Don's Rail Photos
Broad Top RR & Coal Co.
This started out to be a Guest page, but it became apparent it should be a
Narrow Gauge feature. Rick C. Shoup is active in the Friends of the East Broad
Top. He sent this submission in the effort to get more awareness of this
national treasure. The first ten pictures are from Rick's collection, and I will
reproduce his comments on each of them. Then I will follow with pictures from my
collection. I got a short visit to the EBT on August 10, 1955, while I was on my
way from Milwaukee to Fort Eustis, VA, for Army Reserve training. I took a week
vacation before, and another after. That way I could take my time and take
The first picture is of the loco clean out tools rack located just before going on to the turntable. Note the construction. This has to be at least the 3rd rebuild. Rough 4x4s. Many steel rods hooks and tools to shake down the grates. Short ladder to climb onto the locomotive. The light works. It is about a 60-75 watt bulb. It is real pretty when everything is quiet, and the loco is steaming away, resting for tomorrow.
The cinders and ashes drop down between the tracks. There is a rough
grating over the pit. The cinders and ashes are hand shoveled out of the pit
onto a pile. Sometimes a front end loader is used to put them in the RR dump
truck for disposal elsewhere.
The building in the background is the Blacksmith Shop. It has an air
driven hammer, a couple of forges, and flat belt driven machine tools. The
building has sunk into the ground since it never had footings. It has large logs
lying along side the left inside of the building. Nails are driven through the
siding into the logs to slow down the collapse.
Number 15 is a 2-8-2 delivered in 1914. It has slide valves. All tenders
have a water drain valve welded into the tank very close to the cab on the
fireman's side. It is visible in the photos. Usually there is a bucket hanging
from the handle.
Number 14 was taken on the armstrong turntable. This was during tourist
service since you can see the white piping on the tires and along side of the
walkway. The building on the right is the paint shop. At one time it was the bus
Number 14 is coubled to another loco, perhaps 17. Since the real loco does
not have slide valves, it has to be 16, 17, or 18. This is an in-service photo
taken in 1952. The air tank says "Tested 8-30-51".
The track swinging off to the left goes to a small storage shed for a
Fairmont speeder. The speeder shed is part of the electrical shop. The track is
a stub switch.
Number 18 taken on October 6, 1946, when she was 26 years old. The loco
looks cold. Perhaps she has just come from the repair shops and is going to be
Number 16 with combine 15 at the Mount Union tank getting a drink. The
photo was taken from the top of a load of coal, Note the rough big shape of the
coal. It is probably run-of-the-mine, not yet processed by the coal washery.
What year auto is parked behind the water tank?
M-1 at the Robertdale station. Actually it has just stopped at the mail
unloading track, going off to the right. The tracks are still there, but they
have been buried by 40 years of dirt sifting down from the sky.
The water spout at the yard was out of service February 14, 1981. Building
windows are boarded over giving the appearance of gentle decay.
This was a fan trip on May 18, 1947. Business car 20 is parked at the end
of a siding. This probably is #9 mine. The picture says Orbissonia, but it
definitely is not there. Note how well dressed the railfans are as compared to
today. If anyone can place the location, we would like to know.
This picture of the Orbissonia station was taken in 1907. Note the horse
drawn wagon. The station has 3 chimneys, but the middle one was gone by 1936.
If anyone wants further information on the Friends of the East Broad Top,
please drop Rick an email at Rshoup@juno.com
More help is always needed.
And here are a few more photos from Rick. This is a fully restored hand
Then we find locomotive 12 at the coal dock.
Here are more photos of the East Broad Top from my collection. We will
start with the locomotives.
Number 3 is a standard gauge switcher used at the interchange. It was
built by Baldwin, March 1923, #56325
6 was built by Baldwin in February 1907, #30046.
The oldest narrow gauge locomotive is 12 which was built by Baldwin,
December, 1911, #37325.
There was no 13. 14 was built by Baldwin, December, 1912, #38625.
15 was built by Baldwin, February, 1914, #41196.
I don't have a photo of 16 which was built by Baldwin, June, 1916, #43562.
17 was built by Baldwin, March, 1918, #48075.
18 was built by Baldwin, August, 1920, #53541.
There were a couple of Plymouth diesels which didn't last very long.
Motor car M-1 was built in the company shops from a kit from Brill, 1926,
Here are a couple of passenger cars and a caboose.
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