EBT Winter Hop 2000
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Mount Union Enginehouse has received a coat of paint from the
Mount Union Central
folks, owners of the aforementioned hi-railer.
Shorty hopper 618 and three sisters were built in 1931 as an experiment for
ganister service. They were used to the end of service but no more of the
type were built. All four are still on the property.
Number 633 (mislabled 663) is one of the other three shorty hoppers.
The two others hide amongst the cars in the background.
Number 807 is one of the ten hoppers in the EBT's first batch of steel
hoppers. All were converted from two bays into either three bays, side
discharge or flat bays, like 807. 807 is the only flat bayed car still
on it's trucks.
Clearing for the Mount Union Connecting
has continued south of the new
522 Crossing. Work stretches for
about a mile south of the crossing.
sports a dusting of snow but still advertizes
it's next call to service.
The Rockhill shops in the coldest season, much as they would have
looked during the Winter Spectaculars
of days past.
Just west of Three Springs, the
foundations of the second of three
NARCo tipples still stand
above the grade of a short EBT siding.
From the second (and first) tipple there was a funicular, or steep cable
driven railway up to the quarry level. The cable from the funicular is
still in place and apparently was caught in a notch of this tree long ago.
Inside the Saltillo Station,
stabilization efforts have been made. These
reinforcements are part of an effort to shore up the roof of the building.
As at McMullins Summit and
Fairview there was a
bridge. Unlike the other two, this one has been bypassed and allowed to
deteriorate and collapse.
South of Fairview,
a fill, like many on the EBT, is a haven for tree
growth. This one I refer to as 'Sherwood Forest' due to the size of
From the grade of the EBT Coles Valley Branch near the top of Wrays
Hill, the ridgelines that challenged the EBT are visible. The nearest
is Sideling Hill with Morelands Gap at center providing passage for
the EBT's Sideling Hill Tunnel.
Just visible through the gap is
Clear Ridge that the EBT clings along to gain altitude. Beyond is
the south end of Jacks Mountain with
Saltillo and Three Springs
at it's base. In the distance is Blacklog Mountain which borders
the twin boroughs of Orbisonia
and Rockhill Furnace.
Just west of Wrays Hill on the EBT main, this
bridge takes the
EBT across bucolic Trough Creek for the first of five times.
North along Trough Creek is the site of the village of
a mining camp in the early days of the railroad. A siding in the
trees to the left once serviced two coal mines here.
As dusk closes in on the Alleghenies, a thin tuft of coal smoke
lifts from Orbisonia Station.
Even in the depths of winter Old Easty lives on.