A National Historic District – The oldest continuously running suburban trolley line in the USA. Come and enjoy a living, breathing experience riding historic, restored trolleys through scenic surroundings!
Print this page

2017 Operator class started March 4th

March 4, 2017

The 2017 operator class started on March 4th at 10 AM. This year’s class includes 12 students that will learn how to operate a trolley car and about the history of the museum and its cars. The course work includes a lot of handle time, as these students experienced on their first day of class.

Over the next four weeks the students will learn about: brake operation, electric signals, history of the museum, review of rule book, track switches and overhead line, emergency stopping, shop and yard procedures, taking out and putting away cars, giving tours and ending with a final exam. In addition to learning they will be experiencing operations by operating a number of different cars at the museum.

Museum gets a new Executive Director

February 25, 2017

On February 11, 2017, the Board of Trustees promoted John Proto to Executive Director.  John has been our Museum Director for the past six months and replaces Wayne Sandford who served as General Manager for the past 5+ years filling in while mentoring his replacement. Wayne was serving two roles, the second as President which he will maintain.

John brings to the museum a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help the museum to continue to move forward.  John has visited the museum every year from the age of 5 and became a member over 25 years ago.  He’s been an active volunteer for the past 15 years.  Although his volunteer role at the museum was primarily public operations, administrative and technical support, he has a passion for rail transportation as well as electrical and electro-mechanical restoration.  His non-profit background extends over 20 years in the areas of budget and finance, development and fund-raising, volunteer recruitment and retention, and information technology.

John’s hours are normally Mon-Fri but he is often at the museum during ‘non business hours’ especially during the operating season.  John’s office is located at 14 River St.

Railroad Merit badge progress for 2017

February 24, 2017

For the past 5 years the museum has run the Railroading merit badge program for scouts free of charge. Each year we have had to find a scout leader to sign off on the work completed by the scouts. But no more, our Railroad badge Coordinator Howard Williams has secured the necessary training and education to sign the merit badge cards for scouts that attend the program. Over thirty scouts attended the 2016 workshop. The 2017 date is Saturday November 4th.

Seven (including two Eagle) scouts signed-off on the badge by our very own Howard Williams. This is Troop 12, Milford, CT.

Car 500 runs again on own power!

February 15, 2017
Parlor car 500 went back into service in January 2017. It is considered the museum’s most precious possession and almost the last surviving car of the aristocratic breed of trolley. The car was built in 1904 by the J. G. Brill Company No. 500 for the president and other high officials of the Connecticut Company. The car is powered by four GE – 80 motors and uses a CP27 compressor to provide braking power. All four motors where re-built as part of the recovery work from Hurricane Irene. The project was funded 25% by the museum and 75% though our FEMA disaster assistance award.

The car was purchased to meet the requirement of the president riding about the trolley lines in Connecticut. 500 was also the first car to make the trip from New Haven to New York via interconnected trolley lines in 1912. Very few trolley companies could afford such a large and comfortable car for their president. The car contained a sitting parlor, rest room and a small dinette for making light meals and drinks while traveling. Car 500 has wide platforms on each end of the car, they were open when built but closed in about 1914. The motorman has a little (and we mean little) glass-enclosed cab at the right side of end. It has some special features of a voltmeter, ammeter and a speed meter on the dash.

Car 316 recovered from flood damage

December 15, 2016
Car 316 returned to service on December 15 2016 after being flooded in Hurricane Irene and again in Hurricane sandy. The work on 316 included, removing the two Westinghouse 68 traction motors, one of the motors was so far impregnated by the salt water that it had to be re-wound. The project was funded 25% by the museum and 75% though our FEMA disaster assistance award.

Car 316 is the last original Union Railway trolley in existence. The car was built by the American Car Company in 1896 and operated in the Bronx. In 1899 was absorbed into the Third Ave Railway, staying in service until 1909. After that these small cars where replaced by larger capacity cars and sold off. Car 316 became Pay car 1 with seats removed and cashers’ window installed. It traveled all over the system, paying employees. 316 is now fully restored by member R Parente. The body restoration took over ten years and was fully funded by the Parente family.

