EBT Herald East Broad Top Railroad Most Endangered List

This is a listing of the resources on the East Broad Top which are most in danger of being lost to neglect, abuse or the ravages of time, in the opinion of the author of these pages. The list was motivated by the recent demolition of the 1874 RI&C Company store, the oldest structure on the railroad.

The Score So Far

LOST Photo 1997 - Rockhill Iron and Coal Company Store

LOST Photo 1997 - EBT Rocky Ridge Station

SAVED Photo 1996 - Rockhill Iron and Coal Company Post Office

SAVED Photo 1991 - Mount Union Engine House

LOST Photo 1987 - EBT Saltillo Tankhouse

SAVED Photo 1985 - EBT Robertsdale Station

Still Endangered

Saltillo Station #1: Saltillo Station

This station is among the oldest in the state of Pennsylvania. Saltillo served as the 'division' point between the gentle rise of the Augwick Valley and the steep ascent to Broad Top Mountain.

The station has been vacant and unmaintained for several years. The roof has deteriorated to the point it provides little protection to the building interior, which is still suprisingly intact. Last winter took its toll and the front of the building is starting to buckle. It can still be saved, but action must be taken now. The next winter's snow may spell the end of this historic structure.

UPDATE: Some repairs have been made including shoring up the roof peak and pulling the walls back into plumb, but large holes in the roof remain and allow the building interior to further deteriorate. For more details see the News Section.

UPDATE: Additional repairs have been authorized by the owner, but are still short of ensuring a future for the building. For more details see the News Section.

Coles Tankhouse #2: Coles Tankhouse

Coles Tankhouse is the last surviving of the four tankhouses on the line when it closed in 1956. They were all unusual that their tanks were entirely enclosed and heated to ensure the water would not freeze. Nestled in a remote valley, it provided a mid-climb water source for steam locomotives ascending the grade.

The tankhosue has stood unused and unmaintained since 1956 and has faired well, until recently. In the winter of 1997 the tankhouse pump was stolen by persons who damaged part of the wall to remove it. Of more concern, water damage has caused the front beam to partially fail causing the front of the tank to drop nearly six inches so far. Unless steps are taken to shore up the member, it could fail completely, damaging or destroying the perfectly preserved cedar tongue-in-groove tank above. This last of its kind structure needs help soon.

UPDATE: Some repairs have been made by third parties including shoring up the front beam, but termites have taken hold in the beam and more catastrophic failure of the beam may occur if more shoring is not done. For more details see the News Section.

UPDATE: Correction - there WAS a perfectly preserved cedar tongue-in-groove tank. Now some *&%$#@! has broken out several slats of the tank marked with the tank information, apparently as souvenirs A reward is being offered for the slats or information on the assailant. For more info see the Coles Tank page. On the plus side more stabilization and securing has been done by a third party, including installation and painting of the new roof on the back wing, window covers and padlock.

Shops Shops #3: Rockhill Shops

Though in use, the shops buildings have taken a back seat in maintenance matters to the excursion equipment. Both the Blacksmith Shop and Machine Shop roofs have had to be shorn up with poles and wood cribbing. Several roof leaks and dozens of windows without glass threaten the precious one-of-a kind machinery inside and damage the flooring.

These belt driven shops are ENTIRELY INTACT and are the most complete and original collection in North America. The clock is ticking as to how long the buildings can hold back the Pennsylvania mountain winters.

Pogue Bridge #4: Pogue Bridge

The Pogue Bridge was built in 1904 by the American Bridge Company to replace a wooden structure. It is the highest and longest bridge on the railroad.

Although the steel structure is sound, it rests on the 1889 piers of its predecessors. The stone piers are spalled and cracking and recently received a battering at the hands of Hurricane Fran and melting snow in 1996. If the piers give way this vital link on the EBT could be lost.

Mount Union Standard Gauge Scale #5: Mount Union Standard Gauge Scale

This scale was used to weigh the standard gauge hoppers leaving the Coal Cleaning Plant prior to shipment. Cars were gravity switched over the scale and into one of the three tracks in the South Standard Gauge Yard. Both the incoming and outgoing switches were three-way stub type. The scale house was a block structure with a bay window facing the scale.

The scale is the only one of the four EBT scales still in place. The scale mechanism appears to be complete and intact, but is deterioratating due to neglect and the effects of trash and organic matter accumulating in the pit. The scale house roof has collapsed, but the walls still stand. This restorable part of the EBT can show an important part of the everyday operations of the railroad.

Shade Gap Section House #6: Shade Gap Section House

This isolated structure is the last remaining structure on the EBT's Shade Gap Branch. It is one of only three remaining EBT section houses.

Neglected in the brush for many years, the area around the building has been cleared of brush making it visble from the road. The building is literally coming apart at the seams and has been holding together at a precarious angle for the last few years.

The section house is on private property and the owners have no plans to preserve it. Although a relatively minor structure, it is the last to tell the story of this longest of EBT branches, and it cannot continue to do so for long without help.

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