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Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum 6/27/2015

by Chris Guenzler

After I detrained from the Vermonter, I drove Robin and I back to Interstate 91 then Massachusetts 2 to our very last stop on our trip to New England.

Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is a small railroad museum in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. The museum is dedicated to preserving and operating car number 10 of the former Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway. This is a combination passenger-baggage trolley car built by the Wason Manufacturing Company of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1896 and is the last known trolley car from the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway. In 1992, Marshall Johnson donated car number 10 (which his father had bought and saved when the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway shut down, decades earlier) to a small group of people who restored the car back to working order.

The museum also has a small assortment of equipment that is not related to the Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway, including a former Central Vermont caboose, a Central Vermont hand car and other railroad and trolley equipment. The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is located in the old Buckland freight yard.

Our Visit

We arrived, parked and found the crew were waiting for us.

The Shelburne Falls and Colrain freight house built in 1867.

The beautiful Shelburne Falls & Colrain Street Railway combination passenger-baggage trolley car 10 built by Wason Manufacturing in 1896.

The new trolley barn they are building will also be used for restoration of equipment.

The interior of trolley car 10.

A picture of the car from when it was in a farmer's field. Now we will take a ride on this unique trolley.

The Trip

Sit back, relax and take a ride aboard the Shelburne Falls Trolley Car 10.

You have now travelled with me the whole length of this unique trolley ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. We will now ride back before starting to take the pictures.

Have you ever seen a box car like painted like that? This is Boston and Maine 776 built by Pullman-Standard in 1956 and went through a couple of iterations of murals and polka dots before being restored.

This person is going to have a handcar ride.

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority PCC car 3321 by Pullman-Standard in Worcester in 1951. It, along with 3399, ran in Boston for their entire service life from 1951 to 1985. They served primarily on what is now the Green Line. They were then stored for a number of years before being used in an abortive streetcar project in Brooklyn, which left them stored on an exposed pier. They were flooded by Hurricane Sandy and brought to the Museum in 2015. MBTA 3321 is the last trolley car built in Massachusetts.

A hand car photo runby at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.

Bangor & Aroostook Railroad coach 230 built by Osgood-Bradley in 1934 which was later sold to the Maine Central Railroad, re-numbered 901 and used as a crew car on track maintenance and wreck trains.

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority PCC car 3399 by Pullman-Standard in Worcester in 1951. This one will used as a part source for PCC car 3321.

Putting away the hand car.

Car 10 is now in the Car Barn until next weekend.

Central Vermont wooden caboose 4015 built by the railway in 1910 and worked between St. Albans and New London, Connecticut, passing through western Massachusetts regularly. It was sold to the Green Mountain Railroad before being retired in 1978 to be used as a poolside cabin in Amherst, Massachusetts. It came to the museum in 2000, and is being restored.

Now let us look inside the museum building.

This museum has plenty of attractions for kids of all ages.

I was shown a brass model of their Car 10 then bought a T-shirt before thanking our hosts. A special thank you to the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum for having us here today.

Before we left for Albany, there were two more things to see in Shelburne Falls.

First the Bridge of Flowers which once carried the trolley over the river here in Shelburne Falls.

Our last stop was at Shelburne Falls itself, which is a set of low-angle cascades and slides in a sunny, open area. The main falls, at five feet tall, are actually wider than they are tall. The river dumps into a shallow pool of often murky water. The angle of descent is low enough that whitewater kayakers will occasionally run over the falls.

We continued west on Massachusetts Highway 2 which turned into New York Highway 2, which we took to New York Highway 7, to Interstate 97 south to Albany and the Econo Lodge Center Motel. We put our luggage in the room after checking in, then drove back to the Albany Airport to return our great rental car. It was easier to turn it in than it had been to get it in the first place. We taxied back to the motel for another short night.