In 2022, Preservation Pennsylvania is celebrating its 40th year as Pennsylvania’s only statewide nonprofit dedicated to historic preservation. We are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Pennsylvania At Risk, our initiative to draw attention to the commonwealth’s threatened historic place and landscapes.
The East Broad Top Railroad (Rockhill Furnace, Huntingdon County) appeared on our very first Pennsylvania At Risk in 1992, so it gives us great pleasure to host this webinar featuring Linn Moedinger and Jane Sheffield to share the exciting revival of the railroad. Once called “the dormant gem of railway preservation,” the EBT RR is a rare narrow-gauge railway and time capsule of industrial technology. The trains are running again, the remarkable archives are being catalogued for digitization, and a dedicated staff, volunteers and friends are working toward a bright future. Enjoy the recording of the webinar presentation.
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Click here to download Linn Moedinger’s presentation as a pdf.
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After many years of inactivity, the East Broad Top Railroad has been purchased by a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. The EBT Foundation is working with the volunteers of the Friends of the East Broad Top and the Rockhill Trolley Museum to return its Baldwin-built steam locomotives to operating condition and to continue stabilizing the railroad’s historic buildings.
About the East Broad Top Railroad
The East Broad Top Railroad was listed on Preservation Pennsylvania’s first Pennsylvania At Risk in 1992 and was marked as “Saved” in 2020 at the time of the railroad’s purchase by the EBT Foundation. The railroad is one of the oldest and most intact narrow gauge lines in America. It was established in 1871 and operated until 1956 as East Broadtop Railroad and Coal Company. It was built primarily to haul semi-bituminous coal from East Broadtop area mines in South Huntingdon County to the Pennsylvania Railroad line in Mount Union. In addition to coal, the railroad carried timber, sand, rock, freight and passengers. Today, East Broadtop consists of thirty-three miles of main track, rolling stock, several rail yards with shop buildings, passenger stations, and other buildings. The focal point is Rockhill yard, with a roundhouse with turntable, car barn, paint shop, blacksmith shop, foundry, machine and car shops. These buildings contain original machinery and tools.
Find more information at the National Park Service website. “All National Historic Landmarks are included in the National Register of Historic Places, which is the official list of the nation’s historic properties worthy of preservation. Landmarks constitute more than 2,500 of more than 90,000 entries in the National Register; the others are of state and local significance. The process for listing a property in the National Register is different from that for Landmark designation with different criteria and procedures used. Some properties are recommended as nationally significant when they are nominated to the National Register, but before they can be designated as National Historic Landmarks, they must be evaluated by the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark Survey, reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, and recommended to the Secretary of the Interior. . . . Both the National Historic Landmark and the National Register Programs are administered by the National Park Service under the Secretary of the Interior.”