National Trolley Museum
Peter Beers

The National Trolley Museum, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a rare museum that Laura and I hadn't visited before. We found it on the web, not knowing that it even existed.

The museum has some great photos and displays about the history of street cars in Washington, DC. It also has a fantastic electric trolley set that simulated many of the stations and areas of Washington, DC.

By far the highlight of this museum is taking a ride in one of the vintage street cars in the museums collection. During the month of December, those rides are taken at night... and usually with Santa. Since we visited after Christmas, we missed both the crowds and the jolly fat man.

The museum has a little over a mile of track and it makes about a 20 minute ride with a stop to talk in the middle. Going by day might be cool, but at night it is AWESOME!!!!

It was wet and there were leaves on the track. That made our ride a little longer. The trolley didn't want to go up the hills and was somewhat limited in its stopping ability. Noramlly there is a container of sand and a spreader that puts sand under the wheels to give traction. They'd run out of sand earlier. We got to watch the guy refill the sand after.

There are plans for a full renovation of the museum in the next year. The plans we saw were amazing. It is scheduled to be completed early in 2009. It will have space for inside viewing of the existing trolley cars as well as a full restoration site that can be toured.

The PCC car that we rode on was the first of its kind in commission in 1937 and the last to run when trolley service was ended in 1962. Its sister cars were sent all over the world for further use. Some, like this one, have returned to DC.

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Vacation Road Trips