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The East Broad Top Railroad



EBT Transit Co. Vehicle Roster

EBT Historical Timeline

Self-Propelled Rail Equipment on the East Broad Top - Post 1956


"The East Broad Top is a rarity in itself, a reminder of the Early Days of Railroading. With its original narrow gauge tracks, steam powered locomotives, and its old open platform wooden coaches, it is in itself an isolated bit of bygone days. Because of this I feel that it is definatly a railroad that should be restored to its former glory, as it really looked in the golden age of railroading.

It will be a long hard pull up grade but with your patronage and cooperation eventually this restoration of East Broad Top will be complete. I firmly believe that you who will ride today and in the future will agree that EAST BROAD TOP SHOULD RUN AGAIN AND AGAIN!"

- Nick Kovalchick, 1960

The East Broad Top Railroad is a shortline built from the 1872 to 1874 between the PRR at Mt. Union, PA and the Broad Top coal fields near Robertsdale, PA. The segment from Mt. Union to Rockhill was completed in 1873 and the 33-mile main line to the mining town of Robertsdale was completed in 1874. Construction on today's roundhouse in Rockhill was begun in 1882, the Orbisonia station was completed in 1906, and today's depot in Robertsdale was built in 1914. The East Broad Top operated as a shortline on narrow gauge trackage to haul coal from Broad Top Mountain to the PRR at Mt. Union. When the EBT was closed and sold to a salvage company in 1956, it was the last original narrow gauge railroad east of the Rockies. The railroad lay dormant until 1960 when the owner was asked to have an engine on display for Orbisonia's Bicentennial celebration. Kovalchick did them one better by actually operating the train. Since then, four miles of the original trackage has been operated during the summer months. To this day, none of the main line from Mt. Union to Robertsdale has been dismantled. There are seven steam locomotives still on the property; six in Rockhill, one in Mt. Union. The six in Rockhill are kept in the roundhouse and the one in Mt. Union is stored in the Mt. Union engine house behind a McDonalds. In addition to the locomotives, there are also over 200 steal hoppers left intact, most in Mt. Union, some in Rockhill. Even now that the Friends of the EBT is involved with many restoration projects, the future of the East Broad Top is unclear in its third century of operation. Everyday the weather elements are slowly destroying the EBT.


Copyright © 2000-2009 Lance Myers. All rights reserved.

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