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

Join us October 5-7 for FEBT's 25th Fall Reunion

Join us on the 2007 Columbus Day holiday weekend for our twenty-fifth annual Fall Reunion at the East Broad Top Railroad and Friends of the East Broad Top Museum. Our Fall Reunion schedule on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 5-7, should give all of our members plenty to do, while enjoying the distinctive sights, sounds, and aromas of the EBT’s 2007 fall celebration. Among the FEBT-sponsored activities will be the FEBT Company Store, other vendor and dealer displays, photo and model contests, auction, Saturday dinner, Sunday open house at the FEBT Museum at Robertsdale, and tours of Rockhill Furnace, Robertsdale, and Mount Union.

On Friday, October 5, FEBT member and noted EBT modeler Ronald L. Pearson has tentatively agreed to discuss his research and modeling of Rockhill Iron and Coal Company Robertsdale mine no. 1 at the Lions Hall.

FEBT Fall Reunion tours on Saturday, October 6, will include at least one special guided tour around the EBT Rockhill Furnace shop complex to demonstrate the progress our restoration volunteers have made since last year and a guided walking tour of the EBT’s Mount Union yard.

On Sunday, October 7, FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller will lead his popular Robertsdale mine walking tour. While not exactly a tour, our FEBT restoration volunteers plan to have exhibits on display at Rockhill Furnace on both Saturday and Sunday, showing the work now underway and planned for the future. Other tours may be added as we get closer to October.


You can register for this year’s Fall Reunion in advance by mail or register in person on October 5 or 6. Use the registration form included with this announcement to pre-register for the 2007 FEBT Fall Reunion. Help us avoid problems by filling in all information requested on the Fall Reunion registration form, including any reservations for the Fall Reunion dinner. Completed registration forms should be mailed to the following address:

FEBT Fall Reunion Registration
c/o Pat Coleman
3416 Lowell Drive
Columbus OH 43204

Please include your payment with your registration form and make all checks payable to "FEBT." Please do not combine your 2007 Fall Reunion payment with other payments (to renew your FEBT membership, for example). Please do not mail registration forms to us after September 25; after this date you should plan to register in person on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

FEBT members and others who pre-register for the 2007 Fall Reunion can pick up their Reunion registration material on Friday, October 5, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall between 4 and 8:30 pm (approximately). The Fall Reunion registration table will open at the Lions Hall at 8:30 am Saturday. Throughout Saturday morning and afternoon pre-registered Fall Reunion participants can obtain their registration materials, and others may register on a walk-up basis.

Each Fall Reunion registrant will receive one regular EBT fall celebration train ticket, one EBT shop tour ticket, two Baldwin Locomotive Works EBT locomotive number-plate jewelry pins (one each of no. 8 and no. 9), full EBT and FEBT schedules for the weekend, contest ballot, plus other information of interest to Fall Reunion participants. Because the Saturday evening Fall Reunion dinner is not included with your 2007 Fall Reunion registration, you must make a separate meal reservation on the registration form.

Note that you can pre-register for additional reunion packages for friends and family by indicating the number and type of registration packages desired and stating the names of all registrants in the appropriate block on the registration form. Please remember that spouses and dependent children of FEBT family, sustaining, associate, and life members qualify for the FEBT member rate for 2007 Fall Reunion registrations.

2007 Fall Reunion dinner

Separate reservations are required for our annual Fall Reunion dinner at the Orbisonia-Rockhill Fire Hall on Saturday, October 6. Note that there will be only one dinner seating at 5:00 pm. This year the dinner menu will feature barbecue chicken and roast beef.

The capacity of the Orbisonia-Rockhill Fire Hall is 150 diners, and therefore we are offering only 150 reservations for the 2007 Fall Reunion dinner—available on a first-ordered, first-reserved basis. You must indicate your entrée selection at the time of registration. Fall Reunion registrants may reserve as many seats at the Saturday dinner as they wish until all 150 seats have been reserved. (Dinner tickets for any persons in your family or group who are not registered Fall Reunion participants will be included in the Fall Reunion material waiting for you at the registration table.) The additional required payment must be included with your advance registration form to hold reserved seats at the 2007 Fall Reunion dinner.

If seats are still available, FEBT members who register on Saturday may purchase reservations for the Fall Reunion dinner. We cannot guarantee that you will get your entree choice if you don’t pre-register. Last year we were able to accommodate all registrants who wanted seats at the Fall Reunion dinner—but we can obviously make no guarantees that this year seats will still be available on October 6.

