EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — The volunteer team at the Connecticut Trolley Museum wants to keep its history on the move, and that means they need people to learn the skills to drive trolley cars.
Currently, the museum has about a half dozen vintage trolley cars that still operate up and down their tracks in East Windsor – plus many more trolleys on display inside their museum.
“I come out to do this to preserve the history of the trolley era," said John McPartland. "Operating old trolleys is lots of fun, operating anything on the rails is fun, but mostly, it’s to preserve the history and share the experience with others.”
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McPartland, of Ellington, is a motorman at the museum who also instructs new students looking to hop aboard. He was busy teaching motorman in-training Rich Webber all the tricks of the trolley trade aboard the century-old, 16-ton, 45-foot-long “5645 car.”
“This is a wonderful training program, it’s extensive,” McPartland said.
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Certification usually takes about a week’s worth of training.
“The experience is neat – it (the trolley) works so well for something that’s 100 years old,” Webber said, after bringing the trolley car to a smooth halt.
The museum has in the neighborhood of 20 motormen who volunteer their time and talents to take guests on trolley rides for much of the year, and now the busy summer season is upon them.
“The biggest thing we are trying to drive is the younger generation, we want them to be involved so they’re here in 50 years running the museum and operating trolleys,” said Gina Maria Alimberti, the executive director at the Connecticut Trolley Museum.
“The experience is like nowhere else. You can actually operate a trolley that’s 100 years old – you won’t get that anywhere,” Alimberti added.
To learn about becoming a volunteer motorman at the Connecticut Trolley Museum, click here.
For Father’s Day 2022 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum, all dads get free admission.
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