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Armchair Brakeman
Shore Line Trolley Museum
New Haven, Connecticut

If you find yourself in New Haven, Connecticut and want to see a trolley museum, here is the place to do it. It is as close as the bus outside of Union Station in downtown New Haven. Metro North and Amtrak both stop in New Haven and you can get to the museum from there very easily.

You can take a taxicab outside the station directly to the museum for about $10.00. On the other hand, you can take a bus just outside the station for much less. Ask the bus driver for instructions on how to get there. You will need a transfer and the fare is $1.25.  I had to walk about 4 blocks to the museum after I got off the bus.

The museum operates the Branford Electric Railway, a national historic site and the oldest continuously operating suburban trolley line in the United States. A three mile ride aboard various antique trolleys is featured. The car I rode on was number 4573. It was owned by Brooklyn Rapid Transit N.Y.C. and was built in 1906 by the Laconia Car Company. It is 43 feet long and weighs 48,500 pounds and seats 44. This particular trolley is a double ended car and can be operated from either end.

The streetcars of my youth on the East Side of Detroit were single end cars and had a definite front and back. They needed a loop or wye track to turn around. At 8 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue there was a loop for the trolleys to turn around in. The loop must have been small because they always went very slow through it. Being young and foolish my friends and I would run behind the trolley and pull the connecting wire to the electrical line and stop the streetcar. The angry motorman then had to get out of the car and put the line back on the wire. This seemed to be fun back then.

Another of the cars on display was car number 1689. The owner was the City of New York, and was built in 1940 by American Car and Foundry. It is 60 feet long and weighs 84,396 pounds. It seats 56 and was a subway car.

Ticket prices for museum and streetcars are as follows:

Infant             Child           Adults         Seniors
(under 2)       (2-15)

Free               $4.00            $8.00               $6.00

Family Package (up to 2 adults + children): $24.00

The 2008 Schedule is as follows:

The museum is open Sundays in April
Saturday and Sundays in May  
Daily Memorial Day through Labor Day
Saturday and Sundays in September and October plus Columbus Day
The first and last weekends in November,
Saturdays and Sundays in December through December 21



Car at the Shore Line trolley Museum

Trolley at the Shore Line