Join us October 10, 11, and 12 for our twenty-sixth annual Fall Reunion at the East Broad Top Railroad and Friends of the East Broad Top Museum. Our Fall Reunion schedule on Saturday and Sunday of the Columbus Day holiday weekend offers our members plenty to do, while they also enjoy the sights, sounds, and aromas of the EBT’s 2008 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, clinics, and presentations at Rockhill Furnace, Robertsdale, and Mount Union.
We anticipate offering our annual tour of the EBT’s Mount Union yard, and FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller and Ronald L. Pearson will again lead their popular Robertsdale mine walking tour. In addition to the guided tours, we expect to have presentations and clinics on Saturday and Sunday focused on the history of the EBT and the progress our restoration volunteers have made since last year at Robertsdale and Rockhill Furnace. Our FEBT restoration volunteers will have exhibits on display at Rockhill Furnace on both Saturday and Sunday, showing the work now underway and planned for the future. We expect to add more tours and clinics to our 2008 Fall Reunion schedule 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 10 or 11. Use the registration form included with your newsletter, or the online form to pre-register. 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 2008 Fall Reunion payment with other payments (to renew your FEBT membership, for example). Please do not mail registration forms to us after October 1; after this date you should plan to register in person on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
FEBT members and others who pre-register for the 2008 Fall Reunion can pick up their Reunion registration material on Friday, October 10, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall between 5 and 8:30 pm (approximately). The Fall Reunion registration table will open at the Lions Hall at 8:30 am Saturday. On 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, 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 2008 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 2008 Fall Reunion registrations.
Separate reservations are required for our annual Fall Reunion dinner at the Orbisonia-Rockhill Fire Hall on Saturday, October 11. Note that there will be only one dinner seating at 5:00 pm. This year the dinner menu features turkey and ham.
The capacity of the Orbsionia-Rockhill Fire Hall is 150 diners, and therefore we can offer no more than 150 reservations for the 2008 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 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 seats for the 2008 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 11.
To commemorate the success of our restoration fund-raising campaign, which concludes on December 31, we are producing special canvas tote bags for sale during the 2008 Fall Reunion. These heavy-duty 15 x 16 x 5-inch natural-finish canvas tote bags have long handles and a full-color rendition of John H. Coker’s Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, printed on one side. Fall Reunion registrants can purchase our restoration campaign tote bags with their advance registrations. FEBT members not planning to attend the 2008 Fall Reunion can also order tote bags—while supplies last—by mail order. See the reunion registration form for prices and more information.
We invite 2008 Fall Reunion registrants to join us at the Orbisonia Lions Hall on the evening of Saturday, October 11 (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 program.
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.
FEBT directors are now considering a proposal that would dramatically change the traditional structure of our annual Fall Reunions. It is also no secret that uncertainty clouds the future operations of the East Broad Top Railroad, including its yearly fall celebration. Thus FEBT members who wish to enjoy the October activities sponsored by the EBT and FEBT in their current formats are advised to take advantage of what may prove to be this final opportunity.
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 2008 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.
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.
If you find you need additional information about the 2008 FEBT Fall Reunion, please contact Patricia Coleman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (614) 670-4602. Look for Fall Reunion updates on the FEBT website at www.febt.org.
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 Fall Reunion until one hour before the raffle drawing. The Saturday evening drawing will take place in the Orbisonia Lions Hall at approximately 8 pm, before the start of the auction.
In addition to the original painting Leaving Robertsdale, Pennsylvania, our drawing will also select winners of five reproductions of October Evening, Orbisonia, signed by artist Frank Vietor; five reproductions of Afternoon Call signed by artist John H. Coker; and ten reproductions of Leaving Robertsdale signed by artist John H. Coker.
The price of one art raffle ticket is $10; purchasers who buy ten raffle tickets for $100 will receive an eleventh ticket free. Note that each purchaser must complete and submit ticket stubs with the requested contact information to enter the drawing for Leaving Robertsdale. The current value of this framed original artwork is estimated to be $1,000 or more.
