There have been a lot of questions and comments about the EBT recently in this thread. Here is some relevant info.
The new nonprofit operator (as of May 2009) decided they wanted to pursue grants to operate the northern end of the line themselves. They were able to get the grants totaling $1 million and that is when the issues started. However, the litigation mentioned is between the MU Connecting and Kovlachick Salvage, not the EBT. KS holds the lease. In the meantime the grants are on hold. They may or may not still be available, depending on who you listen to.
There was a wye in Satltillo. Part of the south leg is in place. The north leg, tail, and part of the south leg are gone. The EBT still has the rail, but the wye grade is gone. The wye at Rocky Ridge crossed a bridge which is long gone. I think the Rocky Ridge Branch, which is the wye leg, is not EBT property, but I'm not sure.
Pogue bridge is not safe to cross. It needs basic triage repairs which the RR cannot afford and FEBT does not have the resources for. There are also four more bridges before the Saltillo wye.
The siding shown being reconstructed is Track 1 north of Orbisonia Station. That was June of 2011. It was rebuilt for the Thomas event in July which brought in over 7,500 riders. The track was used to park the Thomas train between runs so the regular steam train could board on the main (track 2.) It is not accessible from the south at this time. Most of the work was done by the EBT crew and the FEBT and RTY did most of the ballasting and tamping.
In addition to Thomas, Polar Express is coming this fall (both new this year) as well as several dinner trains (started last year) Ragtime Festival and Fireworks Trains (started two years ago) and the perennial favorites Community Appreciation Day, Civil War weekend and the Fall Spectacular. The railroad is open Thursdays and Fridays part of this year as well as weekday holidays.
An agreement was reached last year with the Broad Top Coal Area Coal Miners Museum for them to start clearing the EBT yard in Robertsdale and that work has continued through this year. So far the yard and engine house area have been cleared and the main about halfway to Woodvale, and a little ways from Woodvale towards Robertsdale. they will complete clearing the main and have permission to clear south towards Cooks.
FEBT Restoration has continued. In 2008 a handicapped accesible rider boxcar conversion was completed and it has run full time since. Since then the car crew has worked on Combine #14 (has needed a LOT of work) and another boxcar. Restoration work has begun on the Coal Tipple. Quite a bit of roof coating has been put on the shops. The rebuilding of the Boiler House roof is almost done. A new sill is under the west wall of the Locomotive Shop. Six pieces of machinery operable in the shops. Lots of other things too.
We could certainly use a welder. Just be good at welding old steel.
More going on but that's what comes to mind.
All the things suggested here are good ideas, but they take money and manpower, both of which are in limited supply.