• The East Broad Top

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  • 130 posts
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  by GSC
 
Congratulations!

My late father, who worked with boiler power since he served as a Machinists' Mate on a destroyer in the ealry 1950s, would be thrilled to see this finally run. He went with me to the Spectacular in 1989 and saw this during the shop tours, as well as four EBT engines in operation that year. Steam man that he was, the stationary engine was his favorite thing to see.
  by chuchubob
 
The EBT is under new ownership, but Joe Kovalchic was still involved with the 2009 Fall Spectacular.
This year they ran a coal train as a photographers' special on Friday, providing scenic photo runbys, and a not-so-scenic reverse move.
A train powered by M-7 ferried the photographers to the three runby locations, and the sun came out providing excellent lighting for both the northbound and southbound photo runbys.
  by GSC
 
I got some third-hand info recently about some new group looking into restoring the entire EBT, with common carrier possibilities to somewhere. Anyone hear anything on this?
  by GSC
 
Thanks for the links. Good info.

This was announced last May, according to the articles. Wonder why it wasn't all over the railfan sites?
  by GSC
 
If grant money is available (with today's economy?) plans are to restore and reopen six miles to Mount Union, repair another loco (#17), and convert some freight cars to passenger service to keep the old passenger cars in good shape for special events. Hope something happens. Who here isn't fascinated by the EBT?
  by Noel Weaver
 
I am truly fascinated by the E.B.T. I remember visiting that site in early 1960 before the resumption of limited operation was even announced and found the whole place interesting. What was most interesting was that even after four years of
shutdown, there was a light on in the station office. This was encouraging sign that maybe it actually had a future. It was
not long after that it came out that the line actually did have a future.
I visited it again in 1960 to ride it a couple of different times and a few times after that as well.
Having said that, I do not think it is proper to use federal stimulus funds for something of this nature. There is no way that
this railroad can possibly become by any stretch of imagination a part of the passenger train network in this county not now
and not in the future either. There is just not the population in this area to support common carrier passenger service.
I would be thrilled to see any further restoration of this interesting line by private, state, local or other funds but not by the
federal government. There are other tourist type railroads that do connect with Amtrak or a common carrier someplace in
their area and actually go to a point where it might work as a useful connection and maybe it would be justified for some
help with them but sorry, not in this case.
Noel Weaver
  by tj48
 
Your welcome GSC. The EBT is very interesting. If you ever get a chance to visit and ride the railroad, by all means DO IT! It is a very interesting piece of American history. I wish this group well in their vision.
  by GSC
 
I've been there for a couple Columbus Day Spectaculars. Had a blast. Been a few years since I was there, but I'll be back. There's an American Legion Post near Mt. Union that I must visit again as well (Quality draft beverages LOL)
  by ebtrr
 
After three sessions of restoration work (so far), the Niles Tool Works slip roll in the East Broad Top Boiler Shop was given a test run during the FEBT March restoration session. I have posted video on YouTube of the FEBT Restoration volunteers operating the roll for its first run:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKgyUr6FIwA

Hope you will take a look. The Slip Roll is the machine on the right in the HABS/HAER Photo

Image

In the coming session we will be working to make the roll fully operational and plan to bend steel for demonstrations of the machine. It is the fourth piece of equipment in the shops to be reactivated. Two lathes in the Machine Shop also received finishing touches and will be reactivated in May when the three phase power is back on (That will make six machines!)

Thanks to the FEBT volunteers and everyone who has supported our efforts and we hope you will continue to do so.

[www.febt.org]

Christopher D. Coleman
FEBT Webmaster
FEBT Restoration Crew Leader
  by CBRy
 
Bottom line to this entire discussion is that the EBT is PRIVATELY OWNED and as
such is not required to cater to the whims, regulations, suggestions or whatever else is
being "offered" to the OWNERS.

