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A brief history of the Seashore Trolley Museum


  • Picture of a Trolley at Seashore Trolley Museum
  • Picture of a Trolley at Seashore Trolley Museum
  • Picture of a Trolley at Seashore Trolley Museum

The Seashore Trolley Museum is the largest and oldest museum of mass transit vehicles.  In 1939, the Biddeford and Saco Railroad began purchasing motor buses to replace their trolley cars, and the formation of the museum was born.  Led by Harvard Graduate Theodore Santarelli, a group of railfans purchased a single trolley to preserve for posterity for $150.00 and it was moved to Log Cabin Road in Kennebunkport, ME. The group merged with another group of railfans who purchased a trolley from the Manchester and Nashua Street Railway. 

During World War II the museum was temporarily put on hold due to many of its members enlisting and the conversion of trolleys to buses stalled.  After the war the conversion to buses resumed causing a mass influx of trolleys for the museum’s collection.

As of 2010, the museum houses over 260 vehicles from all over the United States as well as trolleys from as far away as Japan and Australia.  The collection has expanded to include locomotives, buses, and even state of the art rapid transit railcars. 


Visiting the museum

The Seashore Trolley Museum’s campus currently occupies over 330 acres and offers a living history of the transit and transportation industry. Located on this campus, you will experience the following:

The Visitors’ Center contains a gift shop, ticket booth, snack bar, and a 1600 square foot gallery displaying many artifacts related to trolleys and mass transit.

Fully restored and operational trolleys, buses, railcars and locomotives are on display in three carbarns. 

An observation deck overlooking the Town House Restoration Shop allows you a bird’s eye view of current restorative projects in the making.

Ride the rails in an actual restored and fully operational trolley and enjoy spectacular scenery from the Visitors’ Center for a mile and a half to Talbot Park and back.

Must See Attraction

Whether you are a history buff, or you just want to enjoy a leisurely trolley ride in the beautiful Maine countryside, the Seashore Trolley Museum is a “must see” destination.