Friends of the East Broad Top
A nonprofit society dedicated to the preservation and restoration
of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark

2004 Restoration plans set for Rockhill Furnace

Directors of Friends of the East Broad Top approved a preliminary work program for our Rockhill Furnace restoration volunteers at the November meeting of the board. As proposed by Rockhill Furnace restoration coordinator R. Lee Rainey, the program adopted by the board continues our work on several existing projects and adds two new challenges. Here’s a brief description of what’s planned at Rockhill Furnace in 2004:

•  Complete window and trim paint on the car shop and electrical shop.

•  Complete work on the generator room in the main shop, including repairs to the window, ceiling, and interior paint.

•  Complete repairs to the floor and roof of the north section storage shed.

•  Repair the roof between the car shop and the main shop building.

•  Repair damaged window sashes on combines nos. 14 and 15.

•  Continue repairs to the brick walls and roof of the boiler shop.

•  Continue work on windows around the main shop entrance.

•  Continue replacement of selected ties on escape and storage tracks in the Rockhill Furnace yard.

•  Remove and replace the siding on the railroad’s green caboose and apply new paint (new project).

•  Halt erosion along Jordan Creek behind the sandhouse and paint shop (new project).

The board adopted Lee’s tentative estimate of $10,000 for the cost of materials for this work as the preliminary budget for restoration work at Rockhill Furnace in 2004. Directors will determine budgets for our other restoration projects early next year.

In his report to the board, Lee noted that the 57 volunteers who participated in our 2003 Rockhill Furnace work sessions contributed more than 2,600 hours of labor—more than double the labor our volunteers provided in 2002. Lee’s work schedule for 2004 is as follows: March 13–14, May 1–2, May 22–34, June 12–13, July 10–11, August 1–2, August 14–15, August 28–29, September 25–26, and November 6–7. FEBT members interested in joining our Rockhill Furnace work crew should contact Lee by telephone at (814) 867–7878 (home) or by e–mail at

Last month our directors also reviewed the status of our other restoration projects; here’s where we stand with them.

Saltillo station documentation: Historical architect John R. Bowie reports that he expects to complete his last site work and supervise taking the large–format photographs in December. His preliminary drawings of the station building have been reviewed by the Historic American Engineering Record, and he plans to complete work on the final drawings by the end of the year.

Robertsdale buildings: In October and November Robertsdale restoration volunteers removed the remaining wall covering from the partition walls on the second floor of the old post office. Robertsdale coordinator Hank Inman indicated that work on the specifications and constructions plans for the final phase of work on the post office had been delayed, but that he and FEBT member William E. Grant, Jr., planned to complete this work this winter. This will allow us to start the required review process and obtain preliminary estimates for the contracted portion of this work for FEBT directors to consider when the board meets in March.

In September a truck backing into the alley next to the station building damaged the fascia and soffit on the northeast corner of the station’s roof. A contractor hired by Snyder Sanitation, owner of the truck that caused the damage, has successfully repaired the roof. FEBT director Larry H. Williams monitored this work for FEBT.

EBT passenger cars: On October 11 Linn Moedinger, chief mechanical officer of the Strasburg Rail Road, inspected the two passenger cars we purchased and returned to the EBT last year. FEBT vice president Richard B. Keller accompanied Linn and made a written record of his comments, and FEBT member Deane E. Mellander videotaped Linn’s inspection of combine no. 18 and baggage car no. 29. The East Broad Top Railroad is still reviewing our proposal to establish a dedicated work space for the restoration of our passenger cars at Rockhill Furnace.

In November the shops at the Strasburg Rail Road completed work n the four wheel–and–axle assemblies needed for the trucks for combine no. 16, and FEBT treasurer William T. Wheeler has forwarded our final payment for this work to the Strasburg Rail Road. The cost of fabricating the wheels and axles was $12,000; a grant we received from the National Railway Historical Society in 2002 provided $5,000 for this work. The shops at the Strasburg Rail Road are continuing the additional design and engineering work required to assemble the trucks for combine no. 16 (and reassemble the original EBT trucks we leased from the Tweetsie Railroad).

