Monday, June 10, 2013

Shelburne Falls

 While on vacation, we visited the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum in the northwest corner of Massachusetts.  This is almost the smallest operating museum I've visited.  Its collection consists of a single car, combine #10 built by Wason in 1896 for the Shelburne Falls and Colrain trolley line, and beautifully restored to operating condition.  It operates over a short length of track in Shelburne Falls.

The museum was not open to the public when we stopped by, but I ran into Sam Bartlett who graciously showed us through the carbarn and the car itself.  We talked for a while, and he then suggested we take the car out for a test trip!

It's hard to believe this car was used as a farm shed for many years.  The late Fred Perry directed much of the restoration.

The car has only hand brakes, so there's no compressor to check, no waiting to pump up: just put the pole on the wire, release the brake, and start.  It's been a while since I'd operated a hand brake car, but there were no visitors around, and in any case the car cannot go very fast.

Since it has only a single pole, the retriever has to be walked around the car at each end.

The passenger compartment has wooden longitudinal benches and seats only about 10 people.

Shelburne Falls is located in a very scenic area, and a visit to this museum is well worth while.

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