Friends of the East Broad Top
A nonprofit society dedicated to the preservation and restoration
of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark
Things we do

Rockhill Furnace Work Session: December 13, 2003 Mini-Session

The first Rockhill work session of 2004 was held Dec. 13, 2003. Well, almost! In fact, Charlie Wootton and I spent the day in Rockhill preparing for sessions in the new year, assisted by Dave Brightbill, who provided some useful perspective on past EBT efforts to control trees, erosion and other nuisances.

This has been a rough winter so far in Huntingdon County, marked by successive periods of heavy rain, high winds, heavy snow, and rapid melting. (There is more snow due tomorrow.) We saw the effects in several places, including more dislodged roofing on the stock shed and erosion around the section shed. The wind had whipped open the newly-hung door to the north section shed and twisted it off its hinges. We took temporary measures, but the door will need to be rehung correctly next spring.

Caboose 28

Our main job was to remove enough of the siding and platform flooring of Caboose 28 to evaluate the work to be done and to provide samples for the planing mill. It was dirty work but extremely interesting, and the results were positive. The interior framing, both steel and wood, is in good shape. The rumored steel work on the platforms is indeed necessary but appears to be within our ability to accomplish. Most of the windows are solid. We can fix the ones that need help.

So here is what is coming up.

In January there will be a mini-session (limited to six people) to complete the documentation and dismantling of the caboose. (We are keeping it small because there is very little room to work around the car in the shop.) Armed with a full inventory of the work to be done, we can then order the right materials. Watch for an announcement of the date.

In March, at the scheduled session, we will attack several indoor tasks: erecting scaffolding inside the boiler house, caboose reassembly, and jacking of the roof column in the locomotive shop. If the weather permits, we will work on track repairs in the yard, and we will begin the erosion control along Jordan Run and elsewhere. (The first step in fixing the erosion problems is some brush cutting, so remind all the folks on the Internet who have been thirsting to cut brush that they should be sure to attend! We will have plenty of brush for everyone.)

That wraps up this report, except to wish everyone the very best of holidays and a happy new year.

We are hoping Santa brings us:

  1. Someone with expertise in stone-filled wire gabions
  2. A few more good brick masons
  3. A blacksmith
  4. And in general, as great a set of hardworking, enthusiastic, capable volunteers as we have had in our first two years of work.

Donations to the FEBT restoration fund drive would also be a great help. Any lumps of coal that turn up in our stockings will be saved for the inaugural run of Mikado 15!

Lee Rainey,
Rockhill Restoration Coordinator



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