The Shore Line Trolley Museum: Elevating the Collection

$30,000 Challenge Match an Outstanding Success,
Track 82 Completed, Trolleys are in the Building!


On Saturday, November 8, the first trolley car was operated into new Building 8 in a ceremony to mark another milestone in the Elevating the Collection project - completion of track 82, the first track into the new building.  In the coming weeks, one or two additional tracks will be linked to the railway, allowing us to store a greater share of our collection above the floodplain!

Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, the Elevating the Collection Challenge Match has been an outstanding success!  The $30,000 matching opporunity spurred over $47,577 in new contributions to the project, for a total of over $77,577 for track materials, overhead wire, line poles, and other hard-cost purchases to advance the project forward.  And advance the project we are....the track is quickly approaching the front doors of new Building 8! Learn more about what the Challenge Match funded.

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 quickly coming to fruition.  With the two buildings now complete, since the winter we have been working diligently to raise the remaining funds to purchase and install the needed track and electric overhead wire.  Trackwork from the existing railway to the new building site continues to make headway as we move up the hill with our volunteer crew and the assistance of the Gateway Community College Railroad Engineering Technology practicum students.  Your support enables us to continue this essential work.  Thank you!

Our track construction progress has been remarkably rapid for an all-volunteer crew.  Follow along with our progress in the Elevating the Collection photo gallery as work continues.  You can 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.

By winter 2015, trolleys will be stored on the new site!

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

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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...