The East Broad Top is many things — a delightful family destination, a National Historic Landmark, a great volunteer opportunity, an unparalleled preservation undertaking, and more. The railroad, which was built beginning in 1872, is the only surviving three-foot gauge common carrier railroad east of the Rocky Mountains. And its shops, parts of which date to the 1880s, are among the best-preserved examples in the U.S. of a late-19th-century/early-20th-century industrial complex — in this case, powered by an overhead belt system driven by a stationary steam engine.
The railroad was completed in 1874 to service the iron furnaces and coal mines along a 33 mile corridor in Huntingdon County PA. The railroad was sold was 1956 to the Kovalchick family who reopened the train in the 1960s. The EBT foundation, Inc. acquired the railroad in 2020 and immediately began an extensive restoration effort with the goal of returning to regular service in the near future.