W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

Worldwide Narrow Gauges => Other Narrow Gauge => Topic started by: Ed Lecuyer on February 14, 2020, 12:50:08 PM

Title: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 14, 2020, 12:50:08 PM
Lots of details/discussion everywhere (FB, NGDF, RYPN, etc.) but here is the official press release:
http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/file.php?1,file=61498,filename=EBT_News_Release_6_.pdf (http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/file.php?1,file=61498,filename=EBT_News_Release_6_.pdf)

Congratulations to everyone (including many friends/members of the WW&F) who made this day possible.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Graham Buxton on February 14, 2020, 02:34:09 PM
There is a new EBT website also:


https://eastbroadtop.com/
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: James Patten on February 14, 2020, 03:31:13 PM
I hope they have REALLY deep pockets.  While the list of principals is impressive, without substantial funds it won't go very far.  One assumes that people like Wick Moorman and Bennett Levin have done their due diligence and wouldn't associate with an organization that hasn't done its homework.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: John Kokas on February 14, 2020, 04:11:49 PM
I think if the Dave asked, Wayne would probably be able to give an overview of the EBT deal and structure during SWW for the membership.  He's in Orbisonia,     pa right now helping to cover the story for TRAINS magazine.  There might be something for us to learn about how the "foundation" will get funded.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Kevin Madore on February 14, 2020, 04:14:58 PM
I think this is wonderful news.  Depending on how the new organization is structured, this change may open up new channels for fund-raising and volunteerism.  If they’re careful about establishing reasonable goals, and getting things done on time, people will contribute to the effort......not unlike the way people step up to help us in our goals in Maine. 

The saddest story in railroad preservation today now has at least a chance for a happy ending.

/Kevin Madore
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Benjamin Richards on February 14, 2020, 04:31:10 PM
I remember the day I found out the EBT would not run anymore. I was in college at the time. I remember everything about it, down to the seat I was sitting in, and even the weather.

To the funding point: "People think steam engines run on water and coal. They do not. They run on money."

(I did not come up with that, but I cannot find the source at the present moment.)

Even just purchasing the EBT is a monumental achievement. Mr. Kovalchik is a savvy businessman and he drives a hard bargain.

Capt. Woolf's benediction for the Lynton and Barnstaple rings true yet again: "Perchance it is not dead, but sleepeth..."
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 14, 2020, 04:41:50 PM
This is excellent news, truly the best outcome that could be hoped for. I agree, how the foundation is structured and funded is going to be the key to making it all work. The Kovalchicks have been devoted stewards of the railroad since the 1950s, but the private ownership of the EBT had long been an obstacle to potential donors and collaborating institutions, who were understandably reluctant to throw money at  someone else's private property. Now that the railroad is held by a non-profit foundation I am hopeful that money and resources will begin to flow.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 14, 2020, 04:57:50 PM
I am still in shock about this, even though I was there today and heard what is planned from the sources. Once I have recovered, I will write a bit more. Suffice to say this is the best possible outcome for the East Broad Top.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: John Kokas on February 14, 2020, 10:15:48 PM
Hopefully Wayne, you can give us all a presentation of what has happened during SWW.  We'll be all ears!
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Joe Fox on February 18, 2020, 09:27:58 AM
This is indeed amazing news. Here is to hoping for the best for them. I have just joined the Friends of the EBT, and hope many others do as well. $35 for an annual membership. I have always had a love for the EBT, and will be going down for a visit as soon as they resume normal operations. I've only been once back in 2012, but have seen countless video productions, pictures, etc of the EBT. Some of you may remember when Lee Rainey was able to attend our Spring & Fall work weekends. He was able to provide countless stories of the EBT to anyone who cared to listen.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 18, 2020, 10:44:19 AM
I have just joined the Friends of the EBT, and hope many others do as well.

Same on both counts. I always intended on join, but this announcement made it a no-brainer.

The FEBT appears to share very the same camaraderie and passion that we have at the WW&F. If you have a chance, listen to Nick Ozorak's plea at the end of his most recent The Roundhouse podcast (an interview with the EBT's new GM, Brad Esposito) as he describes what being a part of the FEBT is like.
https://theroundhousepodcast.com/2020/02/14/090-east-broad-top-being-restored-to-operation/ (https://theroundhousepodcast.com/2020/02/14/090-east-broad-top-being-restored-to-operation/)
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: James Patten on February 18, 2020, 01:04:24 PM
It sounds like the EBT Foundation is not a membership organization.  It would make sense to me to become a member of the organization that's purchased the property, so that you could directly support that effort.  It's unclear to me how becoming a member of FEBT directly supports EBTF.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Alan Downey on February 18, 2020, 01:14:39 PM
I listened to the episode of The Roundhouse, and it sounds like the newly formed EBTF will still rely and work closely with the FEBT. It seems that the EBTF views it's role as the operating , management, and fundraising organization, and wants to work with the Friends to be the source and core of the volunteer base to continue and expand on the work that they have been doing. It's an interesting approach which seems similar to the way the C&TS is set up.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 18, 2020, 01:24:03 PM
Alan is correct (as best as I understand it) - they are specifically implementing the "C&TS + Friends of the C&TS" model. It's kind of like the WW&F/W&Q relationship, too, I suppose.