Car 2350 goes back into service, October 2016

October 1, 2016
This little Birney car was designed in 1915 to help keep trolley lines out of red ink. Designed as a one man operation, it saved salaries, It was a lot lighter cutting track maintenance as well. It had a number of new features such as special motors, controllers and brakes. The car also incorporated interlocking door switches which made it impossible to move the car before the doors were closed. Due to it’s small wheels it could accelerate and slow down quicker but the same features cut down on the top speed of the cars.


Car 2350 was built by the Osgood-Bradley car Company in 1922 and used in Middletown Ct. as part of the Hartford Division of the Connecticut Company, then moved to New Haven where it became a crew car. The car was not a pleasant ride, it had a tendency to “gallop” down the track, and its 16 wooden seats were not that comfortable. It has two Westinghouse 506A traction motors and a DH16 compressor. Both motors and the compressor had to be rebuilt due to Irene and then Sandy flooding. The project was funded 25% by the museum and 75% though our FEMA disaster assistance award.

World Trade Center PATH Car Exhibit Dedication

August 6, 2016
PATH car 745's ceremonial arrival at the Shore Line Trolley Museum

PATH car 745’s ceremonial arrival at the Shore Line Trolley Museum

On Sunday September 11th at 12 noon the Shore Line Trolley Museum will dedicate and open for the first time car 745 to the public.

Car 745 was the lead car (on the north end) of a 7-car train which had left Hoboken at 8:42 AM, arrived on Track 3 at about 8:52, and was due to depart the loop station at 9:00 AM for the return trip to New Jersey. Behind it were cars 143-160-845-750-139-612. When the unthinkable happened, the entire PATH station was ordered evacuated, employees included. As a result, there was no loss of life on the train or in the station. Read more »

The 16th Annual Mass Transit & Trolley Modelers’ Convention

May 17, 2016

Presented by The New York City Model Transit Association & The Shore Line Trolley Museum

Join us on Saturday, June 4, 2016 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
At The Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Highlights include:model-layout

Admission: $20
Spouse & Children – Free
All proceeds, after expenses, benefit The Shore Line Trolley Museum.

Easy transportation via NJ Transit, Amtrak, & buses from NYC. Rutgers Campus buses to the door. Free parking available.

View the flyer (PDF) for more information and a registration form.

Questions? Contact the NYC Model Transit Association:

Car 1792 running under its own power again, April 2016

April 16, 2016

This car was one of sixty cars built by the Laclede Car Company in 1899 for the Nassau Electric railroad, a BRT subsidiary. Car 1792 represents 517 cars built for Brooklyn from 1896 to 1899. The car has longitudinal seats. The bay widow over the dash was added in 1907. In 1915 the car was refurbished again, this time with air brakes. Prior to 1915 the trucks of 1792 would have been removed in summer months (the body stored for the summer) and the trucks placed under an open car.

In 1925 1792 was converted to a sand car and transferred to the Canarsie Depot, here it remained until 1949 being purchased by the museum. Both Westinghouse 68 motors have been rebuilt along with the compressor. While this work was performed the interior of 1792 was re-installed with longitudinal seating. Today the car looks much as it did in 1925 prior to becoming a sand car.

Car 865 returned to service after many years of storage, November 2015

November 16, 2015
This Wason built, 1906 car has four Westinghouse 101B motors, one of which had to be rewound after being flooded in both hurricanes. The water mark on the trucks was to the top of the motors. This required the DH 16 compressor to be rebuilt as well. This wood city car was the work house for the Connecticut Company from 1906 to 1948.


This series of cars was designed for suburban service to Wallingford and Branford. This car operated on the Shore Lines tracks when in service. The car spent its entire life in the New Haven division. In later years it was used for tripper service on State Street, and was often chosen for fan trips. Just prior to being flooded, the car had been undergoing a complete restoration of its body and interior. Today it operates on our lines in a condition that it most likely had in the 1920’s.