For links to webpages and articles focusing on coal-hauling railroads in Pennsylvania and western Maryland ...
For links to Illustrated Historical Essays About Industrial & Transportation Heritage Sites in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania & Western Maryland ...
Planned links to modeling and realistically operating model railroads connected to the coal, iron, and steel industries.
The East Broad Top Railroad is a three-foot gauge line that hauled freight and passengers in south-central Pennsylvania's Huntingdon County from 1874 through 1956 and operated as a steam tourist railroad from 1960 through 2011. At present, although railroad operations are dormant, restoration and preservation work by Friends of the EBT, Inc. (FEBT) in the shops complex at Rockhill, PA and elsewhere continues in cooperation with the owners.
The entire 32-mile mainline is mostly intact, and includes a 4-arch reinforced concrete bridge, a 165-ft long deck truss bridge, and two tunnels. The EBT is connected to the Norfolk Southern Railroad system via its intact dual-gauge yard in Mt. Union, PA, where a dual-gauge engine house still stands. At the south end of the line, in Robertsdale, PA, the FEBT owns the former EBT station and the adjacent former post office building, where restoration work is on-going on those buildings.
The East Broad Top webpage contains links to illustrated histories and touring guides on branchlines and industries served by the EBT. It also has links to photographic essays on EBT locomotives and equipment.
The Georges Creek RR was a short-lived line in antebellum western Maryland. Completed in 1853 from Westernport to Lonaconing (upper, left on the map), it came too late to save the financially troubled iron furnace at Lonaconing, In 1863, as coal production soared during the Civil War, it was absorbed into the Cumberland & Pennsyvlania RR, a shortline connecting the coal fields west and south of Cumberland, MD with the Baltimore & Ohio RR and C&O Canal.
The operating hub of the C&Pa was at Mt. Savage (upper, right on the map). Most notably, the C&Pa's facilities at Mt. Savage included a complete locomotive erecting shop, which produced locomotives for both the C&Pa and other customers in its early years.
Historian Patrick Stakem has written two short, but very informative and well-researched, articles on the Georges Creek and the C&Pa's Mount Savage shops. Both are available as PDF files, below.
This article, by Historian Patrick Stakem, outlines the history of the Iron Works in western Maryland where the first iron rails to be manufactured in America were manufactured.