APTA Streetcar and
Seashore Trolley Museum Logo
Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Lowell, MA

[Back to Existing Systems]

Lowell, Massachusetts

The Seashore Trolley Museum's New Orleans 966 operating in Lowell on June 19, 2003 along with Gomaco replica 4131. No. 966 is in Lowell as part of an exhibit, On Track: Transit in the American City in Lowell and Across America, as the first offering of Seashore's planned branch the National Streetcar Museum at Lowell. Click here for information about the exhibit.

November, 2011: The long-running study to extend the heritage trolley system in Lowell has reached a major milestone with the release of a study defining routes, phasing, estimated finances, and benefits of the project. The project was sponsored by the Lowell Plan business association and the Lowell National Historical Park. Key participants include the City of Lowell, the University of Massachusetts, real estate developer Trinity Financial, the Seashore Trolley Museum, and the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments. Click on the following link to access the report:

Lowell Trolley Study

The following news notes pertain to heritage trolley developments in Lowell:

July, 2007: Gallagher Connection Charette Report Released. The most difficult infrastructure challenge in building the proposed extensions to the trolley system is connecting the existing system to the Gallagher commuter rail and bus terminal, from which MBTA commuter trains to Boston run. This report outlines several alternatives to the route proposed in the 2003 study (see link under January, 2003 below) and includes diagrams and cost estimate tables. Click on the following link to access the report:

Gallagher Connection Charette Report

January, 2003: Feasibility Study Released. The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center of Cambridge, MA released the final report of its study of the feasibility for the expanded Lowell trolley system. Click on the following link to access the report:

Historic Trolley Planning Study

Follow this link for an Overview of Lowell's current heritage trolley line.

The following is a column from the Seashore Trolley Museum Dispatch describing the planned collaboration between Lowell and the museum:

Long Range Possibility: Seashore in Lowell

The below is a project description of the proposed extension to the heritage trolley line and branch museum:

Lowell Heritage Trolley Extension Description

Below is an aerial image showing Lowell's current heritage trolley line. Follow the Historic Planning Study link above to see a map of proposed routes::

This view shows the Lowell National HIstoric Park's existing heritage trolley routes superimposed on an aerial view of the city.


The following are images of heritage trolleys operating in Lowell:

Lowell open 1602 pauses in front of the Boott Mills, home to the National Park's operating looms.

No. 1602 winds between a former mill storage building on the left manufacturing mill on the right, both now being redeveloped.

A group of park visitors leaves open 1601 as they transition from trolley to canal boat for a continuation of their tour.

All Lowell cars are double-ended, and all three end points of the T-shaped line are stub ends, such as this one.

Replica Eastern Massachusetts open car 1601 at the Wannalancit Mills, the current end of line.

Car 1601 waits at the end of line on reserved track at the Wannalancit Mills.

Replica Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway car 4131 makes a rare winter appearance to host dignitaries evaluating the proposed trolley extension pla

Another view of 4131 crossing the street in snow.


In late 2002, the Lowell National Historic Park implemented an innovative approach to adding accessibility to its replica cars without altering there exterior appearance.

The remote control to operate the lift plugs into a socket inside the light fixture. A manual override panel is to the left.

The operator plugs in the remote control after swinging the car's step out of the way.

Using the remote control, the operator deploys the lift.

Will Lavallee, the system designer, pulls out the bridge plates that will go from the car interior to the lift.

Will demonstrates how one of the plates appears when deployed. A second would be placed closer to the camera.

The upper flap on the lift will fold into the car and rest on top of the bridge plates.

The lift fully extended, with the upper flap positioned where it would hit the bridge plates.

A wheelchair tie down is beneath a longitudinal seat inside the car.

Will demonstrates replacing the removable seat section.



For more on the Lowell heritage trolley system click on:



[Back to Existing Systems]