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: July 19-20, 2008

The ninth FEBT Rockhill work session of 2008 was held Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, 2008.

FEBT volunteers taking part in this session included Charlie Wootton, Rich Wickett, Dave Richards, Andy Van Scyoc, Wade Woodcock, Dave Dietz, Lee Rainey, Steve Jacobs, John & Barbara Morgan, Reggie Arford, Lawrence Biemiller and Jim Bacon.


Locomotive Shop

Window work
One of the Glass Rattlers works on the locomotive shop windows.
Steve Jacobs photo

The paint and window crew on the locomotive shop was down to a single individual this session, however her efforts resulted in most of the remaining sashes for the west side of the locomotive shop being reglazed, painted and primed. With the reinstallation of the windows in the boiler shop the additional light in the building makes it possible to do the reglazing and painting of the sashes inside the cool building rather than outside in the hot sun.

The glass crew also cut a new window pane to replace a broken window on coach no. 8.


Machine Shop

Building a jacking post
The Boilerhouse Rats fabricate another jacking post for installation inside the Machine Shop.
Steve Jacobs photo

The EBT Machine Shop roof began its reversal of fortune this weekend! After several hours of tidying-up details, roof trusses #2 and #3 were jacked up ½-inch, freeing them from the props that have held them up for the last twenty some years; these props were then removed. After this initial lift, more fussing with details was done, and the railing around the pump pit was moved to allow the prop post in the pit to be changed out; after which the floor had to be rebuilt, and the railing put back in place.

Sunday the roof was lifted an additional 1½-inch. Truss #3 raises easily since its east end is not connected to much of anything. Truss #2 is more resistant, due to its east end being more solidly connected to the west boilerhouse wall. It has now been raised as far as possible before the anti-sag bracing on that wall must be loosened up to allow the wall to move with the roof. That will wait until next session in mid-August.

A 3rd go-round of laser level measurements was taken, and the final lift dimensions will be worked out from them. Preliminary estimates indicate that the trusses must be raised another 4 inches or so, after which fabrication of the new 12x12 beam between the boilerhouse and machine shop can commence. The new beam will be built-up in place from seven 2x12s and many, many deck screws, as it is impossible to install a 36 foot 12x12 without removing the entire roof structure, including the trusses and lineshafts.



New roll roofing.
The garage now has new roll roofing on it.
Steve Jacobs photo

Work continued on the roof of the garage over the weekend, culminating in new roll roofing being applied on Sunday.


Boxcar 168

Painting the car
Nailing down floorboards can be hard work...
Dave Dietz photo.
Painting the car
...Very hard work.
Dave Dietz photo.
Painting the car
An FEBT volunteer applies green paint at one end of the car while the carpenters continue work at the other end.
Dave Dietz photo.

Welding was completed on the body of the boxcar. Bolting of underfloor frame members through the side sills to the side sheets was performed on the west side of the car. The north end of the interior was cleaned with grinders and wire brushes and primed as were parts of the exterior that had not been previously done. One of the FEBT volunteers then proceeded to apply the first coat of green paint to the south end and east side of the car. Meanwhile the carpenters planed the remaining floor stringers to thickness and bolted them into place.

On Sunday, a small crew began the work of installing the new floorboards on the car. The underside of each floorboard was coated with linseed oil. The work went slowly as the hard wood of the floorboards necessitated the drilling of pilot holes for the nails securing them to the stringers, but by the end of the day about ¼ of the new floorboards were in place.

Since the previous work session, the steel crew had completed lubrication and painting of the south end truck, placed it back under the car, and rolled the car a few feet to provide space at the north end. At this work session, the steel crew jacked up the north end and rolled that end's truck out from under the car for servicing. The king pin was coaxed from the body bolster, cleaned and greased. The truck was pressure washed, the journals checked, brake shoes replaced as needed, all pins were greased, and the truck was painted. It was placed back under the car by the end of the work session and the car was moved back to the center of the concrete pad.


Brush Crew

The brush crew was back in operation this weekend clearing out the remainder of the brush around the line of hoppers on the coach house track to the east of the storage shed. For the first time in many years the entire string of hoppers on the coach track may be seen without a foreground of brush.


Track Work

One FEBT volunteer spent most of Sunday rehabilitating track bolts for later installation on loose rail joints in the Rockhill yard.


Next Work Session

The next Rockhill work session will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17 in conjunction with the railroad's Community Appreciation day and the Rockhill/Orbisonia homecoming celebration. See you there!

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