Welcome to Vagel Keller's Industrial Heritage Homepage


History & Modeling of the Coal, Iron & Steel Industries and the Canals & Railroads that Served Them

Table of Contents

Railroad History and Preservation

For links to webpages and articles  focusing on coal-hauling railroads in Pennsylvania and western Maryland ...

... Click here

Historical Railroad Postcard Images

This site contains scans of antique postcards  of scenes on the Pennsylvania Railroad that are now either gone or have changed with time. 

Click here

Industrial History & Tourism

For links to Illustrated Historical Essays About Industrial & Transportation Heritage Sites in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania & Western Maryland ... 

... click here

Modeling Iron & Coal Railroads

Planned links to modeling and realistically operating model railroads connected to the coal, iron, and steel industries.

coming later

Railroad History & Presevation

East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company

A webpage with photographs and illustrated essays on this National Historic Landmark

Find out more

Western Maryland Shortlines

Articles by railroad historian Patrick Stakem about early railroads in western Maryland

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Railroad History & Preservation Resources

LInks to preservation associations and online research resources.

Find out more

Industrial History & Tourism

Rockhill Iron & Coal Company


A series of illustrated essays on the merchant pig iron company served by the East Broad Top RR

The Mount Savage Iron Works


Download an article about the company that manufactured the first American-made iron rails.

Industrial History Sites


Photo essays on National & State  Historical Industrial Sites in PA


The East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company


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.

Learn More

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.

Go to the Webpage

Western Maryland Shortline Railroads



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.

Find out more about the C&Pa in the RR History & Preservation Resources Section

Railroad History & Preservation Resources

Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc.


A 501.c.3 non-profit association dedicated to preserving and rest orating the East Broad Top Railroad National Historical Landmark.

Rails and Trail.com ICC maps of the EBTRR


Detailed maps in PDF format  from the collection of Friends of the East Broad Top.

Pennsylvania RR Historical & Technical Society


Preserving the heritage of "The Standard Railroad of the World" for future generations

Chris Coleman's EBT Homepage


Chris Coleman's unofficial East Broad Top RR Homepage is the "Go-To" site for all things EBT:  historical locomotive and rolling stock rosters, visitor guides, E-mail discussion lists, and publications about plans for the EBT's future are all here.

Waynesburg & Washington RR on Facebook


Pictures and information about a 3-ft narrow gauge railroad in Pennsyvlania's southwest corner; 2-6-0 #4 survives near Waynesburg.

Cumberland & Pennsylvania RR Images


An extensive collection of photographs of locomotives and facilities of the C&Pa is maintained on the Mt. Savage Historical Society's webpage.

Mt. Savage Iron Works

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.

Mount Savage Iron Works (pdf)