East Broad Top Non-Revenue Equipment
Images & Historical Narrative

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Special Thanks to Fred Fisher, Track Speeder Enthusiast & Friends of the East Broad Top member #33, for providing historical data on EBT Track Speeders.


The EBT operated cabooses from its first years. From the sketchy photographic evidence I've seen, the first cabooses were probably converted box (or house) cars. From 1907 to 1920, EBT freights were trailed by 4-wheel, center-cupola cabooses No's 27 & 28. These were replaced by two steel-under frame, wood sheathed 8-wheel cabooses No's 27 & 28 in 1920.

Both No. 27 & No. 28 survive in service on the EBT. No. 27 is shown, above, trailing a short freight at Orbisonia Station in October, 1990. No. 28 has been painted in EBT's tourist passenger livery (dark green sides & ends, red oxide roofs, orange herald). It is an extra-fare car, very popular with children. Originally, these cars had low-slung, 2-tread steps. The lower treads were removed after an accident took the life of conductor Ed Chilcoat at Robertsdale, May 10, 1927. As his train slowed to a halt, Chilcoat dismounted to "walk the train" while the brakeman opened the coupler on the last hopper to allow the caboose to drift back to a short safety spur. The couplers (of different, incompatible designs) jammed and, when Chilcoat attempted to kick the couplers loose, he was knocked off balance by the low step and fell under the wheels. Chilcoat's leg was severed; rushed by train to the hospital in Huntingdon, he died that night.


The only known surviving EBT handcar is owned and maintained by the Friends of the EBT.

It sees the light of day during the annual FEBT gathering at Robertsdale, Sunday mornings during the Fall Spectacular.

Here, your's truly and wife, Debbie, take a spin.

It is very probable that the paint scheme shown is incorrect; bright red was apparently the "regulation" color for section cars. Hopefully, the correct scheme will be applied some day soon.

A very early EBT track inspection car has somehow survived. Called "the Spider", it is powered by a one-cylinder gas engine.

It was restored to operating condition by FEBT member Bruce Saylor and his crew.

The Spider was home-built by the EBT, probably from parts scrounged from an old hand car or push cart. The motor (model "PH", Ser. No. 19525) was ordered from Fairmont Railway Motors on April 21, 1920 by the East Broad Top RR & Coal Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. and shipped on June 26, 1920 c/o F.M. Butler [Superintendent, 1920-27], Orbisonia, Pa.

The Fairmont Speeder is a more modern conveyance for Maintenance-of-Way crews. It, too, is operational.

This car was ordered from Fairmont Railway Motors on their order number A42559 by the East Broad Top Railroad & Co., Orbisonia, Pa. (EBT Order No. 306, Invoice No. 22369-S).

The Model and Class of the car is S2Z36-H-1-1; Car No. 186592. The engine number is 80780, Type RQ-D, manufactured December 26, 1947. The car was completed and inspected January 12, 1948 and shipped via the Chicago & North Western RR on January 14, 1948. It was assembled with part #51000E Cab Top (Applied).


For many years it was assumed that this was the EBT's only snow plow. Recently, however, that assumption has been challenged by those who believe it is a drag flanger used in conjuction with the EBT's side-dump steel hopper cars for ballast spreading. Wooden wings, with metal framing, were mounted on the outboard side of these hopper cars to spread ballast outside the rails, while the plow would be dragged behind.

I found the plow sitting in the open, on an old flatcar, in 1990. Today, it lies in the lumber storage shed near those wooden wings.

This concludes our look at the EBT's Non-Revenue Equipment. For more images of the EBT, visit EBT Locomotives - Images & Historical Narrative.

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