East Broad Top Memories

It is May 1, 1982. Robert Farkas, Paul Woodring and Jim Bacon are chasing and photographing East Broad Top No. 12, which is en route to Orbisonia, Pennsylvania.

The three were in Pennsylvania to attend the EBT Railfan Weekend.

Paul remembers that they may have been there only on Saturday. He went on to describe that day:

“It would have been only the second time I was ever at the EBT when it was operating.

“Jim may still have been a member of the Akron Railroad Club at the time, part of the Warren area contingent who rode to the meetings together that dropped out when we went to meeting on Friday nights because Howard Murphy kept his TV repair shop open on Friday evenings.

“There were at least three of the EBT Mikes running, and maybe four, plus the M-1 gas-electric doodlebug back then. I believe back then it was capable of pulling a trailer, [which was] a caboose at that point.

“I don’t believe we rode any trains, just photographed them. It was a very quick round-trip, starting and ending at night.

“I remember having a terrible sinus headache for several hours late Saturday afternoon.

“Jim was into trying to do O. Winston Link-style syncroflash action night photography in medium format and Bob helped him set up for a shot of the last train of the evening crossing the bridge just out of Orbisonia station.

“I no longer remember if the attempt succeeded or not. Doing it with a bunch of small flashes linked together in series either all works or all fails.

“So, we went home well after dark.

“Jim has stayed involved with the Friends of the EBT, leading the ‘Boiler House Rats’ restoration crew that has done yeoman work in restoring many of the shop buildings around the yard in Orbisonia in the past 10 years.”

Photograph by Robert Farkas

This posting has been edited to correct an error in the original version. See the comment below for further information.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Response to “East Broad Top Memories”

  1. pwwoodring Says:

    What I meant about gas-electric M-1, is that as built it was capable of towing ONE trailer, never more than that, originally a coach, but by the early 1980’s, the railroad was only towing a caboose with it, and eventually quit towing a trailer altogether, until by the time they quit operating about eight years ago, it was fragile enough that it ran by itself, and only for one or two trips during the railfan weekend at a premium price as a fundraiser for maintenance expenses. For instance, by the end of operations they were selling seating space on folding chairs in the baggage compartment next to the engine to increase capacity. The M-1 is nearly totally original, parts are no longer available, and to keep it running they have to rebuild things like the spark plugs, so it was used sparingly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: