The 2002 schedule of events sponsored by Friends of the East Broad Top begins with the annual FEBT Early Bird Exploration on Saturday and Sunday, April 6–7. This combined driving and walking tour of accessible areas of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark will again be coordinated by FEBT webmaster Christopher D. Coleman, with help from FEBT members Patricia J. Downs and Vagel C. Keller. Remember, you can see more when the trees are leafless and the trains aren't running!
Advance registration fees for this two–day event are $15 per adult for FEBT members and $20 for nonmembers. Registration on–site will cost FEBT members $20 per person and nonmembers $25. Please see the registration form inside for additional details. Early Bird Exploration registration forms should be mailed to the following address:
FEBT Early Bird Exploration
c/o Patricia J. Downs
3416 Lowell Drive
Columbus OH 43204
On Saturday and Sunday, June 1–2, FEBT will hold our 2002 Summer Celebration at the East Broad Top Railroad and the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale. At the EBT FEBT volunteers will conduct guided tours inside the EBT machine shop for FEBT members and the general public, while in Robertsdale we will welcome visitors to our summer museum open house. FEBT members will receive special rates for train and shop tour tickets look for more information in the next FEBT Newsletter!
On Saturday, August 10, FEBT will join the East Broad Top Railroad's 2002 Homecoming Celebration to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the rebirth of railroad operations on the EBT. Our preliminary plans call for FEBT–sponsored guided walking tours around the EBT shops complex in Rockhill Furnace and a "rebirthday" celebration" open house at the FEBT Museum.
On Saturday and Sunday, October 12–13, we will hold the 20th FEBT Fall Reunion in conjunction with the East Broad Top Railroad's 2002 Fall Spectacular. It's still too far in the future for us to discuss any firm plans for this event now, but we hope to have something special announce soon. In the meantime, mark your calendars!
In 2002 the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale will follow the same operating schedule as in the past several years. Our museum will be open 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm Sundays, June through mid–October. The FEBT Museum consists of two historic buildings which contain exhibits and displays related to the East Broad Top Railroad and our museum gift shop. The museum telephone is answered during regular operating hours only: (814) 635–2388.
Information about all FEBT–sponsored events and directions to the FEBT Museum can be found at the FEBT web site www.febt.org.
We are always looking for volunteers to assist us during FEBT events and at the FEBT Museum. Interested FEBT members should please contact
Vagel C. Keller
FEBT Assistant Vice President
P. O. Box 5130
Pittsburgh PA 15206–0130
Telephone: (412) 441–7881
The 2002 work season for the Robertsdale work crew will be starting in April or May. In addition to continuing our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office and former EBT depot, we may tackle additional work at Saltillo or elsewhere on the EBT, assuming that the necessary insurance and liability issues are resolved. A schedule of the weekends we plan to work this year will be distributed soon, but FEBT members interested in joining us as work crew volunteers this year can help us get organized by contacting
Henry F. Inman
2016 A Park Avenue
Richmond VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 353–0817
Contributions to the FEBT fund–raising campaign launched in August continue to arrive, reports FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin. In December, January, and early February we received approximately $11,000 in additional donations. Thus as of mid–February our campaign has raised over $26,500 for the FEBT restoration and development funds. (If we include the donations provided to FEBT to start the campaign, the total is over $29,000.) A portion of these funds has been used to cover costs incurred for the fund–raising campaign; others (including contributions designated by donors for these purposes) have been applied to the engineering assessment of the East Broad Top Railroad station building at Saltillo and to the payments due in 2002 for the loan we received for the first phase of our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office. After allowing for these expenditures, we now have approximately $20,000 available to commit to our restoration program.
