FEBT Restoration – Paint Shop

The current East Broad Top Paint Shop, the railroad’s third, was constructed in 1933, shortly after a fire destroyed the second Paint Shop — which in turn had replaced the original, seriously damaged by fire in 1909. As a result of this history, the railroad elected to build this third Paint Shop out of brick with an all steel roof. The Paint Shop, as it name suggests, is where railroad equipment of all types was painted and lettered. In more recent years the building had been used for storage of equipment and supplies.

Because of its solid construction and younger age, the Paint Shop is in the best condition of the shop buildings in Rockhill Furnace. It’s also easy to access by car and trucks. So it was selected in 2004 as the building to be leased to the Friends of the East Broad Top to become the FEBT restoration shop. From 2002 until 2005, FEBT crews worked on equipment outside, or has limited access to the Car Shop. Crews had to store their tools, supplies and equipment wherever space was available, often in areas that were difficult to access or prone to dampness. The Paint Shop, as renovated by FEBT volunteers, provides a concrete floor, organized and secure storage, and a weathertight, heated, all-weather work space.

New all-year electrical service was installed and deteriorated windows on the west side were removed, repaired, repainted and reinstalled in restored frames. A furnace was installed to allow winter work. In August of 2005, the deteriorated portions of the interior floor and rails were removed. The rails were re-laid with welded steel ties, and a new concrete pad was poured up to the rail heads for a smooth and level floor. In 2006 the track leading to the building was removed and completely rebuilt with an outdoor concrete restoration pad to enable two cars to be worked on at once . Donated shelving, benches and tools were installed.

Even while the overhaul of the building proceeded, work was performed on flatcar 119 in the fall of 2004. In the fall of 2005 combination car #14 was placed inside the shop for a multi-year restoration. A full wood shop was installed in the building, which helps greatly with restoration projects across the property.