By Hank Inman, FEBT President
We have reached a critical point in our campaign to raise funds for our restoration and development programs. Since September, when the second year of our campaign started, we have received over $23,000 in new contributions. While we are gratified by the generosity you and other FEBT members continue to demonstrate, there's a problem: While the funds on hand from the first and second year (so far) of our campaign will cover the immediate costs of current work on our existing projects, these funds are not sufficient to allow us to commit to the additional work we want to undertake later this year.
To be specific, with the funds we now have on hand we cannot contract for the complete assembly of the reproduction trucks for combine no. 16, we cannot start final contracted work on the interior of the Robertsdale post office, and we cannot start to create the workspace needed to restore our three passenger cars at the East Broad Top Railroad. But these projects must be completed if we are to continue our progress.
And these projects must be completed to demonstrate that we can finish work we start. Work on combine no. 16 started in 1988. Our friends at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation need the protected storage space now occupied by the combine, and they are concerned that we have yet to tackle any real work on the car itself. We completed the first phase of our rehabilitation of the old post office in 1998. I confess I am embarrassed when I realize how many years I have promised our museum volunteers we would soon have a "real" bathroom in Robertsdale.
Last November our directors agreed to target completion of work on the reproduction trucks and Robertsdale post office in 2004. Our directors agreed that our 2003 budget would incorporate the cost of a concrete floor for our Rockhill Furnace work space. But to transform these goals into action we need to raise an additional $35,000 to $40,000. Is this possible? Between May and August last year FEBT received contributions totaling over $51,000. Our successful purchase of passenger cars nos. 18 and 29 demonstrated that you and other FEBT members were willing to provide generous financial support when challenged by a new and exciting opportunity. Now the question is whether you and other FEBT members are willing to provide similar support for more mundane objectives like trucks, bathrooms, and concrete.
Please mail your contribution to the following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
On behalf of all FEBT officers and directors, thank you again for your donations to our fund–raising campaign.
Saltillo station documentation After several delays caused by the winter weather, historic architect John R. Bowie visited Saltillo on April 24 to make additional measurements of windows and other building details; he plans to make a final site visit in May. We now expect to have preliminary drafts of his HAER–standard drawings by early summer.
Combine no. 16 trucks On April 17 project coordinator David S. Bucher used a rental truck to move the original trucks from EBT coach no. 5 to the Strasburg Rail Road shops. These trucks have been stored at the RESCAR facility in Elkton, Maryland, since 1993, while we have used them as patterns to obtain parts for the reproduction trucks for combine no. 16. Unfortunately, Dave did not find the wood truck frames for our new trucks where he expected them to be stored, so another trip will be required to move these components to Strasburg when we have tracked them down. Dave and Hank Inman will meet Linn Moedinger at Strasburg on May 8 to review specifications for the wheel–and–axle sets for the new trucks. We will then confirm arrangements for fabricating the wheels and axles with ORX, so that this work can begin in June.
Rockhill Furnace The first two work sessions at Rockhill Furnace were held on March 15–16 and May 3–4. Project coordinator R. Lee Rainey reports significant progress on repairs to the generator–room roof and ceiling. Ties under yard track no. 3 have been marked for replacement later this year. During the May session Lee planned to unload new scaffolding, lumber, and milled ceiling and siding, lay new flooring in the machine shop, complete work on the north doors of the car shop, repair siding on the electrical shop, start track work, continue work on shop windows, and prepare for future roofing repairs. Next work session: May 24–26.
Robertsdale Contractor Rex A. Smith is fabricating the remaining wood storm windows and screens for the windows of the old post office; this work should be completed by early June. Rex will also inspect the roof and repair shingles damaged by last winter's heavy snow and ice. In April surveyor John Young reported that he expected to make the site observations for the expanded survey of the FEBT Museum site; this work was also delayed by winter weather. Barring unexpected complications, we assume the survey will be completed this summer. Next work session: May 31–June 1.
