Tuesday, December 26, 2006

the trolley museum is boring

Christmas is over, and all is well in East County, except at the National Capital Trolley Museum on Bonifant Road, which like its forebearers fifty years ago will have to make way for the InterCounty Connector. (Is this ironic? I can't tell.) The Post notes that "there haven't been any jokes about the automobile once again plowing over the streetcar, as it did in the 1930s" in a story about the move a few hundred feet away to another spot within Northwest Branch Park.

The way I see it, this museum should be an advertisement for public transportation, but instead it's just boring. Currently, the visitors' center is small and crowded, and the centerpiece - a mile-long ride through the woods on a restored trolley - isn't particularly nostalgic or even entertaining.

The InterCounty Connector serves as a challenge for the museum to make the streetcar story more compelling - not just for the people who can remember riding them decades ago, but for those of us born after 1960 who grew up in cars or on the Metro. Upon leaving the Trolley Museum, I should be angry that the Purple Line isn't running already. Hopefully, the new museum will get people that excited.

1 comment:

Ben Ross said...

Many of the Trolley Museum volunteers were mainstays of the initial efforts to build light rail from Bethesda to Silver Spring in the late 1980s (mostly before I got involved).