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 FEBT Summer Celebration is June 5 and 6

Join us at the East Broad Top Railroad for a discussion of our restoration work on EBT caboose no. 28 and the formal reopening of yard track no. 3. Our Rockhill Furnace volunteers are working "overtime" to complete all repairs to the caboose for the opening weekend of the railroad’s 2004 operating season. If our efforts prove successful, FEBT and the EBT plan to mark the occasion with a short rededication ceremony. Whether or not the caboose is ready, we will commemorate the rehabilitation of yard track no. 3, which our volunteers restored to operating condition last year.

These festivities are just part of the activities we have planned on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6­, as we celebrate the start of another operating season at the East Broad Top Railroad and the FEBT Museum. As in past years, FEBT volunteers will offer guided tours inside the railroad’s machine shop. We will also offer guided walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. All tours will open to the general public as well as to FEBT members. One of our art reproductions of Frank Vietor’s October Evening, Orbisonia will be on display at our Rockhill Furnace information booth, where visitors may obtain information about FEBT programs and activities. In Roberts­dale we plan to open the FEBT Museum special hours both days.

On Saturday afternoon, Lee Rainey and other volunteers who worked on caboose no. 28 will describe our restoration of the caboose for Summer Celebration registrants. On Saturday evening, registered Summer Celebration participants are invited to attend our evening program and reception at the FEBT Museum, where we will have soft drinks available.

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 $7.50 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, participate in the discussion of our work on caboose no. 28 on Saturday afternoon, and attend the Saturday evening reception and program 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 2004 FEBT Summer Celebration; please register at the FEBT information booth (near the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse) on Saturday morning.

How you can help us

Can you help us as a volunteer during the 2004 Summer Celebration? FEBT members interested in helping at this event should contact FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller at or (412) 441–7881 this month, so we can determine our final arrange­ments for the FEBT tours and other Summer Celebration activities.

FEBT members can also help us stimulate public interest in our 2004 Summer Celebration. An announcement aimed at the general public for both the FEBT tours at the EBT and our museum’s open house is included as an insert to this news­letter. We encourage all FEBT members to reproduce and distribute copies of this announcement to railfans and others who may be interested in what we have planned for June 5–6.

Reminder about upcoming events

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for these upcoming 2004 events.

August 14: East Broad Top Railroad Homecoming–Appreciation Day. FEBT will join with the EBT to celebrate this anniversary of the railroad’s rebirth in 1960. FEBT volunteers will lead tours inside the EBT’s Rockhill Furnace shops and provide guided walking tours around the shops and yard.

October 9–10: 22nd FEBT Fall Reunion and East Broad Top Railroad 2004 Fall Celebration. Special EBT trains, FEBT contests, walking and driving tours, FEBT Museum fall open house, reunion dinner, and much more!

Check the FEBT web site for more details about these events as we get closer to them. Registration information for the 2004 FEBT Fall Reunion will be mailed to members in August.

FEBT Company Store sales suspended

Due to the death of manager Richard B. Keller, all operations of the FEBT Company Store have been suspended. By arrangement with the Keller family, FEBT has removed all Company Store inventory and records from Rich’s house; the store inventory is now in temporary storage.

FEBT director Craig A. Williams has agreed to serve as our contact person for any current problems related to incomplete FEBT Company Store orders or payments. Please contact Craig by letter or e–mail only:

Craig A. Williams
20 Sunset Lane
Lititz PA 17543

Note that while Craig will attempt to resolve problems with existing orders, he cannot fill new orders. While we have arranged for mail sent to the Company Store in Hatboro to be forwarded to Craig, we can respond faster to inquiries mailed directly to Craig. We are no longer able to read and reply to e–mail messages sent to, so please do not attempt to reach the FEBT Company Store at this address.

An announcement will be made as soon as FEBT can arrange for operations of the Company Store to resume. We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

Five directors reelected, 2004 officers chosen

On March 27 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 2004. Reelect­ed to two year terms as directors were (votes received in parentheses) Craig A. Williams (110), R. Lee Rainey (109), Larry H. Williams­ (105), Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. (104), and William R. Blomgren (81). Dennis R. Straub received 49 votes, while the following in­dividuals received one write–in vote each: Philip J. Padgett, Michael J. Swinnerton, and Charles Wootton. Lee Wilson based his tabulation on the 122 ballots he received as of the 18 March deadline for the 2004 election of directors.

