Coles Tankhouse


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Sad Coles Tannkhouse

"Why would anyone interested in such historic relics do such damage by stealing them? These are not preservationists, but thieves."

5-1-97 - Tankhouse Pump Stolen

Tanhouse Pump Photo Tanhouse Pump Photo

Sometime between December 1996 and April 1997 this antique pump was STOLEN from the last remaining EBT tankhouse. The assailants damaged the building in the removal of the pump and presumably intended to sell it as an antique.

4-11-99 - Stabilization Work

Tankhouse Photo

The Coles Tankhouse has also received stabilization work, but reportedly by an unknown third party. Sometime in late March or early April a new corregated galvonized steel roof was applied to the back wing building. Also some used window sashes were tacked to the inside of the small windows in the main building.

'Guerrella Restroation' in 1998 had repaired the rear wing wall which was knocked out by the pump theves (see above), covered the wing windows, repaired the main roof and shorn up the front beam which has rotted and failed. Further reinforcement of the failed front beam as well as waterproofing of the angled upper level above it are still necessary.

It is unknown if the contractor work funded by the agreement cited at Saltillo will occur at Coles, as it is needed.

10-25-99 - No Further Work Yet

As of October no further work has taken either here or at Saltillo.

1-1-00 - Tankhouse Vadalized Again - $750 Reward

Between June 6 and November 13 of 1999 a person or persons forced out several slats of the cedar tank inside the tankhouse at Coles along the EBT main. The slats removed were branded with the tanks builders information similar or identical to that below.


This represents an act beneath any true railfan or preservationist. This is no less the the vandalization and theft of part of a National Historic Landmark. These trophy hunters may think they are doing a service by securing these pices, but their destructive and highly illegal and immoral means of 'securing' leave them as little more than criminals.

It is more likely those persons wish to sell the slats on the railroadinna black market for. A similar fate likely befell the pump from Coles.

The East Broad Top Railroad and Friends of the East Broad Top are together offering a $750.00 REWARD for the return of the stolen tank boards or for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the person or persons responsible. If you have any knowledge that can help us recover these pieces of the EBT's heritage, please contact

The East Broad Top Railroad
Telephone: (814) 447-3011
FAX: (814) 447-3256
Friends of the East Broad Top
Telephone: (301) 482-1136

Tankhouse Diagram

2-1-00 - More Stabilization Work

Some additional stabilization work has been performed. The rear with roof put on last year has now been painted. After the damage inflicted to the tank (details below) some bracing was put in place to prevent the remainder of slats from falling out of position. Some additional measures have also been taken to secure the building from further vandalization.

Kudos to Frank Shoop, Mark Gutshall, Henry Long and Richard Keller for their volunteer work on the tankhouse. This fine group also seems to be responsible for the work done earlier in 1999. Whether they are responsible for all or part of the work done in 1998 is unclear.

4-27-00 - More Vandalism

At this year's FEBT Spring Exploration it was reported that Coles Tank had been vandalized again. The hasp was broken at the hinge, likely by kicking in the door, and the temporary windows sashes that had been installed had their glass broken out. By that Sunday afternoon, April 9, EBT personnel had replaced the hasp.

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