Basically, the EBT is the world's largest train layout wholly owned by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS
and as such, one must abide by their wishes no matter how much we (who DO NOT own or
operate it) may not agree with or like it!

Maybe someday the Kovalchiks will divest themselves of the EBT for any number of reasons.
And MAYBE then, hopefully, a knowledgeable, benevolent and financially solvent organization
will step in and pick up where the Kovalchiks will leave off....MAYBE. All things in life are fluid!

For now, we should go to the EBT as often as possible to experience the REAL history of a bygone
era and also to give financial and moral support to the owners Kovalchik. And if one feels one
wants to do more, then feel free to VOLUNTEER and contribute some "sweat equity" by swinging
a spike maul, hand-humping some ties into place, scraping rust and repainting rolling stock or
whatever.

THEN...MAYBE I'll take what is being said here and at other "arm-chair arenas" with more than
a grain of salt!

OBTW...While not having personal access to railroads or rolling stock of my own, I DO understand
the Kovalchiks position of ownership of historical artifacts. I personally privately own and operate
several large pieces of historic fire apparatus which require similar skillsets and machinery
to maintain in operable and SAFE condition. I often "pick and choose" as to how and where I will
operate my equipment, just as the Kovalchiks do, because they are mine and I don't necessarily want to
deal with others' "suggestions" concerning their use. For a LITTLE while longer, at least, the owners
of PRIVATE PROPERTY in this country can still enjoy that right. Although some, who have even posted
here, seem to think that if a PRIVATE OWNER doesn't choose to cater to a NON-OWNER'S tastes,
then the NON-OWNERS can merely employ various means to "take" said property! ("imminent domain")

99% of people have NO idea of the time, expense and personal commitment required to own, repair,
restore and just maintain large historical artifacts. The fabrication pipelines are usually long-gone,
replacement parts non-existant, repairmen long-gone and expenses astronomical merely to stabilize
and artifact or structure! Try doing this "solo" and THEN post here about the "rousing success" and
financial "gold-mine" of such a venture! I won't even begin to address the ancillary expenses such as
fuel, support services, insurance, licenses, etc.!

The issue that matters most is what the KOVALCHIKS want to do with THEIR PROPERTY! Remember.
Those who visit the EBT and ride the trains and tour the facilities are GUESTS of the Kovalchiks!
As such, we should be GOOD guests and GRATEFUL guests and show our SUPPORT by patronizing
their facilities and being happy to have benefited from their hospitality. The Kovalchiks can just as
easily (and LEGALLY) close the gates, turn off the lights, post "No Trespass" signs and dismantle the
railroad for the scrap metal within.

When one is a GUEST in another's house, then the GUEST must abide by the HOST'S wishes!
  by Noel Weaver
 
CBRy wrote:Bottom line to this entire discussion is that the EBT is PRIVATELY OWNED and as
such is not required to cater to the whims, regulations, suggestions or whatever else is
being "offered" to the OWNERS.

Basically, the EBT is the world's largest train layout wholly owned by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS
and as such, one must abide by their wishes no matter how much we (who DO NOT own or
operate it) may not agree with or like it!

Maybe someday the Kovalchiks will divest themselves of the EBT for any number of reasons.
And MAYBE then, hopefully, a knowledgeable, benevolent and financially solvent organization
will step in and pick up where the Kovalchiks will leave off....MAYBE. All things in life are fluid!

For now, we should go to the EBT as often as possible to experience the REAL history of a bygone
era and also to give financial and moral support to the owners Kovalchik. And if one feels one
wants to do more, then feel free to VOLUNTEER and contribute some "sweat equity" by swinging
a spike maul, hand-humping some ties into place, scraping rust and repainting rolling stock or
whatever.

THEN...MAYBE I'll take what is being said here and at other "arm-chair arenas" with more than
a grain of salt!

