CANCELED – Next Meeting; 11 February

The February SMD meeting will be hosted by Jane and Pete Clarke.

At the risk of being beaten by the Clarke’s, I know that the 11th is Superbowl Sunday but the meeting will be over and everyone will have time to get home before the game starts. So don’t let that keep you away.


Not really a clinic in the strictest sense of the word, but I am sure that Jane and Pete will be more than happy to give us an update on the goings on at the 12 inch to the foot version of the EBT.

Directions & Parking

Park on the street or driveway, and enter through the front door. Unfortunately, the basement is not handicapped-accessible.

Ed. – Email and we will provide the street address.

About Jane & Pete’s HOn3 EBT


We model the East Broad Top Railroad in 1926. The EBT was a narrow-gauge line that ran from coal mines in the Robertsdale area of the mountains to an iron furnace in Orbisonia/Rockhill Furnace and then up to Mount Union where there was a coal cleaning plant, refractory brick plants, and an interchange with the Pennsylvania Railroad. By 1926 the iron furnace was long gone, but on our version, it has been re-opened by the current owners, the Madeira Hill Co.The furnace consumes large amounts of coal (which needs to be coked first), limestone, and iron ore. Its output is pig iron which is then taken to Mt. Union. This has added a great deal of operational interest to the railroad. The fact that the iron furnace has reopened created a renewed need for iron ore and limestone. Both those had been mined along the Shade Gap branch of the EBT. So, the Shade Gap branch, which had fallen on hard times since the furnace closed in 1908, has been rebuilt. In Shade Gap this line serves limestone and iron ore mines. In Neelyton (the end of the Shade Gap branch) it serves the ganister mine for the refractory brick plants in Mt. Union and a lumber mill. Both towns also get miscellaneous freight and have coal dealers for home heating.

The layout is in a 20’ x 26’ basement and is fully scenicked. It’s early fall, so it’s still warm in the valley but cold on the mountain. Both of us work on models. Jane scratch built the Orbisonia station and roundhouse, Pete the company store and houses in Robertsdale. The excellent models of Ewings Mill and Neelyton station were built by Frank Benenati. Other structures are kits (many by White Ground) or kit-bashed. There are still models to be done, but there’s at least a stand-in for every structure so the layout looks complete.

All trains are powered by steam engines (by Hallmark and one Blackstone), all but two have sound. The gas-electric M-1 (with sound) handles a portion of the mail train run.

Trains run on TT/TO with a 4:1 fast clock. Control is Digitrax DCC (Simplex) using radio throttles. Car cards, timetable, instructions, and an operator’s guide let guest operators know how to run trains. The EBT is a heavy-duty, busy railroad. Only the Shade Gap branch runs with a more relaxed narrow gauge feel. All trains do their own switching, so all operators should expect plenty of work to do. While the passenger train does not have much switching of cars, that operator is required to record the sacks of mail picked up and dropped off in each town. There is one yard operator, we call that job the furnace shifter. Please let us know if you’d like to get on the crew call list.

SMD membership meetings are always the 2nd Sunday of the month at 2PM. The only exceptions are for April, when the Mini-Con replaces our business meeting, and in May, which will take place one week later, on the 3rd Sunday. We have had some issues with finding hosts for meetings this year. Please consider hosting a meeting sometime during the 2024 – 2025 program year. If you would like to host, please let me know. We try to avoid back-to-back repeat visits so if you have never hosted, or it has been a year or so since you did, give it a thought.

SMD Meeting Schedule:
March 10 – Bob Johnson, Jefferson, MD
April 6 – Mini-Con, Blue Ridge Summit, PA
May 19 (3rd Sunday) – Jay Beckham, Berkley Springs, WV

Author: smdnmra

South Mountain Division, Mid-Eastern Region, National Model Railroad Association