As I mentioned in an earlier post, AMTRAK officially killed off National Train Day due to budget concerns (as if I needed another reason to be disappointed with Congress). However, they can’t stop me from celebrating Train Day. I’m using their logo – my taxes paid for it – and I’m keeping their holiday alive in case they ever want to come back and support it.
I could say that my choice of trains today is to let AMTRAK know that they aren’t the only railroad I care about, but that’s not the reason. I’m choosing to share photos and a little information about the Connecticut Trolley Museum because it’s such a good organization and the volunteers have done a wonderful job making the experience a little better each year. My wife
thinks wonders worries that I might end up there after I retire. I can say that it wouldn’t be the worst option. I’d much rather spend my retirement fixing a train than someone’s computer.
I’m going to borrow some text off the museum’s webpage, but just to tease you and encourage you to visit their webpage (and the museum if you’re ever in this area). The museum is actually older than I thought:
“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.”
Today, the museum has 1 ½ miles of overhead-electrified track and offers the 3-mile round trip excursion every half hour. It’s so cool to ride on a vintage trolley. It’s mildly disturbing that some of the rolling stock that is “museum quality” is reminiscent of trolleys I actually rode on when I was a kid.
My mother worked in a department store in downtown Pittsburgh, and each year at Christmas, she would take me to the store on her day off so I could visit Santa (until not necessary), wander around the toy department and visit the rather large switchboard room where she worked. I’m not sure she was thrilled to learn that the highlight of that trip was the trolley ride to and from Pittsburgh. Trolleys had their own tunnel through Mt. Washington and their own bridge across the Monongahela River!
One new addition to the Connecticut museum is the “Aisle of Safety” which used to stand outside the Old State House in Hartford at the point where commuter buses converge from the various suburbs. When I say “used to stand,” I should add that it was standing when I first moved to Hartford in 1981.
Please click on any one of my photos to start a slide show. I added captions so I could keep this part short. Yes there are more than the usual number of photos. But, they’re train photos! Also, the lower gallery, which needs no captions, is some of the vintage signs in the cars.
Thanks for reading and Happy Train Day!
And, here’s those signs