Ready To Run #15273
As the engineer eases the throttle forward, the East Broad Top Railroad’s steam engine #16 begins to leave the Rockhill Furnace yard during the 2023 Winter Spectacular. Wafts of steam wrap and curl around the drivers and the engine. As #16 starts forward at a slow creep, the sidecocks push more steam out along the ground while black smoke twirls high into the sky with the effort. The scene is enhanced by creating this as a black-and-white picture.
The train will soon pull up slowly to the Orbisonia Station platform just ahead. If you look closely, the conductor is standing on the platform of the first car and he’ll soon be guiding passengers onto the four car train.
This picture of #16 and its train was taken during the East Broad Top Railroad’s 2023 Winter Spectacular. It was a very well-attended special gathering because it was the first time this historical narrow gauge railroad had run steam powered trains since shutting down operations entirely in 2011. So, this picture represents the inaugural run of returning to tourist service, and this time, in a big way after being taken over by a railroad-centric non-profit.
On this day, there were around a few thousand people in tiny Rockhill Furnace PA to show the little narrow gauge railroad some love. People were quite happy to come to Orbisonia Station for this relic rail revival and see the little steam railroad go once more. Along the few miles of highway coming into town that ran right beside the track, cars were pulled off by the dozens as people wanted to see EBT steam engine #16 pull a passenger train and grab a picture too. Overall, it was a big event.
They came from all over to see this little mountain railroad in rural central Pennsylvania, as a walk through the parking areas reading license plates proved: there were many out-of-state plates including several of NJ, MD, OH, VA, NY, MA, MI, and believe it or not, a handful of FL plates and even one from Washington state.
Each one of the four train rides that Saturday were sold out to the last seat. And so were the M-1 powered combine rides, M-3 motorcar rides, and caboose rides along with all the shop and station tours. The Sunday rides were also filled up and I believe all the rides and tours were booked ahead of time through their new and very well done website, www.eastbroadtop.com. It was easy to see the 2023 Winter Spectacular was a big success for the East Broad Top Railroad.
Another view taken on the same day of the rebirth of the EBT as a steam-powered railroad is one called Home Stretch #15272 as seen here. As opposed to black and white, it was taken in color on that beautiful sunny February day with blue skies.
Location: Orbisonia, Rockhill Furnace, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
Up Next: Overreach #15213