Meet us in Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale on Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, for our annual celebration marking the start of operations at the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT Museum. This year we will again focus on the railroad's employees and operations of the 1950s. We have invited three of the four EBT train–operating employees from this era who joined us last year—Merle Steninger (seniority date August 31, 1948), Lee R. Wilson (November 27, 1951), and Ted M. Keith (March 4, 1952)—to join us again in Rockhill Furnace on Saturday afternoon. (The fourth, Charles R. Price, unfortunately died last year.) Between now and June we hope to invite other members of the EBT's extended family to participate too. Thus FEBT members will again have the opportunity to interact directly with these living representatives of EBT history. FEBT vice president and EBT historian R. Lee Rainey has tentatively agreed to discuss the EBT during its "iron age" as part of our Saturday evening program at the FEBT Museum.
These are just some of the activities we have planned on June 2–3. As in past years, FEBT volunteers will offer guided tours inside the railroad's Rockhill Furnace machine shop. We will also offer guided walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. All tours will be open to the general public as well as to FEBT members. One of our art reproductions of Ted Rose's Up the Creek will be on display at our Rockhill Furnace information booth, where visitors may obtain information about FEBT programs and activities. In Robertsdale, the FEBT Museum will be open for its regular hours both days, in addition to the Summer Celebration reception on Saturday evening.
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 $8.00 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, interact with former EBT employees on Saturday afternoon, and attend the Saturday evening reception at the FEBT Museum for the special event fee of $15.00 per person. This registration fee is less than the $20.00 combined cost of a train ticket and one shop tour ticket if purchased from the EBT. Note spouses and dependent children of FEBT family, sustaining, associate, and life members 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 2007 FEBT Summer Celebration; please register at the FEBT information booth (near the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse) on Saturday morning.
You and FEBT members can help us stimulate public interest in our 2007 Summer Celebration. An announcement aimed at the general public for both the FEBT tours at the EBT and our museum' open house is included as an insert to this newsletter. We encourage FEBT members to reproduce and distribute copies of this announcement to railfans and others who may be interested in what we have planned for the first weekend of June.
Because our work on the old Robertsdale post office will affect our use of space in both of our museum buildings this year, we have decided to open the museum to the public only for FEBT events and when on–site work by our volunteers is scheduled. The resulting reduced operating schedule for our museum will still provide reasonable opportunities for the public to visit us while interfering as little as possible with the progress our volunteers and contractors will be making on the final phase of our rehabilitation of the old post office for museum use.
In 2007 the FEBT Museum will be open to the public on the first and third weekends of each month, starting in May and ending in October. In general, museum hours on these weekends will be 10–5 on Saturdays and 1–5 on Sundays. Special fall open house hours will apply on October 6–7.
Despite the changes in our museum's operations for the current year, we still need FEBT members who can help us open and supervise the museum. We encourage members interested in joining our museum volunteers to contact Vagel C. Keller, who as assistant vice president coordinates our museum operations. No experience is necessary—just commitment to communicating the EBT story to the public. Vagel can be reached by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (412) 441–7881.
Editor Kevin C. Strong reports that, for a variety of reasons, production of the next issue of the Timber Transfer has been delayed. This issue, fall 2006 (volume 23 no. 2), will contain coverage of last year's FEBT fall reunion and EBT fall spectacular; it is now expected to be mailed in May. 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 email@example.com, or by writing to the return address on the last page of this newsletter.
The usual FEBT Newsletter progress report about our restoration program consists of a summary of the status of our main projects followed by an appeal for additional donations to support our work. This time we start the the appeal, to emphasize that by the end of 2007 we expect to spend or commit much of the funds you and other FEBT members have already provided to us. Contractors working on the final phase of our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office will need to be paid. We must continue to purchase much of the material and equipment our volunteers use at Rockhill Furnace. We will need to pay our architect for the cost of his work documenting the EBT's Coles Station water tank. And if all goes well, we may be able to resume work on the reproduction trucks for EBT combine no. 16.
