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

October drawing for original EBT painting

Friends of the East Broad Top will give away the original painting Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, in a drawing to be held on October 11, 2008, as part of our 26th annual fall celebration. The income we receive from the sale of raffle tickets for this drawing will support our restoration program.

In 2004 noted railroad artist and FEBT member John H. Coker created this painting especially for FEBT. Reproductions of Leaving Robertsdale were used to thank donors during the fourth year of our restoration fundraising campaign. The painting is protected by an exhibition-style frame with ultraviolet-light-safe glass. The current value of this framed artwork is estimated to be $1,000.00 or more.

Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania
In Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, John H. Coker depicts one of the East Broad Top Railroad’s distinctive 2-8-2 steam locomotives passing the Robertsdale water tank and the loading platform for mine no. 5 with a train of empty steel hopper cars headed for the mines at Woodvale and Alvan. Friends of the East Broad Top commissioned the artist to create this original 15 x 22-inch acrylic painting for the fourth year of our restoration fundraising campaign. Any donor who contributes $50.00 or more to our restoration fund campaign by August 31, 2008, may still obtain one of these art reproductions. See our current fundraising announcement or visit for more information. (John H. Coker, Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania © 2004 Friends of the East Broad Top)

Raffle tickets for Leaving Robertsdale will be sold at the 2008 FEBT Summer Celebration, the 2008 FEBT Fall Reunion (before the raffle drawing), and during other FEBT activities this year. The price of one art raffle ticket is $10.00; purchasers who buy ten raffle tickets for $100.00 will receive an eleventh ticket free. Note that each purchaser must complete and return ticket stubs with the requested contact information to enter the drawing for Leaving Robertsdale. An entrant in the raffle drawing does not have to be present to win. The purchase of raffle tickets is not eligible for treatment as a tax-deductible charitable contribution to FEBT. FEBT will retain the copyright and all reproduction rights for Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania. (Other rules and conditions apply; refer to the raffle ticket or our web site for more information.)

FEBT members and others who wish to buy art raffle tickets by mail may do so by sending the appropriate payment to us at the following address:

FEBT Art Raffle
c/o Robert R. Farquharson
6707 Wakehurst Road
Charlotte NC 28226-5565

Please make all checks payable to Friends of the East Broad Top or FEBT. Only payments for raffle tickets should be mailed to this address. The sale of art raffle tickets by mail ends August 31, 2008.

As noted above, purchasers must complete and return raffle ticket stubs with contact information to enter the October drawing for Leaving Robertsdale. If purchased in person from a FEBT representative, completed ticket stubs may be returned to the FEBT representative from whom the raffle tickets were purchased. Completed ticket stubs may be returned to FEBT by mail at the address stated above; note that raffle ticket stubs mailed to this address must be received by September 15, 2008. Finally, completed ticket stubs may be returned to FEBT in person on October 11, 2008, up to one hour before the actual raffle drawing.

The exact time and place of our drawing will be announced in a future FEBT Newsletter and on the FEBT web site

Rockhill Furnace, Robertsdale restoration work

2008 Rockhill Furnace Work Schedule

June 28–29
July 19–20
August 16–17
September 20–21
November 1–2
March 1–2
March 29–30
May 3–4
May 19–23
June 7–8

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

2008 Robertsdale Work Schedule

July 19–20
August 2–3
August 16–17
September 6–7
September 20–21
October 18–19
April 19–20
May 3–4
May 17–18
June 7–8
June 21–22
July 5–6

For more information contact Hank Inman at (804) 353–0817

FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey reports a successful start to our 2008 work sessions at Rockhill Furnace. Citing the work accomplished, Lee calls the January work session "perhaps the most satisfying one yet." Our volunteers completed the rehabilitation of EBT hopper car no. 802, began restoration work on combine no. 14, and milled all the exterior wood material needed for our rehabilitation of the small garage near the sand house.

At the old Robertsdale post office, our general contractor has completed all concrete, masonry, duct work, and rough plumbing. Our electrical contractor has installed all rough wiring. The work thus far completed by both contractors has been inspected and approved. Further work by our contractors, as well as the start of ceiling, wall, and other interior work by our volunteers, awaits the reconnection of the exterior fuel tanks to the building’s furnaces. Since October, our payments to contractors for their work on this project total $35,150.11.

