Author Topic: EBT not operating in 2012!  (Read 13152 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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EBT not operating in 2012!
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:41:50 PM »
Sad news from PA. From the EBT Facebook Page:
Quote
Well here it is. The railroad will NOT run this summer. Things could not be worked out between Mr. Kovalchick and EBTPA. We will still be offering tours of the shops and round house for groups of 20 or more people but they must call the station and make arrangments for that at 814-447-3011.This does not mean that the railroad will not open back up next year, we will be looking at all the possibilities to try and reopen in 2013. We will keep you posted as to what is going on with the railroad as the year goes by.

I am very happy that I was able to visit in 2010. I hope they can work out a 2013 season.
Ed Lecuyer
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 05:37:03 PM »
This is a real tragedy. For the first time in 52 years, trains won't be running at Rockhill Furnace. Sources tell me that an operating agreement between the East Broad Top Preservation Association and Joe Kovalchick could not be reached. If the railroad doesn't operate this season, it will be very difficult for it to regain its feet next year, since word will have gotten around that it is closed. At least some of the problem is the result of the electoral defeat of an influential representative who lost in the spring primary. He was very helpful in directing grant funds to the EBT.

However, the Friends of the East Broad Top plan to continue their work to preserve and restore structures and rolling stock. It's not known at this point what will happen to the trolley museum across the street from the EBT station.

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 08:47:47 PM »
As Chester Riley (William Bendix) would have said in the old 50s sitcom, "The Life of Riley",  [/b]

"What a revoltin' development this is!"     

The EBT is a true gem of not only railroading, but a slice of life in the old coal mining era.  Trust folks to be able to screw it up after all the years spent trying to keep it alive and authentic.  As a former member of the Friends of EBT, I donated as much money as I could afford over the years.  Much was accomplished in preserving the buildings and rolling stock.  But without the railroad running, interest will quickly peter out.  We attended many of the annual "steam spectaculars" down there in the 90s and early 2000s. They had 3 or 4 steam locomotives running at those. I have some great video of all that.  We've also walked and explored great stretches of the abandoned portions of the line, including both tunnels.  This is just so sad.  Hopefully some agency can bring the two sides back to the table to work something out.  This cannot be allowed to become another Edaville.


Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 09:15:35 PM »
Agreed, this is not good for the railroad or the two towns.  Lost ridership is hard to get back.  I have been to the EBT over two dozen times since I first rode the line in 1960.  Everything about the place is amazing - from the lcocmotives and roundhouse to the shops and rolling stock.  It is a true time machine of things railroad and industrial with a timeline from the 1890's through the 1930's into the 50's.  I am still a member of the Friends and they will continue working on structures and rolling stock this year.  I hope an agreement can be worked out, perhaps before the Fall so foliage trips can be run.  If not we'll have to look to 2013 and hope for the best.

Stewart     

John Kokas

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 02:00:28 PM »
I wonder if this really is all about forcing a sale of the property?  Especially if the "public" money runs out.
Moxie Bootlegger

Dale Reynolds

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 03:03:04 PM »
this "revoltin' development" makes me worry about future rail supplies for us..... kovalchick provided us with lots of rail so far, right?  dale

Wayne Laepple

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:10:55 PM »
As far as I know, the EBT never accepted any public funds since there were always strings attached that Mr. Kovalchick found un acceptable. I suspect he's only continued running the railroad for the last 10 years or so out of habit, and the failure of negotiations with the East Broad Top Preservation Association* offered the perfect excuse not to fire up No. 14 this year. As for 60-pound rail, he's still got plenty on hand.

*The EBTPA is not the same as the Friends of the EBT.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 07:49:01 PM »
Here is the official announcement from the EBT's website:

To all our friends, fellow railroaders, and loyal patrons:
 
It is with great remorse that the East Broad Top Railroad officially announces that we will not be operating steam powered excursions for the 2012 season. On April 1st, 2012, the East Broad Top Preservation Association's 3-year lease to operate the East Broad Top Railroad with an option to buy has ended. After painstaking talks and options were evaluated and discussed, no arrangement could be made between the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company and the East Broad Top Preservation Association.
 
At this time there are no certainties beyond 2012. We can't say this is the end of the line, nor can we say this is just temporary. Should any type of operations or events be planned in the future, we will announce them here. Until then there are no further details.
 
