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

FEBT Events & Activities

Roundhouse tour conducted by Lee Rainey.
Roundhouse tour conducted by Lee Rainey - Part of the 2003 Fall Reunion.
Bill Blomgren photo

Upcoming Events

Here are the events that the FEBT will be holding in the coming months. All our events are open to both members of the FEBT and the general public, and we welcome all visitors to the EBT during one of these events to register and join in the fun. A general description of our regular events is found below. Note that FEBT members receive a discount on event registration prices.

Please note: For information on Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale work session dates and times, visit the Restoration Projects page.

Our Regular FEBT Events

Each year the FEBT puts on and participates in a series of events designed to help you learn more about the East Broad Top Railroad, enjoy the company of other railfans, experience the history and atmosphere of the oldest operating narrow-gauge steam railroad east of the Mississippi and just plain have fun.

The descriptions below are generalized. Individual events may differ somewhat in content, but nevertheless they are fun for all participating and we invite you to experience the EBT through one of the Friends of the East Broad Top events.

Please note that meals and accommodations are not included in any of the FEBT sponsored events.

Summer Celebration

The first weekend in June is the opening of another EBT operating season and the FEBT is there. Come and join us to welcome the EBT back to life for another year of steam train rides, shop tours, speeder rides and other activities. The FEBT participates in the festivities by holding shop tours, roundhouse tours and an active restoration work session that weekend. Come and hear the history of the roundhouse and the fully equipped turn-of-the-twentieth century railroad shops from the acknowledged experts. Learn how steam locomotives were kept in the days of your grandfathers and watch our volunteers at work preserving and restoring priceless old buildings and rolling stock. You may feel free to ask any volunteer all the questions you like. Volunteers are easily identified by the hammer or paintbrush in their hands and the FEBT volunteer name tag they wear.

The FEBT museum in Robertsdale is open on the Summer Celebration weekend and there are generally special events planned at the museum on Saturday evening. Come and see our museum and participate in activities designed to educate and information visitors of the history of the EBT.

2001 Spring Exploration participants
FEBT members man the FEBT tent as part of the 2002 Summer Celebration activites.
Bill Blomgren photo

Of course the railroad is running it's steam trains and speeder rides so patrons can experience the atmosphere of this living museum to our railroad heritage. Come and help us welcome the summer, the sound of steam whistles and the smell of coal smoke at the EBT Summer Celebration.

Note: There is a nominal charge to take part in the special activities hosted by the FEBT during the Summer Celebration. For more details, see the announcement of the next Summer Celebration in the Upcoming Events section, when it becomes available.

Community Appreciation Day

Each year the EBT celebrates the anniversary of its 1960 revival as a tourist railroad and again the FEBT is part of the festivities with shop and roundhouse tours and other activities of interest to fans of the EBT. Ticket prices for train and speeder rides are reduced on Community Appreciation Day and the railroad adds a fourth "evening" train to its regular three-train schedule, offering the EBT patron a chance to ride in the open cars during a cooler and more peaceful time of the day

Again the FEBT holds a weekend restoration work session over the weekend which includes Community Appreciation Day, so here is another opportunity to come out and see and learn about the work being done to preserve and restore the EBT.

Note: This is not normally an extra-cost event, although shop and roundhouse tours have a ticket price associated with them. The FEBT may on occasion sponsor extra-cost activities on Community Appreciation Day. For more details, see the announcement of the next Community Appreciation day in the Upcoming Events section, when it becomes available.

Annual Reunion

On Columbus Day weekend, both the railroad and the FEBT pull out all the stops during the EBT''s Fall Spectacular. Concurrently the FEBT holds it annual reunion and FEBT business meeting a three day weekend of fun activities based around the EBT railroad and our FEBT museum in Robertsdale 30 miles southwest of Rockhill Furnace. The weekend includes the annual FEBT business meeting on Friday. Other activities include a model and photo contest, a fundraising auction where EBT memorabilia and other valuable items are sold to the highest bidder, the reunion dinner and the FEBT museum open house. The FEBT also provides yard, shop and roundhouse tours as well as a tour of the Mt. Union yards.

Meanwhile the EBT is running extra trains over the weekend including the annual appearance of the M-1 Brill Gas-Electric as well as other activities such as speeder rides. Usually the railroad hauls out one of the non-operable locomotives and sets up a static display as well.

The October Reunion and Fall Spectacular is the place for dedicated EBT and narrow gauge steam railroad fans to be.

Note: Participation in the FEBT reunion activities requires registration and the payment of a registration fee. The registration fee entitles the participant entrance to various activities which may include a train ride and a shop tour. Participants are encouraged to pre-register early, especially if they wish to attend the reunion dinner for which there is limited seating. Participants are also encouraged to make their accommodation reservations early as there is generally a shortage of hotels rooms nearby during the fall spectacular weekend. For more details, see the announcement of the next Fall Reunion in the Upcoming Events section, when it becomes available.

Past FEBT Events

Here are links to reports of a few of the past FEBT events. Event reports are generally published in the Timber Transfer or the FEBT Newsletter. The events reports on our website are taken from the published reports. The Timber Transfer and the FEBT Newsletter are two of the many benefits of becoming an FEBT member. If your are not a member of the FEBT, why not fill in an application form and join us today?

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