By R. Lee Rainey and Robert R. Farquharson
Directors, Friends of the East Broad Top
We have a unique opportunity to bring two complete East Broad Top Railroad passenger cars home to our favorite railroad. Near the end of EBT common–carrier operations, passenger–baggage combine no. 18 and baggage–mail car no. 29 were sold for tourist service. For the last several decades these cars have resided in Fort Lupton, Colorado. Now they are due to be sold at auction on July 20, 2002.
Though suffering from many years of exposure to the elements, both cars are complete with trucks and ironwork. Combine no. 18 even has its interior seats. While these cars require significant work, it appears quite practical to recondition them for service on the EBT.
At its April 6 meeting, the FEBT board of directors agreed to pursue the acquisition and return of these cars. We have obtained estimates for moving the cars to Pennsylvania and have an agreement in principle with the East Broad Top Railroad for outdoor storage at Rockhill Furnace.
The auction rules are simple. To buy a car, we must have cash in hand when we bid on July 20. To qualify as a bidder, we must have the financial ability to remove what we buy from the site within six weeks of purchase. This is an auction, and money talks.
No one can predict the going auction price for complete narrow–gauge passenger cars. We do know it will take approximately $30,000 to move both cars back to Pennsylvania and to protect them from the elements. Our board of directors can temporarily adjust some timelines for work on the current projects in our restoration program to provide part of the funds needed to bid on the cars now in Colorado, but we cannot cover the complete cost. Nor can we divert funds FEBT members have already donated to us for work on combine no. 16, our buildings in Robertsdale, or other restoration and development work. We need your help. The only way to bring these cars home to the EBT is to approach this auction with as large a war chest as possible.
Your directors believe strongly in this project. We ask you and other FEBT members for the generous support we must have to add this project to those already addressed in our current fund–raising campaign. Pledges are welcome, but funds must be on hand before the July 20 auction. If FEBT cannot successfully purchase at least one of the Colorado EBT cars, all donations to "bring 18 and 29 home" will be applied toward the restoration of combine no. 16 (unless your donation is accompanied by a written request that it be returned to you).
Please send your contributions for this initiative to FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin at the following address:
Friends of the East Broad Top
Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Mark your check (or indicate on the return envelope) that your donation is to be used to "bring 18 and 29 home." Note that contributions to support our effort to acquire these EBT passenger cars will be treated as part of our current fund–raising campaign. Thus each donor who contributes a donation of $50.00 or more will receive one of our art reproductions of Ted Rose's Mount Union Train.
As EBT historian Lee Rainey observes, the early history of EBT passenger cars is murky. Combine no. 18 may have been constructed by the railroad in 1876—which would make it the oldest EBT passenger car still in existence. Like the other passenger cars that spent any length of time on the EBT, no. 18 appears to have been rebuilt by the railroad at least once. For example, Lee suggests that between 1908 and 1916 the car's earlier radial roof was replaced by the clerestory roof it now exhibits. Combine no. 18 is similar to combines nos. 16 and 17, although at 35' 2" long (excluding end platforms) it is about a foot shorter and slightly narrower. Unlike the other two similar combines, EBT no. 18 features poling pockets at the corners of its car body.
In contrast to combine no. 18, the provenance of baggage–express car no. 29 is much clearer: It was among the second–hand passenger equipment the EBT purchased in 1916 from the Au Sable & Northwestern Railroad when that railroad converted to standard gauge. (In the same year the EBT acquired more passenger cars from the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad; today these cars comprise the bulk of the passenger equipment still on the railroad.) No. 29 is 36' 2" long (excluding end platforms) and features board–and–batten style side sheathing. It was used in work–train service during its final years on the EBT.
We invite you to join Friends of the East Broad Top on Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, as we celebrate the start of another operating season at the East Broad Top Railroad and the FEBT Museum. This year we are pleased to announce that we have arranged with the EBT for FEBT volunteers to offer guided tours inside the railroad's machine shop. We also plan to offer guided walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. All tours will open to the general public as well as to FEBT members. In Robertsdale we plan to open the FEBT Museum longer hours both days.
Subject to the availability of volunteers to serve as tour guides, we expect to offer three tours inside the machine shop and two yard walking tours each day. A schedule for these tours should be posted on the FEBT web site www.febt.org as we get closer to June 1. To the extent possible, tours will be timed to avoid conflicts with the EBT's trains schedule.
