Right now our focus is on reopening the railroad as far as Colgate Grove and on reconditioning locomotives and cars. In the future we look forward with enthusiasm to discussing possibilities for expanding our operations, which would be tremendously exciting. But before that we have a lot of work to do on the portion of the EBT that’s operated since 1960.
We are excited to have both the Friends and the Rockhill Trolley Museum as partners, and we look forward to working very closely with both to make Rockhill Furnace a great destination for railfans and casual visitors alike. As you know, the trolley museum got its start very soon after the East Broad Top reopened in 1960, and its volunteers have built a tremendous operation that was able to survive and grow during the railroad’s recent shutdown. We look forward to planning and cross-promoting events that will benefit both the railroad and the trolley museum.
And the Friends have been invaluable. Much less of the East Broad Top would survive today for us to acquire without their tireless work to stabilize buildings and equipment. And their efforts to record the history of the line have been just as important. It’s hard to imagine that any other 33-mile railroad has ever had the benefit of so much well-researched interest.
We are not associated with the East Broad Top Railroad Preservation Association.
We’re currently evaluating all six of our Baldwin 2-8-2’s, with advice and help from professionals who have lots of experience with steam locomotives across the U.S. While we understand and appreciate that many people have their own favorite EBT engines that they would like us to return to operation, we’ll have to make our decisions based on the engines’ condition and our operating needs. Our hope is that we will eventually be able to use all six locomotives, along with the M-1, the M-3, our speeder cars, and diesels M-4, M-6, and M-7, but that will take some time.
Mr. Kovalchick sold No. 3 before we began negotiations with him, although we believe it is still in the Mount Union enginehouse.
Our goal is to preserve as much of the East Broad Top as we can responsibly maintain and to present visitors with a full picture of the railroad as it appeared in common-carrier days. But at this point many of the remaining hoppers have been sitting out in the weather for more than 60 years, and they’re in rough shape. It may not be possible to preserve them all.
As soon as we’re certain we can safely carry passengers, we’ll make an announcement. Our tentative plan is to use the M-1 at first, and possibly a coach or caboose, while we continue overhauls on other equipment. We have not yet discussed fares. But we emphasize that all our plans are tentative at this stage.
We will certainly offer some kind of Christmas train, but probably not in 2020.
Sign up for email notifications: