28 October 2020

Since Last We Met

Family is still fine, Dad is still doing well without meds, Eldest Boy hit a deer with his car so he has the Subaru (the AC issues turned out to be a worn compressor clutch, I pulled the compressor clutch off of the one I got with the replacement engine and it's working fine now except for still always being on), and the birthday trip to the East Broad Top went fine. It was a beautiful weekend to run with the top down in the Mustang, and I try not to miss the chance to do that whenever I can.

Orbisonia Station, East Broad Top, Rockhill Furnace PA. The "Orbisonia" sign is gone, possibly forever since apparently it wasn't present during common carrier operations and the railroad's new management has decided to back date a bit and then move forward as if the railroad had never shut down. 

That means, among other things, that the EBT's signature ballast, cinders from the long gone iron foundry, is being replaced with crushed stone. It is somewhat sad, but the crushed stone is a superior material and the railroad's new management determined that had the railroad continued to be a going concern it would have been only natural to upgrade to the newer materials as time went on. I certainly can't argue with the results, the trackwork in and around Orbisonia hasn't looked this good for a very long time.

The window crew's project for this work session was to install the windows we had rebuilt the last work session into the freight house. This finishes up the restoration efforts on that structure, just in time for the railroad's grand re-opening weekend which was August 13. It was a Thursday, but it was chosen because that's when the EBT re-opened the first time for tourist service in 1960.

 Don't say you weren't warned. This sign from the railroad's common carrier days still hangs in the freight house.

Memories of rails past. These ghostly impressions were from rails that have long since been removed when the trolley museum opened in the wye.

The freight house windows, rebuilt and repainted, now hang back in their proscribed places. It is a marked improvement from where we started. The funny looking wooden blocks above the window were from where the original knob and tube wiring was removed, the EBT had an on-site generator at one point but of course it is all on commercial power now. There is currently no power in the freight house, I don't know if that will change in the future but if it does it will get all modern wiring.

The side windows were a bit of a challenge. The window under the shutters had no frame at all, it had rotted away over the years. Previous restoration efforts put the basic framework back in, but all of the supporting structures for the window sashes had to be built and installed as well as the restoration of the windows themselves. Interesting note, these are the windows that were pinned together with wooden dowels, there isn't a single nail in either sash.

Someone caught me working. See, I have pictures to prove it. ;)

 Someone also caught me looking for the windows to arrive to be installed. The frame has been restored and painted, and all that is left is for the sashes to be installed.

The finished product, just in time for opening weekend. Sadly I wasn't able to make that event but by all reports it went very well. I will make the time to go up there again to ride when the steam locos are back in service. The railroad is currently working on both 14 and 16 and hopes to have at least one of them in steam for 2021.

That will be a great day.