On each day the EBT's trains are scheduled to depart the Orbisonia station at the usual times: 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Train ticket prices are unchanged from last year; standard adult fare is $9.00, while for children ages 2 to 12 the fare is $6.00. Tickets for the guided tours inside the machine shop are $5.00 per person. However, FEBT members can purchase a train ticket and a machine shop tour ticket at the FEBT information tent for the special combined price of $9.00.
Registration for the 2002 FEBT Summer Celebration is not required, but we invite current FEBT members to visit the FEBT information tent when they arrive at the EBT to obtain a complimentary FEBT name–tag. A schedule of FEBT Summer Celebration activities and other information will be available at the FEBT information tent and at the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale.
We hope to offer an evening program or other activity at our Robertsdale museum Saturday evening, but our plans for this are still uncertain. Once again, we advise FEBT members to check the FEBT web site or stop by the FEBT information tent at the EBT on June 1 to confirm our Saturday evening schedule.
Are you interested in helping us as a volunteer during the 2002 Summer Celebration? We need FEBT members to serve as guides for the tours inside the machine shop and for the walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. Between 9:30 am and 5 pm other volunteers will be needed at the FEBT information tent to issue name–tags and handle sales of train and machine shop tour tickets to FEBT members and answer inquiries from the general public. We will also need volunteers to set up the information tent on Saturday morning and take it down on Sunday afternoon.
Several more volunteers will be needed at Robertsdale to maintain museum operations for what we hope is a much larger than usual number of museum visitors. These volunteers will handle visitor inquiries at Robertsdale and sales at the museum shop during the extended hours of operation on the Summer Celebration weekend: 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, June 1, and 12 noon to 5 pm on Sunday, June 2.
FEBT members interested in helping us make this event a success should contact Vagel C. Keller, FEBT assistant vice president, well before June 1, so we can determine our final arrangements for the FEBT–sponsored tours and other Summer Celebration activities:
Vagel C. Keller
P. O. Box 5130
Pittsburgh PA 15206–0130
Telephone: (412) 441–7881
Enthusiasm and interest in communicating the East Broad Top Railroad's history and heritage to visitors are the primary characteristics needed by potential FEBT Summer Celebration volunteers.
We are again relying on FEBT members to help us stimulate public interest in our plans for the 2002 Summer Celebration. Announcements aimed at the general public for both the FEBT tours at the EBT and our museum's open house are included as an insert to this newsletter. We have had these announcements printed on smooth paper stock, from which better quality plain–paper copies can be made. We encourage all FEBT members to reproduce and distribute copies of these announcements to railfans and others who may be attracted to what we have planned for the first weekend of June. We intend to circulate this information at Pennsylvania railroad museums with whom FEBT has established reciprocal relationships.
At the invitation of the East Broad Top Railroad, this year Friends of the East Broad Top is organizing work sessions at the EBT as well as at Robertsdale. During four weekends this summer, interested FEBT members can help us work inside and around the EBT's Rockhill Furnace shops and yard. The work we will perform is intended to assist the railroad in maintaining a safe and secure site for visitors and to prevent—to the extent current resources permit—further deterioration of shop buildings and their contents. Based on our experience during the June and July work sessions, EBT general manager Stanley Hall and FEBT may add other items of work for FEBT members to tackle in August and September.
The work FEBT volunteers will perform consists of tasks which the railroad's employees cannot perform once the EBT's operating season begins. Thus FEBT members will not be taking work away from railroad employees or contractors. Examples of what we have in mind are trimming grass, weeds, and brush around the Rockhill Furnace yard; repairing and reglazing windows in shop buildings; oiling shop machinery; and painting and other minor repairs to the exteriors of selected shop buildings. We also plan to repair and rehabilitate the two small storage buildings at the south end of the yard, across from the coal tipple.
FEBT director Lee Rainey has agreed to serve as the contact person for all 2002 work sessions and to coordinate the work sessions at the EBT. If you are interested in working with us at the EBT or Robertsdale this year (and you are not already a member of our Robertsdale work crew), please contact Lee so we can start making specific plans for the upcoming work sessions (including finding the tools and materials needed):
R. Lee Rainey
1730 Bristol Avenue, Apt. 305
State College PA 16801
Telephone: (814) 867–7878 (evenings)
Two FEBT members who live near the railroad, David C. Brightbill and Frank E. Shoop, have agreed to help us prepare for our work sessions and handle various tasks that cannot be completed during the course of our weekend sessions. Dave and Frank have, in fact, already started to stabilize the smaller of the two storage buildings near the coal tipple, so that FEBT members can work on the exterior of this building in June.
