By Hank Inman, President
Friends of the East Broad Top
After a slow start, I am pleased to report that you and other donors contributed approximately $55,000 (including pending corporate matching contributions) during the fourth year of our fund–raising campaign. Combined with the other contributions we have received since our campaign began in September 2001, we have raised over $185,000—taking account of the value of donated securities we continue to hold and our fund–raising costs—to support our restoration and development programs. During this time we have also received grants totaling $9,000 to support two of our restoration projects.
How have we used the donations you and others have so generously contributed to FEBT? A detailed answer to this question can be found on the following page, but here 1 will emphasize two points. First, the contributions and grants we received during the first four years of our campaign—together with those we hope to receive during the coming year—will underwrite current and projected expenditures exceeding $237,000. Second, the projected 2006 budget for our restoration program is based on the support which we anticipate that you and other donors will provide to us in 2005 and 2006.
Our projected 2006 restoration spending focuses on three areas. We plan to continue our successful restoration work at the East Broad Top Railroad's shop and yard complex at Rockhill Furnace. There we also plan additional improvements to the FEBT car restoration facility we are creating in the EBT's paint shop building. Next, we will complete our documentation of the EBT's water tank at Coles Station; these drawings and photographs will eventually become part of the EBT Historic American Engineering Record materials held in the Library of Congress. Lastly, after many delays we will begin the contracted work needed to complete our rehabilitation of the old post office for our Robertsdale museum. Other restoration funds will be used to repay debts incurred during earlier phases of our restoration program and for acquisition of artifacts and other EBT–related items for our collections.
Our 2006 restoration budget, of course, is subject to revision as work progresses and as we pay for the actual materials and contracted work we obtain for our various restoration projects. Nevertheless, the summary of past and projected restoration expenditures on the following page clearly demonstrates what our present priorities and goals are. Our directors periodically review and adjust the funds allocated in our annual restoration budgets to suit the pace of work or to address other contingencies. Our 2006 budget will necessarily change if our directors determine that the donations we actually receive during the coming year fall short of our expectations.
Because of your past generosity we have the funds on hand to start work planned at Rockhill Furnace, Coles Station, and Robertsdale in 2006. However, the funds now on hand are not sufficient to pay for all the work included in our 2006 budget. Nor does this budget incorporate the funds we will need to continue our progress after 2006. While our documentation of the Coles Station water tank will be completed in 2006, we anticipate additional expenditures at Rockhill Furnace, both to continue our repairs to shop buildings and for restoration of historic EBT rolling stock. We will also incur additional costs while completing work on the old post office and continuing development on our museum in Robertsdale. Restoration of our EBT passenger cars, now on hold, will require significant financial support when we are ready to resume work on them.
All of this depends on the financial support that only you and other friends of the East Broad Top Railroad can provide. Please send your tax–deductible donation to the following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Contributors who make donations of $50 or more before August 1, 2006, may receive an authorized reproduction of Ted Rose's original painting On the Hill. I take this opportunity to thank FEBT member Polly Rose for allowing us to use reproductions of this painting for the fifth year of our fund raising campaign.
We remind you that the deadline for obtaining one of our authorized reproductions of John H. Coker's Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania was August 31, 2005. Until October we honored requests for this reproduction accompanying donations we received after that date because of the delay in announcing the start of the fifth year of our campaign. The reproductions of this painting that remain in our hands, like those of Ted Rose's Mount Union Train, John H. Coker's Afternoon Call, and Frank Vietor's October Evening, 0rbisonia, remaining from the first three years of our campaign, will be offered again at the conclusion of our present fund–raising campaign. Until then, a few reproductions of Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, as well as October Evening, Orbisonia, Afternoon Call and Mount Union Train, may be available–for the usual donation of $50 or more–at some special shows or events. Our restoration fund treasurer cannot make exceptions to this policy, so please don't ask.
