Friends of the East Broad Top
A nonprofit society dedicated to the preservation and restoration
of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark
Things we do

24th FEBT Fall Reunion
                     A recap of the 24th annual gathering

by Jane Clarke
Damascus, MD
photos as noted

Originally published in the Timber Transfer, Vol. 23, No. 2, Fall 2006

EBT Speeder sounthbound
One of the EBTís track speeders tests the recently-cleared track south of the coal dock. While the track isnít up to handling the weight of a train, the speeders made frequent trips down the roughly half-mile stretch of track.
Pete Clarke photo

The Friends of the East Broad Topís 24th reunion was held October 6-8, 2006. For a change, the weather was great! There were 125 registrants, including 24 from the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society (WMRHS). Our registrar, Pat Coleman, did a great job as usual. Please consider helping the FEBT with our upcoming 25th reunion (see the end of this article).

FEBT Tent
The FEBT had an information tent set up in the parking lot of the Rockhill Furnace shops where passersby could learn about the ongoing restoration efforts, and about the railroad in general.
Pete Clarke photo

Friday featured talks about documentation of EBT buildings and modeling the Mt. Union coal cleaning plant. Historical architect John Bowie discussed his documentation of the East Broad Top Railroad's water tank at Coles. EBT modeler Ron Pearson gave a presentation on how he modeled the EBT coal transfer and preparation plant at Mount Union. (His diorama won the Best in Show award on Saturday.) After the presentations there was a short business meeting led by president Hank Inman and pizza from Pizza Star. The Company Store was open Friday and Saturday under the supervision of Dick Ullery with help from Jon Radder, Shawn Stauffer, and Wade Woodcock. Other vendors included Bill Wade of BTS, Rich Yoder Models, Jim Garts, and Don Woshlo. Jim Vliet set up his train show display for us.

As usual, Saturday was the busiest day of the weekend. With 13 trains running from 9am until 8pm, everyone had a chance to ride. In addition to the heavy iron, speeder rides were available throughout the weekend on Phil Raynesí and the EBTís speeders. When not on the rails, registrants had plenty of tours from which to choose. FEBT members Tom Diehl, Bob Reffner and Bob Goldby led the traditional shop tours, Lee Rainey guided the EBT roundhouse tours, and Chris Coleman guided the Rockhill restoration tour and the Mt. Union tour. Bill Adams, Steve Jacobs, and Wade Woodcock handled the Paint Shop exhibits. Larry Freeman and Herb Kephart spent last year (and a lot of money) restoring the M-3 railcar. Larry gave a presentation about the restoration and showed off his "baby" at the railroad. He also set up a display of old M-3 parts and a digital photo album of the restoration in the M-3 garage adjacent to the electricianís shop. The M-3 was available for rides, too! The information table was manned by Lee Carlson, Bob Harris, Nancy Jacqmin and Dennis Straub. Fred Heide, Henry Oberding, John Snyder and Janet Tigue helped Pat at the registration table.

EBT #15
The morning sun greets EBT #15 as she prepares for a busy day of pulling passengers up and down the line.
Pete Clarke photo

Saturday evening began with dinner, featuring barbecued chicken and ham, and service awards presentations at the Orbisonia Fire Hall. Most folks rode the night train and returned to the Lion's Hall for the contest awards and auction. Contest committee chairman Bob Beebe, along with Bob Baily and Bill Grow, presented awards for models and photographs submitted by FEBT members. (Contest winners will be published in a future TT.)

Craig Williams oversaw another successful auction which raised $1,582,41 for the restoration fund with help from Bob Baily, John Snyder and Shawn Stauffer. The railroad donated pieces of the M-3 salvaged by Larry Freeman. Other notable items were a brass EBT lock from Mark Henderson and an EBT Mikado kit in Nn3 from Bob Harris. Bill Adams, Bill Blomgren, Pete Clarke, Pat Coleman, W. George Cook, Bob Farquharson, Jerry Fisher, Ray Fritsch, Jim Garts, Neil Gruber, Matt Gruber, Bob Harris, Stan Johnson, Vagel Keller, Allen Littlefield, Bill Payne, Mike Reece, James Rothermel, Richard Rutledge, John Snyder, Bill Wade, Don Woshlo and Rich Yoder donated many additional modeling items, books, and pieces of EBT and railroad memorabilia.

On Sunday, Nancy Jacqmin opened the Robertsdale station and old Post Office and served coffee and doughnuts to hungry FEBT members with help from Pete Clarke and Fred Heide. Vagel Keller and Ron Pearson led the popular Robertsdale mine tour. Back at the railroad, there was a reprise of Saturdayís roundhouse, shop, and restoration tours and, of course, many trains and speeders to ride.

In the end, a great time was had by all. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made this possible. (Please forgive me if I missed your name.) Mark your calendars now for our 25th Reunion on October 5-7, 2007!

The 2006 Reunion turned a modest profit for the FEBT. (The auction proceeds are for the restoration fund only.) There would have been little or no profit had the WMRHS not participated. To help make future reunions more profitable and more fun, please send your ideas to Jane Clarke (jane.clarke@invitrogen.com or Patty Coleman (ebtsteam(@wowway.com). Here are few things we would like to see:

Questions we have for FEBT members:

We would appreciate hearing your thoughts on these ideas, to make the Reunion more of a benefit and draw for our membership.

Speeders at the Grove
The track speeders werenít limited to runs south of Orbisonia. They made a special trip up the line to Colgate Grove.
Steve Jacobs photo
Larry & the M-3
FEBT member Larry Freeman gives a talk about the restoration of the EBTís track inspection car, the M-3. This was the first time the car had operated in years, after an extensive rebuild spearheaded by Larry and Herb Kephart.
Pete Clarke photo
4-Bay Hopper
The EBTís only remaining 4-bay hopper sports a fresh coat of paint for the occasion. Hoppers 1063 and 1074 (shown) were the only two 4-bay hoppers built by the railroad. Hopper 1063 was rebuilt to the more conventional 3-bay configuration.
Pete Clarke photo
Morning freight
EBT #15 leads her morning freight by the car shops.
Paolo Roffo photo
 



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