East Broad Top Railroad, Orbisonia, Pa.

 

A National Historic Landmark—the highest designation available in the United States—the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company is the country's oldest narrow gauge railroad. Opened in 1856, the line winds through 31 miles of beautiful mountain scenery and remains virtually intact – including track, steam locomotives, cars and facilities. Also nestled in the remarkably unchanged landscape are villages and towns which sprang up during the early years of operation. The EBT is a virtual time machine documenting the industrial progress of the U.S. during the golden era of steam power.

The railroad suspended operations in 1956 and was purchased by the Kovalchick family, which kept it operational as a tourist line; however, family members no longer wish to operate the line and are considering auction or scrapping. The East Broad Top Preservation Association is working to acquire and preserve the railroad. The cost is $8 million and the EBTPA has received $2 million to date, allowing the purchase of a segment. Time is running out: the remaining $6 million must be raised by the end of 2013. Donations can be sent to EBTPA, PO Box 585, DuBois, PA, 15801.

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