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

FEBT’s 27th Fall Reunion is October 9-11

Join us October 9, 10, and 11 for our twenty-seventh annual Fall Reunion at the East Broad Top Railroad and Friends of the East Broad Top Museum. Our Fall Reunion schedule on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Columbus Day holiday weekend offers our members plenty to do, while they enjoy the sights, sounds, and aromas of the EBT’s 2009 fall celebration.

Our Fall Reunion activities begin at 7 pm Friday, when FEBT member Larry Salone, president of the East Broad Top Railroad Preservation Association, will discuss the present and future of the East Broad Top Railroad. Immediately following, FEBT member Stephen A. Runkle will give a presentation on his grandfather, John H. Miller, who developed and operated the coal mine at Joller served by the East Broad Top Railroad’s Coles Valley branch.

On Saturday Fall Reunion registrants can participate in our annual photo and model contests and auction. We expect to offer several talks and demonstrations related to the restoration work of our volunteers at Rockhill Furnace; these may include discussions of our in-progress restoration of EBT combine no. 14, interior repairs at the shop steam boiler-and-engine power plant, work on the sandhouse and adjacent small garage, and our reproduction passenger truck project. A schedule for these and additional Saturday tours will be distributed in the information packages provided to all Fall Reunion registrants.

On Sunday morning the focus shifts to Robertsdale, where at 9:30 am FEBT member Ronald L. Pearson will discuss his research and modeling of Rockhill Iron & Coal Company mine no. 9. After Ron’s presentation he and FEBT assistant vice president Vagel C. Keller will conduct their annual tour of Robertsdale sites related to the EBT and RI&C.

Of course, persons registering for the 2009 Fall Reunion can also participate in FEBT-sponsored activities open to the public. The FEBT Company Store, other vendor and dealer displays, and entries in our photo and model contests can be visited in the Orbisonia Lions Hall on Saturday. Our annual Fall Reunion open house will be held on Sunday morning (see related story for more information). On both Saturday and Sunday, visitors can stop by our FEBT information booth and other displays at the EBT’s Rockhill Furnace yard.

Changes for 2009

We have implemented several significant changes is this year’s Fall Reunion, based on the questionnaire distributed to FEBT members last year and participation at recent reunions. The most obvious change is that there will be no Saturday dinner at the 2009 Fall Reunion. Dinners were virtually a necessity during early reunions, but now a number of restaurants and the Rockhill Trolley Museum offer a variety of prepared foods, leading to a decline in interest in a formal sit-down meal as part of our Fall Reunions.

Another obvious change is the elimination of event registration by mail. As noted below, all registrations for the 2009 Fall Reunion will be handled on site, part of an effort to simplify things for both Fall Reunion participants and FEBT event volunteers.

Finally, we are no longer including tickets for EBT trains and shop tours with Fall Reunion registrations. FEBT members should plan to purchase all such tickets directly from the East Broad Top Railroad. Given the plethora of ticket options and prices, eliminating train and shop-tour tickets from the 2009 Fall Reunion registration packages greatly simplifies our arrangements.

Registering for the 2009 Fall Reunion

You can register for this year’s Fall Reunion in person at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. The Fall Reunion registration table will be open 3 to 5:30 pm on Friday, October 9, and 9 am to noon and 2 to 4:30 pm on Saturday, October 10. The registration table will also be open before the start of the Saturday evening auction to handle last-minute registrations for auction participants.

2009 Fall Reunion registration

Individuals who register for the 2009 Fall Reunion can participate in all FEBT activities during the three-day weekend, including the Fall Reunion auction, contests, and all FEBT tours, presentations, and demonstrations.
FEBT members             $20.00 (each person)
Non-members               $25.00 (each person)

Auction-only registration

For persons only interested in the auction, a special auction-only registration is also available, but auction registrations do not permit participation in any other Fall Reunion activities.
Auction registration      $10.00 (each person)


You can register for this year’s Fall Reunion in person on October 9 or 10. The Fall Reunion registration table will be located in the Orbisonia Lions Hall; we expect it to be open to accept registrations 3 to 5:30 pm on Friday. On Saturday Fall Reunion participants can register at 9 am to noon and 2 to 4:30 pm. The registration table will also be open before the start of the Saturday evening auction to handle last-minute registrations for auction participants.

Please note that Fall Reunion registrants can participate in all FEBT activities during the three-day weekend, including the Fall Reunion auction, contests, and all FEBT tours, presentations, and demonstrations. For those only interested in the auction, a special auction-only registration is also available, but auction registrations do not permit participation in any other Fall Reunion activities.

