FEBT Restoration – Section House

The Rockhill Section House is a small building at the south end of the Rockhill yard. It served as a base and storage location for the track crews that maintained the yard trackage. The building had a chimney and a coal stove to keep the crew warm in the winter between assignments. Track tools, bolts, spikes and other supplies were stored here as well as a speeder car with a gasoline engine. As this crew was responsible for the track in the Rockhill yard (the second largest yard on the railroad), they had an extension on the rear of the building as well as additional space to store supplies and track cars under the Coal Dock and in the neighboring Track Car Shed. There were about 10 sections on the EBT main, each with its own section house. This is one of only two remaining.

The building had been largely abandoned since the end of common carrier service. Slow rot in the sills caused it to start to lean and the addition to pull away from the main section. As built, the building had no frame and the roof is held up by the batten board siding. The three doors on the front of the building had fallen off.

Rockhill Section house under restoration in 2003
Rockhill Section house under restoration in 2003

Initial work started in the summer of 2002 with the clearing out of the building, but when the extent of problems was discovered it was decided to wait until the neighboring Track Car Shed was completed before tackling this building. In 2003 the work was started by removing a few battens and constructing a framework to hold the roof up while the floor was rebuilt The siding was then removed and the rotten front deck frame removed. The rear deck frame was jacked back into level and a new front deck constructed of pressure treated lumber. The original sub-flooring and tongue and groove flooring, with a few replacement sections, was reinstalled. Side frame walls were erected to reinforce the siding that had held the roof up. The roof was then taken off the temporary supports. The siding, which had been numbered, was reinstalled in its original locations. A replacement sash was mounted in the window and the doors were repaired and reinstalled in their original locations. In 2006 a replica jigger track was installed to allow track equipment to be stored in the building again. In 2008 the building received a fresh coat of roof sealant.

The work on this building is effectively completed, except for mortar repairs to the chimney.