Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
Holiday News Letter
December 1996, by Tony Jewell
Dear Friends in Cyberspace and Fellow Trolleyphiles,
When we started out on this journey to restore Number 10 five years ago, I can tell you that we never dreamed of being on the internet. We never dreamed that we would have or need a $200,000 ISTEA grant either.
Originally, all we thought we'd ever do was not more than a cosmetic job on the car, get a couple of PS-1 box car trucks, put the car on a static display by the Bridge of Flowers, and sail off into the sunset in six months or so.
Certainly the mission has changed. We're not just thinking static anymore. We're thinking operational and switching revenue freight cars to boot in the Buckland rail yard. We're thinking Taylor trucks with Westinghouse motors. We're talking about a bona fide historical/structural renovation.
Our current proof of the changing pudding can be found in the new building that now stands in the railyard and guess what? Number tens inside the barn getting dried out with actual surgery slated for mid-January. We have a line on two sets of trucks and all the necessary hardware. We have a woodworking and a mechanical team in place putting together the finishing touches on scheduling. We should be able to come up with a completion date pretty soon. Right now, next September doesn't look too crazy.
It would be nice to sit on our laurels and say hey," We did it", and move onto something else. But, in my mind, this exercise is meaningless unless we have an operational museum in place that not only operates the car today but also serves to preserve the work for future generations. This project needs to be a testament to the validity of transit vehicles in the past certainly but also and more importantly for the future.
Those of us who have the bug and have accepted the validity of electric powered steel wheeled systems in a world of limited resources and numerous environmental and transportation concerns, have a responsibility to make sure that our message gets out. You can be sure that the disciples of asphalt will continue to push their spin on things regardless of the environmental fallout, resource depletion, and excessive land use associated with their mode.
Organizations such as the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum have the power to reach the public and serve just like a lighthouse for ships in a churning sea. We need to move beyond the mere restoration of the trolley to a point where our project has easily identifiable value to everyone and not just the enlightened few.
The holiday season is supposed to be one that embodies sharing. I'm hoping that you will be sufficiently concerned to consider joining with us in our efforts to share our view with a public that has largely relegated rail systems to the dustbins of technical anachronisms.
And a trolley happy new year!
14 Depot Street Shelburne Falls MA 01370        413-625-9443       firstname.lastname@example.org