1900-1956: Innovation

1900: The first fire-brick plant opens in Mount Union. Transporting coal and ganister rock to Mount Union’s fire-brick plants becomes a key part of the EBT’s business after the Rockhill iron furnace finds itself unable to compete with more modern operations and better iron ores in the upper Midwest. 1903: Robert Siebert becomes the EBT’s president and begins a major modernization campaign that will eventually encompass track, bridges, locomotives, rolling stock, and repair facilities. The EBT as we know it today is largely the product of Siebert’s policies and plans. 1906: The current EBT station is built in Rockhill Furnace. To avoid confusion with another…

1856-1900: BIRTH OF A LEGEND

1856: The East Broad Top Railroad receives a charter from the Pennsylvania legislature. 1872: After numerous delays, construction of the railroad begins in Mount Union. Shortly beforehand, the directors decide to save money by building a three-foot-gauge line. This allows them to use sharper curves, lighter bridges, and smaller rail than would be the case with a standard-gauge line, but means the EBT cannot interchange cars with other railroads. 1873: Construction reaches Rockhill Furnace and passenger service begins.