• Shore Line Trolley Museum, Branford (East Haven), CT

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  by Gerry6309
 
Mr rt wrote:Unfortunately Shore Line got hit rather hard.
If you sign onto our web site you can see the "Official Report".
If you can't e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll be happy to send you the text.
Yes, information started to filter in up here shortly after my post. Getting the fleet high and dry will always be a problem there and I wish you well with the ambitious fundraising plan.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Mr rt wrote:Unfortunately Shore Line got hit rather hard.
If you sign onto our web site you can see the "Official Report".
If you can't e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll be happy to send you the text.
Or... you could just include the link instead of making us guess...

http://www.bera.org/irene.html

Or you could include the text here, like I am doing:
Dear Members and Friends of the Museum:

We know that you care about the museum and are concerned about the impact of Hurricane Irene, which struck our area of Connecticut with great force. That is why we are writing to you now. We have assessed the damage and here is what we have found.

First the good news: There is only minimal damage to the car barns. Sprague station and its contents are fine. Most of the railway line is undamaged, however track wash-outs will prevent us from being able to operate all the way to Short Beach for possibly quite some time.

Although Irene made landfall more than 70 miles to our west, and was downgraded to a tropical storm as it did so, it had already whipped the waters of Long Island Sound to a frenzy. The timing was unfortunate: this storm occurred at new moon, when tides run higher than average. The placement of the storm to our west meant strong winds out of the east, piling up the tide in the Sound, and the passage of the storm almost exactly at the time of high tide (11 AM in New Haven) brought strong southerly winds driving water on-shore and inland at the worst possible moment.

The result was the worst tidal flood in the museum's history. Water levels peaked at 8.3 feet above mean sea level, exceeding the December 1992 nor'easter by about half a foot. The depth of water on the shop floor was 19-20 inches, in barn 1 12-15 inches, and in barn 3, where tracks had been raised after the 1992 incident to be above that level, 5-6 inches. Parts of barns 4 and 6 received almost two feet of water. Water levels in barns 2 and 7 were 12 inches or greater, and in barn 5 varied from 6 to 14 inches. Flood waters receded by 2PM, but significant damage had already been done.

Thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers who worked long hours in the days before the storm, cars were moved to higher tracks where possible. Because of the high winds forecast and the number of trees surrounding our line, options were limited. Cars 948, 850 and 357 are the only ones known to have completely escaped flooding and will be operational once electrical power has been restored to East Haven. All other cars in the collection were flooded to some degree by the salt water. Their operational status will depend on how the water affected the traction motors, which are only a few inches above the rail. All of these cars (over 90) are considered out of service until they can be inspected and their motor insulation tested.

This process will take several weeks. Some of these cars may be operational, or may be brought back to operational status with a few days of effort, but we can expect that the majority of the cars will require complete traction motor disassembly and cleaning.

We value each and every vehicle in the collection for the important history it holds, and hope to see each one repaired in time. Please be aware that every car that we have inspected is repairable, but it will take a significant amount of work. As you may know, repairing one single car with a flooded motor can readily take 500 hours of skilled labor. Our efforts to combat the effects of this flood will last for years to come.

Yet as much as we value each car individually, we must think of the entire collection and the museum as whole. As we develop the plan to repair our cars as quickly and efficiently as possible, our first efforts are focused on re-opening the museum to the public. We anticipate re-opening before Labor Day, using the three trolleys that were not flooded, and operating over a shortened line. Thus our efforts right now are focused on clearing and inspecting the line.

The damage that we have sustained at the Museum is devastating and yet manageable, shocking but also expected. It was devastating to see so many cars flooded, living history potentially destroyed, and many thousands of hours of restoration work wiped out over a weekend. But the damage is manageable with your help. We are coming together to repair was has been hurt and rescue the history that would be otherwise lost.

