An update on the East Broad Top

By May 25, 2020June 9th, 2020HeritageRail News

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

The latest issue of the Friends of the East Broad’s Timber Transfer just arrived and with it a recap of recent developments. The new East Broad Top Foundation is starting to get things done.

Four full-time and four part-time employees have been hired.

Inside the roundhouse, a modern repair space is being created in stall 8. The track, which only extended 2/3 of the way into the building, has been lengthened to reach the rear wall. Within stall 8 a concrete floor with in-floor heat has been laid. Lighting and electrical has been upgraded. The leads from the turntable to stalls 5-8 have been rebuilt, as has the stall 7 interior track. A combination of volunteers and employees rebuilt the locomotive shop lead.

The side-dump hopper that was rebuilt by the Friends has been used to transport and spread ballast. One of the 3-bay coal hoppers has been repaired for ballast service and two more are scheduled for this summer.

About 800 ties have been delivered for placement in the Rockhill yard, along with ten sets of switch ties.

As mentioned previously, 2-8-2s #14 (Baldwin 1912) and #16 (Baldwin 1916) will be the first to be returned to operation. #14 was rebuilt in the 1980s. The big surprise was #16, which the EBT overhauled in 1955, a year before closing, then never ran in excursion service.

The removal of the asbestos boiler lagging from both locomotives has been completed.

A contractor is working on the south wall of the machine shop and the north wall of the boiler shop. They’re also stabilizing the south end of the car shops and doing roof and window repairs.

There’s plenty of planning and engineering underway. Fire suppression systems are being designed for the roundhouse and shop buildings, as well as plans for new public restrooms. The track plan calls for replacement of about 6300 ties and about 4000 feet of track will be completely rebuilt.

In an unexpected development, the deck girder bridge over Runs Road was struck and badly damaged by an over-height boom truck. It was a hit and run, but police soon located the offender. Plans are now underway to replace the bridge.

Follow the EBT rebirth at https://www.facebook.com/ebtrr/.