In January Friends of the East Broad Top forwarded our final payment of $2,773.50 to Trail Tool, Inc., for the journal boxes fabricated in 1999 for the reproduction trucks we are building to return former East Broad Top Railroad combination passenger–baggage car no. 16 to operating condition. We were able to make this payment thanks to the generosity of 39 FEBT members who contributed $2,710.00 in year–end donations to the FEBT Restoration Fund.
The journal boxes are the last major component we need to obtain for the frames of our combine's "new" trucks, which are reproductions of original truck–frames from former EBT coach no. 5, now owned by the Tweetsie Railroad at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Not including a performance bond and lease payments to the Tweetsie Railroad for the trucks we are using as the pattern for our reproduction truck frames, we have since starting work in 1993 spent a total of $19,730.63 for reproduction truck components; an additional $2,557.82 was used to transport the leased truck frames from North Carolina to Maryland and to disassemble and clean parts from the pattern truck frames. The parts from the original trucks were then used by our contractors to manufacture the reproduction parts we need to put wheels underneath a restored combine no. 16. Some additional minor parts will be required to assemble the reproduction truck frames, but these small metal pieces can be fabricated when we assemble the truck frames. Putting together this full–size kit of truck components, then, is the next step we need to address as we continue to work toward a fully–restored combine no. 16, returned to operation on the East Broad Top Railroad.
We take this opportunity to thank the following FEBT members for their timely donations to the FEBT Restoration Fund: Edward J. Adamchik, Robert Bayles, Capt. Davis S. Cangalosi, Steven M. Chorkawy, John Drennan, David E. Graff, Hershey Groff, Jr., Bill Hadley, Geoffrey H. Hamway, Mark Henderson, Paul Hoffman, Michael Hurlburt, John G. Hutton, Wayne Johnson, Michael P. Joynt, Stanley R. Knotts, Jr., Allen W. Landis, Maynard J. Lautenslager, David MacDonald, Charles T. Mahan, Jr., Joseph Marasco, Jr., Gary L. McNeal, James A. Montgomery, James R. Montgomery, Ronald L. Pearson, Robert Putman, Albert L. Raiteri, Mike Repka, Norman R. Runk, James W. Seville, Steven L. Singer, William Slavik, Richard W. Symmes, Robert H. Timmins, William Toikka, Douglas W. Trainer, Frederick H. Voelcker, Jr., John W. Wesner, and Philip K. Wooding. FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin notes that this list of donors represents all donations she has received since publication of the December FEBT Newsletter and January 15. We thank again all the FEBT members who contributed a total of $5,778.36 to the FEBT Restoration Fund during the 2000 calendar year. We are also grateful to the FEBT members who added contributions supporting our restoration program to their 2000 membership dues payments. According to FEBT membership coordinator Peter A. Clarke, we received an additional $859.00 in such donations last year.
For obvious reasons, we are emphasizing here the donations we received as the result of our end–of–the year solicitation. However, contributions to the FEBT Restoration Fund are always welcome; these donations should be mailed to
FEBT Restoration Fund
c/o Nancy E. Jacqmin
513 Shady Avenue, Apt. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206
We remind FEBT members that contributions to FEBT may qualify for matching donations available from their employers' matching gifts programs. Last year FEBT received significant additional income for our restoration program from Microsoft, based on donations made by FEBT member and Microsoft employee William Blomgren. Microsoft has recently notified us that these matching contributions will continue this year, based on Bill's pledged 2001 donations to FEBT. We are also pleased to acknowledge anticipated corporate matching donations from the Corning Foundation and Verizon Foundation, based on contributions we received last year from FEBT members John Heitmann and Richard W. Symmes, respectively. We invite FEBT members and their employers to contact us for information required for donations to FEBT to qualify for corporate matching.
The restoration funds we now hold are sufficient to make the payments due this year for our repayment of the low–interest loan we received for the first phase of our rehabilitation of the old post office and to cover expected routine maintenance for our buildings in Robertsdale this year. Our planning continues for raising the funds needed to underwrite the next major stages of work on our current restoration projects, but in the meantime there are several short–term items of work we would like to initiate this year if the necessary funds are available.
