today’s tourists are looking for more than a train ride

They’re seeking experiences that create warm memories. Those experiences could include a stroll through historic Shirleysburg, a hayride or pop-up petting zoo at a lineside farm, a food tasting or music festival at the Colgate Picnic Grove, even a ball game at Saltillo. The possibilities are endless, and the Foundation looks forward to partnering with our neighbors to make them realities.

EBT In The News

Economic Impact

The Foundation aims to help drive economic development in the county, where tourism is already the No. 2 source of economic activity (after agriculture). The Foundation expects to create numerous full-time and seasonal jobs itself, and it anticipates attracting tens of thousands of visitors for multi-hour stays, during which they will ride an East Broad Top train, take a trip on one of the Rockhill Trolley Museum’s historic streetcars, and tour the shops complex. Many of these visitors will need a variety of services — hotels, Airbnb’s, restaurants, gas stations, shops, and the like — creating many additional jobs.

Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC)

Developed the following projected economic impacts that may be realized when the project be completed

Projected Impact from the Construction of the Railroad

  • 149 Direct Construction jobs created
  • 24 Indirect Jobs
  • 26 Induced jobs
  • $21.4 million of dollars spent in Huntingdon County on related projects
  • $873,177 new state and local tax revenue
  • $1.65 million new federal tax revenue

Indirect jobs and payroll will be created by the railroad’s suppliers.
Induced jobs and payroll will be created because of the employees of the railroad buying additional goods and services in the community.

Projected Impact from the Annual Payroll and Operations for the Railroad

  • 45 Direct railroad jobs created
  • 3 Indirect jobs created annually
  • 3 Induced jobs created annually
  • $1 million of additional payroll in Huntingdon County will be influenced by the direct payroll paid each year by the railroad.
  • $102,793 new annual state and local tax revenue
  • $194,916 new annual federal tax revenue

Community Development Impact

The impact will not be limited to the southern end of Huntingdon County. Some travelers will surely be eager to visit other regional history and railroad attractions — the Swigart Antique Automobile Museum, the Isett Heritage Museum, and the Lincoln Caverns, all in Huntingdon; the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, and the nearby Horseshoe Curve; the Everett Railroad, in Hollidaysburg; and the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Others will no doubt want to take advantage of the many popular recreational opportunities in the area — Raystown Lake, the Juniata River, the Thousand Steps, the Lower Trail, the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Rail Trail, the 80-mile Standing Stone hiking trail. There’s no shortage of attractions near the East Broad Top.

In addition, the Foundation intends to become a planning resource for local businesspeople, elected officials, and other neighbors eager to improve existing offerings for visitors or create new ones. The towns and countryside through which the East Broad Top runs offer delightful vistas as well numerous potential destinations ideal for carefully-imagined development — cafes, B&B’s, antiques shops, crafts galleries, and agrotourism opportunities.

Lincoln Caverns
Railroaders Memorial Museum
Horseshoe Curve
Isett Heritage Museum