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Elevating the Collection Construction Photo Gallery

Latest Update: January 20, 2018

The Shore Line Trolley Museum's priceless and irreplaceable collection of antique trolley cars will soon be safe from future coastal floods such as Irene (pictured above) and Sandy.

Thanks to nearly $2.0 million funding raised in the Elevating the Collection campaign plus hundreds of thousands more worth of in-kind donations, this project is now protecting dozens of cars, and the finish line is in sight!

Your continued support will make completion of this project possible. Donate online today!.

Be sure to check this page for construction updates and photos!

Loop Grows

Summer 2017

Slowly but surely, the new loop track is advancing. Here ties are being laid out.

The loop track has a centerline radius of 90' and this requires a rail bend every foot to make a smooth curve. Note the "tick" marks along the rail to guide the positioning of the hydraulic rail bender. The bender needs to be approximately level and square with the rail. The 2x12 board and the adjustable support rod accomplish this.

In this photo, the rail on the right has been completely bent, and progress on the left rail can be clearly seen.

Wire Going Up!

Sep-Oct 2017

With the season of every-day operations over after Labor Day, there was time to take the main line out of service for a day to install a new trolley wire frog. Below we see the frog freshly installed. The branch to the left is the new lead crossing Narragansett. Trolley wire was strung here after this photo was taken.

Now we see the wire crossing frog at Narragansett, with the new wire entering at the top right corner. To the left, a section insulator is being installed to isolate the power feed to the "new yard"

We need a knife switch to control this insulator. Here a knife switch is being reconditioned in the shop with a new handle and a new "snap" spring.

Before wire can be hung, the poles need to be back-guyed to prevent them from leaning in and causing the span wires to sag. Because of the large rocks in the soil, a contractor with a backhoe came in to excavate holes for ground anchors.

The guys are attached to the anchor by tensioning with a "come-along". A special tool was used to grab against the neck of the ground anchor.
Now it was time to hang the first trolley wire, from the Narragansett crossing frog to the back end of track 82 in Building 8. Wire was run out on the ground and then temporarily fastened to each span from the bucket lift.

The next two photos show tension being applied at the end of the run, at the back of building 8. The trolley wire, on the left, is dead-ended with a turn back secured with a 3-bolt clamp. The tension is taken to the building frame with a pair of stranded steel cables, with two points of insulation in each.

Line car 25 in the distance is up the ramp, replacing the temporary fasteners with permanent ears and hangers. The new trolley wire is prominent over the center of the track.

A view from the line car's platform at one of the type AGC hangers with building 8 in the distance on the left. The new loop track is seen curving off to the right.

Wire is on!

Late October, 2017 The first section of trolley wire has gone live. Before this could be turned on, a new set of knife switches and insulators had to be placed in service where the lead to the new yard crosses the old "Narragansett" siding. Below is an annotated view of this complicated intersection:

Line car 25 is seen on track 82 on October 16 with its pole on the wire, which is evidently "hot" judging from the lights on the car!

A section insulator was "cut-in" near the entrance to track 82. Each track entering the building will have an insulator so that power inside the building can be isolated. Line car 25 is positioned under the location of the new insulator:

This closeup shows the "come-along" which provided the tension (over 1000 pounds) to hold the wire together as it was cut to install the insulator.

Bricks Installation

November 1, 2017 There were over 450 individual and corporate donors to the Elevating the Collection Bricks Drive. With track and line construction mostly done, it was now time to lay down the decorative engraved bricks display, which will also serve as a waiting area one trolleys are running regularly through the loop track.

Two strings define the "grid" of the bricks. The left-right line points to Church & Chapel Streets in downtown New Haven. This was the "zero point" of the New Haven trolley system.

After the initial core of 12x12 bricks was precisely aligned to the strings, work progressed rapidly working from the pattern now established.

In fact, the layout of the engraved bricks took only one day. The next day the circular border was placed, reading THE * SHORE * LINE * TROLLEY * MUSEUM ELEVATING * THE * COLLECTION

After the remaining blank border bricks were placed and the gaps between bricks were filled with sand, an aerial drone photo was taken. The two dark lines are the shadows of nearby line poles.


The Shore Line Trolley Museum
17 River Street
East Haven, CT 06512
(203) 467-6927

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Last Updated: / modified at Thu Jan 25 22:53:10 2018