The Shore Line Trolley Museum maintains several collections which
preserve the history and heritage of the Trolley Era. The Museum
owns nearly 100 vintage transit vehicles, as described in more detail
below. In addition, the museum archives contain nearly 30,000 photographic
images, over 4,000 books and documents, and about 1,000 small artifacts
such as tokens, hat badges and ticket punches. The archives are available
by appointment only to qualified researchers. The museum is happy to
provide copies of photographs for both commercial and non-commercial use.
Please inquire via email or phone.
Trolley Cars You'll Ride
The museum's current operating fleet includes the following trolley cars.
When you visit the museum, several of these cars will be operating on
our trolley line for your enjoyment.
|Brooklyn convertible 4573||
Enjoy 100 year-old air conditioning aboard this breezy convertible car, which
Brooklyn "Trolley Dodgers" also rode during the winter with the open bar grilles
replaced by regular windows.
A survivor of the great flood of 1938, this typical small-town
steel-sided trolley from Johnstown, PA has been immaculately restored
by our shops.
|Car 2001 from Montreal, Canada||
Several Canadian cities had vast trolley networks too. Montreal car 2001
ran into the 1960s, long after most American cities had abandoned their
|Third Avenue Railways 629||
The most modern of our regular fleet, car 629 was home-built by the
Third Avenue Railway from pieces of older cars in 1939. It ran in
Manhattan, the Bronx, and Vienna, Austria, before coming to the museum
in the 1960s.
Trolley Cars in our Shops
The museum has an active program of repairing and refurbishing our
antique equipment. During your visit, you may see one or more of
the following cars undergoing restoration work.
|Brooklyn 1001, the First PCC car||
The PCC (Presidents Conference Committee) car was revolutionary in
many ways. Car 1001, which ran in Brooklyn, NY, was the first production
PCC car and entered service in 1936. Restoration of 1001 to its ca. 1938
appearance was completed in 2006.
|Connecticut Company suburban car 865||
Delivered in 1905, this Connecticut Company car was in service on the
museum's line and other suburban routes. It has been in storage at
the museum since 1947 and is currently undergoing extensive restoration.
|Connecticut Company suburban car 775||
This 1904 car spent many of its years running on the museum's line when
it was still an ordinary passenger carrying route of the Connecticut
Company, and has operated at the museum for many years. It is currently
Rapid Transit Cars
Commuter traffic was so intense that in several US cities, dedicated
rapid transit systems were built. These operated on a separate
right-of-way, such as subway tunnel, elevated structure, in a cut
or on an embankment. Trolley cars, running in the street, served as
feeder routes for the rapid transit lines. The electric rapid transit cars
were larger and heavier than trolley cars, took power from a third rail,
and ran in trains of up to a dozen or so cars.
Of the 4 cities (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago) which had
rapid transit systems during the Trolley Era, all are still in operation
The Museum has a small representative collection of New York rapid
transit cars. Some of these cars are operated in passenger service
during Rapid Transit weekends. See
the current schedule for details.
|Interborough Rapid Transit Lo-V 5466||
The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) company was New York's first
subway line, opening on October 27, 1904. The Lo-V is the second
generation of rolling stock. Car 5466 was part of a New York museum
train and was saved from the scrapper through some clever tricks.
This car is often operated on RT weekends.
|Independent Subway R-9 1689||
The City of New York opened the first municpal subway line in 1932.
Car 1689 was built in 1940 for an expansion of service. It ran until
1977 in New York. At 60 feet and 84,000 pounds, This is the largest
passenger car regularly operated at the museum. It is currently
undergoing motor repairs.
|NYC Transit Authority R-17 6688||
Car 6688 was ordered by the City of New York in 1955
to replace some of the original 1904-1907 vintage IRT cars.
It was one of the first cars to be painted red and silver and
looks similar to the thousands of "redbird" cars that were retired
ca. 2001. It was preserved in 1987 and operates frequently at the museum.
|Brooklyn Elevated 1227||
This 1903 wooden car straddles the line between trolley and rapid transit.
