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 Post subject: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:49 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 567
Today's Huntingdon Daily News has an article by Rebecca Berdar titled Crews remove cars from MU tracks (subscription required).

Respecting their copyright, here is a very short, 2 sentence long, quote of the article:

Quote:
After roughly one-half century of occupying an old East Broad Top rail yard in Mount Union, a collection of box cars and coal hoppers are clearing out.

Workers with Valenti Excavating Inc., of Clymer, Indiana County, launched into their task last week in the area off Franklin Street behind Rite-Aid and McDonald’s, beginning with the demolition of a group of wooden boxcars.


and another short, 2-sentence long quote:
Quote:
[A Valenti Excavating Employee] says there are approximately 150 railroad cars, stacked five tracks deep, that his crew will be moving and dismantling. The vast majority are solid steel coal hoppers and about dozen or so are wooden U.S. Army Transportation Corps box cars.


Post Edited to Add Links to a Few Photos from December 14, 2013::
Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:20 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
150 hoppers if sold normally..1,125,000 dollars lets halve that for scrap price, 562,500

you've made the mortgage and then some.
I'll say it again, if EBT got back into coal they should need new hoppers.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:13 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 544
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
dinwitty wrote:
150 hoppers if sold normally..1,125,000 dollars lets halve that for scrap price, 562,500

you've made the mortgage and then some.


Who's mortgage? This implies the cars are being scrapped by the preservation society to pay for the land yet the cars are not owned by the preservation society.

So incredibly sad that after all these years the final result is that the fabric of EBT is still - and suddenly - being scrapped.

I guess no one of means cares.... Or someone who claims to care, really has ulterior motives. It would seem the purchase of the Mount Union yard brought forward the demise of a sizable portion of the EBT. With "Friends" like that, who needs enemies?

Mount Union yard will simply fade from existence and become a memory like Dick Jensen's steam engines.

From this: EBT's Mount Union Yard
Image

to this.... EBT's Robertsdale Yard
Image

and I suppose eventually into a Walmart.

/Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:47 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1361
When it comes to the attraction of an historical railroad operation, I place a high value on the natural artifacts such as the EBT rolling stock making friends with the trees. Its “patina” is every bit as impressive to me as freshly restored and operating equipment.

I have made only one trip from Minnesota to Pennsylvania expressly for the purpose of seeing the EBT. To maximize the purpose, I also visited the abandoned trackage and tunnels. I overlooked the hoppers, not knowing that they were still extant. Although I had some years earlier obtained price quotes of $1,250 each; and for individual trucks, $125 each.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:03 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
Having been a fan of the East Broad Top my whole life and one of the few who has been fortunate enough to have been a fireman and engineer for the EBT it is very sad to see any part of the EBT disappear. The reality, though, is that there really wasn't much left of the cars in Mount Union. The trucks are probably the only parts of the cars that would be reusable. I was told many years ago that all the brasses had been stolen.

I suppose I can swallow losing the cars, I hope that the scrapping doesn't ever extend to any of the right away. While I am resigned to the fact that we will probably never see the Mikado's leaving Mt. Union and arriving in Robertsdale I still would hate to see any of it torn up. I guess there will always be a part of me that hopes the whole EBT will live again.

It has been and, as long as it remains intact, will always be a virtual time capsule like no where else in the world. My plea to the Kovalchick's is to please continue to insure that this amazing piece of American history doesn't disappear! Whether the Kovalchick's like it or not they are one of the few families in the country that have the means, and as luck would have it they already own it!

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:55 pm
Posts: 15
Here's some clarification...

The EBTPA is not scrapping the cars. Kovalchick Corp. sold them to another scrap operation.

The EBTPA has the mortgage on the LAND ONLY. The sale of the yard did not include buildings, rail, nor rolling stock.

Kovalchick Corp. still retains ownership over the buildings, rail, and rolling stock. They can do whatever they want with it. Well, too late. They already sold them.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2417
Friends,

Might I suggest that what is catching up to the EBT is old fashioned capitalism... that is the enemy that the preservation community has been trying to beat for more than the 46 years I have roamed this earth.

By all rights, the EBT should have been relegated to a rail trail and a Mike at the RR Museum of PA. It is private property and private property that doesn't create income usually gets liquidated.

