Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum


Engineers built the nation's first electric streetcar system for urban passenger service in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1880s, and soon cities and towns across the country rushed to build their own electric street railways. The Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway was a 7-mi. trolley line that ran between Shelburne Falls and Colrain from 1896 to late 1926. Initially, SF&C carried freight for several mills in a collection of four-wheel flat and box cars. The railway later acquired cars for carrying milk, mail, and passengers. Car #10 was one of only two that were purchased new and is the only piece of SF&C rolling stock still in existence.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing, Mechanical
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Built in 1896, car #10 was state-of-the-art for its time, having electric heaters and lights. After SF&C ceased operations, a farmer bought car #10 in 1928 for $100. It was used as a chicken coop for 65 years, before being donated to the museum. The original colors of the car's body and trim were determined by computer analysis of paint chips.
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