The five reelected directors will serve until their suc­cessors are elected in early 2006; they join continuing direc­tors Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, and John R. Snyder, whose current terms will end with the 2005 election. At its June meeting the board of directors will select an individual to fill the vacancy created in April by the death of Richard B. Keller; the director chosen by the board will serve until the 2005 election.

Current FEBT directors

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) 587–1895
Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. RR 7 Box 7678, Stroudsburg PA 18360 (570) 421–7431
Robert R. Farquharson 6707 Wakhorst Road, Charlotte NC 28226 (704) 759–1251
Henry F. Inman 2016 A Park Avenue, Richmond VA 23220 (804) 353–0817  
R. Lee Rainey 784 Tanager Drive, State College PA 16803 (814) 867–7878
John R. Snyder 629 West Pajabon Drive, Palmyra PA 17078 (717) 838–2437
Craig A. Williams 20 Sunset Lane, Lititz PA 17543 (717) 626–9186
Larry H. Williams 910 Church Street, Saxon PA 16678 (814) 635–3654

Up–to–date contact information for FEBT officers and direc­tors is also posted on the FEBT web site

Election of officers, 2004 meeting schedule

During its March meeting the board elected corporate officers for the coming year; these officers are Henry F. Inman, president; R. Lee Rainey, 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 5, August 28, and November 6. 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.

The board of directors wishes to thank FEBT members Craig John R. Snyder (chairman), David C. Brightbill, and James G. Mersereau for serving as the nominating committee for the 2004 election, and Lee R. Wilson for again acting as election judge.

2004 Schedule for FEBT Museum

In 2004 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 5 and continuing through October 10. 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

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 previous experience nor special know­ledge is required.

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

Richard B. Keller, FEBT director and Company Store manager, dies

FEBT member Richard B. Keller, 52, died suddenly and unexpectedly at his suburban Philadelphia home in late April.

A life member of Friends of the East Broad Top, Rich was currently serving as a director and manager of the FEBT Company Store. Rich began playing an active role in FEBT operations soon after joining us in 1987. He coordinated the first phase of our restoration of the former East Broad Top Railroad depot in Robertsdale and initiated operation of the FEBT museum. Rich was elected FEBT president in 1990. During the next six years he laid the foundation for the present relationship between FEBT and the EBT. In early 1996 Rich resigned as FEBT president and retired from his first stint as a member of our board of directors. In 2002 he agreed to assume responsibility for the management of the FEBT Company Store, where he applied his professional background in retailing to improving our mail–order sales operations. Last year Rich was elected to serve again as one of our directors.

A memorial service was held at the Lamm and Witman Funeral Home in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, on May 1. FEBT officers and members attending the service included David S. Bucher, Henry F. Inman, Vagel C. Keller, Ruth H. Kosowski, John R. Snyder, and Wade N. Woodcock. FEBT volunteers working at Rockhill Furnace on May 1–2 paused on both days to remember Rich, a strong supporter of our work at the EBT.

Rich is survived by two sisters, Joyce K. Schaeffer of Christiana, Pennsylvania, and Janet K. Shellington of Womels­dorf, Pennsylvania, and members of their families. We know that all FEBT members join us in expressing our condolences to Rich’s family and his many friends.

FEBT restoration program and budget for 2004

At its March meeting the board of directors of Friends of the East Broad Top reviewed work on our current restoration projects and approved our 2004 restoration budget. Here’s a summary of where we currently stand.

2004 Restoration Worksessions


September 11–12
October 2–3
May 22–23
June 26–27
August 21–22

Contact Hank Inmanat (804) 353–0817 (day or evening)


August 14–14
August 28–29
September 25–26
November 6–7
May 22–23
June 12–13
July 10–11
July 31–August 1

Contact Lee Raineyat (814) 667–7878 (home), or (814) 404–3968 (cell)

Rockhill Furnace

Lee Rainey, who coordinates our restoration work at Rockhill Furnace, reports that our volunteers still hope to have our repairs to East Broad Top Railroad caboose no. 28 finished by June, although the scope of work now includes repairs to the car’s roof. In April replacement metal braces for the end platforms were attached to the car frame. At the May 1–2 work session repairs to the end platforms continued and new wood sheathing was applied to the sides of the caboose. When work on the platforms, car body, and roof is completed, the handrails and other metal parts will be reinstalled and the car painted.

