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

2008 FEBT Summer Celebration is June 7 and 8

Join us in Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, for our annual celebration marking the start of operations at the East Broad Top Railroad and FEBT Museum. This year’s event will feature FEBT assistant vice president and EBT historian Vagel C. Keller, who will discuss EBT branches on Saturday evening at the FEBT Museum. Vagel’s talk is tentatively scheduled for 7 pm, during a reception for FEBT members at our museum.

As in past years FEBT volunteers will offer guided tours inside the railroad’s Rockhill Furnace machine shop and guided walking tours around the Rockhill Furnace yard. All tours will be open to the general public as well as to FEBT members. Raffle tickets for the original John H. Coker painting Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, will be sold at our Rockhill Furnace information booth, where visitors may obtain information about FEBT programs and activities. In Robertsdale the FEBT Museum will be open on both days; the museum will also be open to FEBT members for the Saturday evening reception. FEBT restoration volunteers will be working at both Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace during the Summer Celebration weekend, so visitors will be able to discuss the progress of our restoration program with our volunteers while they work.

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 obtaining a complimentary name badge at the FEBT information booth, FEBT members can purchase train and shop-tour tickets at special discounted prices. There is no registration fee for the 2008 FEBT Summer Celebration; FEBT members should just visit the FEBT information booth (near the Rockhill Furnace roundhouse) on Saturday or Sunday to obtain their complimentary name badges.

You and other FEBT members can help us stimulate public interest in our 2008 Summer Celebration. An announcement aimed at the general public for both the FEBT tours at the EBT and our museum’s open house is included as an insert to this newsletter. We encourage all 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.

As a reminder, we will hold our 2008 FEBT Fall Reunion on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 10-12. An announcement for this event will be mailed to all FEBT members in August.

Author of EBT book to visit railroad as 2008 operations begin

The East Broad Top Railroad has invited Kenneth C. Stringirth, author of a book about the railroad released in February by Arcadia Publishing, to help launch the EBT’s 2008 operating season on the weekend of June 7-8. Copies of East Broad Top Railroad will be available for purchase at the railroad, and author Stringirth will be at the EBT on the afternoon of Sunday, June 8, to sign them for visitors. The book, one of Arcadia’s many local history titles, contains plenty of contemporary and historic photographs of the EBT, many from the railroad’s own collection. (Copies of East Broad Top Railroad can also be purchased from the FEBT Company Store; consult the FEBT web site for more information.)

EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall advises FEBT members that the railroad’s 2008 operating schedule and ticket prices will be the same as last year. Barring any last-minute changes, standard fares for adults are $12.00, while fares for children ages 1-12 riding in coach or open-car seats are $8.00. Caboose tickets are $14.00 and private-car tickets are $15.00 for all riders. EBT train operations will continue the pattern established in recent years. EBT trains will run Saturdays and Sundays only, starting on June 7 and continuing through October 26. 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 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 routine repairs to the railroad’s passenger cars, track, and roadbed. EBT general manager Stanley Hall notes that with the retirement of Tom Holder, Daniel Gilliland will serve as the EBT’s locomotive engineer in 2008.

This year the EBT’s special events include the 2008 fan appreciation day/homecoming celebration on Saturday, August 16, and the railroad’s 2008 fall spectacular on Saturday and Sunday, October 11-12. 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 2008 train tickets, schedules, and group rates, please contact the railroad directly at the following address:

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

Current information about EBT operations and special events can also he found on the EBT's web site or on the Friends of the East Broad Top web site events page.

FEBT makes final payment for post office loan

2008 Rockhill Furnace Work Schedule

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

For more information contact Lee Rainey at (814) 667–7878 (home), (814) 404–3968 (cell), or

2008 Robertsdale Work Schedule

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

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

FEBT treasurer William T. Wheeler reports that he has transmitted our final payment for the $20,000.00 loan we received for the first phase of our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office. FEBT was awarded this loan and a $20,000.00 grant from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Commission in 1994; FEBT committed funds and in-kind contributions to the project to match the grant-and-loan award. During this phase of work we reinforced the roof framework and installed new shingles and gutters; restored missing sections of the masonry walls; finished the earth crawl space; replaced the entire ground floor; installed wood window sashes and temporary exterior doors; improved drainage around the building; and installed heating and air-conditioning systems. Our repayment of the loan started in 1998, after we successfully completed this portion of our work on the old post office. FEBT made the last regular installment payment in April, and our final payment at the beginning of May covers minor administrative fees related to the conclusion of the loan.

