Locomotive 12 waits for the freight train double-headed by 14 and 17 to clear the switch at Colgate Grove during the 1975 Winter Spectacular. Courtesy of G.W. Laepple, 441 East Street, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 17815
441 East Street, Bloomsburg, Pa. 17815
Readers of 'Iron Man Album' may be interested in attending WINTER SPECTACULAR 1975, an annual event which will be held for the 11th straight year on February 14 and 15, 1976. This unique weekend is sponsored by Railways to Yesterday, Inc. and the East Broad Top Railroad. Orbisonia, in the foothills of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, will be the focal point.
In this small village, the narrow gauge East Broad Top Railroad, built over 100 years ago to haul coal, iron, and lumber to the PRR at Mt. Union on the Juniata River, still maintains its roundhouse, yards, and shops. Since 1960, this last narrow gauge road east of the Mississippi has been a tourist hauler, but it still retains its authentic charm and old-time flavor. Railways to Yesterday, Inc. operates a trolley car museum, where a dozen old electric cars run on. Between them, the two make an exciting pair for antique machinery buffs.
A highlight of the WINTER SPECTACULAR weekend is the guided tours through the East Broad Top's car and locomotive shops, which were built in 1882. The entire complex, which includes machine shop, blacksmith shop, forge, and foundry, was powered by a large horizontal single-cylinder steam engine until the railroad closed in 1956. In 1960, it was decided to substitute electric motors, but all of the original line shaft and pulley equipment, as well as the boilers and the big engine, is still intact. Another feature will be a hike through the ruins of the Rockhill Iron Works, once the largest complex of its kind. Of course, there will be plenty of train and trolley rides.
Although final plans are still inconclusive, there will be at least a dozen round trips over the five-mile East Broad Top line, with several steam locomotives and a rare gas-electric car; the trolleys will make about 40 round trips on their one-mile line. To round out the weekend's activities, there will be a banquet at the local fire company on Saturday night, followered by a night run on the railroad and a railroadiana auction. For further information on WINTER SPECTACULAR 1975, write Sherman G. Shook, 160 Andover Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.