Meanwhile, work on our two museum buildings in Robertsdale will continue. Robertsdale coordinator Hank Inman indicates that early work sessions will focus on completing repairs to the windows in the depot and various items of routine maintenance in both buildings. Later in the year FEBT volunteers will probably start removing the wallboard and other material from the second floor walls of the post office so that contracted work can take place on the building's interior this winter.
Although other work dates may be added later, the current schedule for our 2002 work sessions is as follows:
It is probable that an additional work session at Robertsdale and the EBT will take place on October 5–6, but we will announce any plans for this weekend in the next newsletter.
Work sessions at the EBT will start at 9 am on both Saturdays and Sundays; they will continue until 6 pm on Saturdays and 4 pm on Sundays.
Work sessions at Robertsdale will start at 9:30 am and continue to 5:30 or 6 pm on Saturdays. Work on Sundays at Robertsdale will be based on the state of work at the end of the previous day and will be scheduled to accommodate the volunteers available.
The FEBT work sessions at the EBT are predicated on the certificate of liability insurance we will be able to provide under the new insurance policy which will come into effect when our present coverage expires on 23 May. This general liability insurance will protect EBT property from damage caused by the FEBT volunteers working on site, but will not cover any accidents and injuries suffered by volunteers. Thus only FEBT members will be allowed to work at our EBT work sessions, and all volunteers must provide up–to–date information to FEBT about their personal health and accident insurance—as well as who to contact in case of emergency.
At its April meeting the board of directors authorized David S. Bucher, coordinator of our work on the reproduction trucks for combine no. 16, to pursue the discussions he initiated last year with Linn Moedinger, president of the Strasburg Rail Road. Based on donations to our fund–raising campaign now on hand—together with those expected during the remainder of 2002—we could undertake the purchase of the machined wheels and axles needed for the reproduction trucks before the end of this year.
Assuming that we successfully arrange for the Strasburg Rail Road shops to assemble the reproduction trucks and reassemble the original wood–beam trucks from former EBT coach no. 5 (which we have leased from the Tweetsie Railroad), we hope to transport the various truck parts now stored in Maryland and Pennsylvania to Strasburg this year. FEBT members in southeastern Pennsylvania interested in helping Dave with this effort should contact him directly:
David S. Bucher
1409 Dodd Drive
Downingtown PA 19335
Telephone: (610) 518–2244
In March the Friends of the East Broad Top received the largest single donation to our current fund–raising campaign to date when we received a donation of 200 shares of Pfizer common stock from a FEBT member who prefers to remain anonymous. Although its value has fluctuated since, at the time of donation the value of this gift was approximately $8,000. To receive and hold this stock FEBT has established a brokerage account at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Among other things, this account allows us to receive donated securities by electronic transfer. Donations of stock and other capitalized investments can provide tax advantages to certain donors; we invite you to contact FEBT president Henry F. Inman (using the contact information stated elsewhere in this newsletter) if you have any questions about these donations.
As of the beginning of April, the total donations we have received since we launched our fund–raising campaign last August (including the value of the donated Pfizer stock) exceeds $38,750; we also expect to receive another $553 in corporate matching funds. Deducting funds already committed and the costs of the campaign, we have approximately $30,000 on hand to support our restoration and development programs.
The official tabulation of votes compiled by election judge Lee R. Wilson was presented to the FEBT board of directors at its first meeting of the year on April 6: Elected to two year terms as directors were (votes received in parentheses) William Blomgren (97), R. Lee Rainey (96), Craig A. Williams (93), Larry H. Williams (92), and Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. (91). The following individuals also received write–in votes: Wayne E. Baldwin (6), Stanley Hall* (2), Philip J. Padgett (2), Nevin Byers (1), Christopher D. Coleman (1), Vagel C. Keller (1), Lance Myers (1), David Padula* (1), Michael J. Swinnerton (1), and Fred H. Voelcker, Jr. (1). (Asterisks indicate persons who are not FEBT members and thus—according to our corporate bylaws—are not eligible to serve on the board of directors.)
The five new or reelected directors will serve until their successors are elected in early 2004; they join continuing directors David S. Bucher, Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, and John R. Snyder, whose current terms will end with the 2003 election.
