East Haven receives grant to repair trolleys

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Shore Line Trolley Museum is is set to get more than a million dollars to help repair trolleys that were damaged during Super Storm Sandy. Today U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) today announced a $1.2 million federal grant for the museum from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fifty-three antique trolleys were badly damaged by Sandy.  Trolleys were also damaged during Hurricane Irene.  The museum reached out to FEMA for funds then, but they were delayed because FEMA required the museum to obtain flood insurance for the trolleys. The National Flood Insurance Program however does not cover antique trolleys, so that award money got stalled. The museum then reached out to Senators Blumenthal & Murphy as well as Congresswoman DeLauro.  They wrote to FEMA explaining that flood insurance requirement was not applicable or appropriate in these circumstances.

Ultimately the museum built two new storage facilities on higher ground to eliminate the need for flood insurance and protect the trolleys. With future flood concerns addressed, FEMA re-issued the Irene award, and has now issued assistance for the Sandy damage as well.

“We are pleased that FEMA and the Trolley Museum were able to reach an agreement that allows for the restoration and repair of these beautiful and historic working trolleys, while also protecting them from future flooding and severe weather. The Trolley Museum has educated and delighted generations of children from across Connecticut, and with this federal funding we can be assured that families can continue to ride the trolleys and experience that same joy for many years to come,” Blumenthal, Murphy and DeLauro said.

“This is huge for the Trolley Museum. This means the cars will be rebuilt and preserved so that future generations will be able to experience riding on a trolley car,” said Wayne Sandford, General Manager of the Trolley Museum.

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