Track and Overhead Infrastructure

Project Sponsors: James van Bokkelen, William Publicover, Rob Drye
Fundraising Goal: $100,000
Questions for James, Will, and Rob? Want to get more involved in the project?
Click Here to contact James
Click Here to contact Rob.
Click Here to contact Will. 


Trolleys operate on an electric railroad, powered by overhead wire.

As the Trustees began narrowing down the long list of projects they were considering for our New Direction Projects in early 2019, one project kept rising to the top in every conversation–our track and overhead infrastructure. The Museum was long overdue for significant campus-wide track and overhead repairs in our yards and on the main line.  During an inspection of our main line in spring 2019, 639 railroad ties were discovered to be at the end of their lifespan, as well as six utility poles for our overhead wire. Track and Overhead Infrastructure was determined to be one of our 10 highest capital fundraising priorities, if not the highest, over the next five years.

Seashore Track volunteers work alongside Maine Track Maintenance, spring 2019.

Although the museum postponed announcing the New Direction projects for one year due to COVID-19, behind-the-scenes, museum leaders were working to secure donations for the work. As we searched, the museum committed to hosting a new fundraiser event, Daniel Tiger Visits Seashore, which brought in enough revenue to get started. Over 1600 tickets went on sale for the event on March 24, 2019 and sold out in 24 hours. These funds allowed us to order 400 railroad ties from Canada and hire professionals from Maine Track Maintenance to come to campus for one week and work alongside our hardworking Track Department volunteers before our 2019 season began to replace most of the ties on our main line.

The project was successful and the momentum helped the museum begin fundraising for the rest of the work. In September 2019, an anonymous donor stepped forward and funded the remaining ties needed for the main line and other high traffic switch points on campus. In 2020, the same donor invested in our overhead infrastructure. Thanks to their generosity and the generosity of 98 other donors who helped us repair a section of our overhead that was damaged by a violent wind storm in July 2020, the initial work identified in the New Direction plan was completed by the end of the summer of 2020.

Hardworking Track volunteers rebuild the Restoration Shop turnout, September 2020-December 2020.

Technically, this project could be listed in our “Mission Accomplished” section. However, our momentum is still going strong from accomplishing what we predicted would take five years to do, in two years. We have recruited the hardworking volunteers we need to continue to make the overdue improvements needed in our yards, storage tracks and switches, and add new storage track for our transit collection.  These projects most likely would have been selected for our next project list after the current New Direction projects are completed, so we’re going to keep going!

We hope you will join us and invest in the work needed to continue to operate our heritage railroad for another 80 years.

We have established a second $100,000 fundraising goal, and work will continue in 2021 and beyond to continue to maintain our infrastructure.  Those that wish to contribute now may designate your donation to Fund 990 (Track) or Fund 911R (Overhead). 



Thank you to all who have donated to this project so far:

Anonymous (47)

Atwood, Chip

Babineau, Dean

Baldini, Renee

Bennett, Jeffrey Hall

Bownas, William T.

Briggs, Christina

Burke, Charles

Catlin, Robert

Cogswell, Patty-linn

Conklin, Dennis & Barbara

Dave Wetherald

Dore, Christopher

Drye, Rob

Farah, George

Flahive, Jean

Gebhardt, Wayne

Gibbons, Nathaniel

Gilmore, Eliza

Glickman, Todd S.

Griffith, Charles A.

Hickey, Ben

Jalbert, Nathan

Katz, Chris

Knapp, Steven

Kulczak, Michael J.

Lennon, Marty W.

Lundstedt, Tracy

Mayo, Jacob

Mazzie, Jesse

McClelland, David

McCracken, Christopher

McLaughlin, Catherine & Gregg

Mallory, William

Markey, Peter L.

Mason, Jamie

Medlock, Todd

Middleton, John & Jeani

Milliken, Brian

Moore, Fred R.

Morse, Philip W.

Olsen, James

Orlando, Katie

Pace, Michael R.

Pedersen, Jenn

Penniston, Gordon

Perry, Karen H.

Peters, Michael V.

Publicover, Charles L.

Stamm, C. William

Silva, Russell B.

Stavrand, Sue Ellen

Stevenson, John E.

Thompson, Ann

Tello, Thomas A.

Tobin, Roger G.

van Bokkelen, James

Wanzor, Wayne

Wilson, Peter G.

Wolf, Rick

Wong, Gregory