Trolley Car Operator Open House

Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the Shore Line Trolley Museum, 17 River St., East Haven.

The annual trolley car operator training course will be conducted during five Saturdays in March 2014. This open house is a chance to decide if operating a trolley car might be for you. There is nothing quite like operating a turn-of-the-century trolley on a scenic rail line. Stop in, meet the instructors, and get a feel for what it might be like.

No prior experience is required, as the training course will provide comprehensive ground-up, hands-on instruction in the safe and proper operation of the equipment and visitor interaction. Volunteer operators come from all walks of life and work varied schedules. Some contribute dozens of days each year, others just a few, but either way the net contribution to the museum is significant, as can be the benefit to you as you learn new skills and meet new and interesting people.

To qualify as an operator, you must be at least 18 years old by 2014 and successfully pass the training course, the written rules test and the practical road examination. There is a $75 fee for training materials, $50 for existing members. Training dates are March 1, 8, 15, and 22 with the final exam on March 29. Each day of training runs from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m. Extra operating time is available after 5 p.m.  Additional fees for uniform purchase and other supplies will be explained at the Open House.

Operators are required to be able to stand for long periods of time, climb high steps and be free of medications or conditions compromising safe operation of machinery. Daunting as it may seem, by the conclusion of the course, you will be able to start and stop the trolley car smoothly and accurately. You'll be able to position 20 tons of wood and steel within a few inches of a similarly massive object. You'll understand switches, overhead wires, signals, and the railway rulebook. And you'll be able to stand in front of a group of people and make an enjoyable presentation on the history of the trolley, and the impact it had on everyday living.

If you have ever thought of operating a trolley car, stop down at the museum on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. to meet the instructors, other trolley operators and to find out if it is for you. Questions? Call (203) 467-6927 or email


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