OBTW...While not having personal access to railroads or rolling stock of my own, I DO understand
the Kovalchiks position of ownership of historical artifacts. I personally privately own and operate
several large pieces of historic fire apparatus which require similar skillsets and machinery
to maintain in operable and SAFE condition. I often "pick and choose" as to how and where I will
operate my equipment, just as the Kovalchiks do, because they are mine and I don't necessarily want to
deal with others' "suggestions" concerning their use. For a LITTLE while longer, at least, the owners
of PRIVATE PROPERTY in this country can still enjoy that right. Although some, who have even posted
here, seem to think that if a PRIVATE OWNER doesn't choose to cater to a NON-OWNER'S tastes,
then the NON-OWNERS can merely employ various means to "take" said property! ("imminent domain")

99% of people have NO idea of the time, expense and personal commitment required to own, repair,
restore and just maintain large historical artifacts. The fabrication pipelines are usually long-gone,
replacement parts non-existant, repairmen long-gone and expenses astronomical merely to stabilize
and artifact or structure! Try doing this "solo" and THEN post here about the "rousing success" and
financial "gold-mine" of such a venture! I won't even begin to address the ancillary expenses such as
fuel, support services, insurance, licenses, etc.!

The issue that matters most is what the KOVALCHIKS want to do with THEIR PROPERTY! Remember.
Those who visit the EBT and ride the trains and tour the facilities are GUESTS of the Kovalchiks!
As such, we should be GOOD guests and GRATEFUL guests and show our SUPPORT by patronizing
their facilities and being happy to have benefited from their hospitality. The Kovalchiks can just as
easily (and LEGALLY) close the gates, turn off the lights, post "No Trespass" signs and dismantle the
railroad for the scrap metal within.

When one is a GUEST in another's house, then the GUEST must abide by the HOST'S wishes!
No truer words could possibly be spoken. I thought it was a miracle when the Kovalchiks saved this railroad way back in
1956 when they purchased the property.
I remember checking this place in very early 1960 before the announcement that a part of it would again operate and
seeing a light inside the station at Orbisonia Station. I wondered then what was in the works but I had no idea of the
upcoming miracle that a scrapper would decide to save the railroad. We owe these people a huge amount of gratitude,
they could have simply scrapped everything there in short order in 1956 and today we would have nothing.
YES, I went back later in 1960 and later years to ride this line afterwards.
Noel Weaver
  by gp80mac
 
Don't forget, a non-profit is now operating the trains. A non-profit thatis trying to get grant money.

They have modernized the RR some. Last time I was there (earlier this year, I think...or end of last?) they now accept credit cards. They also gave a little narration about the railroad, although it was pretty inaudible in the open car.

The fire truck vs. train argument is apples and oranges. The RR is a tourist outfit that is dependent on riders. When you buy a ticket you are a guest, but you are also a CUSTOMER. And to be successful, they must somewhat cater to their customer's requests. And yes, even the armchair quarterbacks can have good insight. Sometimes you need to see your situation through someone else's eyes. I'll use the credit card argument as my example again.

Sure the owners could lock it up and make it their private RR, but they wouldn't have customers. So to suggest that no one expresses an opinion about the RR is a little far fetched. Especially if they do get some state or federal grants (maybe they have already - I haven't been keeping up).

Now I only wish the EBT the best - I would hate to see the RR gone, but nothing wrong with a little C&C.
  by rwk
 
Still any plans to at least reopen the few miles of track up toward Mt. Union? The few miles south of Mt. Union is already open. They cleared some track south of Rockhill going "the other way" where the steam train never went since the reopening in 1960. They use that for speeders. You could take a steam train ride, then a speeder ride, then a trolley ride at the museum next door, the trolley ride is twice as long now, about 3-4 miles each way? and that would fill an afternoon. Plus time for eating and going in the trolley museum building and touring the EBT shops, roundhouse. I hope to get there someday. I can still dream of a future steam train ride to Saltillo or Three Springs, though. (could they rebuild the one leg of the wye at Saltillo to turn the train like at Colgate Grove?)
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9