It was shocking to see 100-year-old antiques sitting in pools of water, knowing that every minute was further damaging their valuable and irreplaceable motors. While looking at serious damage is always hard, it was expected, even predictable - it's happened before and we always knew it would happen again. And what is even more sobering is that when it does happen again, it may be worse, much worse. The infamous September 1938 hurricane brought water levels to 12 feet above sea level in our area. That is 4 feet higher than what we experienced this weekend.

For over 65 years the museum has been in this cycle of damage and repair. We must break out. And we have a plan to do so.

This year we began efforts to put a stop to this cycle by taking action to move our collection to higher ground. We began a Capital Campaign, "Elevating the Collection", which is raising $2M to build two new car buildings at an elevation of 13 feet above mean sea level .

If the new buildings had been in place this weekend the cars inside would have suffered no damage from Hurricane Irene and would have been protected.

We have already secured $156K toward this goal and are in conversation with a significant group of prospective donors who are considering support.

When our Campaign is successful and the new buildings are completed, we will never again have to repair our cars knowing that we will have to do it all over again after the next flood and the one after that. We will never again follow news of severe storms with the same sense of dread as we did this weekend. And we will rest assured that our collection will be enjoyed by generations to come. Now is the time to recognize our pressing need for higher ground and make every effort to ensure the safety of our collection. As we begin to clean up the mess, we must redouble our work to ensure we are protected in the future.

At this critical moment, we need the support of every member, every person who has visited our museum, and trolley lovers around the world.

Would you consider please meeting with us privately about giving to Elevating the Collection? By giving to the campaign, you will be doing the best thing possible to ensure that the cars you love the most will ultimately be taken care of and preserved in perpetuity.

Please contact us at [email protected] or (203) 467-6927 to find out how you can help. And be sure to visit www.ElevatingTheCollection.org to learn more about the campaign.

UPDATE: September 5, 2011
Limited operations have resumed. The museum had numerous visitors over the holiday weekend, and continues to be open on its normal schedule of Saturdays and Sundays in September and October (plus Haunted Isle Friday evenings starting Sep 30). In our shops, the long and tedious process of drying out electrical motors is underway.

UPDATE: September 3, 2011
The efforts of hundreds of linemen from all across the country have delivered electricity to the trolley museum once more. We will be resuming limited operations starting Saturday, Sep 3. Please visit!

UPDATE: September 1, 2011
Thanks to the hard work of museum volunteers, the trolley museum is "on track" to re-open on Saturday, September 3. Even with the power out, volunteers found ingenious ways to clear the trolley line of debris and repair damage. Although the ride will be shorter because of track damage near Short Beach, and we will be running just one trolley at a time, we encourage the general public to show their support and come visit us during this Labor Day Weekend!
I wish BERA well and I hope to contribute to the restoration in the near future.

-otto-
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Image
Members Paul Davy and George Papuga used a generator to move this Line Car trolley down the line and repair damage to the trolley wire. photo by Frank Pfuhler

http://www.bera.org/irene.html

-otto-
  by Tom6921
 
Any idea how badly damaged the Toronto Witt and snowsweeper are? How about the MTA Redbird(s)?
  by Mr rt
 
Irene brought the water higher then it's been for many years.
The operating fleet was moved to the highest areas, except for where large trees would have done other damage.
For most of the fleet they weren't high enough, i.e. Peter Witt, Red Bird, etc.
Also there was some degrading of the ROW that crosses the swamp ... it's a tidal marsh at the end of the line.

Three trolley cars that were the highest, are OK, the rest we'll have to remove the motors & dry them out.
First we have to get one of the cranes working to assist with that.
Our H&M subway car was high, so it's our tow motor right now.

Some of the cars were almost high enough, so a little heat on the motors may be enough.

Meanwhile our "Elevate the Collection" campaign is moving along, money has started rolling in, so we are hopefull that enough comes in so we can build one or two buildings on higher ground.

I was there last Saturday & will be there this Saturday too.
  by madcrow
 
Mr rt wrote:Irene brought the water higher then it's been for many years.
The operating fleet was moved to the highest areas, except for where large trees would have done other damage.
For most of the fleet they weren't high enough, i.e. Peter Witt, Red Bird, etc.
Also there was some degrading of the ROW that crosses the swamp ... it's a tidal marsh at the end of the line.

