Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Timeless Treasure

Passing the sandhouse at the Rockhill Furnace shop complex
Back in October I participated in a photo charter on the East Broad Top Railroad in Rockhill Furnace, Pa., hosted by Lerro Productions. The EBT is the last narrow gauge railroad still operating in its original location east of the Mississippi River (although Maine's Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington now has tracks on the old right-of-way after decades of abandonment). The EBT has five miles of track, much of which parallels busy U.S. Highway 522. Back yards and businesses have encroached on much of the EBT, especially immediately north of Orbisonia.

Pete Lerro of Lerro Productions decided to focus the charter on the EBT's true treasure -- the nearly intact shop complex in Rockhill Furnace; the EBT station is there as well, although it bears the name of Orbisonia, the larger town across Blacklog Creek from Rockhill. The roundhouse, sand house, coal tipple and water plug all make the shop complex a trip back in time.

EBT has six 2-8-2s on the property in three sizes -- No. 12 is the smallest, with Nos. 14 and 15 in the medium size range and Nos. 16, 17 and 18 the workhorses of the old coal hauler. Currently only No. 15 operates, while the rest sleep in the Rockhill roundhouse. Pete arranged for Nos. 16 and 17 to be brought outside the roundhouse for the charter, and through some pyrotechnics the two dead locomotives had some life brought to them.

East Broad Top 15 passes 17 and 16 in the yard at Rockhill Furnace, Pa.
The previous evening, an elaborate night photo session was held at the Orbisonia station, with No. 15 posing by the depot. Lerro Productions used fix lighting to allow photographers to capture many different angles over the course of a couple of hours.

At the Orbisonia station
The evening wrapped up with some classic scenes inside the roundhouse as No. 15 was put to bed. Thanks to the staff of the East Broad Top and Lerro Productions for a journey back in time.

In the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse

More photos from this event can be found in this section of Photo Lines on the website.

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