The decision to close this season was a difficult one. The employees of the East Broad Top Railroad would like to say "Thank You" to all of our patrons, fans, and supporters for allowing us to serve you with the enchanting and historical experience on America's oldest operating narrow gauge steam railroad. Rest assured it is difficult for us to accept that we are unable to provide a memorable visit on our railroad, much the same as it is for you to read this announcement. If it was not for the kind support of our visitors over the past 51 years we would have never made it this far. Again, we thank you for the greatest experience we could ever imagine.
 
The East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 07:32:38 PM »
Sounds like the kiss of death to me.

If it doesn't run for a few years, all the property will deteriorate.  There will be much less enthusiasm among the "Friends" to carry on fixing up a non-operational property with no prospect that it won't eventually all be abandoned once and for all.

This truly is a sad day for all narrow gauge fans. 


Joe Fox

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 02:14:20 AM »
Your telling me. Dawn and I had planned to visit for our honeymoon in August. When I read that, I was really disapointed. That was a huge reason why we had chosen to go to Pa. for our honeymoon, and not Colorado or New Mexico. We may still go there to take a look around the property, etc. but it won't be the same without a train ride.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 07:36:09 AM »
Joe --

If your timing is right, you might make it for one of the Friends of the EBT work weekends in August -- they have two, Aug. 4-5 and Aug. 25-26. If you tel them you are a WW&F volunteer, they will roll out the red carpet, I'm sure.

Cheers -- Wayne

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 08:43:35 PM »
They may roll out the red carpet, but it won't be a locomotive.  We were down there around 2000 for their annual "Steam spectacular" and they had 4 steamers running.  I got some great video.  We had made earlier trips and walked much of the line, including the 2 tunnels.  We even got to see a coal mine operating at Alvin down at the end of the line. We were invited to ride one of the electric mine engines down into a shaft, but they said it was below freezing down there and we weren't dressed for it, so we declined.  It was scary enough walking around under live electric wires that were only 6 feet off the ground!

Kevin Madore

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2012, 02:43:20 PM »
Your telling me. Dawn and I had planned to visit for our honeymoon in August. When I read that, I was really disapointed. That was a huge reason why we had chosen to go to Pa. for our honeymoon, and not Colorado or New Mexico. We may still go there to take a look around the property, etc. but it won't be the same without a train ride.

Hi Joe,

The EBT closure is disappointing.  You may want to go to Colorado instead.   Once again, depending on your timing, you might make Railfest in Durango, which is in mid-August.   During those 4 days, there are lots of special train rides (D&S trains, E&P#4, Goose #5, etc).  It's a Thursday-Sunday event.  There is, of course, the normal Silverton Train, which you need to do at least once in your life.  Dan Markoff will also be there with Eureka.  This might be his last Railfest for a while as Eureka's flue-time extension will be expiring, so if you ever wanted to ride behind Eureka, now's the time.   She will even be running one day of short trips from DGO to Home Ranch for those who don't want to pay for an all-day trip.   A bonus of doing Railfest is that you can always drive over to Chama (2 hrs by car) and spend a day watching or riding the trips over Cumbres Pass.

If you decide to go to Colorado, your best bet is to fly into Albuquerque, NM and drive.  Southwest goes there pretty cheaply, if you buy your tickets during sales....like the one that ends tonight!  Southwest.com!!!!

/Kevin

James Patten

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 06:54:18 PM »
We were down there around 2000 for their annual "Steam spectacular" and they had 4 steamers running.

I was there at the 2000 Steam Spectacular as well, at the tail end of a 2 week trip out to the narrow gauges in Colorado/New Mexico.  The EBT Fall Spectacular was actually better than the C&TS/D&S as far as concentrated steam went - the EBT was the only place where I could stand at a road crossing and get two crossing whistles going at the same time (one on either side of the tracks, on two separate tracks of course).  Fantastic!

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: EBT not operating in 2012!
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2012, 09:16:27 PM »
I wonder what will become of the trolley museum right next to the EBT at Orbisonia?  They had quite an operation going the last time we were there.  One group sort of supported the other, and vice-versa.  They had one of the North Shore "Electroliners" down there and we rode in it. Hopefully they will not be too negatively effected by the EBT shutdown.