FEBT Restoration – Brush Clearing/Maintenance
If not kept at bay, Mother Nature will try to reclaim even operating railroads. The FEBT brush crew labors to keep nature at a safe distance from the historic fabric of the East Broad Top.
The crew has worked at a number sites around the railroad. The first was along Jordan Creek, which runs alongside the EBT yard and shops. The creek had become so overgrown that it could not be seen and the brush was encroaching into the yard. Removal of the brush enabled restoration crews to address the erosion caused by the creek, which was threatening one of the yard tracks.
On the Rockhill wye, the crew worked to remove brush and trees that had grown up between the wye and the track named for the long-vanished Coach House. The brush prevented the engineer from seeing the far end of the train — and the conductor’s hand signals — when backing around the south leg of the wye. Removal of the brush also revealed the many hoppers stored on the Coach House track and reduced the damage done to them by accumulation of leaves.
The FEBT assisted in clearing the EBT main line south of the end of serviceable track. With the additional clearing and track repairs by the EBT speeder crew, the cleared section of track was made operational for speeder rides given to the public.
The crew has also worked to clear brush back away from the excursion line, where it was encroaching far enough to hit and scratch the train and equipment.
Brush continues to grow and controlling it is an ongoing need.