Each Fall Reunion registrant will receive a Fall Reunion name-tag (which permits participation in all FEBT activities), full EBT and FEBT schedules for the weekend, contest ballot, auction number, plus other information of interest to Fall Reunion participants. Auction-only registrants receive only an auction number that allows them to bid at the 2009 Fall Reunion action.

Please remember that spouses and dependent children of FEBT family, sustaining, associate, and life members qualify for the FEBT member rate for 2009 Fall Reunion registrations.

Vendors at the 2009 Fall Reunion

In addition to the FEBT Company Store, several vendors selling EBT models, modeling supplies, information, and memorabilia will have display tables at the Orbisonia Lions Hall on Saturday, October 10. Prospective vendors must reserve space in advance by contacting FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249-4239 or before October 3. Vendors must register for the 2009 Fall Reunion and are expected to donate one item for our auction for each table reserved.

FEBT Fall Reunion auction

We invite 2009 Fall Reunion registrants to join us at the Orbisonia Lions Hall at 8:30 pm Saturday 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. As described elsewhere in this newsletter, the 2009 auction will feature the sale of O-scale EBT models donated by FEBT member Douglas C. Taylor.

We encourage donations of suitable items for this year’s auction. EBT and railroad books, models, and other materials are welcome. All donors should complete a short information form when they register for the 2009 Fall Reunion, so we can properly acknowledge their contributions to the auction.

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 building supply store; the Lions Hall will be just beyond it on the right.

For additional information

If you find you need additional information about the 2009 FEBT Fall Reunion, please contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub by e-mail at or by telephone at (717) 249-4239. Look for Fall Reunion updates on the FEBT web site at

East Broad Top Railroad 2009 Fall Spectacular

The East Broad Top Railroad is still working on its operating schedule for the railroad’s 2009 Fall Spectacular on October 9-11, but EBT general manager Stanley G. Hall has provided the following information about plans for this year’s event.

On the afternoon of Friday, October 9, the EBT will run a coal train with 2-8-2 locomotive no. 15 as part of a photographers’ special. Motorcar M-3 and EBT speeders will also make a run to Colgate Grove and back following the special photo trains. A demonstration of the Rockhill Furnace shop steam engine, power transmission system, and machinery (powered by compressed air) is also planned.

On Saturday, October 10, the EBT will operate steam locomotive no. 15 with a passenger train (augmented by two open cars) and a diesel-powered mixed train consisting of freight cars, open cars, and the EBT’s two cabooses. Both trains will make several round trips to Colgate Grove. The EBT’s unique M-1 gas-electric and motorcar M-3 are scheduled to make several trips to Colgate Grove and back, as well. Speeder rides will be offered at the south end of the Rockhill Furnace yard. FEBT volunteers will conduct guided tours inside the shops and roundhouse throughout the day. Plans call for the annual night train to run in three sections—the passenger train, the mixed train, and the M-1—on Saturday evening. The day’s activities will conclude with a concert by the Smick Brothers Amish rock-and-roll band and fireworks.

On Sunday, October 11, the railroad will operate its steam-powered passenger train, diesel-powered mixed train, and the M-1. Guided tours inside the shops and roundhouse and speeder rides will again be part of the day’s schedule.

Final details and ticket prices for the 2009 Fall Spectacular have yet to be determined; contact the EBT directly for up-to-date ticket and train information:

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

Event information can also be found on the EBT’s web site www.ebtrr.comor on the events page of this web site.

Revised catalog, new products at Company Store

A revised catalog listing all books, video and audio recordings, plans and drawings, model kits and supplies, historic photographs, and back issues of The Timber Transfer available from the FEBT Company Store should be ready in early October, reports Richard M. Ullery, who manages our mail-order sales operations. Copies of the 2009-2010 catalog will be on hand at the 2009 FEBT Fall Reunion; the catalog will also be available by mail for $3.00. In the meantime, here are some of the new and expected products at the FEBT Company Store.

Large-scale modelers of the East Broad Top Railroad will soon be able to obtain dry-transfer lettering for the railroad’s steel hopper cars. This 1:22.3-scale lettering will be available in three styles, to reproduce the lettering in different eras of these cars’ service.

EBT modelers are familiar with the standard version of the cast-metal oval signs the EBT used to mark grade crossings; these featured black lettering and trim on a white background. Scale decal versions of these signs (with black lettering) were one of the first products produced and sold by the FEBT Company Store. However, some EBT grade-crossing signs had white lettering on black backgrounds, and the FEBT Company Store now offers white decal lettering for these signs in HO, S, and O scales.

