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The Shops of the East Broad Top Railroad: At Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania

The Shops of the East Broad Top Railroad: At Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania - Thomas Diehl

The Shops of the East Broad Top Railroad: At Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania


Starting in 1906, the East Broad Top Railroad upgraded their shops facility, not to the state of the art, but to proven shop practices of the time, to achieve self sufficiency. The shops performed their function daily until 1956 when the railroad ceased operations. The shops were never upgraded during this period because they worked well, and the railroad made a living but was never profitable enough to spend the money on upgrades. In 1960, a portion of the railroad was opened as a tourist operation and the shops saw limited use. During this time, members of the Friends of the East Broad Top periodically cleaned and oiled these antique machines. In 1989, the National Park Service (NPS) performed an in-depth survey of the entire railroad, under the Historic American Building Survey/ Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) program, including the shops. Since this survey laid an excellent foundation for this volume, several drawings and photographs are reproduced in this book, with permission. Since 2001, volunteer work crews from the FEBT have been actively restoring the buildings and equipment at the railroad's headquarters of Rockhill Furnace, PA. While working with these crews on the shops, several of us discovered things about the operations and methods of the day-to-day operations of this historic shops. Some of the machines were brought back into operation with individual electric motors, and have been used in the repair and fabrication of parts for other restoration projects. These century-plus old machines are still capable today of doing what they were designed and built to do. This book is different in that there is more of a focus on what was done in the shops, how it was done, and why it was done that way. Sort of a nuts-and-bolts view of operations that were common a century ago. Information was gleaned and gathered from many sources, in addition to the NPS survey, such as the original catalogues of the machine manufacturers. Photos, diagrams, and floor plans, in conjunction with the text, bring the shops to life, and give us a look into the past as to how our grandfathers and great-grandfathers earned a living and built this country. The decision to document these discoveries started small, and eventually snowballed into this book. This is by no means a "final chapter" on the documentation of the East Broad Top Railroad and its historic world. As this builds on the NPS survey, I hope that other authors will build on this text, cont
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Starting in 1906, the East Broad Top Railroad upgraded their shops facility, not to the state of the art, but to proven shop practices of the time, to achieve self sufficiency. The shops performed their function daily until 1956 when the railroad ceased operations. The shops were never upgraded during this period because they worked well, and the railroad made a living but was never profitable enough to spend the money on upgrades. In 1960, a portion of the railroad was opened as a tourist operation and the shops saw limited use. During this time, members of the Friends of the East Broad Top periodically cleaned and oiled these antique machines. In 1989, the National Park Service (NPS) performed an in-depth survey of the entire railroad, under the Historic American Building Survey/ Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) program, including the shops. Since this survey laid an excellent foundation for this volume, several drawings and photographs are reproduced in this book, with permission. Since 2001, volunteer work crews from the FEBT have been actively restoring the buildings and equipment at the railroad's headquarters of Rockhill Furnace, PA. While working with these crews on the shops, several of us discovered things about the operations and methods of the day-to-day operations of this historic shops. Some of the machines were brought back into operation with individual electric motors, and have been used in the repair and fabrication of parts for other restoration projects. These century-plus old machines are still capable today of doing what they were designed and built to do. This book is different in that there is more of a focus on what was done in the shops, how it was done, and why it was done that way. Sort of a nuts-and-bolts view of operations that were common a century ago. Information was gleaned and gathered from many sources, in addition to the NPS survey, such as the original catalogues of the machine manufacturers. Photos, diagrams, and floor plans, in conjunction with the text, bring the shops to life, and give us a look into the past as to how our grandfathers and great-grandfathers earned a living and built this country. The decision to document these discoveries started small, and eventually snowballed into this book. This is by no means a "final chapter" on the documentation of the East Broad Top Railroad and its historic world. As this builds on the NPS survey, I hope that other authors will build on this text, cont
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