25th Fall Reunion commemorative caps

To commemorate our twenty-fifth Fall Reunion we are producing special baseball-style caps for sale during the 2007 Fall Reunion. These black cotton caps with adjustable rear Velcro strap will feature the M-1 style FEBT logo (like on the first page of this newsletter) embroidered in silver metallic thread. Also produced for this year's Fall Reunion are our final jewelry pins based on the number plates of the locomotives the EBT purchased from Baldwin Locomotive Works. These metal pins (finished in black, red, and metallic brass) for EBT locomotives nos. 8 and 9, complete the series of jewelry pins initiated many years ago by the late Richard B. Keller.

Fall Reunion registrants can purchase caps and additional EBT locomotive no. 8 and no. 9 number-plate pins with their advance registrations. FEBT members not planning to attend the 2007 Fall Reunion can also order caps and pins—while supplies last—by mail order. See the registration form for prices and more information.

FEBT Fall Reunion auction

We invite 2007 Fall Reunion registrants to join us at the Orbisonia Lions Hall on the evening of Saturday, October 7—after the EBT night train—for our annual Fall Reunion auction, where EBT memorabilia, models, and other railroad items donated to FEBT will be sold to the highest bidders. All proceeds from the auction go to the FEBT Restoration Fund to support the work of our restoration pro-gram.

To encourage donations of suitable items for this year's auction, we are again including a $5.00 check-off discount for all Fall Reunion registrants who donate an item or collection of items worth $25 or more to FEBT for the Fall Reunion auction. EBT and railroad books, models, and other materials are welcome.

Fall Reunion volunteers needed!

The FEBT Reunion work group is looking for FEBT members who are willing to spend an hour or two of their time on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the 2007 Fall Reunion weekend to assist us at the Fall Reunion registration table, FEBT Company Store, FEBT information booth, FEBT Museum at Robertsdale, and with other Fall Reunion activities. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, use the questionnaire with the registration form to indicate your interest. Or you can contact FEBT reunion registrar Patricia J. Coleman.

Please remember to include your email address (preferred) or telephone number when returning your registration form or when you contact Patty, so she can quickly establish communications with you.

So where is the Orbisonia Lions Hall?

To get to the Orbisonia Lions Hall from US 522, turn west (toward the EBT) at the Orbisonia traffic light, then turn left at the K.L. Mills hardware store; the Lions Hall will be just beyond it on the right.

For additional information

If you find you need additional information about the 2007 FEBT Fall Reunion, please contact Patricia Coleman by e-mail at or by telephone at (614) 670-4602. Look for Fall Reunion updates on the FEBT website at

EBT 2007 Fall Celebration

East Broad Top Railroad is still working on its operating schedule for the railroad’s 2007 Fall Celebration on October 6-7, reports EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall. EBT 2-8-2 locomotive no. 15 will be the center of attention, and the unique M-1 gas-electric should make its annual appearance. The EBT’s once-a-year night train should also run on Saturday evening, and two photo trains, one each morning, are again on the tentative schedule. On both days guided tours inside the shops will again be offered, and M-3 and speeder rides in the Rockhill Furnace yard may be available throughout the day.

For information about the 2007 fall celebration, contact the EBT directly:

East Broad Top Railroad
PO Box 158
Rockhill Furnace PA 17249
Telephone: (814) 447-3011
FAX: (814) 447-3256
Web site:

Current EBT fall celebration information will also be posted on the FEBT web site as it becomes available.

About the Timber Transfer

The most recent issue of the Timber Transfer, fall 2006 (volume 23, No. 2), containing coverage of last year's FEBT fall reunion and EBT fall spectacular, was mailed to current FEBT members at the end of June. 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.

Fall open house at FEBT Museum

The Friends of the East Broad Top Museum in Robertsdale will hold its annual fall open house in conjunction with the 2007 FEBT Fall Reunion. Both the general public and Fall Reunion registrants are invited to enjoy refreshments, coffee, and soft drinks on Sunday, October 7, between 9 am and 2 pm. Visitors to our museum can tour exhibits inside the former East Broad Top Railroad station and adjoining old Robertsdale post office. EBT books, videotapes, clothing, and souvenirs can be purchased in our museum gift shop.

Our museum will also be open on Saturday, October 6. Because of our 2007 Fall Reunion, special hours this day only will be 1 to 4 pm. The telephone number for the FEBT Museum, answered when the museum is open, is (814) 635-2388.