Your support is the key. Our ability to continue the success we have attained on all of our restoration projects depends on the financial resources you provide to FEBT. In March our directors will finalize our 2004 restoration budget, based primarily on the funds then on hand. For this reason we again ask for your support for our ongoing restoration fund–raising campaign. Please mail you tax–deductible contributions to the following address:

FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447

2004 Election of directors
Nominating committee seeks candidates

The nominating committee for the 2004 election asks FEBT members to submit the names of potential candidates for nomination and election as directors of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. In the upcoming election, to be held during the first quarter of next year, FEBT members will elect five of the nine members of the board of directors. The seats up for election are now occupied by William Blomgren, Thomas A. Diehl, Jr.­­­, R. Lee Rainey, Craig A. Williams, and Larry H. Williams. The four remaining board positions not up for election during the current election cycle will be the subject of our 2005 election; Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, Richard B. Keller, and John R. Snyder­­ now hold these seats.

FEBT directors are responsible for the management and governance of Friends of the East Broad Top. The president, vice president, and secretary are elected annually by the Board from among its members. Among other duties, directors maintain oversight over the work of all FEBT officers and staff volunteers; develop and enforce policy guidelines for all operations and activities; direct the preparation and submission of reports required by applicable federal and state laws and regulations; set fund–raising goals and support fund–raising efforts; and determine budget priorities and spending limits.

Any individual FEBT member in good standing is eligible for nomination. The chairman and members of the nominating committee select the final slate of nominees presented to FEBT members for election as directors. (Individual members include regular, family, sustaining, associate, life, student, and senior FEBT members.) However, a member in good standing may also qualify for automatic inclusion in the final slate of nominees if he or she submits a nominating petition signed by 100 FEBT members in good standing.

The members of the nominating committee for the 2004 election cycle are John R. Snyder (chairman), David C. Brightbill, and James G. Mer­sereau. John Snyder has served several stints as a member of the FEBT board of directors; he also has supervised operation of the FEBT Company Store and assisted at FEBT events. Dave Brightbill has served as a FEBT director and restoration volunteer; a member of the EBT’s operating crew, he is also an active member of Railways to Yesterday.­ A FEBT member since 1989, Jim Mer­sereau has served several times as a member of the nominating committee and play­ed an instrumental role in the development of our current fund–raising campaign.

The names of potential nominees and nominating petitions must be submitted to

John R. Snyder, Chairman
FEBT Nominating Committee
629 West Pajabon Drive
Palmyra PA 17078
Telephone: (717) 838–2437 (home)

The deadline for submitting names of potential candidates for nomination or nominating petitions to the nominating committee is January 20, 2004.

Nomination and election of directors are governed by the corporate bylaws of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. FEBT members may obtain copies of the FEBT articles of incorporation and bylaws by sending a 60¢ stamped, self–addressed envelope to John Snyder at the address stated above.

New billboard signs for the EBT

Earlier this year FEBT member James A. Vliet, working with the East Broad Top Railroad and Friends of the East Broad Top, completed work on a project to bring the EBT to the attention of more potential visitors. Last winter Jim proposed to EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall that he design and paint six new billboard signs to replace the aging and faded signs along the roads approaching the EBT. Each 4' x 8' sign is painted in five colors and features the profile of one of the railroad’s 2–8–2 locomotives. Space is provided to insert the specific mileage to the EBT from the sign’s location. Three of Jim’s new signs have been installed south of the railroad; the remaining three will be placed beside roads leading to the EBT from the north.

Jim calculates that it took him 158 hours to design and fabricate the six new signs. FEBT covered the $626.93 cost of the materials Jim used from proceeds realized from our 2003 events.

Look for Jim’s new signs when you visit the EBT next year!

