Friday, September 11, 2009

Seashore Trolley Museum Debuts Restoration of Historic Electric Locomotive

It takes 600 volts of electricity to power the locomotive known as ASL No. 100 down Seashore Trolley Museum’s tracks; beginning on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 the public can view this fully restored, century-old locomotive in operation for the first time in more than five decades. Descendants of the men who operated this locomotive after it was built in 1906 will attend a private dedication ceremony on Sept. 25, along with state senators and representatives, museum members, and educators, to celebrate the completion of a $180,000 project funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation, as well as several railway societies, local businesses, and individuals. The ceremony also commemorates the opening of a new gallery exhibit History in Motion: Public Transportation Connecting Maine Communities and the launch of an elementary school science and technology educational initiative.
“The ASL-100 project has fully restored the last surviving, original piece of rolling stock from the historic Atlantic Shore Line Railway system, one of only two locomotives of its style to survive in North America. This locomotive tells the history of both the textile industry in the Sanford-Springvale area and the resort industry in the Kennebunks,” said Phil Morse, Project Manager. The Atlantic Shore Line (ASL) moved freight back and forth between the mills and the Boston & Maine Railroad, transported coal from Cape Porpoise, Maine’s harbor to power the looms of the Sanford mills, and carried passengers to a number of southern Maine resort destinations. “ASL No.100 is one of the Museum’s ten Maine vehicles listed in the National Historic Register. It is a significant landmark in the history of public transportation; its restoration is one of a dozen projects underway in the Museum’s Town House Restoration Shop,” said Jim Schantz, Board of Trustees Chairman. Over the past three years, more than fifty Museum volunteers have contributed more than 3,500 hours to the success of the ASL No. 100 project. Individuals and business donated valuable services and materials.
The ASL No. 100 project helped forge the Museum’s partnership with the Engineering is Elementary Program at the Museum of Science’s National Center for Technological Literacy. “Third to fifth grade teachers need more curricular materials aligned with the new Learning Results in Science and Technology,” said Anita Bernhardt of Maine’s Department of Education, “particularly the standards directed at scientific inquiry and technological design.”
“Seashore Trolley Museum has responded to this curricular need by designing curricular materials that integrate science and social studies and assist teachers in meeting the new Maine Learning Results. By partnering with Boston’s Museum of Science Engineering is Elementary program, we ensure that we offer the best national practices in instructional design,” said exhibit curator and educational consultant, Patricia Erikson.
Founded in 1939, Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is a museum of mass transit whose mission is to collect, restore, preserve, exhibit and demonstrate the operation of its collection of more than 250 transit vehicles. Over 20,000 visitors each year view, and often ride, the Museum’s streetcars, interurbans, transit, school, and coach buses, and trackless trolleys from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, Scotland, Italy, and the U.K. The Museum is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world with a satellite exhibit in Lowell, Mass.
Photo caption: Part of the ASL No. 100 exhibit at the Seashore Trolley Museum. (Phil Morse photo)