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: January 6-7, 2007

The first FEBT Rockhill work session of the New Year was held Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7, 2007.

Those participating included Richard Rutledge, Jane Rutledge, Tom Kozub, Jim Bacon, Dave Richards, Andy van Scyoc, Reggie Arford, Steve Jacobs, Charlie Wootton, Bob Harris, Wade Woodcock, Dave Phillips, Linn Moedinger, Dick Ullery, Dave Dietz, Lee Rainey and Bill Adams. We had eighteen volunteers on Saturday and twelve on Sunday.


The Garage is the small building between the sand house and stone house complex, across the turntable track from the Machine Shop.

At this session, it was cleared of most of its contents, with metal, good wood, and clay pipe going to the long stock shed. Other trash was bagged for disposal. The south side of the roof was braced and the wall was pulled back to vertical in one direction. The rotted portion of the wall header and exterior trim was replaced and new interior studs were installed, with temporary bracing applied to preserve the shape. Nine new rafter tails were cut from oak for later use.

Boiler House

The east-west tie-rod in the Boiler House roof was repaired and tensioned. The window in the north Machine Shop wall above the Generator Room was re-installed, along with new trim and other miscellaneous repairs to the wall area.


The east foundry wall has been under outward pressure due to collapsed brick. The brick was removed and the pushed-out boards were repaired or replaced with material on hand. Crushed stone was spread along the drip line of the building to reduce damage to the side boards from splashing.

The reason for the bulge in the foundry roof was identified, and a plan was established for repair of this problem, to be accomplished on a future rain day.

Further study of the work required for the beam replacement under the west end of the foundry gantry was done.

Generator Room

The new ceiling in the generator room was primed.

Hopper 802

The center weldment to replace the failed center casting in the first arch-bar truck was fitted, welded and installed, along with the top cover plate, and installation of the cover plate bolts was begun. The side bearing castings were cleaned, repaired and primed for installation next month.

In order to mount the plow-wing brackets on the replacement arch-bar trucks that will go under Hopper No. 802, the crew must remove four short bolts from each of the replacement trucks and swap them with longer bolts from the original 802 trucks that are currently under the Aughwick. These longer bolts hold the plow-wing brackets on the original trucks. The four bolts from the replacement truck currently being worked on, were loosened, removed and cleaned. The crew then started to remove the bolts from the one of the trucks under the Aughwick. Two of the nuts and the corresponding lower plow-wing bracket were removed, but the crew was unable to free up the bolts and remove them from the Aughwick truck to swap them with the shorter bolts from the replacement truck.

Combine 14

Linn Moedinger of the Strasburg Railroad met with us again to continue the evaluation of the combine. Based on new data from the on-going disassembly of the car, the crew re-examined and, in the end, confirmed several parts of the existing project plan. Project plans were developed for the roof, the exterior side sheathing, the sagging north center sill, and the interior. Work processes were documented for the application of plywood girders to the sides, and several other parts of the restoration.

We have received the Honduran mahogany that will be used to repair the side sills and identified vendors for the other materials needed.

To provide inside shop space for completion of the 802 truck work prior to the arrival of spring, it was decided to defer beginning work on the combine's new side girder until June. In the meantime, we will work on final dismantling and on preparing new parts for the combine, a job that will timeshare with the woodwork on rider Boxcar No. 168.

Boxcar 168

The railroad has commissioned us to convert derelict Boxcar 168 into a second covered rider car (similar to No. 175, which was converted way back in 1960.) The addition of another steel-underframe, covered car will allow the railroad to reduce the daily use of the wooden cars, preserving them until we can complete their restoration at some future date.

The boxcar, which has sat in the Rockhill yards over by the Rockhill Trolley Museum since 1956, was emptied of a large number of trolley treasures with the help of folks from the Rockhill Trolley Museum. It was then shifted by a railroad crew - in a rare winter operation - to the work site on the same track as Hopper 802.

The crew then removed the remnants of the roof walk and roof ribs and evaluated the roof structure, which was found to be in excellent, reusable condition. (This will preserve the visible framing for the roof hatches which were added for clay loading.) The steel doors were removed, along with the inside wood end sheathing. Drawings were prepared for the benches and the steps. The sides were marked for the new openings and cutting began on the car, opening two panels.

Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, February 3 and 4.

Lee Rainey,
Rockhill Restoration Coordinator

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