An EBT Excursion
From Bob Johnson; Images submitted by Jane Clarke, Denny LeFevre, & Bob Morningstar
On Friday, 11 August a group of SMD members and their guests visited the East Broad Top Railroad (the real one – not Jane and Pete Clarke’s model thereof) for a very interesting and informative day of railfaning. The turnout was small but those who participated had an interesting time. The group started out with a walking tour of the remains of the coal mining area around Robertsdale led by our own Pete Clarke. This gave a solid understanding of how the mines operated.
Following a quick pizza lunch (provided by the SMD) the group drove to Orbisonia, PA (bit of an issue with road closures) for a guided tour of the facilities. At Rock Hill highlights included the freight house, round house, mail shops, and a look in the door to the remains of the foundry. Then the crew rushed off to ride a train pulled by some smoky old steam engine; the newly restored number 16.
On our return to Rock Hill we then rode a trolley and toured both the trolley barn and the trolley restoration shops. It was a good day with fine company and beautiful weather.
NEW DATE: Friday, 11 August 2023
I have been informed by Jane Clarke that the trains on 16-28 July will be pulled by the diesel instead of #16. Since one of the objectives for this excursion is going to see the, recently returned to service, steam locomotive it will be necessary for us to reschedule the SMD event.
Per Jane, the advance ticket sales for the 4 August are already almost sold out, so I have moved the SMD event to Friday, 11 August. In order to ensure that you can get a ticket to ride I am asking everyone to purchase their tickets online as soon as possible. When ordering get combo tickets for the 1 PM shop tour and 3 PM train. Use the link below.
In addition to the Robertsdale visit and pizza lunch, the SMD group will be doing all three Rockhill Furnace activities (EBT ride, EBT shop tour, & Rockhill trolley ride). Please purchase an “All Aboard” combo ticket package to stick with our group. Reminder, when ordering get combo tickets for the 1 PM shop tour and 3 PM train.
This package includes tickets aboard our one-hour, steam powered train excursion, our one-hour guided tour of the EBT’s remarkably intact belt-driven machine shop complex, and general admission tickets to the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
All other arrangements, schedules, etc. remain as originally announced so we will see you at Robertsdale on the morning of 11 August. The tickets for the Robertsdale museum area tour can be purchased on the day of the event.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, but I am certain that at least 99% of us want to see #16 in action.
As before we ask that you notify me as to why and how many (including guests) are planning on attending so that we can make the lunch arrangement (which are still on the Division’s dime).
Bob Johnson, 2022-2024 Superintendent
A nonprofit foundation has purchased the East Broad Top Railroad from the Kovalchick family. A press release on eastbroadtop.com states the new EBT Foundation Inc., led by Brad Esposito, David Brightbill, Lawrence Biemiller, and Stephen Lane, with backers Wick Moorman, Henry Posner III, and Bennett Levin, will immediately begin work to overhaul track and equipment and to stabilize the Rockhill Furnace complex. Esposito will be the general manager. Advisors include Linn Moedinger and Rod Case. The Kovalchick Family is on the board of the new nonprofit.
New management is encouraging all who wish to support restoration efforts to connect with the Friends of the East Broad Top (FEBT). Volunteers should look to the FEBT, named a close partner in the release, if they want to work on equipment and infrastructure.
Announced events at eastbroadtop.com/events include:
- JUNE 6, 2020: OPEN HOUSE
- JULY 22-25, 2020: 60th ORBISONIA ROCKHILL HOMECOMING
- OCTOBER 9-11, 2020: FRIENDS OF THE EAST BROAD TOP REUNION