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

Directors set restoration goals, budget for 2005

At its November meeting, the board of directors of Friends of the East Broad Top agreed that completing our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office and continuing our work at Rockhill Furnace should be the focus of our restoration program in 2005. A preliminary budget of $55,000 to $68,000 was adopted for work on these two projects next year. In April FEBT directors will confirm the final budget for all restoration projects at its first meeting of 2005.

Based on present estimates, the work on the old post office, including remaining repairs to flood damage we suffered in September, is projected to cost between $45,000 and $55,000. FEBT president Hank Inman informed directors that he believed that the final cost of flood repairs will be approximately $5,000; he reported that FEBT had so far expended slightly more than $2,000 to install a new sump pump, remove insulation, and repair ductwork under the first floor of the building. (In December FEBT obtained flood insurance coverage for the old post office.) The estimated cost for wiring and lighting is $12,000, while the remaining work, some of which will be handled by contractors and the rest by FEBT volunteers, will probably run between $30,000 and $40,000. This work includes conversion of the rear furnace addition to a handicapped–accessible bathroom; all other plumbing; repairs to existing plaster on interior walls; and finish and trim work on all interior walls, ceilings, and floors.

The 2005 work proposed by FEBT vice president Lee Rainey at Rockhill Furnace includes final repairs to the bricksork, windows, roof, and coal bin (including paint) for the boiler house; roof repairs and touch–up trim paint for the electrical shop; more window repairs, roof work, and paint for the car shop and machine shop; and additional track work. At the paint shop, work will include window and concrete repairs and any additional tasks required to convert this space to our car restoration facility. FEBT volunteers will hone their car restoration skills with touch–up trim work and paint on caboose no. 28; repairs and paint for hopper no. 802; repairs and new paint for the EBT's "passenger" flatear; and repairs to the window sashes of combines nos. 14 and 15. Halting the erosion behind the sand house caused by Jordan Creek, deferred from 2004, will be addressed next year. Additional repairs are proposed for displaced posts in the Rockhill Furnace lumber shed and for damaged stonework on the Pogue trestle abutments. The projected budget for this work, based on maintaining the current level of funding, is $10,000 to $13,000.

The preliminary 2005 restoration budget approved by our directors is based on the restoration funds now on hand and the assumption that donations we receive in the current year of our fund–raising campaign will match those we have received in previous years. Thus, as in the past, the progress we achieve next year depends on the continuing financial support you and other FEBT members provide to us– All donations to our restoration fund should be mailed to

FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shad Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–44476

Remember that any donor who sends us a contribution of $50 or more before August 31, 2005, receives one of our reproductions of John H. Coker's Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania.

FEBT Company Store update

Although we had hoped to reopen the FEBT Company Store before the end of this year, FEBT president Hank Inman reports that the search for someone to manage our mail–order sales operation has so far proved unsuccessful. FEBT members interested in the possibility of helping us handle operations of the Company Store are invited to contact Hank at the following address:

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

In the meantime, all current inventory remains in storage.

We remind FEBT members that all questions related to orders sent to the late Richard B. Keller should be addressed to FEBT director Craig A. Williams at the following address:

Craig A. Williams
20 Sunset Lane
Lititz PA 17543

EBT's Michael R. Detwiler, Sr., dies

Sadly we must report the unexpected death of EBT employee Michael R. Detwiler, Sr., 38, on November 6, 2004. Mike worked at the East Broad Top Railroad in a variety of capacities, including stints as the EBT's hostler. More recently he was a member of the railroad's maintenance crew. In 2002 Mike was one of those on hand to help unload the two EBT passenger cars FEBT purchased and transported back to Rockhill Furnace. Mike also worked for the borough of Orbisonia, drove a school bus for the Southern Huntingdon School District, and worked for the cable companies serving Orbisonia and Rockhill Furnace. He had served as mayor of Rockhill borough, and he was a member of the Orbisonia Rockhill Volunteer Fire Company and other local civic organizations. We know that FEBT members join us in offering our condolences to Mike's family and his many friends, both at the East Broad Top Railroad and in the surrounding Orbisonia–Rockhill Furnace community.

FEBT restoration work sessions finish for year

On the weekend of December 4–5 FEBT volunteers concluded their 2004 restoration work at Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale. At Rockhill Furnace our volunteers inserted plywood into windows in the paint shop so that window sashes could be removed for repair and reglazing; they also assessed the work needed to repair EBT hopper no. 802, which will start in earnest in February. At Robertsdale our volunteers cut and fit the last of the blocking needed to stabilize partition walls and filled more (and we hope the last) holes in the wood flooring on the second floor. Sometime this winter we plan to straighten a few studs in the stairwell partition wall. Here's a brief summary of what else we accomplished this year.

