COLESVILLE, Md. — In the wilds of Montgomery County, there is a tribute to city life of the past and the future. The National Capital Trolley Museum is a celebration of the streetcars that used to be so common in our area. Founded in 1969 and moved to its present location in 2003 to make way for the Intercounty Connector, the Trolly Museum is a fun trip for your family.
[flickr : nationalcapitaltrolleymuseum//slideshow]
The museum shares the history of street cars in Washington and surrounding communities with photos and explanations. There is also a model railroad of the Connecticut Avenue streetcar line that can be started using streetcar controls. There is a display of how trolleys used to run along city streets via underground conduit. There are also quizzes for the kids on computers. The museum’s big attraction is the streetcar barn with several trolleys from all over the world, including some old Capital Transit cars, in various stags of restoration.
The highlight of a visit to the Trolley Museum is the streetcar ride over 1.5 miles of track. On our visit, we rode in a PCC car from Toronto through the woods and meadows of Northwest Branch Park. Along the way we saw a wild turkey and several deer. The streetcar was out of its natural environment in the natural environment. All aboard enjoyed the ride. When the foliage peaks in the next few weeks, it should be a very pleasant excursion.
As for the future of streetcars, Arlington County seems to be debating streetcars, especially on especially on Columbia Pike, endlessly (ARLNow.com), while in the District, the H Street line is delayed until next year (WTOP).