Years ago the FEBT Company Store sold HO-scale four-color decal lettering for the various signs scattered throughout the EBT’s Rockhill Furnace facilities. Long out of production, we will now offer paper versions of these signs, produced by laser printer, in HO, S, and O scales.

In addition to the two new Quick Pic books featuring the EBT’s two-bay steel hopper cars and 2-8-2 locomotives nos. 14 and 15, Dick reports that a new Quick Pic book documenting EBT business car no. 20 (the "Orbisonia") should be available at the end of November.

The FEBT Company Store has arranged with Semaphore Records for the return to production of 1960s audio recordings of the East Broad Top Railroad. Sounds of the East Broad Top, now on audio CD, features 15 minutes of EBT station, train, and locomotive sounds, including the voice of EBT operating vice president C. Roy Wilburn. This CD should be available at the 2009 Fall Reunion.

For more information about these products, prices, and information about how to order them, contact Dick Ullery at

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

Please remember that payment for shipping and handling must be included with all orders. Pennsylvania residents must also include 6% sales tax calculated from the total cost of merchandise and shipping charges with their orders.

Fall Reunion volunteers needed

As with past Fall Reunions, we rely on FEBT members to help us handle the arrangements and tasks required to conduct a successful event again this year. Organizers of our 2009 Fall Reunion are looking for FEBT members who are willing to spend an hour or two on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the Fall Reunion weekend to assist us at the Fall Reunion registration table, FEBT Company Store, FEBT information booth, FEBT Museum, Fall Reunion contests, Fall Reunion auction, and other activities. If this sounds like something you would like to do, please contact FEBT outreach coordinator Dennis R. Straub at (717) 249-4239 or

We ask you to contact Dennis as soon as possible, so he can coordinate and confirm volunteer assignments well before the Fall Reunion weekend.

EBT tour for NMRA Mid-East Region

FEBT membership coordinator Peter A. Clarke and FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey will conduct a tour of the East Broad Top Railroad as part of the 2009 convention of the Mid-East Region, National Model Railroad Association, in Hagerstown, Maryland, on October 15-18. The EBT tour is on Saturday, October 17. FEBT members interested in the tour should contact Pete at (301) 482-1136 or

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 by telephone at (717) 249-4239 (home) or by e-mail at providing as much advance notice as possible.

Robert J. Beebe, 1928-2009

We were saddened to learn of the sudden death of longtime FEBT member Robert J. Beebe on August 7. Most FEBT members will recognize Bob’s name from his many years’ service as chairman of our Fall Reunion contests. Bob himself was a committed On3 modeler of the East Broad Top Railroad and an active member of the EBT On3 module group. He was also the webmaster of the Mid-Atlantic Narrow Gauge Guild and helped organize the MANGG annual module meets.

I know all FEBT members join me in expressing our condolences to Bob’s family and friends.
–Hank Inman, FEBT president

About The Timber Transfer

The spring 2008 issue of The Timber Transfer (volume 24 no. 4) was mailed to FEBT members in mid-July. Editor Kevin C. Strong tells us that he hopes to get the next issue of The Timber Transfer to our printer in October. 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.

FEBT receives grant for museum alarm system

2009 Rockhill Furnace Work Schedule

September 19–20
November 7–8

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

2009 Robertsdale Work Schedule

September 19–20
October 17–18

*Tentative dates subject to change at short notice due to weather or availability of volunteers
For more information contact Hank Inman at (804) 353–0817 or Vagel Keller at (412) 441–7881 or

In July the Amherst Railway Society awarded Friends of the East Broad Top a $1,500.00 grant for installing the alarm system planned for the old Robertsdale post office. The final phase of our rehabilitation of the old post office is now under way, and the alarm system will protect the exhibits and collections which will be moved into this museum building when work is completed. The total projected cost of installing the alarm system is approximately $9,000.00. FEBT president Henry F. Inman notes that this is the fourth ARS grant FEBT has received. Our eligibility for these grants stems from the displays FEBT member James A. Vliet organizes at the ARS train show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, each January.

Work by FEBT volunteers on the interior of the post office continues. New exterior doors, metal ceiling for the two main ground-floor rooms, wainscoting, and trim are the principal tasks remaining on this project.

FEBT director Stephen W. Jacobs reports that contracted work on our reproduction wood-frame passenger car trucks has been completed, and the two trucks are now stored at Rockhill Furnace. The original trucks from former EBT coach no. 5, on which our reproduction trucks are based, will be returned to the Tweetsie Railroad later this month.