On March 22 the official tabulation of votes compiled by election judge Lee R. Wilson was presented to the FEBT board of directors during its first meeting of 2003. Elected to two year terms as directors were (votes received in parentheses) John R. Snyder (83), Henry F. Inman (83), Richard B. Keller (82), and Robert R. Farquharson (81). The following individuals also received write–in votes: Philip J. Padgett (2), Michael J. Swinnerton (2), Wayne E. Baldwin (1), Peter A. Clarke (1), Christopher D. Coleman (1), Robert Goldby (1), Stanley G. Hall (1), Lance Myers (1), R. Lee Rainey (1), and Dennis R. Straub (1). Lee Wilson based his tabulation on the 85 ballots he received as of the 20 March deadline for the 2003 election of directors.
The four new or reelected directors will serve until their successors are elected in early 2005; they join continuing directors William Blomgren, Thomas A. Diehl, Jr., R. Lee Rainey, Craig A. Williams, and Larry H. Williams, whose current terms will end with the 2004 election.
Rich Keller, who succeeds David S. Bucher as a member of the board of directors, rejoins the board after an absence of seven years. In 1990–1996 Rich served as FEBT president as well as one of our directors. Last year Rich resumed an active role in FEBT by applying his years of retail management experience to the operation of the FEBT Company Store and as a member of the FEBT Rockhill Furnace work crew.
As a matter of record, 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|
|Thomas A. Diehl, Jr.||RR 7 Box 7678, Stroudsburg PA 18360||(570) 421–email@example.com|
|Robert R. Farquharson||5132 Piper Glen Drive, Charlotte NC 28277||(704) 846–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|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||784 Tanager Drive, State College PA 16803||(814) 867–email@example.com|
|John R. Snyder||629 West Pajabon Drive, Palmyra PA 17078||(717) 838–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Craig A. Williams||20 Sunset Lane, Lititz PA 17543||(717) 626–email@example.com|
|Larry H. Williams||910 Church Street, Saxon PA 16678||(814) 635–firstname.lastname@example.org|
Up–to–date contact information for FEBT officers and directors is also posted on the FEBT web site www.febt.org.
During its March meeting the board elected corporate officers for the coming year; these officers are Henry F. Inman, president; Richard B. Keller, vice president; Robert R. Farquharson, secretary; and William T. Wheeler, treasurer. (Our bylaws do not require the treasurer to be a member of the board, and Bill has served as our treasurer since FEBT was founded.)
The board also scheduled its remaining meetings for the year. Meetings will be held on June 7, August 30, and November 8. FEBT members interested in attending a meeting of the board should contact FEBT secretary Bob Farquharson in advance to confirm the time and place of the meeting.
In addition to recognizing Dave Bucher for his invaluable service as FEBT director for the past 11 years, the board of directors wishes to thank FEBT members Craig A. Williams, William E. Grant, Jr., and James G. Mersereau for serving as the nominating committee for the 2003 election, and Lee R. Wilson for again acting as election judge.
Kevin C. Strong, editor of the quarterly magazine published by Friends of the East Broad Top, moved into a new home on February 3. After living in an apartment for almost a year since he relocated to Denver, Kevin reports that his house has a back yard with plenty of room to reestablish operations of his G–scale version of the East Broad Top Railroad.
The move unfortunately further delayed production of the Timber Transfer, but the current issue has been printed and will be in the mail to FEBT members before this newsletter is mailed. Kevin is now working on the next two issues of the Timber Transfer, which we plan to mail in June or July. This should allow us to produce and mail five issues of our magazine in 2003, getting us a little closer to its proper publication schedule. The cover date printed on each issue of the Timber Transfer reflects the intended time of publication, regardless of when it actually appears. While sometimes confusing, this practice stems from our commitment to recover from all the delays that have afflicted publication of our quarterly magazine and emphasizes that we will publish all issues of the Timber Transfer "owed" to FEBT members. All FEBT members receive all issues of our publications actually produced during the twelve months of their current memberships.
Kevin is always looking for articles, photographs, and other publishable material related to the EBT. Please send all inquiries, contributions, and editorial correspondence directly to him at the following address:
Kevin C. Strong, Editor
The Timber Transfer
5379 South Jebel Street
Centennial CO 80015
On Saturday, June 7, Linn Moedinger, chief mechanical officer at the Strasburg Rail Road, will describe the ongoing repairs to the boiler of East Broad Top Railroad 2–8–2 locomotive no. 15 to registered participants at our 2003 Summer Celebration. The EBT has contracted with the Strasburg Rail Road shops to handle repairs to the locomotive's flue and crown sheets, and—with the railroad's cooperation—Linn has agreed come to the EBT to discuss this work on site. Linn's relationship with the EBT is a long–standing one. In 1987 Linn and his associates from the Strasburg Rail Road used the EBT's Rockhill Furnace shop complex to perform the major repairs needed to bring EBT mikado no. 14 back to life, an effort documented by the Smithsonian Institution.