Meanwhile, repairs to windows in the shop buildings are proceeding, with the goal of closing the entire main shop building to the weather. Work is starting on the roof canyon between the machine and car shops, where a false roof will be installed to divert rain water that now enters the shops buildings. This will also allow our volunteers to work on the skylights and roof of the boiler house.

Our work on other projects at Rockhill Furnace will start later this year. Over 80 new ties were installed on May 1–2, and more track repairs are planned—including returning the station track to operating condition. Final repairs to the floor and roof of the north section shed are nearing completion, and work will continue on the brick boiler house walls and generator room. Our Rockhill Furnace volunteers also plan to repair the window sashes and roof of EBT combine no. 14 and work to stem the erosion behind the sandhouse and paint shop.


Hank Inman, coordinator of our restoration work at Robertsdale, reports that one of the air conditioning units and a thermostat inside the old post office appear to have suffered minor damage last winter. FEBT director Larry H. Williams is working with the contractor who installed the heating and air conditioning systems to have the necessary repairs made.

Hank and FEBT member and architect William E. Grant, Jr., have started discussions with possible contractors for the electrical work and major interior work required to complete rehabilitation of the post office building, once we have completed the necessary approval processes. In the meantime our Robertsdale volunteers will make repairs to the second floor and interior partition wall framework needed before the next stage of work and begin. Other minor repairs and maintenance chores will also be addressed.

As for the depot, our Robertsdale volunteers will again repair the metal roof to fix minor damage caused last winter and handle any other routine maintenance the building requires.

Saltillo station documentation

Historical architect John R. Bowie has completed work on his measured drawings of the EBT station building at Saltillo and forwarded his drawings, the large–format photographs, and copies of his field notes to us. Except for making copies of this material for our use and transmitting the drawings and photographs to the Historic American Engineering Record office, our documentation of the Saltillo station is now finished.

Combine no. 16 trucks

The Strasburg Rail Road is now finishing work on the engineering drawings needed to assemble the reproduction trucks and reassemble the original trucks we leased from the Tweetsie Railroad. Although the completion of this engineering work would permit assembly of the reproduction trucks to begin on schedule, we have still not resolved the issues related to the lease agreement for former EBT combine no. 16 raised last year by the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. For this reason our directors have decided to suspend further work on the trucks while we attempt to resolve the lease problems.

2004 Restoration budget

In March our directors confirmed a total budget of $38,600 for our 2004 restoration program, allocated as follows: Robertsdale $18,500; Rockhill Furnace $16,000; Saltillo station documentation $4,100; and combine no. 16 trucks $2,000.

This budget assumes that later this year additional funds will become available from donations to our ongoing fund–raising campaign. Our directors will then make supplemental allocations to our various restoration projects, depending on progress and need. For example, our current budget assigns no specific funding to establishing our workspace at Rockhill Furnace, since we cannot make realistic plans until we determine which of the alternatives now under discussion with the EBT we will pursue. Similarly, funding for work on the reproduction trucks for combine no. 16 will be needed when the issues related to the lease are resolved.

However we do know one thing: We still need your financial support to continue our work.Please send your donations to support our restoration and development programs to the following address:

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

2004 East Broad Top Railroad operations to follow usual schedule

The East Broad Top Railroad reports that its 2004 operating schedule and ticket prices will be the same as last year. Regular fares for adults are $10.00, while fares for children ages 1–12 are $7.00. A $1.00 surcharge applies for the limited seats available in the caboose and business car Or­bi­son­ia. According to Stan­ley G. Hall, gen­eral manager of the East Broad Top Rail­road, the schedule for the 2004 season will follow the same pattern as in recent years. EBT trains will run Saturdays and Sundays only, starting on June 5 and con­tinuing through October 31. 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 2004 season. The EBT hopes that no. 15 can return to active service for the railroad’s 2004 fall celebration, but this obviously depends on whether the repairs to no. 15 can be completed by October.

For more information about 2004 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 EBT’s web site or on the Friends of the East Broad Top web site 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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