Assuming that we are able to sustain the momentum established during the first six months of our campaign, FEBT is poised to make significant progress on our present restoration projects as well as to undertake serious study of possible additions to our restoration program. At its first 2002 meeting, the FEBT board of directors will allocate funding for the next stages of work on combine no. 16 and the two Robertsdale museum buildings. Directors will also review proposals for additional development work on other projects under consideration including the Saltillo station building. The board's decisions will be based on the actual resources on hand; on income projected from the fund–raising campaign, grants, and FEBT events; and on the revised budgets for each current and proposed restoration and development project.
As we have reported previously, a number of the contributions we have received have been supplemented by corporate matching programs. To date we have obtained $1,128.68 in corporate matching donations from American Express, Boeing, Microsoft, National Starch and Chemical Foundation, and Verizon. We have submitted applications for another $125 in similar donations.
In addition to our paid advertising , we are pleased to report that we have received helpful editorial support for the FEBT campaign in Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette, Railfan & Railroad, and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines; we also expect to receive notice for our campaign in the preservation column in an upcoming issue of Trains. While advertising and editorial notices have stimulated donations from the general railfan community, most of the donations we have so far received come from FEBT members. We are grateful for this generosity, but we still need your support. Donations should be mailed to us at the following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Remember that donors who send us contributions of $50 or more before August 31, 2002, will receive a full–size reproduction of Ted Rose's Mount Union Train.
We are looking for FEBT members interested in helping us set up and maintain display tables at two 2002 events. FEBT has reserved a display table at the 22nd National Narrow Gauge Convention, which will be held on September 4–8 in Warwick (near Providence), Rhode Island. If FEBT volunteers are available, we would also like to set up an exhibit at the 25th Gaithersburg Railroad and Transportation Artifacts Show and Sale on November 3 at the Montgomery County fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland (metro–Washington DC area).
In both instances, we plan to distribute information about the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT, sell selected items from the FEBT Company Store, and solicit donations to our current fund–raising campaign. We invite FEBT members who live near where these events will be held or who plan to attend to contact us to discuss arrangements for the FEBT exhibits:
Henry F. Inman
2016 A Park Avenue
Richmond VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 353–0817
We are pleased to announce that FEBT member Richard B. Keller is the new manager of the Friends of the East Broad Top Company Store. While new to this position, Rich is familiar to many FEBT members as the first coordinator of our volunteer work crews at Robertsdale in the late 1980s and for his service as FEBT president in the early 1990s. Among other qualities, Rich brings to the FEBT Company Store his extensive professional experience as a manager of retail stores in the greater Philadelphia area.
Starting on March 1 Rich will be able to process orders for merchandise and answer inquiries. Reflecting the change in management of our mail–order sales operation, the contact information for the FEBT Company Store is now as follows:
FEBT Company Store
c/o Richard B. Keller
211 Hampton Road
Hatboro PA 19040
A revised and updated catalog for the Company Store should be available soon, but in the meantime the on–line catalog on the FEBT web site www.febt.org can be consulted.
One immediate change Rich plans to introduce is revised charges for shipping and handling, since Rich believes improved efficiency will, in most cases, permit us to lower the current charges substantially. Until the new charges are announced, Rich advises purchasers to contact him to confirm the appropriate amount to include for shipping and handling before placing orders.
Rich succeeds John R. Snyder, who served as manager of the FEBT Company Store since September 1999. John plans to continue his work for FEBT in his other capacities as coordinator of the FEBT "new rider" program, corporate secretary, and member of our board of directors.
FEBT members are requested to vote to elect five 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, associate, 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 David S. Bucher (chairman), James G. Mersereau, and Douglas C. Taylor. The committee received the names of 11 potential nominees, including the five incumbent directors holding seats up for election. Three incumbent directors, Reginald Arford, David C. Brightbill, and Ron Morgan, informed the committee that they intended to retire from the board and asked not to be considered for nomination. The five nominees listed on the official ballot were selected by the nominating committee based on information obtained from the eight remaining candidates for nomination.
As in the past, the candidates selected by the nominating committee 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 randomized order in which the candidates' names appear on the official ballot. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent director running for reelection. Write–in votes are permitted, and space on the ballot has been provided for such votes.
