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Getting vintage trolley cars back on track

Restoration Team at CT Trolley Museum is always hands-on.

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — It’s part of the Connecticut Trolley Museum that visitors seldom see, beyond the shining cars running down the tracks, there is a restoration shop that has an energy of its own. 

“This is where the real important stuff happens at the museum,” said Connecticut Trolley Museum executive director Gina Maria Alimberti. 

With an array of street cars that are over a century old, the restoration team – both staff and volunteers – are constantly working to upkeep the trolleys and, sometimes, give them new life.

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John Pelletier is the restoration manager at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. His latest project, which could take three to five years to complete, is the full restoration of “Car 3001”, a 1922 model that was made in Springfield. 

"When something breaks you don’t just run out to the Pep Boys and get a part, we have the capabilities of making parts or refurbishing them," Pelletier said.

Alimberti added that each antique restored car that is returned to the tracks is also helping to fulfill the mission of the museum. 

She said, “It is rolling history; we especially want the younger generation to feel it, to know it, and that they can experience it by riding on it.” 

Pelletier, who has been working at the Trolley Museum for 14 years remarked, “We are trying to keep this knowledge going.”

The Connecticut Trolley Museum is open on weekends during the Spring season. The museum goes six days a week beginning the third week of June.

There is a special Father’s Day event at the Trolley Museum where you can sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Restoration Shop. To learn more, click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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