Project Sponsors: Charlie Sullivan & Peter Osgood
Fundraising Goal: $35,000
Raised to Date: $26,000
Questions for Charlie? Want to get more involved in the project? Contact him here.
Seashore Trolley Museum began acquiring trolley buses (trackless trolleys) and buses to add to its vast transit collection as early as 1962. Over time, the museum has amassed a collection of nearly 90 artifacts in these categories. The most precious artifacts are stored in our Carhouses, in an attempt to preserve them for the day when the museum has the resources to begin restoring them. The majority of our trackless trolleys and buses have remained outdoors and in members-only areas of campus due to a lack of space available to display them in a meaningful way for our members and the general public.
In 2020, the Trustees voted to make the creation of a New Bus Display Area a priority capital project in our New Direction 5-year Strategic Plan. With thanks to re-homing efforts of non-accessioned artifacts in our bus collection and an anonymous donor, efforts to begin preparing the land for our future display began during the pandemic in 2020. If you are familiar with our campus, the land the New Bus Display Area will be located on is located across the street from South Boston Carhouse, between the Parts Warehouse and the Library Storage Containers. We picked this land because it is close to the center of our main campus and trolley boarding area. While guests are waiting for the next ride, they will have the option to view the New Bus Display Area.
The land will be fully prepped and ready later this spring for volunteers to begin moving the buses and trackless trolleys selected for the display (full list below). As you can see from the image, we have already built a 400’road through the land where the collection will be housed. A small area within this display will also be established to showcase two of our other New Direction Restoration Projects; Boston & Maine bus 784, and MBTA trackless trolley 8361. By doing this, the hope is that these two projects will become guest-visible and potential donors will see the scope of work needed first hand and more awareness will be raised for our non-streetcar restorations.
Funds we continue to raise for the project will help us purchase signage for each displayed artifact in the New Bus Display Area that tells the story of its past and significance. More importantly, funds will be raised to clean up and preserve the interior and exterior of each artifact so our guests can experience the full artifact first-hand. Lastly, funds will be used to support volunteer efforts to insure and maintain a small bus operating fleet so that guests and members may truly relive the past and experience the history of this collection in motion.
Following the completion of this initiative and the other projects prioritized in our New Direction as well as donor interest, the path has been laid to consider beginning a fundraising campaign for indoor bus storage that would be guest-accessible in the next decade.
And designate your gift to Fund 970
A naming opportunity for our New Bus Display Area is available, for a major gift that will establish future funds to curate this collection. Please reach out to our Director for more information about this opportunity.
The Buses & Trackless Trolleys selected for our New Bus Display Area as it opens in 2021:
Biddeford & Saco 31, ACF Brill C36 (Operated within five miles of the Museum)
Manchester (NH) Transit Authority 107, T6H4523A (Operated city service in Manchester from 1974 until 1994)
VIP Tours (Portland, ME) 297, Orion 1 (Operated in Portland, ME shuttle service) Before that in operated on Cape Cod)
Greater Portland (ME) Metro 700, GMC T6H4523 operated Portland Maine city service from 1973 until 1990
Boston & Maine 784, GMC PD3703 operated intercity from Boston to points in New Hampshire and Maine
Golden Gate Transit 870, T8H5305 (Marin, CA) Operated in suburban Service from San Francisco
University of MA 3000, GMC TDH3302 Operated on the Campus of University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in shuttle service
MBTA (Boston, MA) 4028, Flyer Industries E800 Electric Trolley Bus used in Cambridge, Belmont, and Watertown unit 2003
Muni (San Francisco) 5148, E800 trackless trolley made by Flyer Industries for the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
MBTA (Boston, MA) 6169, GM TDH5303 used throughout Greater Boston in transit service
WAMTA (Washington DC) 6481, TDH5304 (Civil Rights Bus) Operated in transit in that city
CATA (Gloucester, MA) 7810, an RTS bus operated in Essex County, MA
MBTA (Boston, MA) 8361, Pullman Electric Trolley Bus operated in Dorchester and Roxbury, MA
United Airlines (CA) 322 and Santa Cruz 848, AM General transit bus used in crew shuttle service
Other bus and trolley bus artifacts may be selected in the future. We envision this display will rotate every few years. There are also items on that list that may be moved to indoor storage when it is available.