Thread: East Broad Top
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:49 PM   #5
KevinM
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The owner is said to want several million dollars for the operation (lock, stock and barrel), and from a practical standpoint, any potential buyer would need at least an equivalent amount of cash just to rehab the equipment and facilities into something that could regularly run. It would require the inspection/repair of at least two steam locomotives and some restoration work on the historic rolling stock. And then there's the question of what do you use to haul visitors on a regular basis? It probably wouldn't be wise to do that with the historic passenger cars. Best to leave those for special operations. EBT had lots of cobbled-together, open tourist cars, but those were pretty beat when the operation closed, and not really suitable for 3-season operation. Lastly, the place really needed a destination for the train ride. The picnic grove in the woods really wasn't something most people would drive 2-3 hours to see. Now, if the train were to run to Mt. Union, and lay over for an hour or two, that might be more attractive, if there were restaurants and/or historic sites to visit within walking distance.

Realistically, I think that about the only way the EBT could survive is for someone to set up some sort of historic trust, to operate it as a museum. It's viability as a tourist railroad is doubtful, mainly because of its remoteness, the lack of a nearby patronage pool with lots of disposable income and because the current equipment is really unsuitable for everyday tourist operations.
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