East Broad Top 2003 Community Appreciation Day


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Press Release

The East Broad Top Railroad and the Kovalchick Family, in conjunction with the Rockhill Trolley Museum, the Friends of the East Broad Top Railroad, and the Orbisonia/Rockhill Homecoming Association will be having an "Appreciation Day" Saturday August 9, 2003. The East Broad Top Railroad and the Rockhill Trolley Museum will operate Trains & Trolleys all day, including a special "Twilight Train". Special events will be held all day long, including a carnival, antique car show, mini tractor pull, entertainment by the "Classic Cats" starting at 7:30pm to 10:30pm. The evening will conclude with a large fireworks display at 11:00pm. FREE events will include walking tours of the Historic East Broad Top rail yard and also 3 guided shop tours during the day. Also, there will be displays of weaving, spinning, bean soup making by a local historical society, and numerous other crafts will also be demonstrated throughout the day. There will be exotic animals on display along with other vendors too numerous to mention.

For everyone's enjoyment, the McDonald land "Grimace" will be with us starting at 10:30am. "Grimace" will be visiting children at the station or on the train through the day. Clowns will be visiting with us also.

The special "Twilight Train" on the East Broad Top at 6:00pm will be all open cars and a caboose. Due to limited seating, advance reservations are suggested.

A special mention for the Rockhill Trolley Museum, who will be having their Track Extension dedication on August 9th also. Special trolley cars will operated at 1:00pm for those attending the dedication ceremony.

This is a days event intended for fun for the entire family starting at 10:00am and concluding at 11:00pm. For more information, please contact the East Broad Top Railroad, P.O. Box #158, Rockhill Furnace, PA 17249, or call 814-447-3011. E- mail us at: ebtrr@innernet.net or visit our web site: www.ebtrr.com.

FEBT Press Release

Friends of the East Broad Top Join EBT
Anniversary Celebration on August 9

On Saturday, August 9, members of Friends of the East Broad Top (FEBT) will be in Rockhill Furnace and Robertsdale to join the festivities planned for the East Broad Top Railroad's 2003 Appreciation Day celebration. This annual "rebirthday party" celebrates the anniversary of the start of tourist train operations on August 13, 1960, slightly more than four years after the EBT ran its last common-carrier train. The EBT event also marks the final day of the 2003 Orbisonia-Rockhill Homecoming.

Throughout the day FEBT volunteers will conduct tours inside the EBT's historic shops and provide guided walking tours around the exterior of the shop complex. The significance of the railroad's Rockhill Furnace shop complex is widely recognized. As retired Smithsonian historian John H. White, Jr., once observed, the EBT shops "give the best picture available anywhere of how steam railroads went about their daily business." By joining one of the tours inside the shops, participants will be able to appreciate how the employees of the EBT constructed and maintained the railroad's freight cars, passenger cars, and locomotives. These tours are tentatively scheduled to start at 11 am, 2 pm and 5 pm (purchase of a $5 shop tour ticket is required).

Also at Rockhill Furnace, FEBT volunteers will lead guided walking tours around the EBT's yard and shop buildings. The historic evolution of the yard and shops will be discussed, but the primary focus of these tours will be the repairs FEBT volunteers have tackled to preserve and restore the EBT's fragile shop buildings. The repairs now underway to the brick wall and roof of the boiler house extension serve as one important example of this work. EBT historian Lee Rainey, who coordinates the FEBT work sessions at Rockhill Furnace, explains: "Last year our work on the boiler house felt a little bit like hospice care-making the patient comfortable in his last days. This year, with the brickwork and roof repairs, we've turned the corner. We're clearly curing the disease." This year FEBT volunteers have also completed repairs to coach no. 8 and made major structural repairs to the main shops, electrician's shop, generator room, and north section shed. The EBT's tracks have not been ignored, either. In cooperation with the railroad, FEBT members are currently replacing worn-out ties to return yard track no. 3 to service. The walking tours are free; current plans call for three tours on Saturday, starting at 10 am, 12:30 pm, and 3 pm.

Information about FEBT and its current fund-raising campaign will be available at the FEBT information tent at the EBT. Donors who contribute $50 or more to the FEBT campaign may obtain a reproduction of John H. Coker's original painting Afternoon Call, which depicts an EBT steam locomotive resting on the Rockhill Furnace turntable. (After August 31 these reproductions will no longer be offered.)

At Roberstdale, the FEBT Museum will host an open house between 10 am and 5 pm. On Saturday visitors to the EBT's former southern operating terminus on Broad Top Mountain will find displays and exhibits related to the railroad's history in the two historic buildings FEBT is currently rehabilitating. Complimentary soft drinks will be available. The museum will also be open its regular hours (1 to 5 pm) on Sunday, August 10.

For information about Saturday's special train schedule and other activities at the EBT, contact the East Broad Top Railroad at (814) 447-3011 or visit the railroad's web site www.ebtrr.com. For more information about Friends of the East Broad Top, visit the FEBT web site www.febt.org.


Trains are at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00 (twilight).
Shops tours are at 11:00, 2:00 and 5:00 (5 only if demand warrants.)
Yard tours are at 10:00, 12:30 and 3:00.

Train tickets and shop tour tickets will be $5.00 per person.

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