After an absence of more than four decades, two historic railroad passenger cars are on their way home to the East Broad Top Railroad. On July 20 Friends of the East Broad Top purchased former EBT combination passenger–baggage car no. 18 and baggage–express car no. 29 at the auction of the assets of the Sundown and Southern Railroad in Fort Lupton, Colorado. FEBT vice president Robert R. Farquharson attended the sale as our representative and successfully bid on the two EBT cars.
Starting in mid–May, FEBT members, railfans, and other supporters donated more than $35,000 in contributions designated for the effort to "bring 18 and 29 home." The cost of buying the two cars, including the auctioneer's fee, was $14,300. The remaining donations will be used to cover much but unfortunately not all of the cost of transporting these two fragile wood cars to Rockhill Furnace. FEBT is contracting with Venezia Enterprises, Inc., to handle this delicate task. (In fact, FEBT commissioned Michael J. Venezia to fly to Colorado the week before the auction to inspect the EBT passenger cars and confirm that they could be safely moved.) Venezia Enterprises is an experienced transporter of historic railroad cars and locomotives; the firm has moved equipment for the Smithsonian Institution, the Strasburg Rail Road, and the Durango & Silverton Railroad, among others. Mike Venezia's current estimate for the total cost of transporting the two EBT cars is $34,500. FEBT will use funds temporarily borrowed from other projects to pay the portion of the cost of moving our "new" passenger cars back to the EBT which the donations now on hand will not cover.
To avoid slowing progress on our other projects, we obviously hope to repay or replace as rapidly as possible all funds we borrow to "bring 18 and 29 home." Contributions to aid this effort should be mailed to our restoration fund treasurer, Nancy E. Jacqmin, at the following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund
513 Shady Avenue, Apt. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Donors whose contributions are $50 or more will receive unless they indicate otherwise one of the art reproductions offered as part of our current fund–raising campaign as a token of appreciation for their gift.
Mike Venezia and his crew plan to start preparing 18 and 29 for their trip home in late August. The target date for the arrival of the two EBT passenger cars at Rockhill Furnace is early September. The cars, suffering from the effects of over 30 years of unprotected storage in Colorado, will be covered in plywood, braced internally, wrapped with tarpaulins, and tied securely to prevent collapse in transit. As Mike has repeatedly warned us, even if the two cars travel from Colorado to Pennsylvania without incident, they will look "really ugly" when they get to the EBT.
For those who may have only recently joined us, the EBT sold off the bulk of its passenger cars as passenger traffic declined in the 1940s and then ended in the early 1950s. The railroad sold the two cars purchased last month by FEBT in 1954 and 1956 to a museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the early 1970s the two cars were sold again. This time they traveled to Fort Lupton, north of Denver, where they joined an eclectic collection of narrow–gauge rolling stock acquired for a combined theme park and tourist railroad.
A third EBT passenger car, combination passenger–baggage car no. 16, is held by FEBT under 99–year lease; this car is now stored under cover at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. All three of FEBT's passenger cars were originally constructed in the nineteenth century but not necessarily for the EBT. The EBT acquired combines nos. 16 and 18 as new or used equipment in the 1880s, and it purchased no. 29 second–hand in 1916. FEBT has delayed transporting no. 16 back to the EBT while reproduction trucks needed to restore it to operating condition are fabricated. In the not–too–distant future we hope to have all three cars in a secure covered storage facility at the EBT, where we can determine how best to advance toward our goal of restoring these historic cars and then get to work!
Come help us celebrate a milestone in the history of Friends of the East Broad Top! On October 12 and 13 we will hold our twentieth annual Fall Reunion at the East Broad Top Railroad. Enjoy the EBT's 2002 Fall Spectacular and join us for a variety of FEBT–sponsored activities on Saturday and Sunday of the Columbus Day holiday weekend, including the FEBT Company Store, other vendor and dealer displays, photo and model contests, auction, Saturday dinner, and Sunday open house at the FEBT Museum at Robertsdale.
FEBT member W. George Cook has agreed to lead a walking tour along the old Booher branch right–of–way, FEBT webmaster Christopher D. Coleman will conduct a walking tour of the Mount Union yard, and FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller will again provide his celebrated Robertsdale mine walking tour. We hope to offer Fall Reunion registrants a special guided tour of the Rockhill Furnace yard that includes discussion of the restoration work FEBT volunteers have tackled there this year.