The summary below presents current and planned expenditures on restoration projects undertaken by Friends of the East Broad Top since the start of our fund–raising campaign in September 2001. Actual and known pending expenditures as of November 2005, reported in the first column, are necessarily incomplete, since some costs incurred before the end of 2005 are not included. The preliminary budget approved by our directors for 2006 indicates where we plan to use restoration funds during the coming year. The preliminary budget plus past expenditures produces our projected restoration program expenditures since the start of our campaign through 2006; the portion of all restoration spending on each project is shown by the calculated percentage. Finally, the sources for the expended and committed funds we have and will use to support our restoration program are displayed in the last two columns.
of expended funds
|FEBT passenger cars|
|Combine no. 16 trucks||16,133.49||0.00||16,133.49||6.8||11,133.49||5,000.00b|
|Nos. 18 and 29||52,300.00||0.00||52,300.00||22.0||42,300.00||10,000.00c|
|Total for passenger cars||68,433.49||0.00||68,433.49||28.8||43,433.49||15,000.00|
|Coles Station water tank||28.63||11,500.00||11,528.63||4.9||7,528.63||4,000.00d|
|Total for documentation||10,272.62||11,500.00||21,770.62||9.2||17,770.62||4,000.00|
|Car restoration facility||4,629.75||11,000.00||15,629.75||6.6||15,629.75||0.00|
|Total for Rockhill Furance||34,851.20||20,000.00||54,851.20||23.1||54,851.20||0.00|
|Total for Robertsdale||14,975.16||45,500.00||60,475.16||25.5||60,475.16||0.00|
|Post office loan||9,849.12||2,317.44||12,166.56||5.1||12,166.56||0.00|
|FEBT life member account||5,000.00||2,500.00||7,500||3.2||7,500.00||0.00|
|Total for debt repayment||14,849.12||4,817.44||19,666.56||8.3||19,666.56||0.00|
|NOTES: aExpenditures from September 2001 to November 2005, including pending payments.|
|bNational Railway Historical Society grant.|
|cFunds borrowed from FEBT life member account.|
|dGrants from Amherst railway Society and Society for Industrial Archeology.|
|Fund–raising campaign expenditures, 2001–2005a|
|Subtotal for reproductions||$16,032.78|
|Total fund–raising expenditures||$55,561.63|
|NOTE: aExpenditures through September 2005 do not include start–up costs for fifth year of our campaign.|
Economists are fond of saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Based on our experience during the first four years of our campaign, we can add that there is no such thing as free fund raising, although we are proud that we have succeeded in keeping the costs of our campaign as low as possible. For those of you who wonder about this, our expenditures for fund raising during the first four years of our campaign are presented in the nearby summary. (Unreimbursed expenses of FEBT volunteers treated as donations are not included.)
The US Postal Service has already announced postage increases to take effect in January 2006, and some advertising costs have also increased. Thus we expect the costs we incur for the fifth year of our campaign to run slightly higher than in past years.
Early in 2005 our directors agreed that FEBT should explore obtaining documentation meeting standards established by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) for the railroad's last surviving enclosed water tank at Coles Station, located on an isolated segment of the EBT's right of way between Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace.
In 2005 FEBT successfully applied for two grants supporting the documentation of the EBT's Coles Station water tank. The grants we were awarded for this project from the Society for Industrial Archeology ($3,000.00) and the Amherst Railway Society ($1,000.00) will cover slightly more than a third of the expected cost of this project.
On October 6–7 historic architect John R. Bowie made his first visit to the Coles Station site, where with help from FEBT member William L. Adams and FEBT president Henry F. Inman he began work documenting the water tank. The result of John's work will be detailed measured drawings showing the construction and purpose of the water tank, large–format black–and–white photographic negatives, photo captions, and field notes. FEBT will eventually transmit this original material to HAER at the US National Park Service, after we obtain copies of this material for our own use. Ultimately the Coles Station water tank drawings, photographs, captions, and field sketches will join the other EBT–related HAER material in the collections of the Library of Congress.
The water tank at Coles Station dates from the early 1920s. when it was constructed to replace an earlier water tank at this location. The tank structure consists of an elevated round wood tub–style tank supported by heavy wood joists on framed wood bents. The tank and its supporting framework are enclosed in a two–story wood–frame building. A one–story annex extending from the rear wall formerly housed a belt–driven pump and its gasoline engine. Water from a nearby spring was pumped from a cistern under the annex to the tank, where train crews could use a counterweighted spout to deliver water to the tenders of the EBT's steam locomotives.
