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East Broad Top Railroad

Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania
County of Huntingdon.
U.S. Route 522
National Register Number: 66000666
Resource type: District.
Property type: Transportation - rail - related. The threat level was Watch in
2004.
Congressional District: PA-9 Certified Local Government: NO
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: Railroad museum.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 28, 1964):
East Broad Top Railroad is a rare surviving example of the once common small gauge railroad companies that served the mining and lumbering industries throughout the nation from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Built in 1871 primarily to transport coal, the East Broad Top Railroad today is a privately operated tourist attraction. It retains much of the original rolling stock, the station buildings and a rail yard complete with machine and car shops, blacksmith shop, foundry, turntable and roundhouse.

Condition:
Since industrial operation ceased in 1956, only 5 miles of the approximately 33-mile line have been in use. Logging, flooding, erosion encroachment and lack of policing have seriously damaged the roadbed of the remaining 28 miles. All bridges, railroad shop buildings and locomotives are also endangered due to lack of funding for adequate maintenance. Historic equipment has been maintained but there are not enough funds for restoration. In addition to existing physical deterioration, future operation of the railroad is also threatened by funding shortages.

Landmark continues to maintain 5-mile operation. Portions of the Historic Shop Complex are slowly being stabilized but with limited sources of funding and a shortage of man power for the overwhelming size of the shop complex. Too much damage has been done in the past to make any great progress to date. Recommended action: Technical assistance, legislation, rehabilitation, restoration, protection, stabilization, repair damage/deterioration

Recommendation/Change since last report:
The National Park Service completed a management alternative study in 1990 that identifies strategies for managing the entire resource. NPS funding has been used to undertake basic stabilization and fire protection work and to assess additional needs. Now, major funding is required to ensure the protection, repair and long-term maintenance of all features of the line, from the 33-mile right-of-way to the belt driven machinery in the machine shop.


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