As noted above, we need to assemble the reproduction truck frames for combine no. 16, reassemble the truck frames leased from the Tweetsie Railroad, and eventually transport the leased trucks back to North Carolina. At Robertsdale we need to have a new survey made of the entire museum site, incorporating the depot into the site plan we obtained several years ago for the old post office property. The new site plan would allow us to develop the additional improvements needed for the museum site and illustrate these improvements to prospective funding agencies. At Saltillo we intend to commission a consulting engineer to inspect the existing building and provide specific recommendations for long–term stabilization and rehabilitation of this historic structure. Only with this information can we realistically and intelligently discuss proposals to save this endangered asset with the East Broad Top Railroad and other interested parties.
This year's options and goals for our restoration program will be reviewed at the March meeting of the FEBT board of directors. At this time our directors will determine the baseline budget for 2001 restoration expenditures, based on the financial resources we have on hand or can reasonably expect to receive during 2001. Obviously any additional restoration fund donations we have received by that point will permit our board to consider and authorize more restoration work during the coming year.
Friends of the East Broad Top is seeking additional volunteers from among our members to help us maintain operation of our museum in Robertsdale during 2001. Vagel C. Keller, who will again coordinate museum operations this year, emphasizes that no experience is required only availability on one or more Saturdays and Sundays in June, July, August, or September plus interest in helping us communicate the East Broad Top Railroad story to museum visitors. Vagel has developed a brief guide to EBT history for museum volunteers, and we will provide all other background information museum volunteers will need when working at Robertsdale. During their first scheduled work sessions at the museum, all new museum volunteers receive on–site orientation from Vagel or one of our experienced volunteers.
The FEBT Museum's operating schedule this year is 10AM to 5 PM on Saturdays and 1 to 5 PM on Sundays, June 2 through September 30. If you're interested in working with us at the museum in 2001, please contact
Vagel C. Keller
FEBT Assistant Vice President, Museum Operations
P. O. Box 5130
Pittsburgh PA 15260–0130
Telephone: (412) 441–7881
Unfortunately the paperwork we used to record the names and addresses of the FEBT members who donated items for auction at the 2000 Fall Reunion went astray in the confusion after the auction concluded. We have been able to identify most of the donors who contributed items to us last October, but we still need for find the persons who donated the following items to the auction: a set of assorted railroad timetables; a Denver & Rio Grand Western boxcar; a Pennsylvania Railroad gondola car; and a framed large photographic print of East Broad Top Railroad locomotive no. 17.
If you gave us one or more of these items for the Fall Reunion auction last year (or know who did), please contact FEBT president Hank Inman so we can appropriately acknowledge these donations:
2016 A Park Avenue
Richmond VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 353–0817
East Broad Top Railroad–related walking tours have become a standard feature of most events sponsored by Friends of the East Broad Top, like the 2001 Early Bird Exploration this April. In recent years FEBT member George Cook has organized and led several walking and driving tours at FEBT events. George is interested in discovering if other FEBT members are interested in occasional less–formal, railroad–related hikes (not limited to the EBT) in central Pennsylvania or elsewhere. If this appeals to you, please contact George directly:
W. George Cook
62 Hawthorne Drive
Valatie NY 12184–9708
Telephone: (518) 784–2137
Mark your calendars now for these scheduled FEBT events later this year:
FEBT Summer Celebration, June 2–3
FEBT Fall Reunion, October 6–7
Information about our plans for these events and other activities at the FEBT Museum and East Broad Top Railroad will be circulated to all FEBT members in future newsletters or check the FEBT web site www.febt.org.
FEBT members are requested to vote to elect four persons to the nine member Board of Directors of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., using the ballot included with this newsletter. All FEBT members holding regular, family, sustaining, life, senior, student, and basic memberships are eligible to vote in this election. The directors chosen by FEBT members in this election will serve two–year terms of office.
The nominating committee for this election cycle consisted of Craig A. Williams (chairman), R. Lee Rainey, and Douglas C. Taylor. The committee received only the names of the four incumbent directors holding seats up for election as potential nominees, so only these four candidates are listed on the official ballot. However, write–in votes are permitted, and space on the ballot has been provided for such votes.