Our Rockhill Furnace volunteers continue to make progress on our restoration work there, observes FEBT vice president R. Lee Rainey. Restoration of EBT combine no. 14 is moving forward with work on the car’s wood frame, and repairs inside the machine shop are advancing. Elsewhere FEBT members are repairing the roof and exterior of the sandhouse, fabricating and installing new doors into the locomotive coal bunker, and continuing window and siding repairs on the exterior of the main shop building.

FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin reports an encouraging response to our July letter soliciting donations to support our restoration program. We thank those of you who have already responded to this appeal, and we ask all FEBT members for your continued financial support for our restoration efforts. Restoration donations should be mailed to this address:

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

FEBT annual business meeting, Pizza on Friday, October 9.

The 2009 business meeting of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc., will be held at 6 pm on Friday, October 9, at the Orbisonia Lions Hall. FEBT officers and directors will report on various matters and answer questions about our 2008 and 2009 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 5:30 pm; cash contributions will be collected to cover the cost of the pizza

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 2009 FEBT Fall Reunion. Both the general public and Fall Reunion registrants are invited to enjoy refreshments, coffee, and soft drinks on Sunday, October 11, 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 10. Because of our 2009 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, here’s a list of buildings and equipment that have received attention from FEBT restoration volunteers. (Note buildings and equipment in italics are owned by FEBT.)

Rockhill Furnace: North and south section sheds; car shop; main shop, including machine shop and boiler shop wings; paint shop; boiler house and coal bin; electrical shop; foundry; locomotive coal bunker, sandhouse; small garage near sandhouse; stone farmhouse (shop superintendent’s office); turntable; and various yard and shop tracks.

Robertsdale: EBT depot, old post office, cosmetic track work.

Saltillo: EBT station.

Coles Station: EBT water tank.

Rolling Stock: Combine no. 14, combine no. 16 (trucks), combine no. 18, baggage car no. 29, coach no. 8, caboose no. 28, side-dump hopper car no. 802, steel boxcar no. 168, flat car no. 119, locomotive no. 15, M-3 inspection motor car, work motor car, and handcar.

Rules for 2009 Fall Reunion contests

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 these rules are the same as those for the 2008 contests.

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.


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 or 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 line¬side 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.

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 re-ceive similar "exhibition" awards. (A list of restoration projects can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.)

For more information about the Fall Reunion contests, contact Andrew H. Van Scyoc, contest chairman, by telephone at (301) 943-6255 or by e-mail at

October 10 auction for Douglas C. Taylor O-scale EBT models

As reported last year, longtime FEBT member Douglas C. Taylor, noted for modeling the East Broad Top Railroad in HO scale, has generously donated a large collection of O-scale EBT models to FEBT. These models will be sold at auction during our 2009 fall reunion. The auction will be held in the Orbisonia Lions Hall, starting at 8:30 pm, on Saturday, October 10. Proceeds from the sale of Doug’s models will be used to support the FEBT restoration program. The auction will be open to the public, to generate the maximum income possible.

An abbreviated list of the models to be sold includes the following items. Most are either factory painted or painted, lettered, and weathered by Doug.

Scratchbuilt models: One M-3 motor car and one caboose no. 27.

Imported brass models: one Hallmark 2-8-2 no. 14, one Hallmark 2-8-2 no. 15, one Sunset 2-8-2 painted and lettered no. 16, two unpainted Sunset 2-8-2s, one Hallmark M-1 gas-electric, one Flying Zoo M-3 motor car, two Overland cabooses nos. 27-28, two Precision Scale two-bay steel hopper cars, and one Carworks side-dump car.

Models assembled from kits: one BTS brass 2-8-2 no. 12, a prize-winning Marion steam-shovel (in display case), three Laconia coaches nos. 8, 10, and 11, one passenger-baggage combine no. 14, six steel two-bay hopper cars, 22 steel three-bay hopper cars, one steel box car no. 165, one wood box car no. 170, one three steel flat cars (one with load).

Unassembled kits: 33 Three-bay steel hopper cars, six two-bay steel hopper cars, six steel box cars ,four Whiteground shop buildings, one BTS Orbisonia station, and one BTS Saltillo station.

Additional information about these models, other items to be sold, and the auction will be posted on the FEBT web site Note that all persons participating in the auction must register before the start of the auction. A special $10.00 auction-only Fall Reunion registration is available; see the registration information elsewhere in this newsletter.

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. Effective January 1, 2009, FEBT regular membership costs $35.00 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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