FEBT restoration program

To aid FEBT members interested in the special "exhibition" contests at this year’s Fall Reunion—and as a reminder to the rest of us about what we’ve accomplished during the past several years—here’s a summary of completed and current restoration projects:

Rockhill Furnace: North and south section sheds restored; car shop windows, doors repaired, new paint; machine shop windows, siding repaired, new paint; generator room roof, windows repaired, new paint; new ties for Rockhill Furnace yard and shop tracks; paint shop floor, wiring, windows repaired; boiler house wall, roof repaired, new paint; boiler house coal bin reconstructed; electrical shop restored; turntable painted; "canyon" between car and machine shops repaired; foundry post and beam frame repaired; and garage near sandhouse rehabilitated.

Robertsdale: EBT depot acquired and partially restored; and old post office purchased and rehabilitated.

Saltillo: EBT station documented.

Coles Station: EBT water tank documented.

Rolling Stock: Combine no. 16 trucks; combine no. 18 purchased and returned to EBT; baggage car no. 29 purchased and returned to EBT; coach no. 8 roof repaired; caboose no. 28 repaired and restored; side-dump hopper car no. 802 rehabilitated; flat car no. 119 repaired; locomotive no. 15 boiler jacket reinstalled; combine no. 14 under repair; M-3 inspection motor car restored; steel boxcar no. 168 under conversion to rider car.

Contracted work to begin at Robertsdale

At their July meeting the directors of Friends of the East Broad Top authorized the start of contracted work on the old Robertsdale office. FEBT president Hank Inman is now finalizing arrangements for C. Wootton Electric to undertake all electrical work and telephone system wiring in the building. The projected cost of this work is $14,808.00, which does not include the cost of some lighting fixtures. Our discussions with our general contractor—who will perform concrete, masonry, plaster, plumbing, ventilation, alarm wiring, and other work—continue, and we hope to get this contracted work under way in the near future. Assuming we can handle the work we plan to tackle ourselves, the bulk of the final rehabilitation of the old post office should be completed next year.

So far this year FEBT volunteers working at Robertsdale have inspected and repaired the metal roof of the station; they have also constructed mobile storage units and reorganized the material stored in the station's baggage room. In the post office our volunteers have started preparing the joists on the second floor of the post office for installation of the new ceiling. With the permission of the East Broad Top Railroad, brush has been cleared along the section of the main line leading to the station to demonstrate to museum visitors how the railroad served Robertsdale.

2007 Rockhill Furnace Work Schedule

November 3–4
August 18–19
September 15–16

For more information contact Lee Rainey at (814) 867–7878 (home), (814) 404–3968 (cell), or

2007 Robertsdale Work Schedule

September 15–16
October 20–21
August 18–19
September 1–2

For more information contact Hank Inman at (804) 353–0817 or Vagel Keller at (412) 441–7881 or

Rockhill Furnace

FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey reports that repairs to the second truck of side-dump steel hopper car no. 802 are now complete, and needed repairs to the car's bolster are now in progress. A new roof has advanced the conversion of EBT steel box car no. 168 to passenger service, and work on this project is now concentrated on the car's steel side panels.

In the EBT foundry building FEBT volunteers have completed replacing the deteriorated posts and beams supporting the southwest corner of the building. Repairs to the foundry's wood siding should begin soon. The wood sills supporting the small garage near the sandhouse have been repaired and the building leveled; work on the building's roof is next. The focus of repairs to the siding and windows of the main shop complex is now the south end of the building.

Significant effort from our volunteers was required to return the track leading to the paint shop building to operating condition. Eroded by the adjacent creek, the outer rail had to be raised four inches to level this track, and cribbing and fill had to be inserted under the track switch. Lee notes that FEBT volunteers also cleared brush along the Rockhill Furnace wye track to improve operations and access for photographers.

Museum display panels

This summer FEBT director William L. Adams and assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller, with assistance from director Wade N. Woodcock, have started to assemble three new display panels for our Robertsdale museum. Designed by Bill, the panels will combine images, text, and artifacts to relate portions of the EBT's history to museum visitors. The three initial panels will allow us to test the basic concept now, while work on the old post office is in progress. Additional panels will then be constructed. In July our directors established a budget of $1,000.00 for this project.

Digital archive for museum collections

Bill Adams and Vagel Keller will also soon start work on another project—creating a digital archive of images from the collections of EBT material FEBT has acquired. The project will begin by producing digital images of historic black-and-white photographs from several of our collections. While scanning and organizing these images, Bill and Vagel will inventory and reorganize our photographic negatives and prints, inserting them into acid-free archival sleeves. The initial phase of this project is funded in part by a $600.00 grant FEBT received in July from the Amherst Railway Society, Inc. Our directors have allocated an additional $400.00 to this project for the current year, which should cover the cost of the scanner as well as digital and archival storage materials.