That said, the EBT Foundation (new non-profit) specifically says on their web page (https://eastbroadtop.com/how-to-help/):
Quote
Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to be able to make a larger contribution. We’d love to talk with you about opportunities to sponsor essential equipment — a new water system for the locomotives, for instance, or new passenger cars. Contact Lawrence Biemiller with your ideas!

So, if you want to be a "big donor", the EBT Foundation wants to hear from you. Us "day-to-day" supporters are encouraged to participate via the Friends of the EBT.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 18, 2020, 02:47:53 PM
I also listened to The Roundhouse podcast episode Ed mentions, and Brad Esposito specifically compares the planned arrangement to the C&TS and the Friends of the C&TS, so it's clear that's the model they have in mind.

One difference I suppose is that the FEBT does have a small ownership stake in the form of the Robertsdale depot and several pieces of rolling stock. I'm not sure if the Friends of the C&TS actually own any equipment, but I don't think so.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Joe Fox on February 18, 2020, 05:12:38 PM
I dont know how much the FEBT and the old EBT worked together, but my impression is it will remain virtually the same as it was.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 20, 2020, 05:31:05 PM
Here's my take on last Friday's events, based on speaking directly with the three main principals as well as folks from the FEBT and other outside consultants. The East Broad Top Foundation intends to set to work to protect and stabilize the shops and roundhouse immediately, as they recognize the great educational value of them. To that end, a contractor has been engaged to install a fire suppression system, another contractor has begun work to level and straighten the shops and several associated structures, and a consultant has been inspecting four of the locomotives to determine which two are the best candidates for overhaul.

The Friends of the East Broad Top will continue their work of stabilizing and repairing buildings and restoring rolling stock. They will also be engaged in track repair work alongside a contractor. Another contractor will be clearing trees and brush from the "operating" portion of the railroad. The Foundation hopes to have some limited operations take place by August to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first reopening of the railroad, perhaps utilizing M-1 or a diesel. By next season, they plan to reopen the 3.5 miles to Colgate Grove with steam power, with the second engine to be restored by the start of the 2022 season.

As for extending the operating portion of the railroad in either direction, my guess is it will be several years before that takes place. It will require the new operation to establish itself operationally and more importantly financially, and to develop working relationships with the communities along the railroad. In addition, there are major engineering challenges beyond the current limits of operations in both directions.

I believe the new organization will be be successful in obtaining substantial donations and grants, since the principals are well-known both in the industry and elsewhere. In the meantime, they have done the hard work, as was noted by someone on-line, and now it is up to us, the friends or Friends of the EBT, to keep the dream alive.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Bill Reidy on February 20, 2020, 06:49:04 PM
...and now it is up to us, the friends or Friends of the EBT, to keep the dream alive.

In that spirit, I joined the FEBT as a new member this past week, and I understand from the personal email I received back, the group has seen a substantial jump in membership since the news broke.  Much like when I joined our Museum in the late '90s, I look forward to following their news through their newsletter.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 20, 2020, 09:57:34 PM
As long time life member of FEBT, I encourage all to join and donate to this wonderful railroad. I look forward to better and better things happening every year.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Bill Baskerville on February 20, 2020, 11:22:26 PM
As long time life member of FEBT, I encourage all to join and donate to this wonderful railroad. I look forward to better and better things happening every year.
Good suggestion Allan, I did the same with MNG when the big changes came up last year.  I also just joined FEBT to offer some support.  We narrow gauge'rs need to stick together. 

Of course when it comes to narrow gauge, the Maine'rs have it way under (width wise) everyone else in the country.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on February 23, 2020, 02:44:54 PM
Just coincidentally while reading the July 1961 Model Railroader "Bull Session"

East Broad Top RR was sponsoring a contest, in conjunction with the NMRA,
for the best model of a EBT freight or Passenger car. -
1962 was to be a locomotive.
Send 50¢ to Charles Douds for plans.  ;)
The objective of the contest was to develop interest in Eastern narrow gauge railroading.
EBT was operating daily July & August and weekends through October.



Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Bob Holmes on February 23, 2020, 09:13:32 PM
Details don't matter.  WW&F contributors should feel a need to help support the FEBT.  However, their website is very confusing and does not have an easy pathway to join.  If anyone can help smooth that out, it would be helpful.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Graham Buxton on February 23, 2020, 10:10:39 PM
If you want to donate to the Friends of EBT then this page will be happy to assist you in doing that:
http://febt.org/donate/ (http://febt.org/donate/)

Joining the Friends of EBT as a member is here:
https://store.febt.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=120&products_id=601


Note that the foundation that recently bought the EBT is not the Friends, but is the "EBT Foundation". 

The EBT Foundation would prefer that  'normal size' :) donors  make those donations to the Friends group.    However, as they phrase it ....
Quote
Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to be able to make a larger contribution. We’d love to talk with you about opportunities to sponsor essential equipment — a new water system for the locomotives, for instance, or new passenger cars. Contact Lawrence Biemiller (lbiemiller@eastbroadtop.com) with your ideas!
https://eastbroadtop.com/how-to-help/ (https://eastbroadtop.com/how-to-help/)

So unless your checkbook is giant-size, 8) join/donate through the Friends group.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on February 24, 2020, 10:51:40 AM
I just joined as well. It's still not simple as you have to create an account but, then what is these days!
Dave
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on February 24, 2020, 05:36:38 PM
I've been a member of the Friends of the EBT since 1986 and it is a solid organization.  The FEBT has had a few ups and downs but over the last 15+ years has gotten a lot of work done on the EBT structures at Rockhill Furnace as well as restoring EBT and FEBT rolling stock. The FEBT owns the old Robertsdale P.O. building and maintains the EBT depot as a museum.  It's good to hear that so many of you have joined the ranks, the new partnership with the EBTF should be a big plus in bringing the EBT back to life. 

The EBT is where I rode my first narrow gauge steam train when the line re-opened in 1960.  I got a cab ride in #15 that year and always looked forward to going back when I lived in Maryland.  The longest stay was in 1991 when I took two weeks of vacation to volunteer on some friends projects.  I have boxes of slides from many trips over the years including a photo of me with Mr. Wilburn.   Cindy and I went to the 50th anniversary of the re-opening where we got to ride a section car on the recently cleared south end of the yard.  With the good news of the EBTF purchasing the railroad, we plan on going to the 60th anniversary this Summer.   
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Bill Reidy on February 24, 2020, 06:59:01 PM
After joining last week, I just received their quarterly newsletter, a well-produced 24-page issue.  While it's unlikely I'll get the opportunity to visit and volunteer at the EBT on a regular basis like the WW&F, I look forward to following progress during this new chapter and beyond.

The EBT is where I rode my first narrow gauge steam train when the line re-opened in 1960.

He!  We now know who to blame, Stewart!
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Matthew Malkiewicz on February 25, 2020, 06:31:09 AM
The last time I saw the East Broad Top under steam was October 29th, 2011, during a freak pre-winter blizzard fondly referred to as Snowtober. Two months later, the tourist excursion season ended, and the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company suspended operations indefinitely. The railroad has been dormant since, their doors locked.

Fast forward to Friday, February 14th, 2020. On this day the EBT announced that the Kovalchick family had agreed to sell the railroad in its entirety to the non-profit EBT Foundation, Inc. a newly formed group of prominent railroad industry figures, philanthropists, and longtime EBT enthusiasts. I was there representing the Friends of the EBT in the role of event photographer, recording the day’s events with both candid and posed images.

But my day started much earlier than the 11am proceedings at the train station; I arrived at 1am. Since the 2011 closure, I have been routinely visiting the towns of Orbisonia, Mount Union, Robertsdale, and all points of interest in between. Regardless of season, weather conditions, or time of day, it has been my mission to photograph and document the facilities as they exist present day. But the rails have always been void of the trains. What has been missing is now back. Four locomotives out on display, a pair of the premium passenger cars, a tank and boxcars, and those iconic cabooses!

There were smiles everywhere you looked. So many emotions in everyone’s eyes. I’ve been to many railfan events, this was the best one in a long time. Such an awesome experience, I’m so happy to have been a part of it. I had the great pleasure to talk with Joe Kovalchick and EBT historian Lee Rainey for 10 minutes each, both were choked up and fumbling their words. It might have been a frigid morning, but it all felt like a family reunion and outdoor party. Godspeed EBT!

