The Shore Line Trolley Museum: Elevating the Collection


WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD! Our project to safely store much of our collection in two new trolley car storage buildings above elevation 13 feet is rapidly coming to fruition.  Though the buildings were completed in January, throughout the winter we have been working diligently to raise the remaining funds to purchase and install the needed track and electric overhead wire.  Meanwhile, our all-volunteer track work parties have now been augmented by our student work teams - the practicum students from Gateway Community College's Railway Technology Program!  As the weather begins to break, our work will again shift to outdoor track construction.  Your support enables us to do this.  Thank you!

Our winter progress has been remarkably rapid.  Follow along with our progress in the Elevating the Collection photo gallery as work continues.  Learn more about Elevating the Collection below.

The Bricks Drive has offically closed.  More information will be forthcoming about where the inscribed bricks will be placed.  If you purchased a brick, Thank You for helping us Elevate the Collection! 

If you are interested in offering continuing support to the Campaign to ensure that we can install the track to carry the trolleys to the safety of their new home please contact Jeff Hakner, Museum President at office[at]shorelinetrolley[dot]org.

Elevating the Collection

Elevating the Collection: The Campaign to preserve and protect the living heritage of the Shore Line Trolley Museum

The Shore Line Trolley Museum has been important to the spirit of historic preservation since 1945, and maintains the original operating trolley line which has connected East Haven and Branford since 1900. As the third largest trolley museum in the United States, it has been a key part of the East Haven and Branford communities for more than 65 years.

The Museum was founded to preserve the unique heritage of an endangered species -- the trolley car -- and interprets this through its collection of nearly 100 vintage vehicles.

The Museum's collection consists of a variety of passenger-carrying, electric streetcars as well as related vehicles such as railway maintenance cars, rapid transit cars, interurban cars, and electric and fossil-fuel buses. Antique vehicles from many parts of the country are represented, including several cars which actually ran on the Museum's historic line during the trolley's golden era.

To prevent catastrophic damage to the invaluable Shore Line Trolley Museum collection, we must immediately advance our plans to construct two buildings above the salt marsh floodplain. Because of the low elevation of most of the Museum property, most of our trolley cars are at risk of severe water damage from the frequent nor’easters and other major storms.

The campaign is named “Elevating the Collection”  because not only will we build two trolley storage buildings at a higher elevation, but also to elevate the living heritage that this ‘Made in the USA’ collection embodies.

Our campaign will raise $2 million.

Latest Campaign News

Installation of the new mainline switch continues.  Thanks to the warming weather,...

With the help of finally melting snow and warmer temperatures, our volunteer work crew...

The weather outside may be frightful, but we've still been busy with Elevating the...

My story is very meaningful to my wife Joan and to me.

My grandfather came to America in 1902 at the age of 12.  He came to join his father, and to learn his father’s trade as brick mason.  My grandfather worked on many big skyscraper projects, most notably the New York Life Building, which has inlaid gold dust pointed in between the bricks on the roof.  In order to...