Frequently Asked Questions

What is the East Broad Top Railroad?

The East Broad Top Railroad is a National Historic Landmark located in South Central Pennsylvania, USA. It consists of over 32 miles of mostly intact narrow gauge railroad running between Mount Union and Alvan as well as a set of buildings and equipment that have been called one of the best preserved 19th century industrial sites in the United States. For more information about the EBT see the About the Railroad page.

Who owns the East Broad Top Railroad?

In early 2020, the Kovalchick family sold the East Broad Top Railroad to the non-profit EBT Foundation, Inc. Public events at the railroad are expected to resume in 2020. Watch this site for further details as they become available.

Who are Friends of the East Broad Top?

Friends of The East Broad Top is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and the restoration of the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company and its history. Our members are mainly model railroaders, railfans, and historians, but we welcome anyone who is interested in this unique piece of Pennsylvania history to join our group. Please visit the Join page for more information.

Is FEBT associated with or have an interest in the railroad?

Friends of the East Broad Top is a separate organization from the EBT Foundation, Inc., and from the East Broad Top Preservation Association. FEBT is not directly affiliated with the railroad or its owners in any official capacity, nor does FEBT have any financial interest in the railroad. However, we work with, and under the direction of, the owners of the railway to help preserve and restore many historic facets of the historic railroad.

Why is the railroad no longer running?

After the 2011 excursion season, Kovalchick Corporation decided not to continue operations. The railroad has been recently sold to the EBT Foundation, Inc., which expects to resume operations in the future.

Who is the EBT Foundation, Inc.?

The non-profit EBT Foundation, Inc. is a newly formed group of prominent railroad industry figures, philanthropists, and longtime EBT enthusiasts. The Foundation’s management team are all FEBT members.

Who is the East Broad Top Railroad Preservation Association?

The EBTRRPA is a non-profit group that was formed with the intention to lease and operate EBT with an option to purchase. They operated the railroad from 2009 to 2011, but allowed the lease to expire in 2011 without renewing. FEBT is not directly affiliated with the EBTRRPA.

Is the railroad open to the public?

Since December 2011 the railroad has not been open to the public. The railroad does offer occasional tours and photo sessions to showcase the wonderful history of the railroad's shops and equipment in Rockhill Furnace. FEBT tour guides assist with these events. It is expected that the EBT Foundation will expand these opportunities in 2020. Please visit our Tours page for more information. The FEBT museum in Robertsdale is also open to the public on certain weekends during the summer and during the Fall reunion. Please visit the Museum page for further information.

What is the Fall Reunion?

Every Fall FEBT holds the Fall Reunion, a weekend gathering in EBT territory. The Reunion offers seminars, tours, vendors and model layouts. A fundraising auction is also held at the reunion. Please visit the Events page for more information on this annual event.

Will the railroad run again?

Yes! The EBT Foundation is determined to preserve every possible aspect of the railroad and to restore operations. In the meantime, FEBT works hard to preserve and restore the historic assets of the East Broad Top.

Does FEBT own any part of East Broad Top?

FEBT owns two former East Broad Top buildings in Robertsdale: the Robertsdale Station and the former Post Office. We are currently working to preserve these buildings and develop them as a museum. We own two former EBT passenger cars which are currently stored in an unrestored condition at Rockhill Furnace. We also have a long-term lease on coach #16 which is stored off-site. Additionally we own an original FEBT hand car and motorcar. FEBT does not own any EBT trackage.

How can I help?

There are many ways to help. Becoming a member is a great first step. Supporting us with a donation (tax deductible for US citizens) helps us purchase supplies used to stabilize and restore historic buildings in Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale. If you live close to the railroad, come on out on a work weekend and pitch in. If you live far away, perhaps you might like to plan a family vacation around our annual work-week held in May.

When did the EBT operate as a tourist railroad?

The East Broad Top operated as a tourist railroad from 1960 to 2011.