In its early years, it ran both on dedicated right-of-way and down
the street on the lines of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit (later
Brooklyn Manhattan Transit). Currently undergoing restoration.
|Brooklyn Elevated 1349||
Built in 1905 for service to Canarsie, this is a convertible car,
similar to Brooklyn trolley 4573. In the early years, it too could
be seen running on the street. Currently undergoing restoration but
operated for the public on selected dates.
Trolley cars didn't just carry passengers. Each trolley company had
a fleet of work cars to maintain the tracks, poles and overhead
wires. Clearing snow from the streets in which the trolleys ran was
the company's job, and several types of snow-fighting equipment were
commonly seen. The museum's collection includes examples of work cars.
You might see some of these cars on display, or actually working on
the museum's own railway.
|Crane car W-3||
Nothing in the Trolley Era was light! A crane car was indispensible
for moving rails, ties, poles, etc. This crane from Montreal, Canada
is capable of lifting 5 tons.
|Line car 25||
This tower car from Ottawa, Canada, has an extensible and insulated
work platform, to allow servicing the 600 volt DC overhead trolley
This little home-made trolley was used to move other trolleys
undergoing repairs around the shops in Montreal, Canada.
Resembling a modern-day snowplow truck, this plow from Montreal,
uses its 30 tons to push snow off the tracks.
|Snow sweeper S-36||
Snow sweepers were more effective than plows in moderate snow, because
they avoided packing down ice into the track. S-36 passed through
New York and Boston before ending its career in Toronto.
|Rotary Plow 5||
This un-restored car is extremely rare. It is the only surviving
electric rotary plow. Rotaries like this one from Montreal
were used to clear heavy snowdrifts.
When you visit the museum, many trolley cars will be on display.
Just which cars will be featured varies from day to day.
Below are some of the cars often seen on display at the museum.
|34, a 4 wheel open car||
Car 34 was the first car to be owned by the museum way back in 1945.
Originally from Lynchburg, VA, it later ran in Wildwood, NJ.
It is a typical gay nineties open breezer car.
|The Derby: The oldest extant electric locomotive||
This little 4-wheel electric locomotive only ran for two years, but it
had a rich and colorful history. Created by electric railway pioneer
Chas. Vandepoele, it competed for local freight against the mighty
steam locomotive....and won.
The Birney was a no-frills design which was supposed to save trolley
companies money and compete with the automobile. The cars were not
popular with riders. 2350 was built in 1922 but saw only limited service.
|Toronto Horsecar 11||
Before electric traction, horses pulled small rail cars on the streets.
Many horsecars survived into the trolley years as rush-hour trailers.
11 is a replica built in 1932 from parts of an original 1880 horsecar.
|The Trolley Dodger's car||
The famous baseball team got its name from a disparaging remark made
in a Manhattan newspaper that Brooklynites were just a "bunch of
Trolley Dodgers." Cars such as 1792 were working the streets of Brooklyn
at this time. It later was converted to a work car and currently houses
a Lionel toy train layout.
|15 bench open breezer 401||
The Connecticut Company had hundreds of these large, 75-passenger
open breezer cars. Very popular in the summertime, they were retained
until 1947 to handle large crowds at Yale Bowl events.
|The Parlor Car||
The pride of the Connecticut Company fleet, car 500 was built
in 1904 as an open-platform observation car. It was later
lengthened and enclosed. This car toured the entire Connecticut
Company street railway system and was also available for special
events. It has a kitchen, bathroom, dining tables and plush carpet.
|Santa's Car: Toronto 2898||
This spacious car from 1923 was designed to speed loading and unloading.
If you visit during Santa on the Trolley days, you'll find Santa
comfortably seated and waiting to greet you.
There are many other cars in the museum's collection which space does
not permit listing here. To view a complete roster of the museum's
rail car collection, use the form below.
The online roster of our vehicle collection presents a current snapshot
of this information (for rail cars only) and can be viewed in various
formats by making a selection below.
Those who are curious may also wish to read the glossary of terms used
in the roster.
Or, look up data on one particular car (enter the car #):