An Eastern Short Line Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's

Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain
Railroad & Coal Company


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The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad & Coal Company was a short line railroad in south central Pennsylvania, chartered in 1853 to build a standard gauge rail line from Huntingdon, on the main east west line of the new state railroad soon to become the Pennsylvania Railroad, to Bedford. The purposes were to bring the semi-bituminous coal from the Broad Top Mountain area to market, and to provide a bridgee connection to the Cumberland, Maryland area, breaking the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's monopoly on this coal traffic.
The H&BTM reached Hoprwell in 1859 and through a merger with the Bedford Railroad to Mt. Dallas, a total of 44 miles by 1864. Here the H&BTM connected with the Pennsylvania RR owned Bedford & Bridgeport Railroad to reach Bedford, with passernger service by lease (1871) or trackage rights (1872+). The H&BTM then acted as a bridge line for the Pennsylvania Railroad for traffic from the Cumberland-Bedford area, interchanging it's freight at Mt. Dallas. (This southern portion of the Pennsy was separated from it's main line until 1910 when it's Bedford Division was completed).
Between 1853 and 1908 the H&BTM built many branch lines to reach Broad Top Mountain coalmines reaching a maximum of 72 track miles.
Bridge traffic declined after 1910, when the Pennsy used it's own north south route, and after the Broad Top Mountain coal firlds ran out the H&BTM was reduced to minor indfustrial traffic, logging and iron ore. It continued to operate passenger and freight trains until 1953 and 1954 respectively and closed shop in 1954.
The Everett Rileoad took over the 4 miles of track from Mt. Dallas to Tatesville in 1954. They operated it until 1982 when Conrail abandoned the B&B. The tracks were torn up in 1985.
History of the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad & Coal Company
1842 - Baltimore & Ohio Railroad reaches to Cumberland, Virginia (Maryland)
1846 - The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) was founded.
1846 - Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chartered the PRR to build a rail and canal corridor from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.
1852 - HBTM chartered on May 6.
1853 - H&BTM organized on January 10. The purposes were to bring the semi-bituminous coal from the Broad Top Mountain area to market and to provide a bridgee connection to the Cumberland, Maryland area, breaking the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's monopoly on this coal traffic.
1853 - B&O reaches Wheeling, Virginia (West Virginia) on Ohio River.
1853-1908 - The H&BTM opened many branches to coal mines and communities, primarily radiating from the Saxton, Riddlesburg and Hopewell areas and even operated some passengerr services on at least one until 1917.



H&BTM timetable
November 10, 1935


H&BTM Johns Run bridge abutment
at Tatesville Road, Tatesville
February, 2011 (bp)

1854- Horseshoe Curve completed over Allegheny Ridge. (two tracks, PRR) 1855- H&BTM completes 31 mile line from Huntingdon, through Saxton and Riddlesburg to Hopewell.
1857 - PRR purchases the east west main line (through Huntingdon) from State of Pennsylvania.
1859 - On February 3 the Bedford Railroad (BRR) was chartered to provide a connection with Bedford. It was incorporated on February 19.
1863 - In July, with Pennsylvania RR financial assistance the BRR reached from Mt. Dallas to Hopewell, 12.5 miles.
1864 - The BRR is merged into the H&BTM On August 17.
1871- The H&BTM leased the Bedford and Bridgeport Railroad (B&B), a PRR financed railroad, giving it passenger train access to Bedford from Mt. Dallas.
1872 - The PRR took over operating control of the B&B but granted trackage rights to the H&BTM to operated passenger trains to Bedford, which it did from 1871 to 1953. Freight interchange was at Mt. Dallaa.
1910 - PRR completes Bedford Division frm Brookes Mills to Cessna providing an all PRR line from the east west main at Altoona to Bedford and Cumberland, severely reducing the bridge traffic over the H&BTM.
1920's-1950's - Decline of Broad Top Mountain coal production and bond maturities from ill-advised property and equipment improvements plague the H&BTM.
1953 - H&BTM declares bankrupcy on October 11 and runs last passenger train in November.
1954 - On March 31 the H&BTM ceased operatNions.
1954 - On April 1 the Everett Railroad took over the 4 miles of line from Tatesville to Mt. Dallas.
1982 - Conrail abandons B&B and forces Everett Railroad to cease operations.
1985 - Tracks +are torn up.

H&BTM Special Sources:
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- variousd editions
Bill Plack, Herminia, PA (bp)

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Copyright Richard Parks, April 1, 2011