Linn Moedinger's discussion is just one of the activities we have planned on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, as we celebrate the start of another operating season at the East Broad Top Railroad and the FEBT Museum. We have again 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. 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. In Robertsdale we plan to open the FEBT Museum longer hours both days. On Saturday evening we will have soft drinks available at the FEBT Museum, where registered Summer Celebration participants are invited to a show of approximately 200 EBT slides we purchased from EBT memorabilia collector Michael C. Mitzelfeld last year.
On each day the EBT will operate its usual three–train schedule, and normal ticket prices apply. Tickets for the guided tours inside the machine shop are $5.00 per person. However, by registering at the FEBT information booth, FEBT members can obtain a train ticket, participate in as many Saturday and Sunday shop tours as they wish, listen to Linn Moedinger's discussion on Saturday afternoon, and attend the Saturday evening slide show at the FEBT Museum for the special event fee of $15.00 per person. (Spouses and dependent children of FEBT family, sustaining, associate, and life member may also participate at the FEBT–member rate.) Non–FEBT members may register for all Summer Celebration activities for $20.00 per person. There is no advance registration for the 2003 FEBT Summer Celebration; please register at the FEBT information booth (near the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse) on Saturday morning.
Are you interested in helping us as a volunteer during the 2003 Summer Celebration? On both Saturday and Sunday we need FEBT members to serve as guides for tours inside the machine shop and for walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. Between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, other volunteers will be needed at the FEBT information tent to handle event registration, issue name–tags, 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 7, and 12 noon to 5 pm on Sunday, June 8.
FEBT members interested in helping at this event should contact Vagel C. Keller, FEBT assistant vice president, well before June 7, 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
FEBT members can also 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 news letter. These announcements are 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 full weekend of June.
In 2003 the FEBT Museum at Robertsdale will be open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm Sundays, starting on June 7 and continuing through October 12. Directions to the museum can be found in the announcement for our Summer Celebration museum open house mailed with this newsletter or by consulting the FEBT web site www.febt.org.
In order to build on the success our museum operations have enjoyed the past several years, we need additional FEBT members interested in serving as museum volunteers. No special experience or knowledge is required; enthusiasm and interest in com municating the East Broad Top Railroad story to museum visitors are the primary qualifications our museum volunteers need.
For more information about the FEBT Museum and how to become a member of the museum volunteer group, please contact Vagel C. Keller, FEBT assistant vice president (museum operations), at the following address:
Vagel C. Keller
P. O. Box 5130
Pittsburgh PA 15206–0130
Telephone: (412) 441–7881
Visitors to Robertsdale may also wish to investigate the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society Museum in the near by Reality Theater. The museum has recently reopened after installing new exhibits. Normal hours of operation are 10 am to 5 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm Sundays. Call (814) 635–3807 for more information.
The East Broad Top Railroad has announced an increase in ticket prices for 2003. Regular fares for adults will now be $10.00, while fares for children ages 1–12 will be $7.00. A $1.00 surcharge applies for the limited seats available in the caboose and business car Orbisonia. Stanley G. Hall, general manager of the East Broad Top Railroad, confirms that operations of the railroad planned for this season will follow the same pattern as in recent years. EBT trains will run Saturdays and Sundays only, starting on June 7 and continuing through October 26. The train schedule each day will also be the same, with trains leaving Orbisonia Station at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.
Since repairs to the boiler of EBT locomotive no. 15 are continuing, sister 2–8–2 no. 14 will be the only steam locomotive in operation at the start of the 2003 season. The EBT has set no timetable for the return of no. 15 to active service.
For more information about 2003 train tickets, schedules, and group rates, please contact the railroad directly at the following address:
East Broad Top Railroad
P.O. Box 158
Rockhill Furnace PA 17249
Telephone: (814) 447–3011
FAX: (814) 447–3256
Current information about EBT operations can also be found on the Friend of the East Broad Top web site www.febt.org.