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Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway No. 10

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The museum's chief asset is the SF&C combination passenger-baggage car No. 10. The car body was donated to the museum in 1992 by Marshall Johnson, whose father purchased it in 1928 after the trolley company ceased operations. On October 9, 1999, restored No. 10 made its formal return to operation amid a gala festival held to honor the car, its donor, and the many volunteers and professionals who helped make an impossible dream a reality. No. 10 is relatively well known among trolley enthusiasts. Drawings of it were published in Model Railroader (April 1970) and in the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society' s Transportation Bulletin No. 75, (1967- 68). (The latter publication includes a detailed history of the SF&C and the Bridge of Flowers, and is sold at the Museum's TrolleyStop giftshop.) Brass models of this attractive car were made by Fomras of Japan and imported in recent years. With an overall length of 32'-9", No. 10 is one of the smallest eight-wheel interurban combination cars ever built in the United States.

The car was built by the Wason Manufacturing Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1896, the year the SF&C was opened. It was considered state-of-the-art at the time, having electric heaters and lights. Wason was noted for building streetcars used throughout New England and other eastern states and for building the first 400 cars of the Manhattan Elevated in New York City after that line was electrified. Wason also built standard railroad coach and sleeper cars and did a good export business to South America and the Orient. The company built all its parts except for motors and, in World War I, even built airplanes for the war effort. Wason was acquired by the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia in 1907 but retained its corporate identity until its closing days in 1931-32. No. 10 was inspected in April 1991 by Kinsley Goodrich of Dalton, (click here for picture) a professional woodworker with a longtime interest in trolleys and experience in operating and providing milled wood components for trolleys at the Connecticut Electric Railway Museum in Warehouse Point. The car was found to be in relatively good shape, considering its long inactivity, its age, and conditions of storage. Rainwater had for the most part been kept out of the interior by metal roofing material on the lower roofs and roofing paper over the clerestory roof. Some of the interior paneling, trim, benches, and floor boards had to be refinished; the rest was rebuilt. Hidden posts in the side walls were generally in good condition. Part of one side sill, window sills and sash, and the roof had to be replaced.

Old tires and concrete blocks had been piled on the roof (click here for picture) to hold down the roofing paper. The resulting weight caused some distortion to the body lines, but this has been straightened by shimming at key points. The baggage-end vestibule was badly rotted and needed complete rebuilding.

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