Connecticut Trolley Museum…..The Early Years


This old car is now at the Connecticut Electric Railway. Before going to Montréal, it worked in Springfield, Mass. Number 2056 is a steel lightweight built by Wason in 1927 and acquired in 1959.

Going to tell some stories about early years of Connecticut Trolley Museum. Will have to edit it, but the full story is o oour WebSite.

The Connecticut Electric Railway Association (CERA), which operates the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, was founded in 1940 by three members of the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Henry R. Steig, Richard E. Whittier and Roger Borrup incorporated to preserve something of the then-rapidly-disappearing traction era. The museum trackage operates over a section of the old Hartford & Springfield Street Railway Company. This line covered the 25 miles between Hartford and Springfield with two parallel lines on each side of the Connecticut River. Carbarns were in Warehouse Point and across the river in Windsor Locks. It did not directly serve either namesake city, but instead connected with the street railways in each city. It also had two branches: one to Somers and the other to Rockville. The H&S went into receivership in 1918 and the last car on the Rockville branch was in 1926.

3.25 miles of the Rockville branch is now owned by CERA. About 1.5 miles of the line is tracked. The remainder of the right-of-way traverses several curves, descends a six to eight percent grade, then skirts the bank of the Scantic River before crossing to a terminus near Broad Brook. Along this area is Piney Ridge where the H&S ran a small amusement and picnic park.

In its early years, the organization concentrated on acquiring equipment. Much of this was from Connecticut and was moved from car barns with the help of the Seashore Electric in Kennebunk, Maine. About this time, the last cars left the James Street carhouse in New Haven. The 1950 goal was to build 500 feet of track. To accomplish this, rails were hauled in by jeep and boat trailer. Rail was bought from Warwick Ry. in Rhode Island and delivered to nearby Windsor Locks. Seven poles were set by a pole contractor. Also about this time, the North Road Station was completed. A committee was formed to buy a push car for track work. Members had “rail bonds” that they bought. Each $30 bond funded a 30-foot section of rail.

In the early 1950’s, it was much easier to run trips on local railroads and this became the main fund-raiser for the group.

In 1952, members were requested to bring in scrap metal. Some of it still seems to be on the property!

Read the rest of the story and LOTS MORE
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/the-trolley-in-connecticut/

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