2003 FEBT business meeting

Approximately 50 FEBT members attended the 2003 business meeting on October 10; the meeting was held in the Orbisonia Lions Hall. FEBT president Hank Inman introduced directors, officers, and staff volunteers, who provided brief reports about our museum, restoration, and education programs (including our EBT "new rider" ticket initiative); our fund–raising campaign; FEBT publications; and membership. Hank also distributed and discussed copies of our 2002 accounting review report. (All FEBT members will receive this report with the next mailing of The Timber Transfer.) The meeting concluded with comments and questions from the FEBT members attending the meeting. Among the topics discussed were publicity for the FEBT Museum and the EBT, progress on our current restoration projects, and our 2004 restoration and operating budget.

Issues of the Timber Transfer coming

Kevin C. Strong, editor of the Timber Transfer, informs us that he still plans to send two more issues of our magazine to the printer before the end of the year. Because of the holiday mail rush, however, we expect FEBT members will not receive the last issues of 2003 until after the new year. As usual, we appreciate your patience as we work to recover from the long–stand­ing lag in our publication of the Timber Transfer.

What’s new at the FEBT Company Store?

The FEBT Company Store has new items in stock for the holidays, and some old items have returned to our inventory. Here are some examples of what FEBT Company Store manager Richard B. Keller and assistant manager Rick C. Shoup have recently turned up for modelers and railfans interested in the East Broad Top Railroad.

Perhaps the biggest news is that our 1992 video program about the EBT, The East Broad Top Railroad—A Living Landmark, previously available on VHS videocassette, is now available on DVD. Rich has arranged for the complete 53–minute program to be professionally transferred to disk from one of the original master tapes produced by FEBT member Deane E. Mellander for FEBT. The regular price for the new DVD is $29.95*, but until January 31, 2004 it can be purchased at the special introductory price of $24.95*.

For EBT modelers, Ye Olde Huff N Puff has produced a HOn3 kit based on the five EBT wood gondola cars nos. 77–81. These craftsman wood kits contain custom decal lettering and trucks; couplers are not included. The kit can be purchased for $26.95* in either unpainted or painted (oxide red) form.

Our Baldwin Locomotive Works number plate pins for the EBT’s six 2–8–2s are now also available as tie tacks. The tie tacks have longer pins with clasp chains and bars. Numbers 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 tie tacks can be ordered only from the FEBT Company Store for $12.95* each.

The Company Store also has limited supplies of our green baseball–style caps with gold embroidered FEBT M–1 style logo for $15.00* each. The yellow two–pocket shop aprons produced for the 2003 Fall Reunion, featuring a two–color design incorporating the FEBT logo, are also in stock; the aprons are $15.00* each.

Please send all inquiries and orders directly to the following address:

FEBT Company Store
211 Hampton Road
Hatboro PA 19040

*Note that all current FEBT members receive a 15% discount on the prices stated above. Orders must include the appropriate charge for shipping and handling. (The shipping charge to US addresses for the DVD is $2.00 for the first disk, plus $1.00 for each additional disk. For the HOn3 gondola kit, apron, and cap, the shipping charge is $4.00 for up to two items, plus $2.00 for each additional item. There is no shipping charge for tie tacks. Contact Rich to determine the appropriate shipping charge for orders mailed to non–US addresses.) Pennsylvania residents must also include payment of 6% state sales tax.

FEBT members "show off" FEBT, EBT

During the past few months several FEBT members have assisted our education campaign by distributing information about the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT at various conventions and train shows. In September Kevin C. Strong, editor of The Timber Transfer, and Blair Drazic set up a FEBT display table at the 23rd National Narrow Gauge Convention in Denver. In early October FEBT director R. Lee Rainey distributed EBT and FEBT information at the biennial meeting of the MiniBunch in Columbus, Ohio. In November Walter and Susie Weart joined FEBT president Hank Inman to set up and supervise a FEBT exhibit at the 26th Gaithersburg (Maryland) Railroad–Transportation Artifacts Show and Sale. Finally, on December 13 Christopher and Patricia Coleman are setting up a FEBT display table at the 34th Buckeye Railroad and Model Train Show and Sale in Columbus, Ohio.

