FEBT Restoration – Track 3

Track 3 is the Rockhill Furnace yard siding immediately east of the main (Track 2). Put in place in the 1910s, it replaced an open area of the yard where a water tank and several small structures stood between the main and what is now Track 4.

Track 3 had not been significantly maintained since the railroad ended common carrier service. It was used in the 1960’s do display a locomotive and freight train when the railroad was hauling tourists. Since then only the portion near Meadow Street had been looked after, mainly for a parking area during the annual Fall Spectacular. The remainder of the ties had effectively rotted away and the rail was out of gauge. With Track 3 out of service, the railroad did not have an effective way to pass one train around another. The ability to do so would be useful during more congested times like the Fall Spectacular and Community Appreciation Day.

In 2003 the management of the railroad asked FEBT to get Track 3 into good enough shape to support a diesel locomotive. Over a six-month period the work crew excavated pits, inserted ties, tamped them up, set spikes, gauged, drove spikes and lined and leveled the track. In 2003 over 220 ties were inserted in track 3 and the track was returned to gauge, line and level. In 2004 the crew was asked to insert additional ties to make the track capable of supporting a steam locomotive. Many more ties were installed (over 100) and the track was lined and leveled again. Air for a power spiker was provided by M-7, following the crew down track 3. This demonstrated the track’s serviceability.

Track 3 was used during many events at the railroad, both for display and operations, and remains in service.