FEBT Spring Exploration 2001

© 2001 Christopher D Coleman. Reproduction prohibited without express permission. Pictures taken April 7-9, 2001 using Kodachroome 64 and Ektachrome 400 in a Minolta Maxxum 7xi. Images were scanned directly from Kodalux developed slides. Comments by Chris Coleman.


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photo Along the EBT main near Wrays Hill, Trough Creek merrily flows alongside.

photo Further downstream, the Rocky Ridge Siding splits from the EBT main.

photo In the Mount Union Yard, the tie inserter of a contractor awaits some repairs before continuing its rebuild of the EBT Track.

photo Looking north toward the machine, the work it has already done on the Engine House spur is apparent.

photo 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.

photo 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.

photo 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.

photo 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.


photo Down at the Engine House, MTC personnel are at work as EBT fans nose about inside.

photo This is a longer exposure of the interior of the building revealing some of its internal details.

photo A separate contractor has his equipment on the old PRR spur and was working on that section of track.

photo 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.

photo Far up in the Alleghenies, the EBT pierces two ridgelines. This second tunnel passes through Wrays Hill.


photo The 2001 early birds pose at the north entrance to Sideling Hill Tunnel.

photo 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 Rocky Ridge.

photo Early birds file toward the next site on the tour.

photo After a short hike, the crew arrived at the skewed Kyler's Bridge.

photo 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.

photo 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!).

photo 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 trucks.

photo Beside the Engine House are the piers remaining from the Local Coal Delivery Trestle.

photo 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.

photo 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.

photo 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.

photo Closer to the crossing now, trenching continues. This is where the EBT track veered away from 522 before the construction of the bypass.

photo 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.

photo 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.

photo 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.

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