FEBT Spring Exploration 2001
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Further downstream, the Rocky Ridge Siding
splits from the EBT main.
In the Mount Union Yard, the tie inserter of
a contractor awaits some repairs before continuing its rebuild of the EBT Track.
Looking north toward the machine, the work it has already done on the
Engine House spur is apparent.
On the lead track to the Coal Ramp, the
truckless body of one of the hoppers purchased
by the Pine Creek Railroad in NJ sets on the boney.
Shortened ties and rail have been laid in the filled
Narrow Gauge Scale pit to connect the two sections of the Mount Union Connecting's
passing siding. Along the main, ties have been set out for the tie inserter to
place in the main.
In the southern portion of the yard, this hopper also had it's trucks and brake gear
removed for use on the Pine Creek Railroad.
This is the southernmost switch of the three MTC is rebuilding. It is a few hundred
feet short of the south end of the yard.
This is a longer exposure of the interior of the building revealing some of its
A separate contractor has his equipment on the old PRR spur and was working on
that section of track.
At the far north end of the yard are the EBT's two air dump cars, used to haul
boney away from the Coal Processing Plant.
This one, lucky number 13, rests on standard gauge trucks.
Far up in the Alleghenies, the EBT pierces two ridgelines. This second tunnel
passes through Wrays Hill.
And now for the tunnel itself, 45 years proved to be too much for the tunnel
doors at Sideling Hill. Sometime over the
previous winter the mechanisms came tumbling down. Note that this portal is
hexagonal rather than arched like the one at
Early birds file toward the next site on the tour.
After a short hike, the crew arrived at the skewed
Clearing by the MTC had made the long line of hoppers apparent from the
open areas of the yard. There are currently 125 EBT hoppers in the yard.
Behind the tie inserter about every third tie has been replaced.
The narrow gauge rail looks to have a few gauge
issues, but nothing an enterprising train crew can't overcome (Everyone lean
right! Further right!).
The furthest car north on the EBT is the dozen car, #12. A tall air dump car,
it was likely originally a standard gauge car though it now rides on narrow gauge
Beside the Engine House are the piers remaining
from the Local Coal Delivery Trestle.
Long time visitors to the EBT, these standard gauge army boxcars were brought in
by Kovalchick Salvage not long after they purchased the EBT. Now trapped by the
FRA ban on interchanging cars with cast iron wheels, they remain in the yard.
At the east side of the yard, Mount Union
Refractories (later NARCo) built a silica brick
plant in 1911 and the EBT was more than happy to sell them Broad Top coal.
This is where the coal was dumped from EBT hoppers into the plant facilities
below. The timber lined pocket for the dump has slowly caved in over the years.
South of the yard at the 522 grade crossing,
MTC has been at work clearing the side of the rail so that the tie inserter
can do its work.
Closer to the crossing now, trenching continues. This is where the EBT track
veered away from 522 before the construction of the bypass.
At Blacklog, just inside the 522
crossing of the old Shade Gap Branch, the
location for the end of
Railways to Yesterday's Line Extension
and their planned pocket track has been cleared and graded.
With the hulk of Blacklog Mountain looming to the right and a nearby drop to Blacklog
creek to the left, the grade slips through the middle course.
At its narrowest the mountain tries to swallow the grade or force it into the water.
This is the most beautiful portion of the new (and old) line.