To formalize this work, our board of directors created a new position charged with coordinating the digital archive. In this position Bill Adams will take direct responsibility for standards for and creation of digital images of items in our collections. He will also organize and maintain the digital images, and work with donors who wish to contribute digital images to FEBT from their own collections of EBT material. As coordinator of our museum operations, Vagel Keller retains overall responsibility for the organization, storage, and display of the actual items in our collections.

Correct 2007 EBT ticket prices

The prices for 2007 caboose and private-car tickets were stated incorrectly in the May FEBT Newsletter. The correct prices for these tickets—available in limited quantities for each train—are $14.00 each for caboose tickets and $15.00 each for private-car tickets. Standard fares are $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for children ages 1-12 riding in coach and open-car sears. We apologize for any confusion his mistake may have caused.
–Hank Inman, FEBT president

Company Store offers two 'new' publications

Two new publications are now available in limited quantities from the FEBT Company Store. Although the East Broad Top Railroad is not the subject of either publication, both add to our knowledge of the broader EBT story.

Industrial Archeology in the Blacklog Narrows: A Story of the Juniata Valley Iron Industry is a softcover booklet published by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation summarizing the archeological exploration of two iron furnaces in the Blacklog Creek valley, south of Orbisonia, before these sites were lost to improvements to US 522. Author (and FEBT member) Scott D. Heberling discusses the results of these investigations and reviews the development of the iron industry in this location, before the arrival of the East Broad Top Railroad and the Rockhill Iron and Coal Company. In addition to the text, the 32-page booklet contains maps, photographs, and other illustrations. The cost of Industrial Archeology in the Blacklog Narrows is $7.00 plus $2.50 for postage. (With the usual FEBT-member discount, current FEBT members may purchase this book for $5.95 plus the $2.50 fee for postage.) Pennsylvania residents must include 6% sales tax on the total cost of the book and postage.

To the east of the EBT was the three-foot gauge Peach Bottom Railway. Its middle division eventually became the northern end of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. A never-constructed western division was projected to connect to the EBT. The eastern division, constructed between 1872 and 1878, linked the east bank of the Susquehanna River to Oxford; its entire line lay within rural Lancaster County. Hauling milk and agricultural commodities, the railroad was reorganized as the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern Railroad in 1890. Its purpose superceded by improved roads and neighboring standard-gauge railroads, the LO&S ceased operations in 1919. Benjamin F. G. Kline, Jr., published his history of this railroad in 1985. The Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has reprinted Kline’s Little, Old and Slow with additional material provided by William Cole, Joseph Hueber, and Stanley T. White. The reproduction of the original 86 pages is good, and eight new pages of errata and new information have been inserted. Many photographs, maps, and drawings illustrate the text. The cost of this softcover book is $15.00 plus $2.50 for postage. (With the usual FEBT-member discount, current FEBT members may purchase Little, Old and Slow for $12.75 plus the $2.50 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.)

FEBT Company Store manager Richare M. Ullery notes that increasing production costs will increase the price of all EBT Baldwin Locomotive Works number-plate pins to $8.50 each ($7.23 each for FEBT members) after the 2007 FEBT Fall Reunion. Until October 7 the pins currently in stock—nos. 1-7, 10-12, 14-18—can be purchased at the "old" price of $7.50 each ($6.38 each for FEBT members). Note a shipping charge of $4.00 applies to all mail orders for pins, regardless of quantity. Pennsylvania residents must include 6% sales tax on the total cost of the book and postage.

All orders and inquiries related to the Company Store should be communicated to

FEBT Company Store
c/o Richard Ullery
PO Box 145
Leetsdale, PA 15056
Telephone: (412) 259–8020

FEBT annual business meeting, pizza on Friday, October 5

The 2007 business meeting of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., will be held at 7 pm on Friday, October 5, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. FEBT officers and directors will report on various matters and answer questions about our 2006 and 2007 operations. All FEBT members are welcome to attend.

If you’re looking for dinner or a snack before the business meeting, join us for soft drinks and pizza at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. Pizza will be available starting at approximately 6 pm; cash contributions will be collected to cover the cost of the pizza.