It is only through the actions of the owners (for reasons I cannot guess) that the EBT was left in suspended animation (save the tourist operation part). It is this anomaly that gave hope.

But capitalism has struck. Maybe the trade-off will be a loss of rolling stock for a long term gain, but who knows?

The state of PA and the federal gov't had a chance to acquire the EBT and they didn't (for reasons that can be debated for eons).

So the rules of private property governed its fate. Until the EBT leaves private ownership, I give 50/50 odds that it ends up a great preservation story or a faceless rail trail.

All those who own equipment or who cover privately owned equipment should think about this.

And maybe JR is right, this could be an unpleasant step towards a brighter future. Who knows where it will and up?

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
robertjohndavis wrote:
The state of PA and the federal gov't had a chance to acquire the EBT and they didn't (for reasons that can be debated for eons).


Actually, as we are to understand it (and I concede I well could be flat-out wrong), offers, or at least proposals for acquisition, were made by the Feds, the state, and possibly some other private party. They were supposedly rejected.

And for reasons discussed ad nauseum in this forum over the years, I'm skeptical that even an unreasonable, lucrative offer from any government entity would have been accepted by the owners. So characterizing this as a "failure" on the part of the governments (which is the impression left by the quote above) seems a bit unfair to me.

This is the fate I saw coming a long time ago. I've mentally "abandoned" the EBT save for showing "newcomers" around. Unless a "white knight" of the owners' approval shows up out of nowhere, it's gone.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:21 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 567
Chris Webster wrote:


The article also included this sentence:
Quote:
Larry Salone, president of the EBT Preservation Association, who could not be reached by Daily News staff, reported in October that he and his crew had begun replacing ties and pieces of track along the first leg of the multimillion dollar refurbishment project.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:28 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1361
I do not know the business details of EBT, but is it a forgone conclusion that under the rules of private property and capitalism, the EBT could not have become a private enterprise that pays its way? And if not, why not?


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2417
Ron Travis wrote:
I do not know the business details of EBT, but is it a forgone conclusion that under the rules of private property and capitalism, the EBT could not have become a private enterprise that pays its way? And if not, why not?


It might have Ron, but apparently the owners did not figure that part out. Maybe another could have, maybe not.

Rob

Edited: I mistakenly wrote "I might have" instead of "It might have."

Big difference! I may be self-confident but there's no way I meant to imply I could have done better! Typos are my way of life.


Last edited by robertjohndavis on Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:59 pm
Posts: 24
crap... did not ever want to see this.. never even got up there to see that part of the line. :/


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 567
Mgoldman wrote:
and I suppose eventually into a Walmart.

Mitch, I don't think there will be a Walmart there because there is already one just down the road in Huntingdon.

Instead, I predict that the Mount Union yard will be redeveloped into a Sheetz gas station/convenience store and some other retail developments. It is difficult to predict how soon that will happen because I don't know how much litigation there will be once Larry/EBTPA gets foreclosed on and/or goes bankrupt... but my guess is that the redevelopment will be finished by 2019 (within 5 years).

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:46 pm
Posts: 257
In my 33 years of being a railfan, the day I first visited the Mt. Union yard is one of my favorite adventures.

It was back in 1995. Before the clearing of the main began.

I loved walking around the abandoned yard. Especially seeing those Army boxcars.

There were a few boxcars/tankcars/flatcars in the yard. I hope they are saved!

Here's a map of the MT. Union yard:

http://www.spikesys.com/Bin/EBT/Maps/mucars.gif

Chris Bigham


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top: 150 Cars Being Scrapped in Mount Union
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8962
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Chris Webster wrote:
Mgoldman wrote:
and I suppose eventually into a Walmart.

Mitch, I don't think there will be a Walmart there because there is already one just down the road in Huntingdon.

Instead, I predict that the Mount Union yard will be redeveloped into a Sheetz gas station/convenience store and some other retail developments. It is difficult to predict how soon that will happen because I don't know how much litigation there will be once Larry/EBTPA gets foreclosed on and/or goes bankrupt... but my guess is that the redevelopment will be finished by 2019 (within 5 years).

From one of the other currently active threads on the subject:

G. W. Laepple wrote:
I have heard second-hand that Mr. Salone plans to open a railcar repair facility in Mount Union.


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