Shore Line Trolley Museum was incorporated in 1945 as the Branford Electric Railway Association, with the purpose of preserving the history and significance of the trolley car. It owns almost 100 vehicles, in addition to related artifacts and documents. As the Museum's website states, A visit to the Museum is a multi-sensory voyage into the past, from the moanful growl of the motors, to the smell of the electric arc, to the feel of rattan seats and varnished hardwood detailing.
Shore Line Trolley Museum and its collections are included on the National Register of Historic Places as the Branford Electric Railway Historic District.
Visitors are able to see and ride numerous trolley cars. Museum collections include:- Connecticut Company 1602: a car built in 1911 out of wood and concrete; it used to run in New Haven (operational for rides).- New Orleans Public Service 850: built in 1922 (operational for rides).- Johnstown Traction Company 357: built in 1926, ran in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, survived a flood in 1936 (operational for rides).- Union Street Railway RPO 302: built in 1907, ran an RPO (Railway Post Office) route between Rhode Island and Massachusetts (available to see).- The Rhode Island Company 61: built in 1893, this is perhaps North America's first purpose-built electric streetcar (available to see).