The income we receive from the sale of raffle tickets for this drawing will support our restoration program.
The Friends of the East Broad Top Museum in Robertsdale will hold its annual fall open house in conjunction with the 2008 FEBT Fall Reunion. Both the general public and Fall Reunion registrants are invited to enjoy refreshments, coffee, and soft drinks on Sunday, October 12, between 9am and 2pm. 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 11. Because of our 2008 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.
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
at (412) 441–7881 or
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 and roof trusses 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 re-constructed; electrical shop restored; turntable painted; "canyon" between car and machine shops repaired; foundry post and beam frame repaired; garage near sandhouse rehabilitated; new paint for sandhouse; and roof repairs and paint for stone farmhouse.
Robertsdale: EBT depot acquired and partially restored; and old post office purchased and rehabilitated.
Saltillo: EBT station documented.
Coles Station: EBT water tank documented, emergency repairs performed.
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; work motor car purchased and returned to EBT; handcar repaired and restored.
After extensive discussions starting last November, FEBT directors authorized an increase in membership dues at their August meeting. The new dues rates take effect January 1, 2009, but in the meantime all current FEBT members can take advantage of a special transition offer.
Since membership dues were last adjusted in 2001, costs for all FEBT operations have increased. Membership dues cover most overhead and many operating expenses, including insurance, accounting services, publication and mailing The Timber Transfer and FEBT Newsletter, outreach program expenditures, and utilities at the FEBT Museum. Our insurance (both property and general liability), postage, and utility costs have increased dramatically in recent years, and we expect these expenses to continue to climb. (Costs of our restoration program and fund raising are paid from donations, FEBT Company Store sales receipts cover the costs of our mail-order sales operation, and FEBT events are generally self-financing.)
After Dec. 31
|After December 31
|Regular Membership, Annual Dues||$30.00||$35.00||$40.00|
|Family Membership, Annual Dues||$35.00||$45.00||$50.00|
|Sustaining Membership, Annual Dues||$60.00||$100.00||$100.00|
|Associate Membership, Annual Dues||$100.00||$150.00||$150.00|
|Life Membership, One Time Payment||$500.00||$1000.00||$1000.00|
|Student/Senior Membership, Annual dues||$25.00||$30.00||$35.00|
Here’s a summary of the new membership dues rates.
Regular FEBT membership will cost $35 per twelve months. The annual payment for student and senior FEBT members will become $30. Family memberships, which allow spouses and dependent children to participate in FEBT events at member rates, will now cost $45 per year. Regular, student, senior and family FEBT members with non-US mailing addresses must also pay a $5 surcharge to cover foreign postage.
The annual payments for FEBT sustaining and associate memberships will increase to $100 and $150 respectively. These members, who receive the benefits of family membership, provide additional financial support for FEBT operations, and portions of their membership payments may qualify for treatment as tax-deductible contributions to FEBT ($55 for sustaining members, $105 for associate members).
Finally, the one-time payment for life membership will rise to $1,000 in January. FEBT life members enjoy all privileges of family membership during their lifetimes.
To ease the transition to the new membership dues rates, until December 31, 2008, all current FEBT members may extend their present memberships (at their current or other category) for another year at the old membership rates. These dues rates are $30 for regular members, $25 for student-senior members, $35 for family members, $60 for sustaining members, $100 for associate members, and one-time payment of $500 for life membership. (The $5 surcharge for regular, student-senior, and family members with foreign mailing addresses also applies.) To take advantage of this offer, the FEBT membership office must receive your payment by December 31, since the new membership rates will take effect on January 1, 2009. Please make all checks payable to Friends of the East Broad Top or FEBT.
