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Monday, October 22, 2012

Trolleys, Trains, and Trucks, Oh My!

If you or your kids happen to like trains, you need to visit the New York Museum of Transportation. Step onto train cars, sit in antique vehicles, and take a ride on a trolley. What more could you ask for?

The New York Museum of Transportation is a volunteer-run organization that specializes in bringing the history of transportation to life. It is located at 6393 East River Road, West Henrietta, NY. The museum is open year-round on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., although the ride season is from mid-May through October with additional Holly Trolley rides in November and December.
When you arrive at the museum, stop by the ticket counter to purchase your tickets. The tickets will show the departure time for your trolley ride. You'll likely have some time before departure to check out the restored train cars. Inside you'll see some of the original seats, old ads hanging up, the old window shades...elements of the antique trains that will help you imagine what they looked like in their heyday. Climb onto the track sweeper, steam engine, dining car, and more.
Both the sweeper car and the steam engine have bells to ring; just look for the string and pull.
After exploring the train cars, be sure to see the model trains. The attention to detail within the layout is incredible. There are tiny birds atop buildings, pumpkins on the farm, and rescue helicopters hovering over a "burning" house. Each time we visit, I notice something I hadn't seen before. If you're lucky - or if you ask one of the volunteers in the model train room - you might get to see the trains "at night." When the room lights are off, the entire layout twinkles and glows.
Upon exiting the model train room, turn left to see the antique cars (or to stop at the restroom). There is a 1926 farm truck, a 1941 Chevy sedan, and a 1951 Mack fire truck. Kids can sit in each of these vehicles, and even ring the bell on the fire truck.

Once it's close to your trolley ride departure time, head back toward the full-size train cars and follow the signs directing you outside. Board the trolley and enjoy your half-mile ride to Midway Station. At this transfer station, you'll exit the trolley and board a diesel train that will take you to the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. Once you're there, volunteers will provide a guided tour of the restored country train depot, the two train cars (that you can board), and the other train equipment found there.

Finally, board the diesel train once more - and if it's a caboose, be sure to climb up to the cupola for a great view. Then at Midway Station, transfer back to a trolley that will bring you back to the Museum of Transportation.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • Parking is free. Check the web site for admission prices (usually between $5-$8).
  • Plan to eat before or after your visit; there really is not a good spot to eat at the museum. Although birthday parties make use of the dining car for snacks and cake!
  • The trolley ride will take at least one hour round trip (more likely, it will be an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half).
  • Use the restroom before your trolley ride; there are no restrooms en route and no restrooms at either Midway Station or the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. Also, there is only one restroom at the Museum of Transportation and there will likely be a line just before each departure and just after each arrival of the trolley.
  • There is no diaper changing table in the restroom.
  • Both museums are stroller-friendly, however you won't want to bring a stroller aboard the trolley. Also, leave the stroller outside the model train room - it's a tight squeeze inside with lots of fragile trains and equipment all around.
I hope you enjoy a visit to the New York Museum of Transportation soon. If you go, be sure to Post a Comment and let us know about your experience. As always, thanks for reading.

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