In 2004 John completed work on the measured drawings, large–format photographs, photo captions, and field notes for the EBT's station building at Saltillo which he prepared for FEBT. With the railroad's permission, FEBT volunteers also salvaged samples of wood siding, trim, and architectural details from the building before it was razed. FEBT has obtained archival copies of John's measured drawings and archival prints and copy negatives from the large–format photographs assembled as part of our HAER documentation of the Saltillo station. We now expect to transfer the original Saltillo drawings, photographs, and other materials to the HAER office in Washington DC before the end of 2005.
In 2005 the work needed to convert the space we leased inside the East Broad Top Railroad's paint shop into a true FEBT car restoration facility started in earnest. Our primary accomplishment here was the installation of a new concrete floor inside the entire building. Window repairs progressed, and additional electrical wiring was installed. More window work, repairs to the wood doors, and an exterior concrete work pad are planned for 2006.
Our repairs to the paint shop did not delay starting work on two EBT cars. The first of these projects, completed in 2005, was our repair and restoration of EBT flat car no. 119. This steel–framed car was originally constructed by the railroad in 1925; in the early 1960s the EBT installed end steps, railings, and seats to adapt the car to tourist train service. This past summer our volunteers removed the deteriorated wood deck and its supports; cut and installed new supports and deck boards; repaired the seats, railing, and steps: and painted the entire car. The restored flat car was returned to service during the EBT's 2005 Fall Spectacular.
The second car project—our repair and rehabilitation of EBT hopper car no. 802—presented more challenges. The EBT acquired this two–bay steel hopper car from Pressed Steel Car Company in 1913; it was one of four cars the railroad subsequently converted to side–dump configuration. Last year the EBT removed the car from active service because of rust and other damage to the car's steel slope sheets and hoppers. In spring 2005 our volunteers started removing the many rivets attaching the damaged portions of the car body to its sides and frame. FEBT member Stephen W. Jacobs designed replacement sheet–steel components, which Steve's employer, CNH America, then fabricated (for the cost of materials only). Our volunteers then installed the new components, making repairs the car's structural steel framework as needed. As work progressed we stripped old paint, prepared the surfaces of both original and new steel components, and applied primer. Final work on the hopper car, including new paint, will be completed in 2006, when the car can once again be used to maintain the EBT's tracks and right of way.
At the end of October EBT combination passenger–baggage car no. 14 was moved into our car restoration facility. Early in 2006 our volunteers will begin long–needed repairs to this car's wood siding, windows, platforms, underframe, and roof. Work on this car may extend into 2007.
The experience our volunteers have gained from their work on these cars (and EBT caboose no. 28 last year) will prepare them for the tasks we will face when we begin the restoration of our own EBT passenger cars—EBT combination passenger–baggage car no. 18 and EBT baggage–express car no. 29 are stored in the EBT car shop at Rockhill Furnace. The body of EBT combination passenger–baggage car no. 16 remains in covered storage at the New Jersey Museum of Transportation.
In addition to the development of our car restoration facility, restoration of EBT flat car no. 119. and rehabilitation of EBT hopper car no. 802 (discussed elsewhere), our Rockhill Furnace volunteers continued important restoration work on the railroad's shop and yard complex.
Our repairs to the deteriorated brickwork and reconstruction of the upper east wall of the boiler house were completed in 2005. Repointing the exposed face of the repaired brick wall was finished in May, allowing us to paint the repaired exterior brick wall. The focus of work at this location then shifted to the coal storage bin abutting the boiler house's north wall. Served by a pit in the adjacent shop track, this wood building had deteriorated to the point of collapse. Since the framework for this building supports the roof of the boiler house, more than mere appearance drove our reconstruction of the coal bin.
Coordinated by FEBT member Jim Bacon, our volunteers began work on the coal bin by disassembling and removing the existing bin's roof, walls, and supporting framework. After removing debris from the coal bin's damaged original concrete floor, they constructed forms and poured concrete for new footers to support the reconstructed wall frames. Our volunteers then erected new wall framing, which incorporated 8–inch square posts and beams among the heavy wood stud walls. New two–piece rafters were installed above the new framework to the top of the north wall of the boiler house. Wood siding (matching the removed original siding) was attached to the new wall frames. At the beginning of November Jirn and his assistants completed work on the coal bin's roof. With work on the coal bin all but complete, our attention can again return to repairs to the roof of the boiler house in 2006.