The repayment of this loan was only one of the goals we set ourselves when we started the current FEBT restoration fund campaign in 2001. With the help of many FEBT members and other contributors, we have accomplished much more as our campaign has continued. As one example, the final work needed to complete our rehabilitation of the old Robertsdale post office for museum use is now under way.

The initial response to the announcement of the final year of our campaign, mailed to FEBT members in December, has been gratifying. At their March meeting our directors agreed that with these donations in hand we did not need to contract our plans for restoration work planned at Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace during the first half of 2008. Our directors will decide in June whether to fund all restoration work planned this year or to scale back the work we undertake at Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace during the second half of 2008. This decision depends on donations FEBT receives as we continue the final year of our fund-raising campaign.

Please support our efforts by sending your restoration contributions 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 fund-raising campaign. Please refer to the announcement mailed with the 2007/8 restoration issue of the FEBT Newsletter or visit the FEBT web site restoration fund page to see the six art reproductions.

About the Timber Transfer

At the end of April all current FEBT members were mailed the spring and summer 2007 issues of The Timber Transfer (volume 23 no. 4 and volume 24 no. 1). A questionnaire about FEBT fall reunions and our 2006 financial statement are included in this mailing. Editor Kevin C. Strong hopes to have the next two issues, to be mailed together, at our printer in 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.

October art raffle tickets for sale

We remind FEBT members that raffle tickets for the October 11 drawing for the original John H. Coker painting Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, 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. The current value of this framed artwork is estimated to be $1,000.00 or more. The income we receive from the sale of raffle tickets for this drawing will support our restoration program.

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.

The exact time and place of our drawing will be announced in a future FEBT Newsletter and on the FEBT web site raffle page. Complete rules and conditions for the FEBT art raffle can also be found on the same page.

Five directors elected, 2008 officers chosen

On March 29 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 2008. Elected to two-year terms as directors were (votes received in parentheses) R. Lee Rainey (105), Richard D. Shell (104), Stephen W. Jacobs (104), Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. (102), and William R. Blomgren (100). The following individuals received write-in votes: Michael J. Swinnerton (3), Philip J. Padgett (1), Jon E. Radder (1), Jerry A. Fisher (1), Stanley G. Hall (1), and Charles A. Wootton (1). Lee Wilson based his tabulation on the 107 valid ballots he received as of the March 26 deadline for the 2008 election of directors. (One ballot marked for ten candidates was discarded.)

The five elected directors will serve until their successors are elected in early 2010; they join continuing directors William L. Adams, Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, and Dennis R. Straub, whose current terms will end in 2009.

The board of directors wishes to thank FEBT members Robert R. Farquharson (chairman), Nancy E. Jacqmin, and Ronald L. Pearson for serving as the nominating committee for this election, and Lee R. Wilson for again acting as election judge.

Current FEBT directors

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) 567–8309
William R. Blomgren 13816 Queenswater Lane, Charlotte NC 28273 (704) 587–1895
Thomas A. Diehl, Jr. RR 7 Box 7678, Stroudsburg PA 18360 (570) 421–7431
Robert R. Farquharson 6707 Wakehurst Road, Charlotte NC 28226 (704) 759–1251
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) 867–7878
Richard D. Shell 516 Houston Mines Road, Troutville VA 24175 (540) 992–3611
Dennis R. Straub 722 Alexander Spring Road, Carlisle PA 17013 (717) 249–4239

Election of officers, 2008 meeting schedule

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 8, August 2, and November 8. 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.

Other business

Directors approved a 2008 budget for operating expenditures that generally continues 2007 spending levels, but allows for greater publication expenses and increases in postage and other routine expenses. As FEBT president Hank Inman noted, expenditures for publications in 2008 should be higher than last year, since only two issues of The Timber Transfer were mailed in 2007 and the newsletter usually mailed to FEBT members in December was not mailed until January 2008. Production of more issues of our magazine in 2008 and the extra newsletter, together with higher postage rates effective in May, will raise costs incurred for FEBT publications during the current year. The 2008 operating budget does not include restoration program and fund-raising expenses, which the board of directors treats separately. (A summary of the 2008 restoration budget appeared in the January newsletter.)

In addition to approving the budget for 2008 operations, directors also reviewed our fund-raising campaign and restoration program, discussed possible changes to the FEBT membership and dues structure, considered possible changes in FEBT fall reunions, and agreed to engage Carol A. Schreckengaust, CPA, to provide accounting services required for our 2007 accounting review and related returns.