At their March and June meetings, our directors will decide whether to fund all work planned for 2008 at Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale or to scale back our work at these locations, depending on donations FEBT receives as we continue the final year of our fundraising campaign. Please support our efforts by sending your restoration donations to this address:

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

As a token of our appreciation, contributors who make donations of $50.00 or more before August 31, 2008, may choose to receive any one of the six authorized art reproductions we produced during the previous years of our fundraising campaign. Please refer to the announcement mailed with the 2007/8 restoration issue of the FEBT Newsletter or visit the donating page to see the six art reproductions.

2008 FEBT event schedule

Friends of the East Broad will hold our 2008 Summary Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8, to mark the opening of this year’s operations on the East Broad Top Railroad. Activities are planned at both Rockhill Furnace and the FEBT Museum in Robertsdale. Look for the announcement in the next FEBT Newsletter.

Our 2008 Fall Reunion is scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Columbus Day holiday weekend: October 10, 11 and 12. As mentioned last month, our directors are reviewing the format of the fall reunion, and we anticipate changes will be introduced at this year’s event. Information about the 26th Fall Reunion will be distributed to all FEBT members in August.

For the first time in several years, FEBT is not sponsoring an "early bird" spring exploration in 2008. FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub reports that he received only one response to the call for ideas in the last FEBT Newsletter, and this member simply commented that such a tour would be nice. No FEBT member expressed interest in organizing or conducting a 2008 spring exploration tour, but perhaps we will resume this activity next year.

Wade Woodcock to leave FEBT board

Wade N. Woodcock recently informed us that he will step down from the FEBT board of directors when his term ends in March. Wade suffered a bad fall on winter ice, resulting in partial replacement of one of his hip joints earlier this month. Wade is now back at his Mount Union home to convalesce, but he indicates that his recovery will prevent him—at least for the present—from continuing to serve as one of our directors.

Several members of Wade’s family worked for the East Broad Top Railroad during its common-carrier operations, stimulating Wade’s interest in the EBT. In addition to his service on our board of directors, Wade has been an active restoration volunteer at both Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace and has often helped us at the FEBT Museum and at many FEBT events. On several occasions Wade has also provided critical assistance to the FEBT Company Store. All of us look forward to seeing Wade resume his active participation in FEBT initiatives. In the meantime, Wade’s many friends can contact him at or (814) 542-2065. -Hank Inman, FEBT president

2008 FEBT Museum operations

FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller, who coordinates our museum operations, reminds FEBT members that in 2008 we plan to open the FEBT Museum on the first and third weekends of each month, May through October. New museum operating volunteers to help us at Robertsdale are always needed. If you think you would like to join us there, contact Vagel directly by telephone at (412) 441-7881 or by e-mail at

Ballots for five FEBT directors due March 26

FEBT members are requested to vote to elect five persons to the nine-member board of directors of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., using the ballot included with this newsletter. All FEBT members holding regular, family, sustaining, associate, life, senior, and student memberships are eligible to vote in this election. The directors chosen by FEBT members in this election will serve two-year terms of office.

The nominating committee for this election cycle consisted of FEBT secretary Robert R. Farquharson (chairman), FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin, and FEBT member Ronald L. Pearson. The chairman of the committee received the names of ten potential nominees, including the five incumbent directors holding seats up for election. Four of the incumbent directors and one of the other five potential candidates confirmed to the nominating committee their interest in serving as directors of Friends of the East Broad Top, and the nominating committee has placed their names on the official ballot.

As in the past, the candidates selected by the nominating committee were asked to provide information for distribution to FEBT members for this election. Each candidate was asked to provide a written statement of 100 words or less summarizing his or her past and present contributions to Friends of the East Broad Top and indicating what he or she would do if elected. These responses are reproduced below (minimally edited), in the randomized order in which the names of the candidates appear on the official ballot. An asterisk (*) denotes an incumbent director running for reelection. Write-in votes are permitted, and space on the ballot has been provided for such votes.

