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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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:

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

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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!

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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.

 

 

 

SLTM receives grant awards

January 30, 2015

At the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show (West Springfield, Mass., January 24-25, 2015), the Shore Line Trolley Museum was the proud recipient of two different grant awards with the same general end purpose: to restore Connecticut Co. suburban car 865 to trolley operation – this year!  This 1905-vintage car was built by the Wason Car Co. (right there in Springfield) specifically for operation on the suburban lines of the New Haven Division, including the museum’s own F Line to Branford.  We are pleased to be nearly finished with the restoration of this beautiful car with much local significance.

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ConnCo 865 almost ready to roll in 2013.

The Museum received the inaugural W. Russell Rylko Memorial Award from the Mystic Valley Railway Society.  This $10,000 grant is named in honor of that organization’s founding and only president, who served for 43 years leading MVRS before his passing in 2013.  SLTM is proud to accept this award and hopes it will help to honor Russell’s enthusiasm and life-long support for historic railway preservation.  The funds will help fabricate and install new suspension bearings on the trucks of this car, which is the last major piece needed to return it to passenger carrying operation down the Branford Electric Railway.  Accepting the award on Saturday afternoon was SLTM Director Nathan Nietering.  Thank you MVRS!

The Museum also received grant funding from the Amherst Railway Society, as part of their annual railway heritage preservation awards program.  Amherst has generously awarded grant funds to the Museum for the past several years to support several individual smaller projects to complete 865’s restoration.  The funds which Amherst grants to organizations such as ours come primarily from the success of the annual Railroad Hobby Show, and other donations.  This funding will be used to complete several small details which will enable the car to return to service this year.  Accepting the award on Sunday afternoon was SLTM President Emeritus Bill Wall.  Thank you Amherst Railway Society!

The overhaul of the car’s four Westinghouse traction motors and the new suspension bearings are the final “big-picture” items to make the car operational.  The traction motors were all overhauled in 2014 as part of our FEMA motor restoration program, and are pending reinstallation under the car.  We look forward to welcoming members of both organizations aboard car 865 later this year at the Shore Line Trolley Museum.

 

 

Rare Horsecar arrives at SLTM

December 5, 2014

On December 5th, the Shore Line Trolley Museum took delivery of the one of the most significant street railway vehicles in existence, Eight Avenue Railway horsecar #76, an 1850’s John Stephenson product used in New York City.   This car is complete in every way, including the unique fare collection apparatus, beautifully detailed interior flower details, and maintains a remarkable degree of historic integrity, and has been in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York since 1932.  It is an omnibus style car, operated by one man, with a reversible body.  With the assistance of the good folks at the New York Transit Museum, MCNY has transferred title to SLTM.  Our thanks go to both of these fine organizations for allowing us to have what is believed to be the oldest remaining horsecar in the world.  It joins a collection that contains the world’s oldest rapid transit car (1878), first commercially successful electric locomotive (1888), only private subway car, first production PCC car (1936), only surviving trolley rotary snow plow, and dozens of other unique street railway vehicles.

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Upon arrival, horsecar #76 was brought to the museum’s restoration and repair shop where it will be thoroughly inspected and documented before being moved to a flood-proof portion of the museum property.  We welcome this addition to the collection and look forward to interpreting the story of the early horsecar days to our visitors in the future!

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And we’re in!

November 13, 2014

On November 8, 2014, the Shore Line Trolley Museum held its annual membership meeting which included a morning ceremony to mark the first trolley car run into one of the new Elevating the Collection buildings.  After much track work stretching from March through October this year, the first track was completed only days before the ceremony date.

Connecticut Company 775, built in 1904 specifically for service on the New Haven suburban lines such as the F Line to Branford, was chosen to be the first car.  With around 100 museum members and friends gathered, the car was carefully piloted through the trackway door of new 82 track and into the building.  A few minutes later, the car was operated back out of the building into the morning sunlight.  Guests in attendance were invited to ride the car or take photographs from the ground.

With trolley wire not yet strung overhead, how did the car operate into the building?  This is accomplished using a device called a “stinger,” essentially a long extension cord which hooks on to live trolley wire on one end, and the trolley pole of the car on the other end.  The stinger was handled by several trained museum volunteers for safety.

