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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 141
Location: North Carolina USA
From a pragmatic point of view in light of the financial context, one has to ask, how many other properties and entities apply selective preservation as a matter of necessity? Then, in light of this, how many hoppers does one need for a representation that can actually be put to use? Considering the amount of respect given to this property by the owners, I think a wholesale fire sale to scrappers is doubtful and as the original post said, a lot of the fabric of these cars can be put to good use elsewhere rather than turning into a pile of rust. The tree that sprouted in an unfortunate location through the wheel set may be disturbing but that same set could get rolling again due to the same said sale. I think most folks who are tourists have no clue what constitutes a complete collection. Chances are, they have only a faint idea of what they are looking at. In a perfect world, but there is no perfect world. Considering the need for parts as expressed by buyers, to keep them buried unused and deteriorating is nearly akin to hoarding.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 94
This is an excellent way to unlock value and rededicate dollars to preserving what is important. Potentially $750,000 may be realized. That would go a long way to restore structures and track.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
This certainly is not the first time the cars have been offered for sale. I got a quote from EBT a long, long time ago for individual complete cars and for trucks only. Therefore, is it accurate to say that the cars have been for sale on a continuous basis even though they have not been continuously advertised?

If the answer is yes, then they are not selling very well. And from that, I conclude that the sudden placement of an ad offering 100 cars is not going to quickly yield $750,000 cash.

Therefore, perhaps a larger question is this: Would it be wise to scrap the 100 cars to raise whatever cash amount that scrapping would immediately bring in; for the purpose of redirecting the value of the cars to track maintenance and other pressing expense?


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:23 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 174
Realisticly, what use can 100+ narrow guage coal hoppers have today? The trucks (and possibly underframes) can be reutilized elsewhere, why not?

CD


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
R.L.Kennedy wrote:
This is an excellent way to unlock value and rededicate dollars to preserving what is important. Potentially $750,000 may be realized. That would go a long way to restore structures and track.


Why should we assume any generated funds would support other preservation work? This family has done a remarkable job of putting profits aside and preserving the heart of the railroad because they value it's heritage more than alvage value. I'd have no objection if they personally retained any value recovered as their right and due.

I've yet to see any credible proposal demonstrating how to maintain the entirety of EBT sustainably on the table. I've yet to see a credible proposal showing how to save the best bits of it sustainably either....... I'm just happy it is saved for now, and we need to get to work and find a way to adequately support what can be supported of it.

dave

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:41 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
Realisticly, what use can 100+ narrow guage coal hoppers have today? The trucks (and possibly underframes) can be reutilized elsewhere, why not?

CD


Well, they are of course free to do what they want with their property. But the question has been framed in a way that the preservation community should express an opinion about what is the right thing to do. And following that vein, the question has been focused on whether the cars should be left as a sort of historical time capsule with patina; or whether the cars should be sold off to those who want to put them to use.

That question is easy. Sell some to a good home. But they won't all disappear overnight, so the time capsule with patina will largely remain.

But what about selling all 100 at once for scrap? What would people do if they were EBT in regard to that question?


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
Dave wrote:
I've yet to see any credible proposal demonstrating how to maintain the entirety of EBT sustainably on the table. I've yet to see a credible proposal showing how to save the best bits of it sustainably either....... I'm just happy it is saved for now, and we need to get to work and find a way to adequately support what can be supported of it.


There WERE two offers "on the table," so to speak from both the Feds (Department of the Interior) and the Commonwealth years ago. The owners refused them.

"Sustainability" is a word you don't hear much around places like Cass, the Cumbres & Toltec, the California State Railroad Museum, or the like. Or, for that matter, the Grand Canyon, Gettysburg, or the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. Instead, you hear flowery language about "conserving national treasures/heritage" and "trickle-down effects of local tourism." Cass and C&TS are hideously remote and "non-sustainable" from strictly a business standpoint; we've chosen (not just railfans, but politicians, locals, historians, etc.) to look upon such places with a completely different set of parameters.

One of the "great unknowns" we'll never know in this field is just what the East Broad Top would look like today had it been successfully acquired by the NPS or Pennsylvania in the late 1980s or early 1990s. My supposition has long been that had the opportunity been granted far earlier for a more active preservation or "repurposing" of the line (for example, construction of a bike/snowmobile trail between Orbisonia and Robertsdale, clearing of the yard in Mt. Union, volunteer track rebuilding, etc.), that far more volunteers and contributions would have come out than are now showing up under still-private ownership. Sure, the stories from public ownership aren't perfect--the decay still overtakes the money and volunteers at Cass, C&TS, Spencer, Sacramento, and Strasburg; Steamtown still isn't what was envisioned and still has tracks of deteriorating exhibits, etc.--but I would argue it still beats the alternatives.

My honest fear is that at some point, we're going to be left with the last couple miles of EBT track being shut down, the right-of-way obliterated, the scrappers being called in, the locos sold to the top bidders, and people who actually remember and touched the cars and locos at Mt. Union, the station and water tank at Saltillo, the concrete bridge at Aughwick Creek, etc. asking themselves too late, "Why couldn't we have done something to save this?"