Richard D. Shell

I joined FEBT in the fall of 2002 and immediately became involved with the track crew, working on Rockhill Furnace yard track three. I have been heavily involved in the rehabilitation of EBT side-dump hopper 802. I volunteered to drive over 1,100 miles to bring the EBT maintenance-of-way motor car purchased by FEBT to the railroad. I have worked on many other projects, including combine 14 and the rebuilding of the EBT boxcar into a handicapped riding car. If elected I would work to continue our great relationship with the EBT. I would be interested in boosting the attendance of our work weekends and continue to promote the EBT.

Stephen W. Jacobs*

For the past several years I have been an active crew leader for the Rockhill Furnace restoration crew, helped with special projects at Robertsdale, and served as a responsible member of the board. If elected I will continue to contribute my ideas and actions to successfully complete the goals of the board and FEBT members.

William R. Blomgren*

I’ve been working as possible on restoration projects, although somewhat physically limited by back trouble. Producing the video of the return of the EBT’s M-3 resulted in several hundred dollars in profits to the organization.

Thomas A. Diehl, Jr.*

I have worked with the Rockhill Furnace restoration crew since its reestablishment. Before this, I worked with the Robertsdale restoration crew for several years. Although now dormant due to lack of interviewees, for several years I headed the FEBT oral history program. I have led the EBT machine shop tours for the past several years. I have been a volunteer at Steamtown National Historic Site, both in the interpretation and roundhouse crews, and most recently with the PRR K-4 restoration crew. In conjunction with and upon completion of closing the EBT machine shop against the weather, I would like to establish a better display of the machinery in simulated operating condition, possibly even restoring key machines to service.

R. Lee Rainey*

I have ridden, hiked, photographed, modeled, and written about the East Broad Top Railroad since first encountering it in 1953. But the greatest thrill of all has been the opportunity in the past six years to roll up my sleeves and help save it. As coordinator of the Rockhill Furnace restoration efforts on behalf of the FEBT and the railroad, I’ve organized and led work sessions which to date have contributed over 16,000 volunteer hours to the preservation of the EBT rolling stock and Rockhill Furnace facilities. I ask you to reelect me so that I can continue to lead this critical work.

We are pleased that former EBT brakeman and retired Huntingdon County commissioner Lee R. Wilson has again agreed to serve as judge and count the ballots for this election. All 2008 election ballots must be mailed to the following address:

FEBT Directors Election
c/o Lee R. Wilson, Election Judge
10642 Wilson Road
Three Springs PA 17264

Although the ballot is designed to be folded, stamped, and mailed, Lee recommends that FEBT members mail their ballots to him in separate envelopes so they arrive in his hands intact. Only ballots received by March 26, 2008, will be counted.

FEBT displays at train shows: can you help?

Several FEBT members are assisting our outreach campaign by distributing information about the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT at recent or upcoming train shows. FEBT member James A. Vliet organized the FEBT display and distributed FEBT and EBT information at the 18th Annual Winter Train Show and Exhibition in Freeport, New York, on January 6. With help from FEBT member Russell B. Norris, Jr., Jim also set up our display at the Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on January 26-27. Jim and FEBT member Robert L. Harris, Jr., were responsible for the FEBT display at the Spring Thaw Train Meet in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on February 23-24.

On April 12 FEBT members John and Barbara Morgan plan to organize a FEBT display at the Third Annual Ontario Narrow Gauge Show at the Schomberg Community Centre in Schomberg (just north of Toronto), Ontario. FEBT members interested in helping the Morgans or who want more information about this show can contact him at On April 19 FEBT members Christopher and Patricia Coleman will set up their usual FEBT display table at the Buckeye Railroadiana and Model Train Show 0and Sale in the Lausche Building at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Prospective helpers can contact Pat at or (614) 670-4602.

The National Model Railroad Association’s 2008 national convention and its associated train show will be held in Anaheim, California, on July 13-19. The 2008 National Narrow Gauge Convention will be held in Portland, Oregon, on September 10-13. FEBT members planning to attend either of these conventions who may be interested in helping us set up a FEBT display table should contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis Straub, whose telephone number and e-mail address are given below, so that we can reserve the necessary space at these events.

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 contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249-4239 or providing as much advance notice as possible. 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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