The return home of the two EBT passenger cars we purchased in July will give this year's Fall Reunion a special character. FEBT members should be able to inspect EBT combine no. 18 and baggage–express car no. 29, although access may be limited by their condition and location.
Registration for this year's Fall Reunion is easy! You can register in advance by mail or register in person on October 12. Use the registration form included with this announcement to pre–register for the 2002 FEBT Fall Reunion. Help us avoid problems by filling in all information requested on the Fall Reunion registration form, including any reservations for the Fall Reunion dinner. Completed registration forms should be mailed to the following address:
c/o Pat Downs
3416 Lowell Drive
Columbus OH 43204
Please include your payment with your registration form and make all checks payable to "FEBT." Please do not combine your 2002 Fall Reunion registration and dinner registration payment with other payments (to renew your FEBT membership, for example). Do not mail registration forms to us after October 5; after this date you should plan to register in person on Saturday morning.
FEBT members and others who pre–register for the 2002 Fall Reunion can pick up their Reunion registration material on Friday, October 11, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall between 7 and 8:30 pm (approximately). The Fall Reunion registration table will open at the Lions Hall at 8 am Saturday. Throughout Saturday morning and afternoon pre–registered Fall Reunion participants can obtain their registration materials, and others may register on a walk–up basis.
This year we are producing two new numbers—1 and 2—for our series of locomotive number–plate jewelry pins for EBT locomotives constructed by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. In addition to the new number–plate pins, each Fall Reunion registrant will receive one regular EBT Fall Spectacular train ticket, one EBT shop tour ticket, 2002 Fall Reunion commemorative button, full EBT and FEBT schedules for the weekend, contest ballot, plus other information of interest to Fall Reunion participants. Because the Saturday evening Fall Reunion dinner is not included with your 2002 Fall Reunion registration, this year you must make a separate meal reservation on the registration form.
Note that you can pre–register for additional reunion packages for friends and family by indicating the number and type of registration packages desired and stating the names of all registrants in the appropriate block on the registration form. Please remember that spouses and dependent children of FEBT family, sustaining, associate, and life members qualify for the FEBT member rate for 2002 Fall Reunion registrations.
This year separate reservations are again required for the annual Fall Reunion dinner at the Orbisonia–Rockhill Fire Hall on Saturday, October 12. Note that there will be only one dinner seating at 5 pm.
The capacity of the Orbisonia–Rockhill Fire Hall is 150 diners, and therefore we are offering only 150 reservations for the 2002 Fall Reunion dinner—available on a first–ordered, first–reserved basis. Fall Reunion registrants may reserve as many seats at the Saturday dinner as they wish until all 150 seats have been reserved. (Dinner tickets for any persons in your family or group who are not registered Fall Reunion participants will be included in the Fall Reunion material waiting for you at the registration table.) The additional required payment must be included with your advance registration form to hold reserved seats at the 2002 Fall Reunion dinner.
If seats are still available, FEBT members who register on Saturday morning may purchase reservations for the Fall Reunion dinner. Last year we were able to accommodate all registrants who wanted seats at the Fall Reunion dinner—but we can obviously make no guarantees that this year seats will still be available on October 12.
All 2002 Fall Reunion registrants will again receive EBT Fall Spectacular train tickets and shop tour tickets. By incorporating these EBT tickets in every Fall Reunion registration, FEBT provides increased financial support for the EBT's 2002 Fall Spectacular—an objective all FEBT members share.
The train ticket can be used on any regular EBT Fall Spectacular round–trip train ride between the Orbisonia Station and Colgate Grove—subject to the usual conditions set by the East Broad Top Railroad. (These tickets cannot be used to ride the M–1 or other trains for which a special fare is required.) The shop tour ticket permits FEBT Fall Reunion registrants to take any one of the guided tours inside the EBT Rockhill Furnace shop complex scheduled on Saturday and Sunday of the Fall Spectacular weekend.