Needless to say, all of this depends on your continued generosity. Our progress on these and our other restoration projects relies on the ongoing financial support you provide to the FEBT restoration fund–raising campaign. Please send your restoration donation to us at the following address:
Friends of the East Broad Top
Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Now, here's a brief summary of restoration activities since the last FEBT Newsletter.
For more information contact
Lee Rainey at (814) 867–7878 (home),
(814) 404–3968 (cell), or
For more information contact
Hank Inman at (804) 353–0817 or
Vagel Keller at (412) 441–7881 or
FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey reports that work at Rockhill Furnace is progressing, but more slowly than planned. Repairs to the second truck of side–dump steel hopper car no. 802 are taking longer than anticipated. The conversion of EBT steel box car no. 168 to passenger service continues, but because of deterioration to the steel side panels this project will require more work and more time to complete. These complications have in turn delayed our restoration of EBT combine no. 14; major work on this project should begin later this year.
In the EBT foundry building, volunteers have braced the overhead transfer crane and erected a jacking frame for repairs to its supporting framework. Work on the small garage near the sandhouse has also started. Lee indicates that during the May work session FEBT volunteers will clear brush and ready the Rockhill yard and right of way for 2007 operations.
FEBT president Henry F. Inman reports that contracted work on the old post office is taking longer to get under way, as our discussions for contracted work are taking more time than anticipated. While we had hoped to have updated estimates in hand and have applied for the required building permit in May, Hank indicates that June is now his target for completing these preliminaries. In March FEBT volunteers replaced the supports for insulation installed in the second–floor ceiling, and additional work to prepare the post office for contracted work will continue during June work sessions at Robertsdale.
High winds in April will require more maintenance than usual for the roof of the post office, and Hank has already discussed the needed repairs with contractor Rex A. Smith of Huntingdon. FEBT volunteers will inspect the metal roof the station building and perform any needed maintenance in May. Also in May, we will complete work on new mobile storage units for the station baggage room, to be reorganized in June.
Historic architect John Bowie reports that professional and family obligations have delayed work this past winter on his measured drawings of the EBT's enclosed water tank at Coles Station. This month he plans to make his final site visit and resume work on the two sheets of drawings devoted to construction details of the water tank. Completion of all work on this project is now anticipated this summer.
Bob Richardson, cofounder and long–time executive
director of the Colorado Railroad Museum, died in February
at his Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, home. For obvious reasons,
most notices of his death in railroad and rail preservation
publications will focus on his achievements in Colorado.
Many FEBT members, however, will remember Bob as a regular
visitor to the East Broad Top Railroad after he retired and
relocated to Pennsylvania. As a FEBT member, Bob regularly
attended our annual fall reunions, supported our restoration
program, and helped us launch our current fund–raising
campaign in 2001. At one notable FEBT Summer Celebration
evening program, Bob recalled his fantrips on the EBT in the
late 1940s and early 1950s, enthralling those of us whose
personal knowledge of the railroad depends on post–196O
visits. Bob was always available to share his invaluable
experience with us, and all FEBT officers and directors will
certainly miss his advice and encouragement.
–Hank Inman, FEBT president
On March 31 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 2007. Elected to two–year terms as directors were (votes received in parentheses) Robert R. Farquharson (86), William L. Adams (85), Dennis R. Straub (83), and Henry F. Inman (83). The following individuals received write–in votes: Michael J. Swinnerton (3) Philip J. Padgett (2), Neyin Byers (1), Jerry A. Fisher (1), Stanley G. Hall (1), Lance Myers (1), and Janies A. Vliet (1). Lee Wilson based his tabulation on the 89 ballots he received as of the March 26 deadline for the 2007 election of directors.
The four elected directors will serve until their successors are elected in early 2009; they join continuing directors William R. Blomgren, Thomas A. Diehl, Jr., Stephen W. Jacobs, R. Lee Rainey, and Wade N. Woodcock, whose current terms will end in 2008. All board of directors wishes to thank FEBT members Themas A. Diehl, Jr. (chairman), William E. Grant, Jr., and Ronald L. Pearson for serving as the nominating comnittee for this election, and Lee R. Wilson for again acting as election judge.
