Trolley Museum opens May 27

  • Volunteers at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum replace a section of the track leading to a new car barn at the Trolley Museum, which opens May 27 for its 18th season. Contributed photo/David Goff—

Published: 5/19/2017 10:49:33 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — The restored 1896 Trolley No. 10, operated by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, begins its 2017 season on May 27.

This is the 18th year of operation at the museum, located in the same yard where it originally operated. Visitors may take a 15-minute ride on the restored trolley, receiving a short talk about the trolley’s history along the way.

The Visitors Center offers several displays relating to the history of the original trolley service and the restoration process that brought the trolley back to life.

For younger children, there is a special area with electric and wooden trains. The museum gift shop sells train and trolley related items and books and magazines. A red caboose is open for exploration. Also, an old fashioned pump car is usually available for those who want to get a little exercise.

The volunteer-run museum is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, starting on Memorial Day weekend until the end of October from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. During July and August, the museum also operates from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Mondays. Ticket prices are kept very low at only $4 for adults and $2 for children 6 to 12 and free for those under 6.

The Trolley, built by the Wason Manufacturing Company of Springfield, Ma., was state of the art when it was built. It originally ran between Shelburne Falls and Colrain, carrying passengers beginning on Nov. 1, 1896. For the next 30 years, it carried passengers, freight, schoolchildren and mail between the two towns until trolley service was ended in 1927.

Freight received in Shelburne Falls was hauled by horse and wagon to the Shelburne Falls Terminal which was located at the current home of the museum. After a few years, the company built a bridge for the trolley to cross the Deerfield River. The bridge carrying the trolley across the river is now the “Bridge Of Flowers.” After the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway ended service in 1927, the trolley sat in a farmer’s yard in Colrain until it was donated to the museum in 1992. It was restored to its original condition and returned to service on October 9, 1999.


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