The East Broad Top Garden Railroad and Coal Company

For the third consecutive year the EBTGRR&CCo. will be on the Northwood Park Home and Garden Tour, this year Sunday May 5, 2002 from Noon to 5:00

The EBTGRR&CCo. is a garden railroad in my backyard which is intended to eventually model the real EBT, a surviving narrow gauge railroad in south-central Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I currently rent. My live-in landlord is kind enough to allow me to have a garden railroad in his garden, but that situation prevents me from taking very many liberties with landscape or regrading. I am looking for my own place and will build a more accuate version there.

The Layout

Some of the more important features on the road are correctly positioned to mirror real sites on the prototype road. Right now, in most cases the relation is limited to a bridge or curve in the right vicinity.

Thus far the layout consists of just one large loop 139' in length with no sidings. The track is all Aristo-Craft and uses 10' diamater curves and 1', 2', and 5' straight sections. I have recently purchaced switches to crate at least one staging siding, but need more track and time to get it done.

There are two bridges of 4' and 5' in length and one trestle about 12' in length. None of the three are more than 6" off the ground. The trestle started out as planks between loose blocks of 2x4. I'd prefered to have made it a fill, but the landlord insisted that I could not tear up the grass for it. The trestle carries Coles Curve (which is a fill on the real railroad) out into the lawn and around a 160 degree arc and back into the flower bed. To make it removable I sunk sections of 2x4 vertically into the lawn as flush, yet firm footings for the trestle. From that base, square crosshatched piling of timber (like those seen on western logging railroads) build up to the deck level. The deck sections consist of two 1/2x3" beams joined into a solid unit with lateral beams, bottom beams on each end and diaganal stringers on the bottom. The sections are about 16" each on the curves and 24" under the straight sections. There are 12 sections resting on 11 timber piers of height varying from 4" to 6".

The two bridges are just 2x dimentional lumber until more realistic replacements are ready. The replacement for the 5' bridge is under construction and will be a through plate gider design similar to the EBT's "Kylers Bridge". The replacment for the 4' bridge has not been determined yet, but will likely be either another plate girder or a multi concrete arch.

There is one road overpass at Fairview (site of an overpass on the EBT). The bridge is an LGB 1' through girder design, not prototypical of any EBT bridge.


The entire loop, except for Coles Curve, has a 1/2" conduit running under it connecteing junction boxes every 10' or so. In the conduit are 6 color coded 14 gauge stranded conductors. So far I have used only one curcuit for the track. In the furure the other curcuits will be for separated blocks, structure lighting and any animation that goes in. As it has turned out, a lot of that will not happen on the current layout, but the plan is sound. Each junction box allows feeders to come of the trunk cables an feed the track. As a result voltage drop around the loop is vurtually non-existant.

Layout controls are housed in a weatherproof 12x24" control box mounted on a 3' PVC post set in concrete. 120VAC comes in from the house in a steel underground conduit and all 12VDC lines to the layout in plastic conduit.

Right now the layout is powered by an MRC Trainpower 6200 which has provided ample power so far. The unit has failed once and had to be returned to MRC for warranty repair. Other than that it has performed extremely well.

The Aristo-Craft Train Engineer remote control throtle system is definitely on the wish-list.

EBT Train


I have a hodge-podge of equipment right now. Some was bought just to get some trains running, some with the intention of rebuilding and/or repainting and some as ready-to-run equipment true to the prototype road.

I've more recently invested in some mainline standard gauge equipment with the eventual intention of running them on a separate loop connected to the EBT through a 'simulated' dual gauge yard. Obvously they both run on the same gauge of track for the purpose of modelling and for the run of the current layout the standard gauge prototypes will be forced to run on the 'narrow gauge' loop.

Definite upgrades will involve swapping out all those pesky plastic wheels, more than 20 cars worth $$$!

Motive Power

Passenger Equipment

Freight Equipment

* = Certain repaint or rebuild
? = Possible repaint or rebuild

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