As a matter of record, contact information is published here for all FEBT directors; residential (evening) telephone numbers are listed.
|William L. Adams||109 Onondaga Drive, Forest Heights MD 20745||(301) 567–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|William R. Blomgren||13816 Queenswater Lane, Charlotte NC 28273||(704) 587–email@example.com|
|Thomas A. Diehl, Jr.||RR 7 Box 7678, Stroudsburg PA 18360||(570) 421–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Robert R. Farquharson||6707 Wakehurst Road, Charlotte NC 28226||(704) 759–email@example.com|
|Henry F. Inman||2016 A Park Avenue, Richmond VA 23220||(804) 353–0817|
|Stephen W. Jacobs||33 Pennwick Drive, Lititz PA 17543||(717) 627–4121|
|R. Lee Rainey||784 Tanager Drive, State College PA 16803||(814) 867–firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dennis R. Straub||722 Alexander Spring Road, Carlisle PA 17013||(717) 249–email@example.com|
|Wade N. Woodcock||19 West Vandevender Street, Mount Union PA 17066||(717) 566–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; 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 16, August 19, and November 3. 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 the budget for 2007 operations (discussed below), directors also reviewed our fund–raising campaign and restoration program, approved rules for Rockhill Furnace volunteers (see related story), and agreed to engage Carol A. Schreckengaust, CPA, to provide accounting services required for our 2006 accounting review and related returns.
At the March meeting of the board, directors approved a 2007 budget for operating expenditures that continues 2006 spending levels, but allows for increases in postage and other routine expenses. This 2007 budget was based on a review of a preliminary summary for FEBT's 2006 income and operating expenses prepared by FEBT president Hank Inman. This budget does not include restoration program and fund–raising expenses, which the board of directors treats separately. (A summary of the 2007 restoration program budget appeared in the December 2006 newsletter.)
FEBT's total 2006 operating income was $42,429.00, down 4% from 2005. Last year income from membership payments was $28,445.00 (not including life membership payments of $2,000.00), about 5% less than in 2005. Income from 2006 donations supporting operations was $4,598.48, approximately 72% more than similar donations received in 2005. Income from FEBT events was $6,915.00 in 2006, up 1% from 2005. Income derived from FEBT Company Store and FEBT Museum sales totaled $9,094.00, down 23% from 2005. Excluding the value of non–cash donations, total 2006 FEBT income, including grants, restoration fund donations, interest, and dividends, was $115,572.58, down 3% from 2005. Hank indicated that this preliminary summary of 2006 income would be amended to incorporate the value of donated property and other assets received in 2006 as well as omissions and corrections discovered during our accounting review.
Ignoring depreciation, cost of merchandise sold, and expenditures for capitalized and current assets, in 2006 FEBT's expenditures for operations (other than restoration and fundraising) totaled $45,599.29, up approximately 3% from similar expenses in 2005. Expenditures related to our museum and collections, $8,205.39, increased from 2005 by 9%. The 2006 expenses of our outreach program, $3,128.10, increased 44% from the previous year. The 2006 cost of FEBT publications, $14,232.35, declined 7%. (Four issues of The Timber Transfer were published and mailed in 2006, while in 2005 more issues were published but there were fewer mailings.) Other 2006 operating expenses included $5,282.95 for FEBT events (decrease of 12%), $3,725.26 for Company Store operating expenses (33% increase), and $11,025.24 for general business expenses (up 5%). (As noted above, the cost of merchandise sold is not included in the Company Store expenses reported here.) In addition to these operating expenses, our 2006 fundraising costs were $15,685.67 (up 14%) and our 2006 restoration program expenditures were $20,980.08 (up 27%). Including these additional expenses, 2006 expenditures for all FEBT operations totaled $82,265.04, an increase of 10% from the previous year.
Regarding anticipated expenditures for 2007 FEBT operations, Hank observed that this year's expenses would obviously be affected by the increase in postage to take effect in May. Hank also indicated to directors that he expected our insurance and utility costs to continue to rise.