EBT General Manager Stanley Hall assures us that FEBT Fall Reunion registrants are welcome to exchange the train ticket included with each 2002 Fall Reunion registration for all–day passes or other special Fall Spectacular tickets. When making such ticket exchanges at the EBT ticket window, only the difference between the cost of the regular Fall Spectacular train ticket and the pass or special ticket will be charged.
After the Saturday night train on the EBT, join us at the Orbisonia Lions Hall for the annual Fall Reunion auction, where EBT memorabilia, models, and other railroad items donated to FEBT will be sold to the highest bidders! All proceeds from the auction go to the FEBT Restoration Fund to support the work of our restoration program. Donors have already contributed over 300 railroad and railfan magazines, G–gauge model railroad equipment, and other items to be sold at the 2002 auction. To encourage donations of suitable items for this year's auction, we are again including a $5.00 check–off discount for all Fall Reunion registrants who donate an item or collection of items worth $25.00 or more to FEBT for the Fall Reunion auction. EBT and railroad books, models, and other materials are welcome!
This year we are offering a limited number of T–shirts commemorating our twentieth Fall Reunion and the 75th anniversary of the EBT's M–1 gas–electric motor–car. The T–shirt is 100% heavy–weight preshrunk cotton with a multi–color silk–screen design based on our M–1 FEBT logo. Prices for the T–shirts are shown on the Fall Reunion registration form. Supplies will be limited, so orders will be filled on a first–come, first–served basis. To get the sizes you want, we recommend you order your T–shirts when you pre–register. Fall Reunion registrants can pick up T–shirts they order from the Fall Reunion registration table when they obtain their registration materials. Any T–shirts available after the orders submitted by those who pre–register for the Fall Reunion are filled can be purchased on Saturday and Sunday, while the supply lasts.
Not coming to the 2002 Fall Reunion? You can still order our twentieth Fall Reunion commemorative T–shirts! Use the registration form to place your order and enclose the additional shipping and handling charge for mail orders with your payment. Mail orders will be filled from stock on hand after the Fall Reunion weekend; any payments for mail orders we receive that cannot be filled will be returned.
The FEBT Reunion work group is looking for FEBT members who are willing to spend an hour or two of their time on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the 2002 Fall Reunion weekend to assist us at the Fall Reunion registration table, FEBT Company Store, FEBT information booth, FEBT Museum at Robertsdale, and with other Fall Reunion activities. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, use the questionnaire on the back of the registration form to indicate your interest. Or you can contact Vagel C. Keller, vice president, museum operations, who is coordinating our Fall Reunion volunteers, directly for more information:
Vagel C. Keller
P. O. Box 5130
Pittsburgh PA 15206
telephone (412) 441–7881
Please remember to include your telephone number (and email address, if you have one) when returning your registration form or when you contact Vagel, so he can quickly establish communications with you.
To get to the Orbisonia Lions Hall from US 522, turn west (toward the EBT) at the Orbisonia traffic light, then turn left at K L Mills; the Lions Hall will be below and to the right.
If you find you need additional information about the 2002 FEBT Fall Reunion, please contact Patricia J. Downs by e–mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at (614) 351–7338. Or look for Fall Reunion updates on the FEBT web site at www.febt.org.
The 2002 business meeting of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., will be held at 7 pm on Friday, October 11, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. FEBT officers and directors will report on various matters and answer questions about our 2001 and 2002 operations. All FEBT members are welcome to attend.
If you're looking for dinner or a snack before the business meeting, join us for soft drinks and pizza at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. Pizza will be available starting at approximately 6 pm; cash contributions will be collected to cover the cost of the pizza.
The Friends of the East Broad Top Museum in Robertsdale will hold its annual fall open house in conjunction with the 2002 FEBT Fall Reunion. Both the general public and Fall Reunion registrants are invited to enjoy refreshments, coffee, and soft drinks on Sunday, October 13, between 9 am and 2 pm. Visitors to our museum can tour exhibits inside the former East Broad Top Railroad station and adjoining old Robertsdale post office; EBT books, videotapes, clothing, and souvenirs can be purchased in our museum gift shop.
Our museum will also be open on Saturday, October 12. Because of our 2002 Fall Reunion, special hours this day only will be 1 to 4 pm; if volunteers are available the museum may be open Saturday morning. The telephone number for the FEBT Museum, answered when the museum is open, is (814) 635–2388.