All payments and questions related to membership should be communicated to
FEBT Membership Office
c/o Peter A. Clarke
10428 Carlyn Ridge Road
Damascus, MD 20872
The FEBT Company Store plans to dispose of the last remaining HO-scale kits formerly produced for FEBT at this year’s Fall Reunion. We expect these clearance items to include cast HOn3 resin kits (with metal and plastic detail parts) manufactured by Funaro & Camerlengo for EBT combine no. 15, EBT steel boxcars, EBT 800-series two-bay steel hopper cars, EBT stock car no. 701, EBT tank car no. 116, EBT wood boxcar no. 154, EBT steel flat car no. 73, EBT steel flat cars (two per kit), and Billmeyer & Small wood hopper cars (two per kit). The EBT wood gondola kit produced by Ye Olde Huff’n’Puff and the EBT Sideling Hill tunnel portal kit manufactured by Smokey Mountain Model Works should also be available, as will HOn3 cast resin coal loads (four different varieties) produced by Saint Charles Model Works. Quantities of some kits are extremely limited. These kits will be sold at discounted sale prices at the FEBT Company Store display tables in the Orbisonia Lions Hall. Selected other items from our inventory will also be available, at their regular prices.
FEBT Company Store manager Richard M. Ullery reminds FEBT members who are not planning to attend this year’s Fall Reunion that the following books and DVDs are still in stock and available by mail order. Deane Mellander’s East Broad Top: Slim Gauge Survivor ($48.00, $40.80 for FEBT members, plus $5.00 shipping) is the only hardbound book about the EBT currently in print. It features 200 color photographs of the EBT, almost all from the era of common-carrier operations. East Broad Top, by Kenneth C. Springirth ($19.99, $16.99 for FEBT members, plus $3.00 shipping), was published last winter. This paperbound book includes 200 historical and contemporary black-and-white photos of the EBT.
FEBT’s own DVDs, East Broad Top—A Living Landmark ($23.50, $19.98 for FEBT members, plus $3.00 shipping) and M-3 Returns to the East Broad Top ($20.00, $17.00 for FEBT members, plus $3.00 shipping) are both in stock. A Living Landmark reviews the history and condition of the EBT in 1992; it includes rare color film of 1950s EBT operations. M-3 Returns documents the restoration and return of this unique inspection motor car to the EBT in 2006.
Pennsylvania residents must include 6% sales tax on the total cost of merchandise and shipping for all mail orders.
Our 2008 catalog of all merchandise currently available from the FEBT Company store can be obtained by sending a payment of $2.50 mailed to the address below.
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
In mid-June the East Broad Top Railroad discovered that thieves had stolen rails from approximately one-half mile of track between Cooks and Robertsdale. Two months later there is both good and bad news to report.
First, using his contacts in the scrap-metal industry, EBT president Joseph Kovalchick quickly traced and recovered most of the stolen rail. According to local press accounts, it had been sold to a Lewistown, Pennsylvania, scrap dealer for $10,475. On July 18 the alleged thief, Darrell Lee Denton, was stopped driving a stolen car in Nebraska, and he was returned to Huntingdon on August 5. The 32-year-old man is currently being held in the Huntingdon County jail.
Mr. Denton, who was living in Saxton (about 15 miles west of Robertsdale) at the time of the theft, is reported to have used false written authorization from the EBT to assure residents in Cooks and Robertsdale that he was removing track with the permission of the EBT. Most of the rail was apparently removed in early June, while EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall was on vacation. Suspicious residents, however, called Stanley Hall and Joseph Kovalchick. Mr. Kovalchick then discovered Mr. Denton and brought his activities to the attention of the Pennsylvania State Police. According to The Broad Top Bulletin, the State Police in Huntingdon have arraigned Mr. Denton on two felony counts of theft, a misdemeanor count of theft, one count of theft by deception, and one count of criminal mischief. Jon D. Baughman, The Broad Top Bulletin’s editor and publisher, notes that the police investigation is continuing, and additional arrests are possible.
The bad news, in addition to the theft itself, is that the thieves cut the rail they removed into smaller pieces to make it easier to transport. This, EBT general manager Stanley Hall observes, makes it impossible to relay the stolen rail. He points out that 85-pound rail is now difficult to obtain, and that the railroad has not yet made any decision about replacing the now-missing section of EBT rail. In his public comments EBT president Joseph Kovalchick thanked residents of southern Huntingdon County for alerting the railroad to the theft, and Stanley Hall asks local residents and railfans to immediately report any suspicious activity along the EBT’s right of way to the railroad.