This is a symbolic milestone for the project, but marks a very real turning point – we can now begin to store trolley equipment in the new building, and as more tracks are connected and finished, a larger share of the museum collection will be stored out of the flood plain.  Within 48 hours of the ceremony, the first “storage” car, Connecticut Company 500, was pushed up the hill and to the back of the building.  Other cars should make the journey to their winter home in the next few weeks.

But we’re not done!  While this milestone has now been reached, we still have much track construction and all overhead wire to acquire and install.  Consider a donation to help us out.  You can do it quickly and securely online at http://www.bera.org/donate.html.  Be sure to check the box for Elevating the Collection!

 

 

Challenge Match an unqualified success!

October 24, 2014

October 2, 2014

The Elevating the Collection Challenge Match, prompted by an anonymous donor’s dollar-for-dollar match for all new contributions up to $30,000, has been an unqualified success.  Our members, visitors and interested members of the community went above and beyond, donating over $47,577 to this match opportunity.  Combined with the $30,000 and previous giving toward the Campaign, we have now surpassed 95% of the total $2.0 million needed to fully fund this critical project. 100% of this challenge match funding is going to support hard project costs – needed items such as rail, ties and spikes, trolley wire, line poles, and other tools and equipment.

octetc1We couldn’t have done it without you!  A special thank you to those 40+ new donors who made their first contribution to Elevating the Collection, who see the value in this long-term solution to preserving the museum’s unique collection at a flood-free elevation.  Our track crew has been working hard to properly install several switches on the incline up to the site, and we are now mere feet away from the doors of Building 8, where interior track laying is nearly complete.  We look forward to storing the first trolley cars inside the building in time for Winter 2015.

Although the challenge match is now complete, we still have more fundraising to do.  We will gladly accept and acknowledge your gift at any time.

Check out the latest round of progress photos in the Elevating the Collection Photo Gallery.

 

 

IRT Lo-V Commemoration October 12

September 9, 2014

Commemoration of the last run of the IRT Lo-V

PRESS RELEASE

4617 Lo-V

Photo by J. Pirmann, nycsubways.com collection. Source: http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?45861

East Haven, CT: The Shore Line Trolley Museum (SLTM) is pleased to commemorate two important events this October in the history of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company: the 110th anniversary of the opening of the IRT (October 27, 1904), and the 50th anniversary of the last run of Lo-V train equipment (October 24, 1964).  On that 1964 date, the Electric Railroaders’ Association chartered a final run of recently-retired Lo-V equipment.  These five cars later were preserved as a “museum” train, making special appearances from time to time on the New York City Subway system.  One of the Lo-V cars of this train, #5466, was later acquired by SLTM in 1988.

Freshly repainted and accurately restored inside and out to its late 1930’s era appearance, Lo-V car 5466 will commemorate this 50th anniversary at the Shore Line Trolley Museum on October 12, 2014.  The car will be operated by SLTM crews for the public to ride with trips down the line planned for 11AM, 1PM and 3PM, with scheduled photo run-bys in between.  The famously misspelled “Good-by! Parting is such sweet sorrow!” sign hung on the front of the final run in 1964 has been carefully replicated and will grace the front of 5466 throughout the day.

Restoration underway this summer.

Restoration underway this summer.

Relive a moment in history!  All museum visitors are welcome to take part in the Lo-V excursions on October 12.  Regular museum admission rates will be charged.  Other street railway equipment will also be operating for the public as part of SLTM’s seasonal Pumpkin Patch program.

Additional Photos:

Last Run of the Lo-V’s in October 1964.  Source: Photobucket

Lo-V 5466 in service at SLTM in 2013, before its most recent restoration.

5466 in September 2014 following restoration.

Event Details:

Commemoration of the last run of the IRT Lo-V
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Shore Line Trolley Museum
17 River Street, East Haven, CT 06512
www.shorelinetrolley.org
October 12 hours: 10:30am-4:30pm

NOTE: SLTM reserves the right to substitute equipment without notice. The Lo-V is not wheelchair accessible.

 

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, recognized by the 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.