FEBT member James A. Vliet will get our education efforts off to a fast start in 2004 by organizing displays and distributing FEBT and EBT information at three upcoming shows: the Great South Bay Model Railroad Club’s 14th Annual Winter Train Show in Freeport, New York, on January 11; the Greenberg’s Train Show at Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, on February 14–15, and the Greenberg’s Train Show in Edison, New Jersey, on March 6–7. FEBT members interested in helping Jim at one of more of these shows can contact him by telephone at (516) 771–1038 (home) or by e–mail at

We are always happy to provide literature and information about the EBT and FEBT to FEBT members for distribution at train shows, conventions, and other events. Interested FEBT members should contact FEBT president Hank Inman—providing as much advance notice as possible—at the following address:

Hank Inman
2016 A Park Avenue
Richmond VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 353–0817

EBT engineer Warren J. Erwin dies

Warren J. Erwin, 82, who worked at the East Broad Top Railroad three times for a total of 25 years, died on November 20 at his home in Blacklog Valley, south of Orbisonia. According to EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall, Mr. Erwin was one of the railroad’s employees when it ceased common–carrier operations in 1956. At that time he had worked for the EBT nine years as a fireman, hostler, and in the boiler shop. After the railroad resumed tourist operations he returned to the EBT in 1961 for another three years. His final stint as one of the railroad’s engineers lasted from 1967 until his retirement in 1984. Mr. Erwin also worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Wright Construction Company, farmed, and cut pulpwood and lumber. We know that FEBT members join us in offering our condolences to Mr. Erwin’s family and friends.

2003 FEBT Fall Reunion auction sets record

The auction at the 2003 Friends of the East Broad Top Fall Reunion broke the previous record for funds raised for our restoration program. Thanks primarily to the generosity of the family of late FEBT member John V. Meeneghan, FEBT realized $6,303 from the items donated for sale at this year’s auction. The proceeds from the auction—together with donations we continue to receive in our ongoing fund–raising campaign—will be used to support future work on our current restoration projects (as discussed elsewhere in this newsletter).

The auction, of course, was just one highlight of the 2003 Fall Reunion. The weather on Saturday and Sunday, October 11–12, was—for the first time in several years—clear and relatively warm, attracting 124 FEBT members and their guests to this year’s fall celebration. Fall Reunion registrants could choose from among a guided tour of the EBT Rockhill Furnace shops conducted by restoration coordinator R. Lee Rainey, Christopher D. Coleman’s walking tour of the EBT Mount Union yard, W. George Cook’s driving tour of the McKelvey brothers logging railroad, and the annual walking tour of the Robertsdale mines led by FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller and Ronald L. Pearson. They could also join the hundreds of railfans at the EBT’s 2003 fall event to visit the our restoration program exhibits inside the EBT car shop, our museum’s fall open house, and sales tables for the FEBT Company Store and other vendors.

EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall expressed satisfaction with the railroad’s 2003 fall celebration. Like last year the EBT operated a full schedule of trains with 2–8–2 steam locomotive no. 14 and diesel locomotive M–7, brought out gas–electric motorcar M–1 for its annual round trips to Colgate Grove, and offered frequent guided tours inside the railroad’s main shop and roundhouse.

We saw many new faces at the 2003 Fall Reunion, and everyone seemed enjoyed the occasion. (More extensive coverage of our Fall Reunion and the EBT’s 2003 Fall Event will appear in The Timber Transfer.) EBT herald

This newsletter is a publication of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., a nonprofit educational and historical society dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the East Broad Top Railroad, a US National Historic Landmark located in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. As of the date of this newsletter, FEBT regular membership costs $30.00 per twelve months; other memberships are available. For more information please consult the FEBT web site at Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., holds events and work sessions on the property of the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company by arrangement with the East Broad Top Railroad. However, the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company retains its right to restrict or deny access of any person to its property at any time and for any reason

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