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East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piece
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Author:  thebigham [ Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piece

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... Jo.twitter

East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piece

Owner Joe Kovalchick says he declined to sell individual narrow gauge locomotives
By Wayne Laepple | September 29, 2017

INDIANA, Pa. — "The East Broad Top is sleeping," Joe Kovalchick says.

Indeed, it's been five years since the legendary narrow gauge railroad has operated for the public. The famed narrow-gauge coal hauler’s modern-day owner, Kovalchick, says he's trying to find someone, some group or agency to buy the 33-mile railroad.

"I want to keep it together," he says. "It's important to maintain that."

He says he's had offers to buy the locomotives, but he doesn't want to sell them piecemeal. He said he had feelers out but so far, no offers.

There have been a handful of private runs since the railroad's popular 9-mile round-trips behind steam ended in 2011. Gas-electric car M-1 and one of the road's center-cab diesels have made runs for the annual Friends of the East Broad Top October gathering, and more recently, several EBT motor cars have made shorter trips.

However, during the EBT's hibernation, the Friends’ organizations has kept up its work. Lee Rainey, the organization’s president, says volunteers continue to preserve and stabilize buildings with monthly work weekends year-round and a full week of work in May. Kovalchick has partnered the Friends for this work...

Author:  cjvrr [ Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Wonder what is the asking price?

Author:  co614 [ Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

As was the case with the George Hart collection of equipment which he could have sold numerous times before his passing but was sold at auction by his estate for a fraction of offers he turned down, the odds are that the EBT will probably go the same way.

It has been reliably reported numerous times that the owner has turned down reasonable offers and countered with fantasy numbers representing his opinion of its worth.

It's value is obviously as an historic relic of a bygone era and thus it has no traditional " commercial' value but rather value to those who view its role as an historic icon worth preserving.

In the interest of preservation let's hope it changes hands before too many years do their job of further deteriorating its main assets.

IMHO-Ross Rowland

Author:  WVNorthern [ Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

The Louisiana Eastern is another example of what happens to a railroad collection when the benefactor dies without having a plan in place to preserve that collection. Of the 30 or so steam locomotives collected by Paulsen Spence, only 4 managed to survive the scrapper's torch.

Author:  JimBoylan [ Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Thetre was a plan for Louisiana EAstern. Unfortunately, the benefactor forgot to sign every page of his will, and his relatives got it declared void.

Author:  PaulWWoodring [ Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

The understated part of that story is what the FEBT members have done with rescuing the rotting shop buildings in Rockhill Furnace. This effort has been done on the thinnest of shoestring budgets over the past 10 years, mostly by the Boilerhouse Rats ("Anything less than a 4"X4" is just trim"), led by Jim Bacon, who is someone you would want with you on your desert island. He would have fixed the Minnow, not just made a radio out of coconuts.

Author:  kevin kohls [ Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

The best thing Kovalchick could do is donate the EBT to those that care about it most; that being the FEBT. The more years that pass the less likely a buyer/operator is going to be found. At least with the FEBT they have already demonstrated the love and ability to care for the EBT RR.
I am in NO WAY connected to the FEBT, just my observations.

Kevin K.

Author:  Christian S. [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Without trying to come across as another know-it-all foamer who is all-too-eager to tell someone else how to run their railroad, I'm genuinely curious to know if Mr. Kovalchick has ever seriously considered selling off the unused segments of the railroad (Colgate Grove-Mt. Union, Rockhill Furnace-Robertsdale) and reinvesting that money into the tourist-era part of the line? From my outsider's perspective, the chances of restoring all 33 miles to operation seem pretty slim. Wouldn't it make more financial sense to cut off some dead weight now, and increase the railroad's odds of survival in the long run?

Author:  mspetersen [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

I'd suggest any attempt to purchase and return the EBT to operation start with the National Park Service study released in 1990. it can be found here: https://archive.org/details/studyofalternati00btop which you can download for free.

In 1990 it was estimated that it would take $17M to rehabilitate the EBT, which adjusted for inflation would be about (approximately 188%) or a current cost close to $32M. Add a purchase price of say $8M yields a necessary investment of $40M in capital.

