EBT heraldSand House

Photo of Sand House Photo of Sand House Photo of Sand House
Mile Mark: 11.00
Elevation: 630'
Date Built: ca. 1910
Published Photos: EBT 185; AEBT 60

The original sand house stood between the Blacksmith Shop and the Turntable. It was built prior to 1894 and was expanded between 1894 and 1904. It contained a dryer, likely powered by a coal stove, but was only single story. That building disappeared in 1908. The current building was built in its entirety late in the 1904 to 1911 period. The Ice House was joined to the north wall of the Sand House. When the Ice House's last remnant was removed sometime between 1950 and 1956, the north side of the Sand House was covered in a simulated brick asphault veneer.

The Sand House is similar to but smaller than the EBT tankhouses. It is possible that it used all or parts of the Orbisonia Tank House which was taken down about the same time as the sand house was constructed, but this is unlikely since the tank appears larger than the Sand House tower. The house contains a drying mechanism using steam from the shops boiler and a blowing mechanism to force the sand up into the tower. It provides sand to the sand domes of the locomotives. The locos in turn can drop the sand ahead or behind of their drivers to provide additional traction.

Although the tower is no longer operational, the tower still contained about 25 tons of sand into the 1980's. Due to the weight it developed a concerning lean toward the tracks. Reports on what happened to the sand vary. Some say the bin floor gave way dropping the sand onto the lower floor. Others say the sand was removed and buried nearby. In any case there is a large pile of sand on the ground floor of the tower that is used, via bucket brigade, to supply the current operations.

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