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History of the Museum
The Connecticut Electric Railway Association, Inc. is the owner and operator of the Connecticut Trolley Museum. Founded in October 1940, it is the nation’s oldest incorporated organization dedicated to the preservation of the trolley era.
As a non-profit institution, its educational and historical aim is the establishment of a full scale operating street and interurban railroad system with the appropriate accessory equipment and buildings, to recreate an important phase of New England’s business and social life from 1890 to 1949.
A three-mile round trip streetcar ride with an educational narrative is provided to the museum’s visitors during their visit. All work at the museum, except for one paid employee in the museum office, is done by volunteers. There are over 70 pieces or rail equipment owned by the museum, some of them dating as far back as 1869. This collection is made up of passenger and freight streetcars, elevated railway cars, interurban cars, service cars, locomotives (diesel and electric), passenger and freight railroad cars, and other pieces of miscellaneous railway equipment.
All major buildings and the museum’s center of operations are located on a 17-acre facility adjacent to State Route 140 in East Windsor. The right of way is a 3.2-mile portion of the Rockville branch of the Hartford & Springfield Street Railway Company. Void of all track, the property was purchased when the organization was formed in 1940. Over the years, the volunteers have been able to build not only 1.5 miles of track and the associated overhead wire for power distribution, but all of the yard and storage track, the power substation, the storage barns, and a restoration shop.
Our mission is to provide a historically accurate educational experience of the trolley era, through the interpretation, preservation, restoration, and operation of an electric railway.
Copyright 2017 Connecticut Electric Railway Association, Inc. All rights reserved.