I have always been waiting for the clock hands to run backwards – as narrow gauged smoke billowing trains once again traverse the Pennsylvania countryside pulling passenger laden cars. The dream has come true. I will continue my quest at the land that time has ignored. Everything there has a story; with each return visit my cameras are listening. It lures me back; I’m continuing the adventure real soon.

Follow the link below to my gallery of photographs, which starts with an image from October of 2011. The black/white absolutely timeless photos were captured between 1 and 6am, and then the scenes from the announcement event are in color.

 http://www.losttracksoftime.com/p47324941 (http://www.losttracksoftime.com/p47324941)

Enjoy,
Matthew
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Mike Fox on February 25, 2020, 08:53:23 AM
Great photos Matthew. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Joe Fox on February 27, 2020, 12:29:00 PM
I too got my packet of FEBT stuff today. Very nicely put together. Intro packet of past and present acheivements. A little railroad history and route map along with yard map of Rockhill Furnace much similar to our museum guide. A FEBT brochure, trolley museum brochure, and the Timber Transfer quarterly newsletter Bill mentioned. Very exciting times lay ahead for the EBT.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on March 08, 2020, 02:21:00 PM
Fro those interested:

The September 1961 MODEL RAILROADER® has photos of the Mount Union Transfer Crane swapping
trucks (3' to 4'81/2") {page 22}

On page 42:
Plans for engine #16 and photos of #16 & #17
Caboose #28
Board-&-Batten Open-End Coach #10
30 ton Hopper #805
Box Car #170

If you are interested I MIGHT be able to scan some pages. Bear in mind these ate 59 YO
magazines and grainy to start with.

PM me

Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Roger Cole on May 28, 2020, 02:54:55 PM
I've been following the progress (and a lot is happening) on the EBT.  A recent video posted on the Railroad's Facebook page showed the new owners moving 4 hopper cars that haven't moved for many years.  Many had their side sheets rusted through at the bottom.  I know that a couple of years ago, the WW&F purchased some couplers from there.  I can't believe they're going to save all those rusted out hoppers.  If they do scrap some, does the WW&F need any more couplers?  Also are the wheel diameters somewhere near the size of the 2-foot gauge rolling stock?  If so, it might be cheaper to buy some wheelsets and narrow the axles than to have new wheels cast.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Benjamin Richards on May 28, 2020, 03:14:34 PM
The coupler size is the same (3/4). WW&F has already purchase a quantity of EBT couplers in 2017. See http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php/topic,3073.html

The wheels are not the same, unfortunately. According to "The Internet", EBT rolling stock uses 24" wheels, while WW&F uses 20" wheels.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 28, 2020, 03:33:39 PM
To add to what Ben said,

The 3/4 size couplers we purchased from EBT hoppers that were (and still are, presumably) destined for scrapping/parting out were not as suitable for use as we had hoped. We'll still find a use for them, but our efforts to secure a reliable source of 3/4 size couplers has taken a different direction. I'll let others more knowledgeable fill in the details, if they are willing/able to do so...

A reliable, cost-effective source of 20" wheels remain an issue. We are working on it, but they are pricey.
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Roger Cole on May 28, 2020, 03:39:46 PM
Would it be prudent/feasible/possible to cut the wheel diameter down on a lathe from 24 to 20 inches?
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Keith Taylor on May 28, 2020, 06:02:10 PM
Would it be prudent/feasible/possible to cut the wheel diameter down on a lathe from 24 to 20 inches?
I would say it is not feasible. Cutting down a full 2” of the rim would leave it below the condemnable limit and even if it barely was within tolerances....there would be nothing left for future turning.

Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Roger Cole on August 14, 2020, 07:29:26 PM
On Thursday, Aug 13, a ceremony was held to reopen the East Broad Top Railroad.  Details can be found on Trains Newswire web site.  The article is behind a paywall.   

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2020/08/13-with-a-splash-of-grape-juice-east-broad-top-returns-to-operation
Title: Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
Post by: Ted Miles on October 29, 2020, 08:43:28 PM
Now that the EBT foundation has been around for a while; there is lots of video showing up on Facebook etc. about the narrow gauge line. A recent one that made my day was about the restoration of the EBT #1033 ballast or rock car. The crew used the belt-driven machine shop tools to punch holes in some new steel sheets and they rivetted them into place. Right Way to go guys! Later a paint crew from the Friends of the EBT painted the car.  Later it was seen on the ballast trains. Another neat bit is the announcement of a fire suppression system for the Machine Shop and the Roundhouse.   

Ted Miles, narrow gauge fan.