2005 Rockhill Restoration Work Schedule

June 25–26
July 23–24
August 13–14
September 10–11
November 5–6
February 5–6
March 12–13
April 23–24
May 14–15
June 4–5

For more information contact Lee Rainey at (814)&nsp;667–7878 or

Our Rockhill Furnace volunteers cleared brush along Jordan Creek, the south leg of the wye, and the main line south of the wye; they also dug a new drainage ditch at the coaling station. Track repairs included additional new ties inserted in yard track no. 3 and in the tracks inside the car shop. Repairs to the north section shed were completed and the building painted. Repairs to the windows and siding continued on the north wall of the machine shop. On the east wall of the boiler house brickwork was repaired and repointed, and new upper wall framing was inserted. FEBT volunteers repaired a large section of damaged roof on the machine shop. And of course, we completed our restoration of caboose no. 28, which included repairs to the car's steel underframe, new wood siding, new roof, painting, and lettering. In May, 21 members from the Bucksgahuda and Western Railroad, in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania, significantly assisted our track repairs. FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey, who coordinates our work at Rockhill Furnace, notes that 55 volunteers contributed over 3,000 hours to our Rockhill Furnace restoration work.

Our Robertsdale volunteers repaired the upper wood floor and interior partition walls of the post office, repaired and painted the building's exterior doors, and cleaned up minor flood damage. They also made routine repairs to the metal roof of the depot, and handled other repairs and maintenance chores in both buildings. Eight FEBT members contributed more than 250 hours of work at Robertsdale this year, FEBT president Hank Inman reports.

Our 2005 work schedule for Rockhill Furnace appears nearby. Because work performed by our volunteers must be coordinated with work handled by contractors, our 2005 Robertsdale work schedule will be announced next spring.

FEBT displays at train shows and conventions: Can you help?

Several FEBT members have assisted our education campaign by distributing information about the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT at three recent conventions and train shows. On November, 7 Dennis and Carol Straub joined FEBT president Hank Inman to set up and supervise an FEBT exhibit at the 27th Gaithersburg (Maryland) Railroad–Transportation Artifacts Show and Sale. A week later Peter and Jane Clarke set up a display table for FEBT at the National Model Railroad Association's Mid–Eastern Region, South Mountain Division, convention in Hagerstown, Maryland. On December 11, Christopher and Patricia Coleman organized their usual FEBT display table at the Buckeye Railroad and Model Train Show and Sale in Columbus, Ohio.

FEBT member James A. Vliet informs us he plans to organize displays and distribute FEBT and EBT information at the following 2005 train shows: the Great South Bay Model Railroad Club's Winter Train Show in Freeport, New York, on January 9; the Amherst Railway Society's Big Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on January 29–30 (tentative); the Greenherg's Train Show at Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, on February 12–13; the Spring Thaw Trainmeet in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on February 26–27; the Greenberg's Train Show in Edison, New Jersey, on March 5–6; the Great Scale Model Train Show in Timonium, Maryland, on April 16–17; and the annual Narrow Gauge Module Meet in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, on May 20–22. 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

Next summer FEBT members Ricky G. Case and Ronald L. Pearson will have their model railroads on display during the National Model Railroad Association#39;s 2005 national convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both have offered to distribute FEBT and EBT information to the convention participants who visit their layouts, but we are exploring the possibility of setting up a FEBT display table at the convention and its associated train show on July 3–9. We ask FEBT members who plan to attend this convention and who may be interested in helping us spread the "EBT message" to contact FEBT president Hank Inman (whose telephone number is given below).

FEBT has reserved space at the 2005 National Narrow Gauge Convention, which will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, on August 31 – September 3. Several of our Michigan members have offered to assist FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey set up our display. Other FEBT members in the Detroit area or who plan to attend this convention interested in helping us with our display table should contact Lee by e–mail at or by telephone at (814) 867–7878.

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 call FEBT president Hank Inman— providing as much advance notice as possible— at (804) 353–0187.

Committee seeks potential nominees for director

The nominating committee for the 2005 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 four of the nine members of the board of directors. The seats up for election are now occupied by Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, John R. Snyder, and Dennis R. Straub. (In June Dennis was selected by the board of directors to fill the vacancy created by the death of Richard B. Keller earlier this year.) The five remaining board positions not up for election during the current election cycle will be the subject of our 2006 election; William R. Blomgren, Thomas A. Diehl, Jr., R. Lee Rainey, Craig A. Williams, and Larry H. Williams 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 slate 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 2005 election cycle are Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. (chairman), David C. Brightbill, and William E. Grant, Jr. In recent years Tom has served as a member of the FEBT board of directors; he has also been an active member of our Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace restoration work crews. 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. As an architectural advisor to FEBT, Bill Grant played an instrumental role in the first phase of our restoration of the old Robertsdale post office; he supervised our documentation of the interior of the EBT's Saltillo station and has assisted us at the FEBT Company Store.