2008 Museum Schedule

In 2008 the FEBT Museum will be open on the first and third weekends of each month, May through October. Regular museum operating hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and 1 to 5 pm on Sundays; the museum will be open special hours during upcoming 2008 FEBT and EBT events. FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller, who coordinates our museum operations, reminds FEBT members that volunteers interested in helping us at Robertsdale are always needed. If you think you would like to join us there, contact Vagel directly by e-mail at or by telephone at (412) 441”7881.

EBT Models donated to FEBT

Two longtime members have donated East Broad Top Railroad models to Friends of the East Broad Top with the understanding that proceeds from the sale of these models will be used to support our restoration program.

Rick C. Shoup, who among his many past contributions to FEBT edited and produced the very first FEBT Newsletter, has given us ten assembled and painted HOn3 EBT hopper and gondola cars, several unassembled HOn3 and On3 EBT kits, and sections of HO three-rail and narrow-gauge flexible track. Rick also donated a number of 35mm transparencies which we will retain for our museum collection and tools we will use at our Rockhill Furnace restoration shop.

Douglas C. Taylor has recently informed us that he intends to donate his collection of On3 models to FEBT. This collection includes six EBT brass 2-8-2 locomotives; brass models of the M-1 and M-3; four kit-built EBT passenger cars; two imported brass EBT two-bay hopper cars; five converted Bachmann EBT two-bay hopper cars; 22 EBT three-bay hopper cars assembled from Quality Craft or C&BT Shops kits; two imported brass EBT cabooses; five kit-built EBT boxcars and flat cars; 30 unassembled kits for EBT rolling stock; seven unassembled structure kits; 11 pairs of unassembled On3 EBT Vulcan trucks; and other items. Doug is also donating his scratch-built models of the EBT M-3 and EBT caboose no. 27, and his prize-winning model of the EBT’s Marion steam-shovel.

Our tentative plans call for the sale of the HO and O scale models Rick and Doug have donated to us in the 2008 FEBT Fall Reunion auction on October 11. Further information about this will appear in the next newsletter.

New FEBT Company Store catalog

A revised catalog of the EBT-related books, DVDs, plans, drawings, modeling supplies, back-issues of The Timber Transfer, and other items currently in stock at the FEBT Company Store is now available. To obtain a copy of the catalog send $2.50 to the following address:

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

FEBT guided tours at the EBT

Friends of the East Broad Top continues to work with the East Broad Top Railroad to provide guided tours at the EBT conducted by FEBT volunteers during some of the railroad’s regular operating weekends. Our volunteers offer visitors to the railroad tours inside the shops and around the Rockhill Furnace yard complex, similar to the guided tours FEBT volunteers provide to the public during special events. 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.

Last year we made significant progress on this initiative, principally due to the work of FEBT member Lawrence Biemiller. FEBT members interested in joining us as 2008 EBT tour guides should contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249–4239 (home) or Although intended for public visitors rather than FEBT members, we plan to post the 2008 schedule of weekends on which tours on the events page of the FEBT web site.

EBT featured in NTHP magazine

An eight-page article about the East Broad Top Railroad appeared in the March-April 20008 issue of Preservation, the magazine published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. FEBT member Lawrence Biemiller, author of the article, discusses the uncertain future of the railroad and incorporates comments from EBT president Joseph Kovalchick, EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall, FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey, Strasburg Rail Road president Linn W. Moedinger, and NTHP president Richard Moe. Photographer Cameron Davidson contributes several effective photographs of the railroad’s Rockhill Furnace facilities and equipment.

The National Trust named the EBT as one of its eleven most endangered historic sites in 1996. Information about purchasing copies of Preservation can be found on the NTHP web site.

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. At the end of March FEBT members Richard Golding and Jon E. Radder distributed EBT and FEBT literature at the East Coast Large Scale Train Show in York, Pennsylvania. In April FEBT members John and Barbara Morgan organized a FEBT display at the Third Annual Ontario Narrow Gauge Show in Schomberg, Ontario. In mid-April Christopher and Patricia Coleman set up their customary FEBT display table at the Buckeye Railroadiana and Model Train Show and Sale at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

This summer the National Model Railroader Association’s 2008 national convention will be held in Anaheim. FEBT members in the Southern California area interested in the possibility of setting up a FEBT display table at the convention and its associated train show on July 13-19 should contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis Straub, whose telephone number and e-mail address are given below, so that we can reserve space at this event.

FEBT has not yet reserved space at the 2008 National Narrow Gauge Convention, which will be held in Portland, Oregon, on September 10-13. FEBT members who plan to attend this convention and are interested in helping us with a display table should contact Dennis Straub as soon as possible, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

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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