad’s new website is eastbroadtop.com

Trolley Museum to Celebrate 3 Generations

July 20, 2015

The Rockhill Trolley Museum in Pennsylvania will operate on Aug. 22 a “Three Car Celebration” to welcome the return of trolleys from three different generations.

As part of the festivities there will be dedication ceremonies for restored Johnstown Traction Co. No. 311, Philadelphia PCC No. 2743 and San Diego light rail vehicle No. 1019.

The event will begin begin at 10 a.m. and feature the first day of public operations for the three cars. Tickets are $8 for adults for an all-day ticket and $4 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and younger are free.

For more information, go to www.rockhilltrolley.org.

New Aquisition Operates at Pa. Trolley Museum

July 1, 2014

There is a new car to ride at the Rockhill (Pa.) Trolley Museum. San Diego U2 Light Rail Vehicle No. 1019 has arrived and is up and running.

The two-unit car was reassembled on June 24 and 25 and moved under its own power on June 26, the first LRV in South Central Pennsylvania to do so.The car operated about 75 feet in each direction.

The U2 cars were built by Siemens-Duewag of Dusseldorf, Germany in 1981 for the first new-generation Light Rail system in the United States, the San Diego Trolley.