Image Posted: November 26, 2010
Image Taken: July 27, 2008; Rockhill Furnace, PA
The three-foot gauge East Broad Top Railroad was as modern a railroad as you'd find anywhere in Pennsylvania, only smaller. The famous narrow gauge line originated as a timber hauler, but it is most closely associated with coal.
EBT hauled that coal in a fleet of steel hoppers. The first 2-bay cars arrived in 1913 from the Pressed Steel Car Company. A resourceful road, the EBT quickly realized they could build their own and assembled several hundred more in their Rockhill Furnace shops. Most were built as 3-bay cars, with most of the early 2-bay cars eventually being rebuilt as well. The cars served until the end of freight operations in 1956.
Today, scores of the cars remain on the property. Most are badly deteriorated, but like the shops that built them, preservation efforts are underway by the Friends of the EBT. Car No. 882 has been restored to its original livery and is used in photo freights. Several other hoppers and other equipment have been restored on site. Additional hoppers now serve other narrow gauge lines as far away as Colorado.
EBT hoppers have been produced as kits in HOn3 and On3 in the past. Blackstone Models has just announced a new HOn3 version due out in 2011. Bachmann has produced this and other EBT cars in their G scale line and has recently made models of the two bay hopper in On30 (easily converted to On3.)