Three trolley cars that were the highest, are OK, the rest we'll have to remove the motors & dry them out.
First we have to get one of the cranes working to assist with that.
Our H&M subway car was high, so it's our tow motor right now.

Some of the cars were almost high enough, so a little heat on the motors may be enough.

Meanwhile our "Elevate the Collection" campaign is moving along, money has started rolling in, so we are hopefull that enough comes in so we can build one or two buildings on higher ground.

I was there last Saturday & will be there this Saturday too.
What's the status of Brooklyn PCC 1001? Will it be ready in time for the planned event in October or is that off?
  by Mr rt
 
The first PCC to be put in public service, aka 1001 is currently being worked on with the goal of having it ready for it's birthday party.
  by Mr rt
 
Dear Friend of BERA,

Because of the continuing Irene flood cleanup and recovery efforts,
we are unable to hold the scheduled 75th anniversary of the PCC event
on the weekend of October 1/2. Neither the star performer, PCC 1001,
nor the supporting cast of Brooklyn and Manhattan streetcars, have been
dried out sufficiently to be cleared for operation.

We hope that through the hard work of volunteers and the generous support
of the membership and the general public, we will be able to repair some
of these cars and reschedule the event during the 2012 season, or to
incorporate it into Members' Day.

Please stand by for more updates.
  by n2xjk
 
Is Shore Line using Twitter? I see account @SLTrolleyMuseum, but it seems to be in some sort of locked state.
  by n2xjk
 
Congrats to Shore Line!

"Governor Malloy, Shoreline Delegation Announce State Bonding for Shore Line Trolley Museum

"EAST HAVEN—Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Democratic state legislators from the East Haven area announced today that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve a $1 million state grant for the non-profit Shore Line Trolley Museum on River Street in East Haven to construct new trolley storage buildings above the flood plain."

The rest of the press release is here: http://senatedems.ct.gov/pr/looney-120824.php
  by Mr rt
 
Saturday Night October 13th ... almost 900 folks paid to be scared at The Shoreline Trolley Museum !!!!
Has very little to do with trolleys, but sure helps pay the bills !

Next Santa on a subway car. It is interesting that hardly any kids ask why is Santa on a trolley or a subway car.
Again it helps bring in the money to restore & stabalize our 100 odd cars.
  by TomNelligan
 
With reports of a 10-15 foot storm surge from Sandy on the Connecticut coast, I'm fearing that the museum is flooded again. That would not be good. My mom lives in Branford and she told me the Indian Neck neighborhood is cut off because of flooding in the Branford River and many streets along the shore have been evacuated.
  by Mr rt
 
The only goods news is that high tide was at NYC vs. Branford, so the storm surge was at about the same level as the hurricane of last year.
Atlanta 948 was on the pit lead so it got some fresh water (vs. salt water) in one motor. Other service cars (357, 775, 1602, 850) came thru OK.
They positioned them a little differently this time ... pulled some cars up River Road (off the rail) and the steel subway cars & MOW equip. went to the quarry tressel (took a chance on a tree coming down on one or more of them) .

This Saturday (Nov. 17th) we have a ground breaking for the two new buildings on "The Island".
  by Mr rt
 
Shore Line will be having another class starting in March for those interested in learning how to operate a trolley car.
Class runs five Saturdays ... call 203-467-6927 or go to the web site BERA.com
  by Mr rt
 
The 3rd week-end of the month is again Guest Operator.
In June, Saturday we had 9 "Guest" on subway & trolley cars, Sunday it was 8.
Our R-9 has just been painted so it was used both days as was our R-17 that just had its' motor re-tuned at a local shop.
Also out were a couple of ConnCo trolleys, Atlanta 948 & Johnstown 357. New Orleans 850 was available but stayed inside.
Sunday a big group showed up for the first trip, so we treated them to a R-9 subway ride & introduced the kids from CT to the Railfan window.
On the way back they were yelling to the operator faster, faster :-)
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