Exhibits are located in display barns, in the visitor center and vehicles are located around the grounds.
History in Motion: Public Transportation Connecting Maine Communities
Exhibits located in our Visitor Center.
Focus: influence of transportation on peoples’ lives
Interpretive Railway / Atlantic Shore Line Railway
You will actually ride on this exhibit!
Narrated rides on our 1.5 interpretive railway situated on the roadbed of the original Atlantic Shore Line Railway.
The Atlantic Shore Line (ASL) was the local electric trolley line providing passenger and freight service to many York County towns. The second longest trolley line in Maine, during 1907 the ASL carried nearly five million passengers. The expansion of the line over the years resulted in residential and commercial development in the surrounding areas, providing a variety of employment opportunities for the local population.
From the Town House Square carbarn in Kennebunkport ASL trolley service connected Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport, Biddeford, Kennebunk, Alfred, Sanford, Springvale, Wells, Ogunquit, York, York Beach, Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick, Maine. The line also connected with Dover, NH through South Berwick and with Portsmouth, NH via ferry service from Kittery (the ASL ferry “Kittery” was built in Kennebunkport in 1900).
Documents on the Atlantic Shore Line Railway
Trolleys in the Kennebunks and Quick Facts About the Atlantic Shore Line
New Traffic Artery. Steel Path Which Electric Road Builders are Blazing to the SeaboardThe Trip by Trolley – From Sanford, Past Old Falls on the Mousam to Kennebunk. (Sept. 18, 1899)
By Trolley To Sanford. The Trip Over the New Road From the Kennebunk Town Hall
Hits Drummers’ Fancy and Sunday on the Electrics (1899)
Atlantic Shore Line History
Atlantic Shore Line 100 Locomotive
On Exhibit in Riverside or Highwood car barn (it moves around some!)
This restored locomotive has special significance to the Museum as its campus is situated around, and its demonstration railway is on, the old roadbed of the Atlantic Shore Line.
Town House Restoration Shop
Exhibit area is the observation gallery from which visitors can view restorations in process. Over the years – and thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers and generous funding by members – many cars have entered as rusting hulks and emerged as pristine authentically restored operating vehicles. The name “Town House” was inspired by the Atlantic Shore Line Railway car house that was located on Log Cabin Road at Town House Square in Kennebunkport.
Exhibits in Buildings – Many “Stars” of the Collection on display
Burton B. Shaw South Boston Car Barn
Riverside Car Barn
Highwood Car Barn
A Seat for Everyone – Art panels inside Washington DC bus 6481
Buses were among the most visible “stages” upon which the Civil Rights Movement struggled, with Freedom Rides being staged with African Americans and white Civil Rights activists riding interstate buses into the south to test civil rights rulings.
The same year that Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, D.C. Transit had just ordered new buses. It is fitting that this 1964 Washington, D.C. bus serves as a mobile exhibit about Civil Rights and transportation history.
Nine months before Rosa Parks’ celebrated act, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to surrender her seat to a white woman aboard a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Dragged by her wrists from the bus and shouting “it’s my constitutional right!” she was jailed.
WMATA 6481King Middle School in Portland and Maine College of Art students, moved by Colvin’s brave defense of Civil Rights, shared Colvin’s story through their artwork. The panels are created for modern bus riders, revealing an important chapter in the history of racial desegregation of U.S. transportation. Before the publication of the biography Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose, Colvin’s story was virtually unknown.
State of the Art Cars (SOAC)
URBAN RAPID RAIL VEHICLE AND SYSTEMS PROGRAM
Number 1 State-of-the-Art Car
U.S. DOT Number 1 State-of-the-Art Car
The Urban Rapid Rail Vehicle and Systems Program was started at the beginning of the decade with the objective to integrate technological developments directed towards improving urban rapid transit systems by enhancing the attractiveness of mass transit, providing existing and proposed systems with vehicles that were as comfortable, reliable, safe, and economical as possible.
In 1972 two State-of-the-Art rapid transit cars were delivered to the U.S. DOT’s High Speed Ground Test Center in Pueblo, Colorado. Following a thorough testing and examination of performance, the State-of-the-Art Cars (SOAC) began their national two-year tour, visiting New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Innovations built into the SOAC included the trucks, propulsion system, auxiliary power systems, HVAC systems, and interior design. Number 1 SOAC was set-up to test “Lo-Density” transit seating arrangements. The “Hi-Density” car, Number 2 SOAC, had a consistent seating arrangement throughout the car that catered to urban transit systems where riders would be more apt to stand during their short travel.