Get Involved and Discover the History of Railroads

Volunteers Keep 111 year old Trolley on Track
New Member Orientation Day April 19th

Based in the old Boston & Maine freight yard, the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, in  Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, is a non-profit educational organization that has restored one of the original trolley’s, Trolley No. 10, originally used to transport passengers, apples, mail, milk and other freight. (Photo (c) SFTM)

With a “ding-ding” of the bell, Sam Bartlett ratchets up the electric power on car Number Ten. The hundred and eleven year old wooden trolley responds and pulls away from the station at Salmon Falls. Sam is a motorman and wears several other hats at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, a stone’s throw from the glacial potholes and Historic Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge that connected Shelburne Falls with Colrain.

After it’s heyday of carting back and forth, the trolley was retired and spent sixty-five years as a chicken coop. That’s until a team of volunteers and train enthusiasts step in and transformed both train and station into a viable museum that explores both the mechanics of trains and history of the railroad.

Today, volunteers at the museum provide rides on the trolley and other historic railroad equipment, guide interpretive tours, repair the railroad tracks and are in the process of restoring many of the historic buildings in the former Boston and Main railroad yard. If your family has an interest in discovering more about both our local history and locomotive workings, parents and age appropriate children might like to discover volunteer opportunities at the museum. As the museum gears up for the spring operating season and opening day in May, they are on the lookout for fresh recruits interested in restoring and carrying on the traditions of the trolley car era.

On Saturday, April 19th, starting at 10:30 AM, the Museum will host an orientation and training day for members. New members and those interested in volunteering are welcome to attend and learn more about the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.

“There are opportunities for almost every interest in railroads and history here at the museum”, says Bartlett. There are also volunteers working in restoration programs of various railroad equipment and structures, including a Saddle Tank Steam locomotive and caboose. “We have had a number of volunteers who just wanted to learn about the railroad tracks and repairing them” adds Bartlett. Most of the museum’s rail infrastructure dates back to the twenties and thirties, and the museum has an extensive collection of historic rail road equipment which is still used to repair the track. This includes a hundred year old “pump car” which also rolls out on the weekends for visitor rides.

Last year, the Shelburne Falls Trolley museum was one of the few area attractions to report increased attendance, with visitors from around the United States. It is ideally positioned adjacent to the scenic town of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. In fact, the museum and town have important historical ties, since Trolley Number 10 is the original Trolley which ran across the Bridge of Flowers. The Bridge became a flower bridge after the trolley closed in the late twenties.

For more information about joining this exciting museum as a volunteer, log onto www.sftm.org or call the museum at 413-625-9443.

LINKS RECOMMENDED BY THE Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum:

RAIL-RELATED

MUSEUM LINKS

1 Comment

  1. Gail said,

    February 20, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I am trying to purchase an electric trolly type locamotive like the type used in the Hoosac Tunnel and have had no success. His trains are HO scale. Can anyone help me? I would love to surprise him. Thanks for any help.


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