The EBT general manager also thanked FEBT volunteers for undertaking, at his request, a complete survey of the EBT right of way from Mount Union to Woodvale in July. Despite having to battle summer overgrowth along out-of-service sections of track, the FEBT volunteers turned up no evidence of further damage to the railroad.
The 2008 Fall Reunion auction will include the sale of O and HO-scale EBT models and materials donated to FEBT by founding member Rick C. Shoup and late FEBT member Russell Lee Crump. The specific items donated by Rick Shoup include flexible HOn3 and HO dual-gauge track and rail; nine HOn3 models of EBT two-bay and three-bay hopper cars, boxcars, a wood gondola car, and a Barber asphalt car assembled from various kits, painted, lettered, and weathered, with trucks and Kadee couplers; several unassembled HOn3 kits, including a Roller Bearing Models kit for the M-3; one Baltimore Car Shops On3 EBT flat car kit with details and couplers; and a variety of HOn3 Vulcan trucks, Kadee couplers, and other modeling materials. Additional HO-scale dual-gauge flexible track from Russell Crump, donated to FEBT by FEBT member Douglas C. Taylor, will also be sold at this year’s auction.
As mentioned in the last FEBT Newsletter, Doug Taylor is currently in the process of donating his significant collection of On3 EBT models to FEBT. This collection includes brass models of EBT locomotives, M-1, M-3, and cabooses; 41 EBT freight and passenger cars assembled from kits, painted and lettered; 30 unassembled EBT rolling-stock kits; seven unassembled EBT structure kits; and several scratch-built items, including Doug’s prize-winning model of the EBT’s Marion steam shovel. These models will be sold in 2009, to give us time to make certain that we meet US Internal Revenue Service requirements affecting the donation and sale of these models. An announcement for the auction of the Taylor On3 collection will appear in a future newsletter.
East Broad Top Railroad is still working on its operating schedule for the railroad’s 2008 Fall Celebration on October 11-12, 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 and the restored M-3 inspection motor car should make their annual appearances. The EBT’s once-a-year night train should also run on Saturday evening. In past years two photo trains, one each morning, were operated, and they may be included again in this year’s schedule. On both days guided tours inside the shops will be offered, and speeder rides in the Rockhill Furnace yard will probably be available.
For information about the 2008 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
Current EBT fall celebration information will also be posted on the events page of this website as it becomes available.
The 2008 business meeting of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., will be held at 7 pm on Friday, October 10, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. FEBT officers and directors will report on various matters and answer questions about our 2007 and 2008 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.
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. The rules for models in the 2008 contests are slightly different from those in past years, so FEBT members interested in entering this year’s contests should take note of these changes.
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.
All photographs must feature the contemporary East Broad Top Railroad; subjects may include railroad operations, equipment, buildings, active and inactive right of way, and restoration activities.
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/plexiglass 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.
All models must be based on contemporary or historical subjects directly related to the East Broad Top Railroad. Models of locomotives and rolling stock may represent equipment owned and operated by the EBT, equipment proposed but never actually purchased and operated by the EBT, and equipment owned by other railroads or private owners that operated regularly on the EBT. Models of structures and dioramas may represent railroad buildings; structures proposed but never actually constructed and used by the EBT; structures adjacent to the railroad right-of-way, whether served directly by the EBT or not; and nearby structures and scenes which helped define the railroad’s geographic context, character, and history.
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;
Rolling Stock—Any revenue freight equipment, including cabooses; any revenue passenger equipment; and any nonrevenue equipment primarily intended for track or lineside maintenance;
Structures and Module/Dioramas—Any building or other structure, either railroad-related or lineside; and any 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 place in each contest will normally consist of a plaque; awards for second and third place may consist of either plaques or certificates. 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.
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 by telephone at (610) 666-6711 or by e-mail at email@example.com