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: March 13-14, 2004

The first outdoor Friends of the East Broad Top Rockhill work session of 2004 was held on Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14. This session marked the resumption of full-crew work sessions for 2004.

Enjoying dinner
The crew chats as dinner is prepared at the Rockhill Trolley Museum. Thanks RTM!

Those participating included:
Standing (l to r) Tom Kozub, Mark Gutshall, Bill Adams, Jim Bacon, Alan Cupp, Dick Ullery, Wade Woodcock, Doug Linebaugh.
Kneeling (l to r) Chris Coleman, Richard Culp, Richard Dew, Charlie Wootton, Lee Rainey, Bob Goldby.
Not present for Photo: Bill Meltreder, Fred Kuhns, Bob Harris, Bill Miller.

We had 14 participants on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. Fred Kuhns again won the distance award, having come from Memphis, TN to work with us.


Boiler House

Lumber delivery
The large timbers for the Boiler House cribbing and the new hemlock wall components are delivered. It took most of the crew to carry these massive beams.
Deterioration in the brick wall
As viewed from the top of the boilers, the heavy deterioration near the top of the east Boiler House wall is apparent. This needs repaired before the frame wall above can be repaired.
Cribbing erection
Jim Bacon works on bolting together the cribbing in the Boiler House.
Finished cribbing
The cribbing is completed.

Jim Bacon, Alan Cupp and Bill Miller began the next stage of work on the Boiler House on Saturday by erecting custom-fitted wooden scaffolding within the building on the east side. This will allow the brick crew to continue repairs to the top of the wall, where dripping water has caused severe problems. We also took delivery of custom-sawn hemlock beams which will replace the rotted timbers on top of the brick wall, once the brick work is complete.


Shop Roof Canyon

Cribbing for jacking
Heavy timbers are stacked into cribbing as a firm foundation for jacking the beams and posts of the Locomotive Shop.
Cribbing for jacking
Jim Bacon assesses the progress and consults with Mark Gutshall on the next step.

On Sunday, Mark Gutshall, Jim Bacon and Alan Cupp used cribbing and jacks to raise a portion of the main shop roof that had sagged due to water damage to the supporting column. New columns were set, the roof drain that caused all the problems was reconnected, and preparations were made to pour a concrete footer to protect the base of the principal pillar from further water damage. Final plans were made for the lumber order needed for the replacement roof in the canyon area. Work on the roof canyon will begin in May.


Jordan Creek Erosion

Before, on Saturday
This is what the brush looked like on Saturday before work here started.

Richard Culp, Richard Dew and Doug Linebaugh removed a large quantity of brush, saplings, and driftwood that was clogging the bed of Jordan Run by the paint shop, causing severe erosion. The improvement in the water flow after their work is very visible.

Clearing it out
Here is the same view on Sunday as the crew works to clear the area.
Before, on Saturday
Another shot on Saturday. Some previous clearing had occurred at the far right.
Clearing it out
Here is the same view on Sunday as Doug Linebaugh, Richard Culp and Richard Dew finish clearing brush. The change is dramatic.
Before, on Saturday
This is the area of the worst erosion, behind the sand house.

Clearing it out
Same area minus brush and plus more retaining wall in the distance. Richard Culp pulls debris from the creek.

Before, on Saturday
An overall view of the work area on Saturday.
Clearing it out
Same area on Sunday. What a difference!

Section Shed

Repairing the shed
Dick Ullery and crew work on the flooring in the shed.
Improving drainage
Fred Kuhns works to trench a new drainage ditch for the standing water around the coaling dock.

Dick Ullery and Fred Kuhns rehung the new front door, which was damaged by wind during the winter. They also finished laying the floor using the new flooring milled by our Amish planing mill. In addition, they reestablished the ditch system in this area and installed a drain pipe under the mainline to carry water away from the coal tipple/water column area and from the foundations of the restored section sheds.


Shops Windows

Chris Coleman, with help from Dick Ullery and Fred Kuhns, installed new sashes that Chris had fabricated at home during the winter. This completed all planned work on the Electrical Shop except for touch-up painting. Also the last sash was installed in the north shop doors.

Caboose 28

Drilling bolt holes
Tom Kozub and Wade Woodcock drill one of the dozens of holes needed to assemble the sheets to the other platform components.

Wade Woodcock, Bill Adams, Tom Kozub, Charlie Wootton and Bill Meltreder completed the fabrication of the end platform plates for the caboose. Each of the two plates require drilling 93 large holes through .188" steel. The platforms are now ready for welding by the railroad's welder. Lee Rainey and Chris Coleman cut the side sheathing, working with the reproduction kiln-dried yellow poplar milled by the Amish woodworkers. Then Lee and Bob Goldby began the long task of priming the 250 cut pieces on all six sides. Charlie Wootton started the installation of the primed siding, combining it with the new window frames he fabricated in his home shop during the winter.

Planning ahead
Tom Kozub, Bill Adams, Wade Woodcock and Charlie Wootton plan the next round of work on the first steel sheet.
Measuring for holes
Bill Adams, Tom Kozub and Wade Woodcock measure for the next set of holes.
Platform removed
The steel under the end platforms was corroded badly and needed to be replaced. With the wood decking and steel plate removed, one can look down onto the roadbed.

Grinding the steel
Wade Woodcock grinds down the rough edges of the second platform sheet from the cutting torch. The torch was used to rough cut the sheet.

Cutting the steel
Charlie Wootton uses a cutting torch to cut a piece of sheet steel to exact size for the caboose platform.

Priming siding
Lee Rainey and Bob Goldby work to prime hundreds of sections of siding on all sides before installation.
Preparing new steel
The second new steel platform plate receives some finish grinding from Wade Woodcock and Bill Adams.
Installing new siding
With a new window frame in place, Charlie Wootton begins installing the primed siding.


EBT General Manager Stanley Hall inspected the work Sunday afternoon and indicated he was very pleased with everything that was underway. Prior to the next session, the railroad will operate the M-7 on the Number 3 track to settle the ballast preparatory to our final surfacing session. They will also mark the ties to be replaced on the car shop tracks and turntable lead and will take delivery of additional ties for the work.

Next Session

Our next session will be held May 1-2. We will continue preparation and installation of the caboose siding, begin work on the carpentry for the roof canyon, work on track and on brick wall repairs, do more brush clearance, and push ahead on window repairs. We hope you can join us!

Lee Rainey,
Rockhill Restoration Coordinator

You can view other photos of this work session at Bill Adams' EBT Pictorial.

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