The Shore Line Trolley Museum, located in East Haven
, is the oldest operating trolley museum in the United States
. It was founded to preserve the heritage of the trolley car. The museum includes exhibits on trolley history in the visitors' center and offers rides on restored trolleys along its 1.5 miles (2.4 km) track. The ride includes a tour of the museum's historic trolley collection.
The museum encompasses the Branford
Electric Railway Historic District, which was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1983.The Shore Line Trolley Museum is a non-profit organization.
The Museum operates seasonally, performing the majority of its programming during the warmer months. A standard public program includes a ride on the Museum's historical railway on a trolley car, and a tour of some of the Museum's collection stored in the car barns. For groups or individuals wishing to visit the museum separate from the general public, charters are available on a year round basis.
Visitors, who enter at the Museum's visitor center at Sprague station, can also explore an exhibit area that discusses some of the history and technology of the trolley. Visitors often frequently hike parts of the historic line for exercise, to explore, or for photograph opportunities.
The Museum allows guests to take the controls and operate some of the vehicles in the collection on specified "Guest Operator" weekends, after receiving instruction from a qualified instructor. Rapid transit (subway and elevated) equipment is run in conjunction with the trolleys on designated "Rapid Transit" weekends.
Highlights of the collection