FEBT displays at NMRA, National Narrow Gauge conventions

The Friends of the East Broad Top display at the National Model Railroader Association’s 2007 national convention in Detroit on July 22-28 proved very successful, reports Dennis R. Straub, coordinator of FEBT’s outreach activities. FEBT members Janet Tigue and Timothy Tigue coordinated our display at this convention and its associated train show. FEBT members Joe Sarich, Carol Straub, and Dennis Straub provided onsite assistance, and James A. Vliet helped provide display materials. Among other things, 14 new members joined FEBT as the result of our efforts at this event.

The 2007 National Narrow Gauge Convention will be held in Portland, Maine, on August 29-September 1. FEBT member Leighton B. Carlson is coordinating the FEBT display table at this convention. FEBT members interested in helping him should contact Lee 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. 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, providing as much advance notice as possible.

Restoration ‘exhibitions’ return
Contest rules for 2007 Fall Reunion

As a reminder to FEBT members interested in entering models or photographs in this year's Fall Reunion contests, the current rules governing these contests are reprinted here. Note that all models entered in the Fall Reunion contests are to be of East Broad Top Railroad prototypes, and all photos entered are to have the EBT as their subject.

This year we are again featuring two “exhibition contests” focused on our restoration program. Photos showing FEBT restoration volunteers at work and models of buildings and equipment on which restoration work has been completed or underway will receive special recognition.

General rules

Any FEBT member who is a Reunion registrant may enter the model and photo contests. A member in good standing who cannot attend the Reunion may have a Reunion registrant submit an entry for that member.

Any FEBT member who is a Reunion registrant may enter a model which he owns but did not build, and may choose to have any award the model earns placed in the builder's name.

No model or photo that has ever won an award in a previous FEBT contest may be entered. Any model or photo that has been entered in a previous FEBT contest without winning an award may be repeatedly entered until it wins an award.


Photos will be entered in either the black- and-white or color categories.

All photos must be mounted on, or in, a mat board. No picture frames or glass/Plexiglas covers may be used.

The size of the mat board used to mount any photo can be no larger than 11 inches by 14 inches. The photo may be any size that does not exceed the size of the mat board.

Only one photo may be submitted by an entrant in each of the black-and-white and color categories.

The photo must be entered under the photographer's name. Only the photographer can enter a photo.


There is no limit to the number of models entered by each entrant.

There must be at least two models entered in a category for a contest to be declared. No award will be given in any category in which a contest is not declared. At the discretion of the Contest Chairman, in consultation with the Reunion Chairman, categories may be combined to insure a contest. All models submitted will be eligible for the Best in Show award and any special contest awards.

The contest categories for models are as follows:

Locomotives—Any self-propelled equipment except maintenance-of-way speeders;

Freight Cars—Any revenue freight equipment, including cabooses;

Passenger Cars—Any revenue passenger equipment;

Maintenance of Way—Any nonrevenue equipment primarily intended for track or lineside maintenance;

Structures—Any building or other structure, either railroad-related or lineside;

Module/Diorama—A structure or structures that are mounted on a base which depicts a scene, with or without track.

Supporting documentation may be displayed with any entry, so long as the entrant’s name does not appear on any of the documentation.

Special Contests: From time to time, special contests may be announced, featuring a specific subject or type of equipment. A special award will be given for the entry with the highest vote tally among the entries in the special category.


All awards will be by popular vote of all Reunion registrants. In addition to the categories listed above, a Best of Show category will be included for the model entries only.

Awards for first, second, and third place will be awarded in each category where a contest has been declared. In addition, all entries will receive a “Certificate of Merit” for participating in the contest.

Awards for first, second, and third place will normally consist of a plaque. In order to control expenses, the plaques may be prepared and provided to the recipients at a later date, so as not to create award plaques for categories in which no contest is declared. An appropriate certificate and/or ribbon will be provided at the contest to signify the winners in lieu of the plaques.

Restoration program photos and models

In addition to prizes awarded as described in the official contest rules, FEBT will award gift certificates from the FEBT Company Store for prize-winning photos featuring FEBT restoration volunteers at work and for models of buildings and equipment where restoration work (including documentation) has been undertaken. The first-place photo in this “exhibition” category will receive a $35.00 Company Store gift certificate; $25.00 will be awarded to the second-place winner, and $15.00 to the third-place winner. The best three models of buildings or equipment on which FEBT restoration work has occurred—or is now in progress—will receive similar “exhibition” awards. (A list of restoration projects can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.)

For more information about the Fall Reunion contests, contact

Robert J. Beebe, Contest Chairman
712 Meadowlark Road
Audubon PA 19403
Telephone: (610) 666-6711 E-mail: 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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