Sadly, in recent months Friends of the East Broad Top and the East Broad Top Railroad have lost two friends and supporters.
On June 7 Gary L. Young, a consulting engineer and surveyor who worked with Friends of the East Broad Top at Robertsdale and Saltillo, died suddenly and unexpectedly while participating in a hunting competition in Ohio. In 1996–97 Gary inspected the foundation of the old Robertsdale post office and designed drainage improvements for the site. In 1998 FEBT commissioned him to inspect and recommend reinforcement to stabilize the station building at Saltillo and the watertank at Coles Station. This led directly to the installation of bracing and ties in both buildings in 1999. A 1958 graduate of Robertsdale high school, Gary worked for ten years as an engineer with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before setting up his own firm. He held engineering appointments for a number of municipalities in southern Huntingdon County, and from 1983 he acted as chief engineer for the East Broad Top Railroad. Gary maintained an keen interest in FEBT projects whether or not he was professionally involved.
On July 26 Ted Rose succumbed to cancer at age 61. Widely recognized for his powerful watercolor renditions of railroad and industrial subjects, Ted provided instrumental help to FEBT when he agreed to allow us to use reproductions of Mount Union Train to stimulate contributions during the first year of our current fund–raising campaign. In a collection of his work published in 2000 (In the Traces: Railroad Paintings of Ted Rose, Indiana University Press), Ted explained his fascination with the subjects of his paintings: "The places of our past and present are part of a haunted, sometimes beautiful, always complex landscape, a cultural and industrial landscape either urban or rural, that is our common ground." A member of FEBT since 1994, Ted was a regular contributor to our restoration fund.
I am certain all FEBT members join FEBT officers and directors in extending our
condolences to the families of Ted Rose and Gary L. Young.
–Hank Inman, FEBT president
On July 1 the National Railway Historical Society announced the award of a 2002 Railway Heritage Grant to Friends of the East Broad Top. FEBT will receive $5,000 in matching grant funds (the maximum amount awarded) to underwrite our purchase of wheel–and–axle assemblies for the reproduction trucks we are fabricating for EBT combination passenger–baggage car no. 16. FEBT was one of ten railroad preservation organizations (out of 58 applicants) who received 2002 NRHS grants.
Our present estimate for the cost of the four machined wheel–and–axle sets we need for combine no. 16 is $11,000. This includes delivery to the shops of the Strasburg Rail Road, who will assemble the reproduction trucks and reassemble the original trucks from EBT coach no. 5, which we are using as patterns for combine no. 16's "new" trucks. We expect to use donations to our current fund–raising campaign to cover the rest of the cost of the wheels and axles.
FEBT director David S. Bucher, who coordinates our work on the reproduction trucks, reports that he has started to transport the metal truck parts we have already acquired to Strasburg. The leased trucks and the wooden frames for the reproduction trucks are currently stored in Maryland, but Dave hopes to move them to the Strasburg Rail Road shops in the next month or so. Linn Moedinger, president of the Strasburg Rail Road, has agreed to store the components of the original and reproduction trucks while we obtain the wheels and axles and secure funds to assemble the trucks. The current estimate for the cost of this work is $25,000, including reassembly of the trucks from EBT coach no. 5 (which we have leased from the Tweetsie Railroad). We hope to start this final work on combine no. 16's "new" trucks in 2003, but this will depend on the financial resources we have available to us next year.
The East Broad Top Railroad is planning a trip back to the past during the 2002 Fall Spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13. Locomotive no. 14 will appear in solid black paint, just as in the 1950s. The doors have been reinstalled in combines nos. 14 and 15, and each should be wearing a new coat of paint in October.
The EBT has advised us that availability of operable locomotives will constrain train operations during this year's celebration. The railroad is still working on its operating schedule, but we know that the unique M–1 gas–electric will make its annual appearance and that the EBT's once–a–year night train will run on Saturday evening. Fares for train tickets and all–day passes have not yet been set, but EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall indicates that 2002 Fall Spectacular tickets will cost the same or less than last year. On both days guided tours inside the shops will again offered, and more activities may be on tap in the Rockhill Furnace yard throughout the day.
