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!
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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.

 

PATH Car 745 arrives at SLTM, now on exhibit

August 10, 2015

PATH subway car 745 received a ceremonial welcome on Thursday, August 6th at the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, where it has joined one of the most diverse collections of historic transit vehicles in North America.

Shortly after 11:00AM, the procession began from the East Haven Green down River Street, which was lined with emergency service vehicles and several hundred onlookers.  An honor guard and bagpipe ensemble from FDNY were joined by men and women from local emergency services departments, elected officials, and museum representatives in the march.  The beginning of the route was marked by passing beneath an American flag waving in the breeze between the extended ladders of of an East Haven and Branford tower aerial truck.  The end of the route was the trolley museum’s Sprague Station, where a small podium had been constructed for several short speeches.

745 arrives at Sprague Station.

745 arrives at Sprague Station.

Presentations were given by East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo, Branford Selectmen James Cosgrove and Joseph Higgins Jr., State Representative Sean Scanlon, CT U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and museum representatives president Jeff Hakner, trustee Alan Zelazo and general manager Wayne Sandford.

Later in the day, the Silk Road trailer upon which car 745 rode was carefully placed into position so the car could join the museum’s collection.  With a few onlookers still watching, another New York subway car, NYCTA “Redbird” 6688, was coupled into position to bring 745 onto museum rails.  The grit and grime of 14 years of stationary confinement was shook loose and 745’s wheels turned for the first time since as it touched down around 2:25PM.

Car 745 with 6688 at Sprague Station before moving into position for exhibit in the yard.

Car 745 with 6688 at Sprague Station before moving into position for exhibit in the yard.

In the late afternoon, the car was switched through the back end of the museum’s trolley yard and into position where it can now be seen by the public as part of the museum’s main guided tour route.  In 2016, 745 will be joined by WTC station signage, tunnel pieces, and other artifacts in a more permanent exhibit.  We welcome this opportunity to interpret another important and society-shaping component of American history.

The Shore Line Trolley Museum wishes to thank everyone who helped to make the day a success, especially those first responders who came to participate and remember a day of terrible self sacrifice.  Additional photos of car 745’s arrival are found below.  Car 745 is expected to be on exhibit for the public to see for remainder of the museum’s 2015 season of regular trolley operations & tours.

THE SHORE LINE TROLLEY MUSEUM, operated by the Branford Electric Railway Association, Inc., strives to educate the public about the story of the trolley and related forms of mass transit in their historic context. The Museum operates the Branford Electric Railway, opened in 1900, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the oldest continuously-operated suburban trolley line in the United States.  The Museum’s extensive collection includes nearly 100 trolleys and similar vehicles, an extensive archive, and artifacts of the trolley era.

FDNY Honor Guard at attention.

FDNY Honor Guard at attention.

 

The crowd assembled.

The crowd assembled.

Preparing to bring 745 down the ramp and onto its new home rails at the Shore Line Trolley Museum.

Preparing to bring 745 down the ramp and onto its new home rails at the Shore Line Trolley Museum.

 

9/11 surviving PATH Subway Car will arrive at SLTM – Thursday, August 6th 11:15 AM

July 16, 2015

The Shore Line Trolley Museum is pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to receive Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) Car 745, which was parked in the PATH station under the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, and survived the tragedy intact. The museum and East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. will be receiving the car on Thursday August 6th at 11:15 a.m., as it arrives at its location on River Street in East Haven. The vehicle will be given traditional bagpipe parade with a Police and Fire escort from the corner of River and Hemingway Avenue down to the location of the Trolley Museum at 17 River Street. The short route is expected to be lined with emergency service personnel from East Haven and Branford along with other area departments. Following the procession, a brief speaking program will be held at the entrance of the museum, which in addition to Mayor Maturo and the officials of the Trolley Museum is expected to be attended by Branford First Selectman James Cosgrove, local State Legislators, and representatives of PATH.  Other first responders and the public are also invited to attend.

PATH cars 745 and 143 are carefully extracted from the sub-basements beneath the WTC site.

PATH cars 745 and 143 are carefully extracted from the sub-basements beneath the World Trade Center site.

The car which is being donated is one of two that were found in a cast iron tunnel, the strength of which protected the cars intact from the pressures from the collapsing buildings above. On the morning of 9/11 they were sent to the World Trade Center to pick up passengers, but with evacuation underway, the cars were simply left standing in the tunnel.  No passengers were found inside when the car was discovered during excavation. Car 745, which since that time has been housed in an airplane hangar at JFK Airport, is still in the same condition as when it was excavated from the tunnel in the World Trade Center clean up. The car was to be included in the 9/11 Memorial Museum but was determined to be too big for their site.

PATH1

9/11 PATH cars in storage at JFK airport.

The public will have an opportunity to view car 745 at the Shore Line Trolley Museum this fall once it has been inspected by museum maintenance staff.  In 2016, a permanent display will be created and dedicated, which will include car 745, original World Trade Center PATH station signage, and pieces of the cast iron tunnel itself for all to see as a remembrance of the day that changed the nation like no other.

For further information contact Event Coordinator: Wayne Sandford:     Info@shorelinetrolley.org

PATH2

PATH car 745 will soon join the diverse collection of cars at the Shore Line Trolley Museum.

THE SHORE LINE TROLLEY MUSEUM, operated by the Branford Electric Railway Association, Inc., strives to educate the public about the story of the trolley and related forms of mass transit in their historic context. The Museum operates the Branford Electric Railway, opened in 1900, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the oldest continuously-operated suburban trolley line in the United States.  The Museum’s extensive collection includes nearly 100 trolleys and similar vehicles, an extensive archive, and artifacts of the trolley era.

 

May is National Preservation Month

May 4, 2015

THIS PLACE MATTERS!

May is National Historic Preservation Month.  The Shore Line Trolley Museum, along with the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, celebrates National Preservation Month in May, 2015, and all season long.

Preservation is the backbone of sustainable communities. It enhances the sense of community, energizes local economies, and renews existing resources.

We invite you to come for a trolley tour this month. When you do, consider the hard work of our maintenance staff and volunteers who carefully research and restore our antique trolley equipment. Inspect and be inspired by the first-class workmanship and materials which go into each one of our authentic trolley restoration projects.

Union Street Railway 302 is just one such example. Built in 1907, the car trundled for years on a mail and express run between Providence, RI and New Bedford, Mass., and it is now one of just a small handful of preserved trolley Railway Post Office mail cars in existence. The car was added to our collection in the early years of the museum, but has never received a comprehensive restoration. The first photo shows a rare run of 302 in the 1984, looking worse for wear but overall still intact.

302 @ sprague 1984

In 2007, an organized restoration effort got underway to restore the car to help interpret this largely-unknown story of the trolley era. The second photo shows 302 in late April 2015, with the restoration essentially complete. Thanks go to the generous donors and volunteers, and to the Mass Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, as the car was the recipient of their 2014 H. Albert Webb railroad preservation award which overhauled the traction motors after hurricane flood damage!

P1160454

Learn more about National Preservation Month.

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays in May from 10:00am-4:30pm, and daily beginning Memorial Day. Preservation matters! Learn more about our trolley tours.