The East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company, located in Rockhill Furnace, PA is a place where time stands still. The railroad, touted as one of the oldest and best preserved railroads, operated from 1871 until it closed in 1956. The EBT was then purchased by a salvage company who eventually decided to operate a portion of the railroad as a tourist line starting in 1961. While operations ceased in 2011, the Friends of The East Broad Top have continued to lovingly restore the structures that make up the Rockhill Yard and Shop Complex.
When visiting it’s not hard to feel like you have traveled back in time a half century or more. So, when my friend and fellow photographer, Matthew Malkiewicz announced that he had secured access for a small group of photographers to visit this past January, I jumped at the chance to participate.
I arrived shortly after sunrise, hoping to get some shots around the yard in early morning sunlight. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but it had been several years since I had been there so found things to shoot despite the less than optimal lighting.
Moss Covered Coal Hoppers:
Moss Covered Wheels:
A Pair of Switch Stands – notice the glove, most likely left by the last person who threw the switch, waiting to be picked up again, just like the line waits for operations to re-start:
The Three Way Switch – a very rare occurrence on railroads. There are only two others that I’m aware of.
Once the rest of the group arrived we headed into the Roundhouse for two hours before breaking for lunch.
Journal Oil Can:
Oil Can and Cobwebs:
After Lunch we moved into the shops complex for a couple of hours.
The Blacksmith Shop – Not many people have been in this building. The columns rotted over the years resulting in a severe tilt to the building that was repaired in the last few years.
The Machine Shop was full of scenes, large and small:
Zanol Cocoa – Quality First:
You could spend days in a place like this and never run out of things to photograph. I hope to get to spend more time at the East Broad Top in the future.