Currently–serving FEBT officers were reelected by the board during its April meeting; these officers are Henry F. Inman, president; Robert R. Farquharson, vice president; John R. Snyder, secretary; and William T. Wheeler, treasurer. (The treasurer is not required to be a member of the board, and Bill has served in this capacity since the creation of FEBT.)
As a matter of record, current contact information is published here for all FEBT directors; residential (evening) telephone numbers are listed.
|William R. Blomgren||13816 Queenswater Lane, Charlotte NC 28273||(704) 587–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|David S. Bucher||1409 Dodd Drive, Downingtown PA 19335||(610) 518–email@example.com|
|Thomas A. Diehl, Jr.||RR 7 Box 7678, Stroudsburg PA 18360||(570) 421–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Robert R. Farquharson||5132 Piper Glen Drive, Charlotte NC 28277||(704) 846–email@example.com|
|Henry F. Inman||2016 A Park Avenue, Richmond VA 23220||(804) 353–0817|
|Richard B. Keller||211 Hampton Road, Hatboro PA 19040||(215) 674–1001||FEBTstore@aol.com|
|R. Lee Rainey||1730 Bristol Avenue, Apt. 305, State College PA 16801||(814) 867–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|John R. Snyder||629 West Pajabon Drive, Palmyra PA 17078||(717) 838–email@example.com|
|Craig A. Williams||20 Sunset Lane, Lititz PA 17543||(717) 626–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Larry H. Williams||910 Church Street, Saxon PA 16678||(814) 635–email@example.com|
Some of this information will change during 2002. For example, Lee will move into his new house at the end of May (his telephone number and e–mail address will not change, however). Up–to–date contact information for FEBT officers and directors is posted on the FEBT web site www.febt.org.
At its April meeting the board scheduled its remaining meetings for this year; these meetings will be held on June 1, August 24, and November 2. FEBT members interested in attending a meeting of the board should contact FEBT secretary John R. Snyder in advance to confirm the time and place of the meeting.
Based on comments various directors received, the brief discussion in the February FEBT Newsletter regarding the selection of the official slate of candidates by the nominating committee may have confused some of our members. After three directors indicated they intended to retire rather than seek reelection and withdrew their names from consideration, the nominating committee had the names of eight potential nominees to review. As reported in February the committee's official slate of candidates included five of these persons.
Of the other three potential nominees, one did not confirm his interest in serving on the board of directors; for this reason the committee could not consider this individual further as a possible candidate for nomination. The two other FEBT members whose names were communicated to the committee had recently joined FEBT with, as yet, no experience working on FEBT projects, initiatives, events, or other activities. The nominating committee believed that at the present time this lack of experience had not prepared these individuals for the responsibilities and financial obligations service on our board of directors entails. Because these details did not appear relevant at the time, only a brief summary stating the result of the nominating committee's deliberations was reported. I apologize to any FEBT members who may have found the account of the work on our nominating committee in the February newsletter confusing.
I take this opportunity to thank FEBT members David S. Bucher, James G.
Mersereau, and Douglas C. Taylor for serving on the nominating committee,
and Lee R. Wilson for again serving as election judge. On behalf of all our
officers and directors, I also wish to recognize here Reginald Arford, David
C. Brightbill, and Ron Morgan, who in April retired from service on our board
–Hank Inman, FEBT president
Several FEBT members have responded to our request in the February newsletter for volunteers interested in helping us set up and maintain displays at two 2002 events. But we still hope to find additional help for these and other opportunities to distribute information about the EBT and FEBT this year. The occasions and dates we now know about are the following:
We invite FEBT members who live near where these events will be held or who plan to attend to contact FEBT president Henry F. Inman (whose address and telephone number can be found elsewhere in this newsletter) to discuss arrangements for FEBT exhibits.
This year's operations at the East Broad Top Railroad will follow the same schedule used in recent years. Trains will operate on Saturdays and Sundays only, June 1 through October 27; departure times are 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm each day. Fares are also unchanged from last year; the standard rate for adults is $9.00, and that for children ages 2 through 12 is $6.00. Contact the East Broad Top Railroad directly for more information by telephone at (814) 447–3011 or by fax at (814) 447–3256.
The operating schedule for the Friends of the East Broad Top Museum in Robertsdale is Saturdays and Sundays, June 1 through October 20. Regular museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm on Sundays. During these times the telephone at our museum is answered; the rest of the time callers receive a recorded message: (814) 635–2388.
FEBT members interested in helping keep our museum open should contact FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller, who coordinates our museum operations, by telephone at (412) 441–7881 or by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.