Average EBT ridership was around 20k a year and with a lengthened ride hopefully you could get around $80-$100 a person, would yield $2M/year. Not sure what the potential for increasing that would be, even with a savvy marketing person involved.

Costs in 1990 were $525k or adjusted for 2017 would run about s $1M a year. (mind you nothing has been adjusted for any other increased or additional costs that might be incurred in a 2017 environment.)

There may be the possibility of public/private grants although they rarely come without strings attached.

What I'd concluded is while not impossible, it would take a dedicated person with deep pockets and a long outlook to take on a task like this.

Author:  WVNorthern [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Christian S. - actually, a portion of the line in the Mt. Union area was sold off. Here's a paste from a recent TRAINS newswire article.

The East Broad Top Preservation Association, formed in 2010, operated the railroad for two years and was trying to raise about $8 million to buy it. But, as of late 2017, it has succeeded only in purchasing the standard gauge former Conrail connection in Mount Union, Pa., and about four miles of the East Broad Top south to Aughwick, Pa. At present the standard gauge trackage is used for railcar storage. The association was able to secure a state grant to re-purpose part of the Mount Union interchange yard into a linear park and install new ties into a portion of the EBT yard. Attempts to reach the association were unsuccessful.

Author:  R.L.Kennedy [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Years ago (following the death of Mr. Kovalchick Senior) when it was put up for sale it involved ALL property which included thousands of acres of land with massive coal rights.

Remember, East Broad Top Railroad AND COAL Company. That was an enormous holding worth untold millions. It never sold. Perhaps now that coal has gone down the drain (mine shaft?) it may be reassessed by dividing off the coal property from the railroad property.

Mr. Kovalchick junior is following his father's deathbed admonition to never let the government get their hands on it and could not be trusted. They would screw things up big time. Maybe now is the time to reassess things. Perhaps a non-profit organization should be setup so tax receipts can be issued to big philanthropic donors.

One thing for sure, EBT is a priceless time warp like nothing anywhere else in America. Its loss would be a historical disaster.

Author:  thebigham [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

WVNorthern wrote:
Christian S. - actually, a portion of the line in the Mt. Union area was sold off. Here's a paste from a recent TRAINS newswire article.

The East Broad Top Preservation Association, formed in 2010, operated the railroad for two years and was trying to raise about $8 million to buy it. But, as of late 2017, it has succeeded only in purchasing the standard gauge former Conrail connection in Mount Union, Pa., and about four miles of the East Broad Top south to Aughwick, Pa. At present the standard gauge trackage is used for railcar storage. The association was able to secure a state grant to re-purpose part of the Mount Union interchange yard into a linear park and install new ties into a portion of the EBT yard. Attempts to reach the association were unsuccessful.


Thanks. I thought it was $8 million.

The Mt. Union yard is operated as the Easy Broad Top Connecting RR:

http://www.ebtconnectingrr.com/

My pics from April 2016 are here:

http://photos.greatrails.net/show/?orde ... =1&key=925

Author:  meixel [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

I believe the first step for a new operator would be to have diesel trains and perhaps the M1 as an extra fare ride. Most of the public does not care or know what is pulling the train. The current run to the wye is a good start. A steam locomotive could be added later as funds became available.

Tours of the round house and shops should be added next with at least one overhead belt-driven tool demonstrated.

Heaven forbid but maybe Thomas weekends could also be added if that would help.

I would love to see it all restored but it needs to start small and definitely have something to attract the kids.

Author:  Ken [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

Thomas was at East Broad Top in July, 2011.

Author:  PaulWWoodring [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: East Broad Top owner trying to sell railroad in one piec

The M-1 is far to fragile to run for anything but the most special occasions, for the most knowledgeable and die-hard fans of the EBT. They have to rebuild the spark plugs to keep it running, that's how scarce parts are for it. I had thought that if the operation ever became more viable, a replica of it might be built for the general public to use on lighter ridership days, and save the real one for the reunion weekend.

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