In 2005 repairs to the windows, doors, and siding of the main shop buildings continued, as our volunteers began work on sections of the machine shop west of the main entry door into the shop. Repairs to the windows involved replacing damaged mullions in sashes, installing, new glass where needed, and paint. Damaged or deteriorated wood siding was replaced or repaired, primed. and painted. By November evidence of the beneficial effect of our volunteers' efforts had extended to the west wall of the machine shop.
As in past years, our volunteers also performed track repairs and cut away more brush and overgrowth along yard tracks and Jordan Creek.
And in 2006? FEBT Rockhill Furnace restoration coordinator R. Lee Rainey reports that our immediate goal will be to complete projects already underway. These will include additional work on the windows, doors, and siding of the main shop buildings; efforts to control erosion caused by Jordan Creek; and our repairs to the boiler house roof.
After many delays we are at last poised to take the next major step in the development of our museum complex at Robertsdale. We now expect to start the final phase of our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office in 2006.
In 2005 FEBT president Henry F. Inman confirmed the procedure we must follow to meet local building code and inspection requirements for the work planned for the old post office. With the assistance of FEBT member and architect William E. Grant, Jr., we have reviewed and updated the outline for the proposed work; this outline will serve as the basis for our final construction drawings and specifications. Based on Bill's recommendation, we are now discussing the architectural work required to complete the construction drawings and specifications and to handle the required review by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Historic Preservation with historic architect John R. Bowie, who has assisted us with our documentation projects at Saltillo and Coles Station.
Assuming the architectural work and reviews go smoothly, we should be able to have our contractors at work by early to mid 2006. The contracted work will involve relocating a ventilation duct, repairing plaster on the inside faces of the block walls, converting the first–floor rear addition to a new public bathroom, completing all plumbing, and install all electrical wiring and lighting. We expect our contractors will also fill in the air–conditioner opening in the north wall with matching concrete block, construct the sidewalk on the east and north sides of the building, and install an emergency escape ladder. The bulk of the remaining work, like inserting new and replacement insulation, finishing the partition walls and ceilings, and cleaning and reinstalling the building's wood wainscoting and trim, we believe our Robertsdale volunteers can handle.
In the meantime our work on the former EBT depot is limited to routine maintenance, including our annual repairs to the building's metal roof. Further work here will wait for the transfer of museum operations to post office, once work there is complete.
We are also pleased to report our purchase of two significant additions to our museum collections in 2005. In March we purchased a collection of black–and–white photographic negatives and prints that recorded visits of the late Hugh Boutell to the EBT in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. In September we acquired an EBT section motor car, constructed by the railroad in 1920. FEBT member Richard D. Shell transported this artifact to Rockhill Furnace, where it is now stored. Among several items we obtained this year by donation is a small Kilbourne & Jacobs four–wheel truck, possibly used at one of the EBT's stations, from the collection of late FEBT member Richard B. Keller.
As of November 2005, Friends of the East Broad Top has made 91 of 120 monthly payments of $192.13 each to the Allegheny Heritage Development Corporation toward repayment of the $20,000 low–interest loan we received for the first phase of our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office. The annual interest rate for this loan is three percent. The total amount we have so far repaid includes $14,604.02 in principal and $2,969.90 in interest. Thus the balance of the loan remaining is $5,395.98. (This does not include, of course, the additional interest due.) During the 2006 calendar year we are scheduled to make 12 loan payments totaling $2,317.44; of this amount $2,190.90 represents the repayment of principal and $126.54 the payment of interest.
In addition to the debt we assumed for previous work on the old post office, in 2002 our directors authorized borrowing $10,000.00 from the FEBT life member (contingency or reserve) account to cover part of the cost of purchasing and transporting East Broad Top Railroad passenger cars nos. 18 and 29 "back home" to the EBT. Our directors took this action because the donations we had received for the return of these passenger cars fell short of the actual resources required. In August 2004 our directors agreed that, starting that year, $2,500.00 of the contributions we receive each year to support our restoration and development programs will be used to "repay" these borrowed funds, until the entire $10,000.00 has been returned to the FEBT life member account. The first of these $2,500.00 repayments was completed in 2004, and the second will be accomplished at the end of 2005. The third of these payments to the FEBT life member account is incorporated in our 2006 preliminary budget, and in 2007 the total amount borrowed will be repaid.