East Broad Top Railroad is a rare surviving example of the once common small gauge railroad companies that served the mining and lumbering industries throughout the nation from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
Built in 1871-1874 primarily to transport coal, the East Broad Top Railroad today is a privately operated tourist attraction. It retains much of the original rolling stock, the station buildings and a rail yard complete with machine and car shops, blacksmith shop, foundry, turntable and roundhouse.
The Steam Locomotive and East Broad Top Railroad is located at Rockhill Furnace in Huntingdon County. There's a ton of history in this area and thanks to the steam locomotive and the shops the history is still here.
The History of the Steam Locomotive
Virtually all parts of the railroad, from the engine shops to their parts to the coal hoppers, make for a scene reminiscent of yesteryear. Some call it "The Railroad Time Left Behind."
Railroad aficionados across the country consider the East Broad Top Railroad a priceless piece of American history that cannot be replaced.
It is the most intact narrow gauge railroad in the country. There are some famous railroads in Colorado, but nowhere else can you find, in captivity, a living, breathing example of railroading in the U.S. in the last 19th or early 20th centuries.
Tourist trains run on five miles of the original 33-mile line, which crosses farms and forests from Alvan to Mount Union. At its final destination, workers emptied coal into a cleaning plant before it was hauled off by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The roundhouse shelters six identical steam engines constructed by the Baldwin Locomotive Works between 1911 and 1920, plus a min-condition 1927, self-propelled passenger car, which is a Smithsonian caliber.
The second floor of the 1906 station across Meadow Street still houses the original records of the Eat Broad To Railroad & Coal Company, the firm that owned the railroad and the mines.
Across the road from the Steam Locomotive East Broad Top Railroad is the Trolley Museum. Here you can visit and take a one mile antique Trolley Ride.
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