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.