For information about the 2002 Fall Spectacular, contact the EBT directly:
East Broad Top Railroad
P. O. Box 158
Rockhill Furnace PA 17249
Telephone: (814) 447–3011
FAX: (814) 447–3256
Current Fall Spectacular information will also be posted on the FEBT web site www.febt.org as it becomes available.
As a reminder to FEBT members interested in entering models or photographs in this year's Fall Reunion contests, the current rules governing these contests are reprinted here. Note that all models entered in the Fall Reunion contests are to be of East Broad Top Railroad prototypes, and all photos entered are to have the EBT as their subject.
This year we will again award special recognition to prize–winning model built from FEBT kits.
Any FEBT member who is a Reunion registrant may enter the model and photo contests. A member in good standing who cannot attend the Reunion may have a Reunion registrant submit an entry for that member.
Any FEBT member who is a Reunion registrant may enter a model which he owns but did not build, and may choose to have any award the model earns placed in the builder's name.
No model or photo that has ever won an award in a previous FEBT contest may be entered. Any model or photo that has been entered in a previous FEBT contest without winning an award may be repeatedly entered until it wins an award.
Photos will be entered in either the black–and–white or color categories.
All photos must be mounted on, or in, a mat board. No picture frames or glass/plexiglass covers may be used.
The size of the mat board used to mount any photo can be no larger than 11 inches by 14 inches. The photo may be any size that does not exceed the size of the mat board.
Only one photo may be submitted by an entrant in each of the black–and–white and color categories.
The photo must be entered under the photographer's name. Only the photographer can enter a photo.
There is no limit to the number of models entered by each entrant.
There must be at least two models entered in a category for a contest to be declared. No award will be given in any category in which a contest is not declared. At the discretion of the Contest Chairman, in consultation with the Reunion Chairman, categories may be combined to insure a contest. All models submitted will be eligible for the Best in Show award and any special contest awards.
The contest categories for models are as follows:
Locomotives — Any self–propelled equipment except maintenance–of–way speeders;
Freight Cars — Any revenue freight equipment, including cabooses;
Passenger Cars — Any revenue passenger equipment;
Maintenance of Way — Any nonrevenue equipment primarily intended for track or lineside maintenance;
Structures — Any building or other structure, either railroad–related or lineside;
Module/Diorama — A structure or structures that are mounted on a base which depicts a scene, with or without track.
Supporting documentation may be displayed with any entry, so long as the entrant's name does not appear on any of the documentation.
Special Contests: From time to time, special contests may be announced, featuring a specific subject or type of equipment. A special award will be given for the entry with the highest vote tally among the entries in the special category.
All awards will be by popular vote of all Reunion registrants. In addition to the categories listed above, a Best of Show category will be included for the model entries only.
Awards for first, second, and third place will be awarded in each category where a contest has been declared. In addition, all entries will receive a "Certificate of Merit" for participating in the contest.
Awards for first, second, and third place will normally consist of a plaque. In order to control expenses, the plaques may be prepared and provided to the recipients at a later date, so as not to create award plaques for categories in which no contest is declared. An appropriate certificate and/or ribbon will be provided at the contest to signify the winners in lieu of the plaques.
In addition to prizes awarded as described in the official contest rules, FEBT will again award gift certificates from the FEBT Company Store to prize–winning models and certain other contest entries constructed from FEBT kits. Models from FEBT kits that win first–place in any contest category will receive $35.00 Company Store gift certificates; $25.00 will be awarded to second–place models, $15.00 to third–place models, and $10.00 gift certificates to other entries that, in the opinion of the contest judges, are worthy of recognition.
For more information about the Fall Reunion contests, contact
Robert J. Beebe, Contest Chairman
712 Meadowlark Road
Audubon PA 19403
Telephone: (610) 666–6711
This July photograph shows the new siding FEBT work crew volunteers applied to the small storage shed at the south end of the EBT's Rockhill Furnace yard. FEBT director R. Lee Rainey, coordinator of our Rockhill Furnace work sessions, used a piece of the existing siding as a pattern for the new custom–milled wood siding shown here. FEBT members interested in participating in the next work session, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 21–22, can contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (814) 867–7878.