Donate to Boston Elevated Railway No. 5821 on GivingTuesday


Support Boston Elevated Railway No. 5821 Today!

Today is GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement and day of giving. Seashore Trolley Museum is raising funds on GivingTuesday to repair both trucks on Boston Elevated Railway No. 5821.

No. 5821 has been part of our operating fleet for several years. Perhaps you even took a ride on 5821 during your last Seashore visit. No. 5821 is known as our “pumpkin trolley” during our Pumpkin Patch events, and every Christmas Prelude we deck 5821 out in holiday greens for members and guests to enjoy. Most guests with mobility challenges that have utilized our Mobilift have taken a ride in 5821 over the past three seasons.

Unfortunately, the harsh Maine climate has taken its toll on No. 5821. Cracks have recently appeared in both trucks due to the long-term effects of corrosion, taking this trolley off line until these repairs can take place. One traction motor has badly worn armature bearings and needs to be completely rebuilt. We may be able to repair one truck in-house, but the second truck and motor will need to be sent out to a third party contractor for repairs.

Please help us raise $20,000 on GivingTuesday by making a donation towards these repairs so that Boston Elevated Railway No. 5821 may rejoin our operating fleet.

Any donation amount is appreciated! To support No. 5821, please designate your gift to Fund 545.


The Operating History of No. 5821


Impressed with the cost savings afforded by the Birney streetcars (trolleys) but recognizing that the small size of the Birney cars did not meet the needs of its routes, the Boston Elevated Railway designed a double truck, lightweight car, similar to its earlier semi-convertibles, which met its needs. These streetcars, designated Type 5, featured wide entry doors, large capacity, and the capability to operate with either a one or two man crew. From the Birney car the Type 5s inherited a lightweight design, a low floor, and a high horsepower to weight ratio.

Boston Elevated Railway purchased 471 of the Type 5 cars between 1922 and 1928. After examining their experience with the first groups of Type 5s, the Elevated instituted a small design change in 1924. This was actually a response to increasing Boston traffic, more than to a fault in the original Type 5 design. Wood was eliminated from the window posts at the operator’s position and brass sash replaced the wood ones. This reduced the number of blind spots and allowed the operator a better view of cars approaching from the side. It was hoped that this could reduce accidents and improve the Elevated’s already stellar safety record.

The first group of 75 of these cars, including No. 5821, was ordered from Brill in mid 1924, and by 1928, 166 more cars had been added to the Elevated’s fleet. Other than the platform windows, these cars differed little from the earlier cars, using the same control, motors seats and other features.

No. 5821 operated on routes out of the Everett carhouse. The Type 5 cars provided the backbone of Boston’s streetcar service until after World War II when routes were converted to bus, trackless trolleys or the newer PCC streetcars. No. 5821 continued in service after 1947 when the Metropolitan Transit Authority took over Boston Elevated’s operation.

In 1954, Seashore acquired No. 5821. Seashore totally rebuilt No. 5821 between 1978 and 1980, with much of the underframe and all of the side sheeting replaced. The car received a further overhaul in 2012, and the only surviving “vision front” Type 5 has been a workhorse at Seashore ever since.

To support No. 5821, designate your gift to Fund 545.


Donation Incentives


To show our gratitude for your support of our GivingTuesday campaign, we are offering the following donor incentives to those who give today through next Tuesday, December 6, 2022:Give $25 or more and be entered for a chance to win a $50 Museum Store gift card OR 4 free tickets to attend our second weekend of 2022 Christmas Prelude Trolley Rides!

Give $50 or more and be entered for a chance to win all incentives listed above this one, AND you will also be entered for a behind-the-scenes tour of our Restoration Shop, including our work pit, by our talented Restoration staff team.

Give $100 or more and be entered for a chance to win all incentives listed above this one, AND you will also be entered for a chance to win a free Be A Motorman experience during our 2023 season! Learn how to operate one of our regular fleet trolleys with a skilled instructor during a one-hour class. Also included: Immediate family members can ride with you as you operate the trolley! Winners of this incentive must be 18+.

Give $250 or more and be entered for a chance to win all incentives listed above this one, AND you will be entered for a chance to win a free Be A Motorman experience in our Boston & Maine speeder! B&M 500 has recently been completely overhauled and has re-joined our work vehicle fleet. Learn how to operate this 8-passenger diesel work car on our main line during our 2023 season.

To support No. 5821, please designate your gift to Fund 545.


Thank you for supporting
Seashore Trolley Museum.

Photo credits, from top to bottom:

Photos 1 and 2: No. 5821 parked at Talbott Park, 2021; Seashore Trolley Museum collection.
Photo 3: No. 5821 in service, date unknown; Ed Ramsdell collection.
Photo 4: The interior of 5821 at Seashore, 2018; Kenyon F. Karl photo.
Photo 5: No. 5821 at Talbott Park, 2018; Seashore Trolley Museum collection.
Photo 6: No. 5821 awaiting passengers at the Visitors Center platform, 2020; Seashore Trolley Museum collection.
Photo 7: No. 5821 on Main Street, Malden, MA. at Ferry St. crossing of Boston & Maine RR, Feb. 18, 1935; Fred Maloney collection.