As a researcher, writer, and speaker on East Broad Top Railroad history for over 30 years, my work is the basis of much of the knowledge we possess today about this fascinating railroad and industrial entity. As an early FEBT director and contributor to the Timber Transfer, I helped establish a number of popular FEBT programs, including our fall reunions. If elected to the board, I would use the opportunity to extend my past work in strengthening relationships with local historical groups and the railroad itself. As a director, I look forward to continuing to contribute to the FEBT publication, library, and museum programs.
I think it is the role of the FEBT directors to provide direction to the organization. In the past we have been blessed with many individuals who have done this job well. I'd like to think that I can continue that record. Further, most directors have taken an active role in the organization's operations. I would continue to perform in roles like I have in the past, as former coordinator of the FEBT oral history project, fall reunion volunteer, and participant in restoration projects. Plus, I would once again like to help promote FEBT at national narrow gauge conventions and similar events. I would like to be part of what I think will be a bright future for FEBT.
A member of FEBT since 1997, I have strongly supported our restoration program and contributed regularly to the FEBT Restoration Fund. I have attended most FEBT events during the past several years, and last year I was one of the FEBT volunteer docents inside the East Broad Top Railroad shops during our Summer Celebration "open shops" days at the railroad. I have also contributed photographs and assembled displays for other rail–oriented museums. As a director of FEBT, I would work to realize further progress in our own restoration program and in our efforts to preserve and restore the EBT.
It would be an honor to be selected as a director of FEBT. Although I have been responsible for the collection contained in FEBT's Wilburn Library for some time, I would like to take the preservation of photos, documents, recordings, and records of the organization's activities to a higher level. As a member of the board, I would better lines of communication with the organization and its membership. I would take every opportunity to work on the many activities of FEBT and assist the group in achieving its goals.
I believe FEBT is moving in the right direction. We are starting to work with the East Broad Top Railroad on the active part of the property, and we are moving forward on the restoration projects in Robertsdale and combine no. 16's trucks. Our current fund–raising effort should bring in resources to move these forward. I intend to keep these types of programs moving forward.
We are pleased to report that former EBT brakeman and retired Huntingdon County commissioner Lee R. Wilson has again agreed to serve as judge and count the ballots for this election. All 2002 election ballots must be mailed to FEBT Directors Election, c/o Lee R. Wilson, Election Judge, RR 1 Box 1156, Three Springs PA 17264. Only ballots received by March 30, 2002 will be counted.
Two former East Broad Top Railroad passenger cars are part of a collection of narrow–gauge rolling stock now up for sale. The cars, combination baggage–passenger car no. 18 and baggage car no. 29, are located in Fort Lupton, Colorado. Together with other equipment acquired by the late Don Drawer, the EBT cars must be sold and removed from their present location by October of this year.
Starting last fall, Friends of the East Broad Top has engaged in exploratory conversations about the two EBT passenger cars with representatives of the Drawer family, other museums and railroad operators interested in the Drawer collection, and the East Broad Top Railroad. FEBT vice president Bob Farquharson is coordinating this effort, and he will present the information he has assembled about the cars at the next meeting of our board of directors, now tentatively scheduled for early April. Whether the board decides to attempt to acquire the two former EBT cars, and obtain the necessary funding to do so, depends on a number of factors, but the cost of transporting the cars to some suitable location at or near the EBT is one obvious consideration. Bob reports that a truck operator familiar with the Drawer collection, who has experience moving similar equipment for Colorado narrow gauge tourist railroads, has estimated that the cost of transporting the EBT cars to Pennsylvania would be approximately $10,000 to $11,000 per car.
FEBT members with opinions or suggestions about the two EBT cars in Colorado are invited to communicate directly with Bob, so he can incorporate their comments into the material he will present to the board:
Robert R. Farquharson
FEBT Vice President
5132 Piper Glen Drive
Charlotte NC 28277–0389
Telephone: (704) 846–8447