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

Thomas A. Diehl, Jr., Chairman
FEBT Nominating Committee
RR 7 Box 7678
Stroudsburg PA 18360
Telephone: (570) 421–7431 (home)

The deadline for submitting names of potential candidates for nomination or nominating petitions to the nominating committee is January 29, 2005.

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 Tom Diehl at the address stated above.

About the Timber Transfer

In mid–October all current FEBT members were mailed three issues of the Timber Transfer (volume 20, issue numbers 1, 2, and 3). Because of delays at the US Postal Service, however, most FEBT members did not receive this mailing until the latter part of November. Our mailer suggests that material mailed for the November election pushed aside our mailing along with several others he delivered to the post office at the same time. FEBT members who experience problems with missing or damaged issues of The Timber Transfer should contact Peter A. Clarke at the FEBT membership office by telephone at (301) 482–1136, by e–mail at or by writing to the return address on the last page of this newsletter.

EBT in spring 2005 Classic Trains

Frequent contributor (and FEBT member) Dan Cupper has prepared an article about the East Broad Top Railroad for publication in the spring 2005 issue of Classic Trains. Dan's article is part of the magazine's fifth anniversary celebration, which marks "great classic–era events with anniversaries in 2005," including the 1960 rebirth of the EBT. However, more recent history, including FEBT's restoration work at the railroad, is not neglected. EBT president Joseph Kovalchick and EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall were among those Dan interviewed for his article.

FEBT receives donated material

In the past several months three donors have contributed material to FEBT to support of our restoration program.

In August FEBT member J. C. McHugh and his wife Ann donated 50 brake shoes and three kegs of spikes to FEBT. The brake shoes can be used for the restoration of our EBT passenger cars, while extras can be traded for other materials or services needed for our restoration program.

In September and October FEBT received miscellaneous glass and Plexiglas donated by the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum. FEBT member Dennis W. Masters, a director of the Hagerstown, Maryland, museum served as the intermediary for this transaction, while FEBT member William Adams transported the donated glass to Rockhill Furnace.

Also in October, FEBT member Joe Sarich delivered new wood window sash frames he had fabricated for the next stage of our work on EBT combines nos. 14 and 15. Joe's work on this project was arranged by FEBT Rockhill Furnace restoration coordinator R. Lee Rainey, with assistance from FEBT member Charles Wootton.

New tubes for EBT no. 15, Saltillo station building to be razed

On November 19 employees of the East Broad Top Railroad completed their last scheduled work in 2004. While the focus this day was on the final details of securing the railroad and storing its equipment for the winter, the next phase of work on the boiler of EBT 2–8–2 locomotive no. 15 was also completed.

In the final two weeks of work, EBT employees Daniel Gilliland, Thomas Holder, Roy Miller, and Ronald Rabena cut new tubes for the no. 15's boiler to size and polished their ends. The new tubes were then inserted into the locomotive's boiler, where Erich Armpriester, Estes Proudfoot, and Chuck Trusdell from contractor Strasburg Rail Road rolled the ends of the tubes to make the mechanical connections to the front and rear flue sheets inside the boiler and firebox. Welding and testing the repaired boiler will be completed next spring. Assuming no significant complications arise, the EBT 2–8–2 is expected to return to operation in 2005.

This progress was counterbalanced by less positive news about the railroad's station building at Saltillo. In early November EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall received notice from the Saltillo borough council requesting that the railroad take final action on this building. This notice had been expected for some time, and Stan Hall emphasized the cooperation the Saltillo council had extended to the EBT and FEBT while we completed our documentation of the building and explored possible alternatives for saving it. On November 15, FEBT president Hank Inman met with Stan Hall to discuss the Saltillo station building one more time. In a joint inspection of the building with the EBT general manager that day, Hank observed that the building had deteriorated markedly from earlier in the year. Because the extremely poor condition of the station now forecloses any realistic alternative, the EBT plans to engage a local contractor to raze the building and arrange for its disposal at an appropriate landfill. As of mid–December arrangements for this work are still pending.

With the permission of the railroad, FEBT volunteers William Adams, Hank Inman, Tom Kozub, R. Lee Rainey, Richard Ullery, and Charles Wootton spent several hours on November 20 removing samples of siding and trim, window sashes, doors, and other significant architectural details from the Saltillo station building. Now safely stored at Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace, these physical artifacts supplement the drawings, photographs, and other documentation we have already assembled for a more complete a record of this EBT building. 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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