Now, he’s combining those extensive track records to become the general manager of the East Broad Top Railroad, which has been purchased by the non-profit EBT Foundation Inc.
Esposito was the last employee hired by the Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad before it was absorbed into the Buffalo & Pittsburgh by shortline holding company Genesee & Wyoming, and is the last remaining employee from the P&S roster. He spent 12 years on the Buffalo & Pittsburg as a locomotive engineer, followed by eight years in management. If anything, his roots with the EBT run even deeper.
“My grandparents brought my dad here in the ’60s,” he says. “I came here in the ’80s, and I brought my kids here in the 2000s.”
Esposito says the East Broad Top wants “an image of renewal, a fresh start,” and that work will begin immediately on several fronts. The EBT has been closed since late 2011, and before operations can resume, the railroad will need to overhaul track and equipment, including locomotives and passenger cars. A fire-suppression system will be installed in the historic machine shops and roundhouse, and several structural stabilization projects will begin in the railroad’s Rockhill Furnace complex.
The partnership between the Kovalchick family, which has owned the East Broad Top since 1956, and the Friends of the East Broad Top is a big reason the railroad’s revival is possible.
“If it wasn’t for the cooperation with the Kovalchicks over the last 20 years, the EBT wouldn’t be in the [stable] shape it’s in now,” Esposito says. “The Kovalchicks have been very good to work with.”