As in the past, the four candidates were asked to provide information for distribution to FEBT members for this election. Each candidate was asked to provide a written statement of 100 words or less summarizing his or her past and present contributions to Friends of the East Broad Top and indicating what he or she would do if elected. These responses are reproduced below (minimally edited), in the order in which the candidates' names appear on the official ballot. (The order in which candidates are listed here and on the ballot was determined by randomization.) An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent director running for reelection.
As an early member of FEBT, I have seen us grow from a handful of members with a photocopied newsletter to one with hundreds of members and a first–class publication devoted to the history of the railroad and its related industries. Completing the restoration of the old post office will allow us to develop a library and archives for scholarly research. I have supported the restoration program both financially and with sweat equity. An operable combine no. 16 will allow FEBT to show that it is a true friend of the East Broad Top Railroad.
I have served as FEBT director 1993–present, secretary 1993–95, chairman of the board 1996, president 1997–present, and Robertsdale restoration coordinator 1996–present. The primary task facing our Board of Directors is continuing our current efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of FEBT operations and initiatives based on what FEBT members tell us is important and raising the necessary funds from within and outside FEBT to maintain our progress on these projects.
For several years I have served as a member of the board, secretary, and administrator of the EBT "New Rider" Program. In the past I also served as treasurer of the FEBT life member and restoration accounts; I have worked as a restoration volunteer at Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale. I have acted as interim manager of the FEBT Company Store not once but twice. In 1999 I organized the recovery of the store's inventory and assets; currently I am continuing our work to resolve past problems with the store. I have found volunteers to assist with the store's operations. At present there are some health concerns which my interrupt my service on the board. However, I believe strongly in FEBT's current program and salute our current president and board for their accomplishments and efforts.
I have had a serious interest in the history of the EBT since the early 1970s. I have visited the railroad many times through the years and attended many of the winter spectaculars as well as the more recent fall spectaculars. In 1988 I joined FEBT to become more involved with the history and preservation of the railroad. In 1990 I was elected to the FEBT board of directors and became coordinator of the combine no. 16 truck reproduction project. I have since served in various capacities as a board member, secretary, and vice president. I model the EBT in HOn3 and am a member of the NMRA and Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society. My goal as a member of FEBT is to return combine no. 16 to the railroad.
We are pleased that former EBT brakeman Lee R. Wilson has agreed to serve as judge and count the ballots for this election. Lee notes that he spent six years working on the EBT, making his last run in February 1956. Between 1979 and 2000 he was elected to and served three four–year terms as a commissioner of Huntingdon County. As county commissioner Lee actively participated in efforts to develop plans to insure the future existence and development of the East Broad Top Railroad. More recently he served as a member of the board of the newly reorganized Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.
All 2001 election ballots must be mailed to FEBT Directors Election, c/o Lee R. Wilson, Election Judge, RR 1 Box 1136, Three Springs PA 17264. Only ballots received by March 8, 2001 will be counted.
Find your hiking boots and get ready to join us for the 2001 FEBT Early Bird Exploration on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8. Once again FEBT webmaster Christopher D. Coleman will organize and coordinate this year's exploration of the historic East Broad Top Railroad corridor. According to Chris, the 2001 guided riding and walking tours will feature the bridges and tunnels along the EBT right–of–way. Most of the EBT's bridges can easily be seen and photographed from nearby public roads and high ways before the spring leaves, bushes, and brambles return. Chris's preliminary itinerary for the weekend also calls for supervised visits to three of the four portals of the EBT's two tunnels.
In addition to the usual slide show at the FEBT Museum on Saturday evening, 2001 Spring Exploration registrants will be able to view vintage 8–millimeter film of the EBT. Advance registration fees for this year's spring exploration is $15.00 for FEBT members and $20.00 for nonmembers; on–site registration will be $20.00 for FEBT members and $25.00 for others. Remember that spouses and dependent children of family, sustaining and life FEBT members qualify for member rates at all FEBT events, although at the Early Bird Exploration registration is not required for children 10 and under.
For more information or to register for this year's spring exploration weekend, please contact
2001 Early Bird Exploration
c/o Christopher D. Coleman
114 East Oakland Avenue
Columbus OH 43201–1279
Telephone (evenings): (614) 267–6397