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
Realisticly, what use can 100+ narrow gauge coal hoppers have today? The trucks (and possibly underframes) can be reutilized elsewhere, why not?


There are rumors/reports that the brass journals have been "liberated" out of virtually every car in question--whether by thieves or by the railroad as parts reserve. And you're still left with friction bearings.

I suspect that $7500 is still far higher than scrap value.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:12 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
Just a thought.....

Besides ideas of the National Park service buying the EBT, or the commonwealth buying it, or rumors of private offers being rejected for years....

There have been negotiations between the EBT & the EBT Preservation Association (who leased the EBT) to purchase the railroad for the last year or so....

What if....

Negotiations were actually getting somewhere with one of these groups, and Joe K. had decided to try one more time to get a few extra $$$ for these cars before the deal was signed???

I understand that previously some were sold at $10,000, so selling at $7,500 might move a few cars that otherwise might just sit there....

Just sayin'.....

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:24 am
Posts: 59
Location: Michigan
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
Realisticly, what use can 100+ narrow gauge coal hoppers have today? The trucks (and possibly underframes) can be reutilized elsewhere, why not?


There are rumors/reports that the brass journals have been "liberated" out of virtually every car in question--whether by thieves or by the railroad as parts reserve. And you're still left with friction bearings.

I suspect that $7500 is still far higher than scrap value.


Given the "ORB WT 24000" means the weight of an empty car is 24000 lbs, or 12 tons, assuming the price of scrap is around $200 / ton, that makes the scrap value of the car about $2400. About 1/3 of the present asking price. Granted that's the street price. The Kovalchicks might command a slightly higher price being the scrap yard owner when selling it to be melted down. But think about this too- it's a one-time influx, once it's gone, there is no more and the property becomes nothing special. I'm guessing that's likely,at least in part, why they haven't scrapped it.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 459
Loco112 wrote:
The photo of the tree growing between the wheel and the side frame, is really disturbing.

Great photo, but disturbing interaction between the tree and the side frame, and the side frame will loose that battle. Since that photo is 5 years old, it could have already lost the battle to the tree.

FEBT members, please note the location.


*All* of those hoppers in the photo have trees growing thru them. The one visible track in the photo also used to have full size trees growing thru it, before it was cleared by the Mount Union Connecting railroad (now defunct, as far as I know).

The Friends of the East Broad Top is well aware of these hoppers, but they are too busy addresing much more pressing projects elsewhere on the railroad - see the FEBT Restoration Projects webpage for more information about those efforts.

The next Rockhill Furnace worksession is April 20-21, 2013, in case anyone would like to help.

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Chris Webster
Personal Website Last Updated in 1996


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 794
Location: NJ
I think I've made this suggestion before, but one of those hoppers should get preserved at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. PA has a strong narrow gauge heritage. One of the EBT hoppers, at the end of track (outside) on a short section of three rail track, would make a nice exhibit. If a standard gauge hopper were adjacent, showing the contrast in size between the gauges, so much the better. Should be easy to do, not a terribly expensive exhibit, and perhaps the time to act is now.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:45 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Here are some recent images from the Mount Union Yard - taken October 27th, 2013.

As stated, this time capsule is an attraction and asset in it's own right. It would be a shame to consider EBT's base in Orbisonia "enough" when there is still a chance to stabilize and preserve the rest of the story - even if the state were to jump in. At $7,500 per car, with a follow up purchase of the ROW, I would imagine it a bargain in the scope of what the state spends elsewhere. How much was spent preserving rather then scrapping the Kinzua Bridge?

Answer:

In late 2005, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) put forward an $8 million proposal for a new observation deck and visitors' center, with plans to allow access to the bridge and a hiking trail giving views of the fallen towers.

Anyway - enjoy the pictures!

/Mitch


Attachments:
EBT Hoppers n Stump BW LR.jpg
EBT Hoppers n Stump BW LR.jpg [ 268.72 KiB | Viewed 1067 times ]
Hopper Line BW LR.jpg
Hopper Line BW LR.jpg [ 211.39 KiB | Viewed 1067 times ]
EBT Hopper Line BL LR.jpg
EBT Hopper Line BL LR.jpg [ 278.82 KiB | Viewed 1067 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:53 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
A few more...

/Mitch


Attachments:
EBT BC Woods LR.jpg
EBT BC Woods LR.jpg [ 300.12 KiB | Viewed 1066 times ]
EBT Box Cars Woods Sun LR.jpg
EBT Box Cars Woods Sun LR.jpg [ 308.72 KiB | Viewed 1066 times ]
EBT Hopper Ends Sunny C LR.jpg
EBT Hopper Ends Sunny C LR.jpg [ 254.21 KiB | Viewed 1066 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top Selling Off Hopper Cars
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:54 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Last set:

/Mitch


Attachments:
EBT HDL WL LR.jpg
EBT HDL WL LR.jpg [ 287.67 KiB | Viewed 1650 times ]
Mount Union Shop LR.jpg
Mount Union Shop LR.jpg [ 222.78 KiB | Viewed 1650 times ]
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