In March FEBT directors approved rules to govern the conduct of Rockhill Furnace restoration volunteers. Proposed by Rockhill restoration coordinator R. Lee Rainey, the rules address several incidents that occurred during the past year. The purpose of these rules is to insure that the partnership we have established with the East Broad Top Railroad for our restoration work on railroad property remains productive and hamonious. For several years our directors have been working on comprehensive guidelines for all FEBT volunteers, but this remains a work in progress. The rules adopted for our work on EBT property will eventually be incorporated into this larger framework, but in the meantime they should clarify the responsibilities and behavior expected for our restoration volunteers at Rockhill Furnace.
The Friends of the East Broad Top (FEBT) conduct work sessions on the property of the East Broad Top Railroad (EBT) as guests of the railroad. Participation in these work sessions is limited to those who comply with the following rules.
These rules are subject to change at the discretion of FEBT or the East Broad Top Railroad.
As reported elsewhere in this newsletter, the East Broad Top Railroad has scheduled the 2007 celebration of its 1960 rebirth for Saturday, August 18. As in past years, FEBT volunteers will conduct guided tours inside the shops and around the Rockhill Furnace yard and shop complex for the visitors who come to take advantage of the railroad's one–day special schedule and fares. Other FEBT volunteers will maintain a FEBT information booth, where we provide information about FEBT, our restoration program, and our fund–raising campaign. FEBT members interested in helping us at the 2007 EBT fan appreciation day/homecoming celebration should contact FEBT director Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249–4239 (home) or email@example.com.
On April 14 twenty FEBT members ignored threatening weather to join Peter A. Clarke and Jane J. Clarke for visits to sites related to the refractory brick industry served by the East Broad Top Railroad, during FEBT's 2007 "Early Bird" Spring Exploration. By special arrangement, the Mount Union Area Historical Society opened its museum for the FEBT "explorers," who were fascinated by a presentation on the Mount Union brick plants.
According to Pete Clarke, more about this event and background information about the Mount Union brick industry may appear in upcoming issues of the Timber Transfer.
FEBT member David C. Brightbill and his wife Cynthia announce the opening of new bed and breakfast accommodations in Rockhill Furnace. The Iron Rail Bed and Breakfast is located in the former East Broad Top Railroad Greenwood house, 371 Meadow Street, just behind the EBT's Orbisonia station building. Rooms for two and four persons are available, and FEBT members are eligible for discounted rates. The grand opening is 3pm on Sunday, May 20. For more information and reservations contact Dave by telephone at (814) 447–3984 or by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBT Company Store manager Richard M. Ullery informs us that he has added a new book to the items currently available from the FEBT Company Store. Brick Town USA: Mount Union, Pa., is a hardcover book of historic photographs compiled by Bryan D. Donaldson. Mr. Donaldson has collected old photographs in the Mount Union barber shop he has operated since 1970, and he combines these images with photographs from the Mount Union Area Historical Society and other sources to provide a visual record of life and work in Mount Union. Most FEBT members will find the sections on the town's industries and railroads of more interest than the parts of the book featuring local schools and sports, but the latter activities were obviously important to Mount Union residents. The cost of this 264–page book is $34.25 plus $5.00 for postage. (With the usual FEBT–member discount, current FEBT members may purchase this book for $29.11 plus the $5.00 fee for postage.) Pennsylvania residents must include 6% sales tax on the total cost of the book and postage.
The clearance sale of selected back issues of The Timber Transfer, announced last October, has been extended. Originally scheduled to end March 31, the sale will now continue through the end of 2007. FEBT members should use the back issue–sale order form mailed last year with The Timber Transfer to take advantage of these special prices, or contact Dick Ullery for information about this sale. (All other back issues of the Timber Transfer are also available at regular prices.)
Finally, Dick reminds FEBT members that a revised 2006–2007 catalog of drawings, plans, books, tapes and DVDS, photographs, modeling supplies, back issues of The Timber Transfer, and other products currently available from the FEBT Company Store can be obtained by sending $2.50 to the address stated below.
All orders and inquiries related to the Company Store should be communicated to
FEBT Company Store
P. 0. Box 145
Leetsdale PA 15056
Telephone and FAX: (412) 259–8020
Look for information about more new products from the FEBT Company Store with the next issue of the Timber Transfer.
