Gil on the Go: Live at the CT Trolley Museum in East Windsor


EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons is making his way to communities across the state every Friday in October for our Gil on the Go series!

This week, Gil is live at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor.

The Connecticut Trolley Museum exhibits over 70 pieces of rail equipment, with some dating back to as early as 1869. Trolleys on display include ones used in Connecticut, all over North America, and even Brazil.

So, where were trolleys used in Connecticut? Take a look; the purple lines are the railways:

Photo: CT Trolley Museum

In 1901, The Hartford & Springfield Street Railway started operation, which was merged with a few smaller street railways. All the extended branches in the area were connected to the railway system by 1906. This connection was the only link between the entire street railway network of southern and northern New England, according to the museum, which allowed travelers to go between New York and Boston by trolley. Service discontinued in 1926 due to the company going into foreclosure.

Trolley Parks were established to encourage trolley riding on Sundays, which were not part of the typical workweek. It was mainly popular in the 1910s-1920s. One of those parks is Piney Ridge Park, which also had room for picnic tables, ball field, carousel, and more. As automobiles came into play, Piney Ridge eventually shut down.

Lake Quassy in Middlebury and Lake Compounce in Bristol were stops on their respective local trolley lines and were able to withstand the decline of trolleys since they were bigger, more established parks.

This Friday and Saturday, families can enjoy a trolley ride to the pumpkin patch to ring in Halloween. On weekends this holiday season, the museum will host both Winterfest and the Tunnel of Lights, where the museum will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

Keep watching Good Morning Connecticut, weekdays starting at 4 a.m. on News 8, to find out when Gil will be back on the go!

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