The East Broad Top Railroad has announced that its 2007 operating schedule will be the same as last year, but all ticket prices have been raised. Standard fares for adults are now $12.00, while fares for children ages 1 – 12 riding in coach or open–car seats are $8.00. Caboose and private–car tickets are now $14.00 for all riders. According to Stanley G. Hall, general manager of the East Broad Top Railroad, train operations for the 2007 season will continue the same pattern as in recent years. EBT trains will run Saturdays and Sundays only, starting on June 2 and continuing through October 28. The train schedule each day will also be the same, with trains leaving Orbisonia Station at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. EBT 2–8–2 locomotive no. 15 will again handle steam–powered trains this year.
At the end of April the railroad's five regular employees resumed their five–day–a–week work schedule. The immediate focus of work is preparing for the start of train operations in June, with repairs to the railroad's passenger cars, track, and roadbed.
This year the EBT's special events include the 2007 fan appreciation day/homecoming celebration on Saturday, August 18, and the railroad's 2007 fall spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, October 6–7. Note that special fares and schedules will apply during these events. The railroad will provide more information about these events later this year.
For more information about 2007 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
Friends of the East Broad Top continues to work with the East Broad Top Railroad so that FEBT members can conduct guided tours at the EBT during some of the railroad's regular operating weekends. These FEBT tour guides would offer visitors to the railroad tours inside the shops or around the Rockhill Furnace yard complex, similar to the guided tours our volunteers now provide to the public on special occasions. The goal of these tours is to encourage a better understanding of the railroad's history and to foster greater public appreciation for the EBT as a historic resource.
We would like to have FEBT tour guides at the EBT several weekends this year. FEBT members interested in helping us as 2007 EBT tour guides should contact FEBT director Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249–4239 (home) or email@example.com as soon as possible. As part of their orientation, prospective docents will accompany the FEBT guided shop and Rockhill Furnace yard tours on June 2–3 and August 18. The 2007 schedule for FEBT guided tours at the EBT will be determined by the availability of volunteers who have expressed interest in this initiative.
Although intended for public visitors rather than FEBT members, the 2007 schedule of weekends on which tours will be offered will he posted on the FFBT web site www.febt.org.
In the confusion at the end of last year, we failed to report the August 2006 donation to FEBT of a Dayton 500–pound electric hoist by FEBT member Richard F. Wickett. The hoist is now at Rockhill Furnace, where it will no doubt soon he used by our restoration volunteers.
Several FEBT members have volunteered to organize FEBT displays at major upcoming 2007 train shows, reports Dennis R. Straub, coordinator of FEBT's outreach activities. This summer the National Model Railroader Association's 2007 national convention will be held in Detroit on July 22–28. FEBT members Janet Tigue and Timothy Tigue will coordinate our display at this convention and the associated train show. FEBT members interested in helping them can contact Janet at (313) 561–2192 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim at (313) 623–4967 or email@example.com.
The 2007 National Narrow Gauge Convention will be held in Portland, Maine, on August 29–September 1. FEBT member Leighton B. Carlson will organize setting up the FEBT display table at this convention. FEBT members interested in helping him with the FEBT display at Portland should contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closer at hand, FEBT member James A. Vliet is planning to set up a display table the Mid–Atlantic Narrow Gauge Guild's Module Meet in Kimberton, Pennsylvania, on May 18–19. FEBT members interested in helping Jim at this show can contact him by telephone at (516) 771–1038 (home) or by e–mail at email@example.com.
Since the last newsletter FEBT members have assisted us at the following shows: At the end of March Jon E. Radder and Richard Golding distributed EBT and FEBT information at the East Coast Large–Scale Train Show in York, Pennsylvania. In April Patricia J. Coleman and Christopher D. Coleman set up their usual FEBT display table at the Buckeye Railroad and Model Train Show and Sale in Columbus, Ohio.
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. FEBT members wishing to obtain EBT and FEBT literature should contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis Straub by telephone at (717) 249–4239 or by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org providing as much advance notice as possible.