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Operating the Branford Electric Railway (don't 56k it...)


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As some of you may know, Member's Day at Branford was Saturday. A lot of the "olde" equipment was out for a spin.


The treat of the day for me was getting to operate one of the old Brooklyn el cars back down the line. I also wanted to get some different shots this time so instead of getting shots of the trains or of people and posting it without their permission (kidding), I wanted to get shots of the scenic line.


Morning fog



6688 awaits, signed as a (6) for a change by myself and a friend



Earth to foamers...there is so much more than BVE out there... (Disclaimer: I was NOT operating when this picture was taken)

















Long day...



Time to call it a night



The Brooklyn el car I operated


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oh wow is that the place where you can go and operate a train yourself? (sorry to sound like such a noob). can you get there without a car? how much does it cost to operate the train? and also, can you change the rollsign on the redbird to make it a <5> or whatever you want?

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You can get there by Metro North to New Haven but then you need to take a cab if someone is not picking you up. To operate, it is $40 which includes a 1 year membership to the museum and some training. There will be an instructor with you to tell you when to speed up and slow down and of course stop you if you do something wrong. As for changing the rollsigns, you can sign it up but it is alot of work because the signs need to be cleaned. Some of the operators try to discourage it to prevent people from breaking the signs though. And unless you come up for members day, the chance of the El car being out is very slim. Your along choices are really the Low-V and the R17. Hopefully by the end of the summer the R9 will be on the road again too.

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You can get there by Metro North to New Haven but then you need to take a cab if someone is not picking you up. To operate, it is $40 which includes a 1 year membership to the museum and some training.
It's $50 dollars.
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They raised it? It was $40 last year.
I guess they did.
The fee of $50 includes your admission and one year's individual membership in the museum at the Associate level. You'll also receive a photo-certificate of completion, suitable for framing.


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In response to all of the above.


Yes this year it is $50. It was raised. That's $30 to operate and $20 for one year's membership which includes the free newsletter. That means if you go up more than once during the season (your membership is good until the end of the calendar year), the second/third/fourth etc. time it is only $30. When you are operating, a TSS ;), er, an operator qualified on that car will be with you giving you instructions and monitoring you, and if its an RT car he'll be holding the cord waiting for you to screw up :P (kidding...but only partly)


This place is a lot of fun but it is not for the foam line. If you're just going to go up and twirl the rollsigns all day, you're better off NOT going, trust me on that... The equipment is old, and changing the signs, since as Matted said they haven't been serviced in a while is a little more challenging that you might think. Typically if the signs are changed at all they are changed once and that's it. However if you have an interest in the equipment, in history, and you enjoy riding and talking to good people you will have a good time.


In addition it's worth pointing out that its primary mission is as a trolley museum so there is a lot more than just subway cars there, and that stuff is fun to operate/ride as well. So if you go up you will get a lot more out of it if you ride different things. I don't know what's going to run this weekend. I have an idea but it depends on the condition of the equipment / who else wants to run what and who's going. Subway cars only come out on designated "rapid transit" weekends. The trolleys run all the time. Guest operation is typically only offered on rapid transit weekends, although ON TROLLEY CARS ONLY it can be arranged by special request on other dates.


The Arnine still has a lot of work left, some day it will be done. Maybe by the very end of the summer if everything goes perfectly, but realistically it will probably be closer to 2010. I'd love to be one of the first ones to operate it when it's done.


Member's Day was indeed a lot of fun. It was good to catch up with some friends and make new ones. The weather was beautiful and allowed for me to take the photos I did.

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I do not think there is an age restriction, but if you are 16 and under you may want to call first. It really depends on how you act when you are there because we have had problems with kids being in places and doing things they should not be doing. Last year, some kids were in the cab of 6688 and were flipping circuit breakers and shut off the compressor.

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It is for 18+ but sometimes exceptions are made. Too many times kids come up and do dumb things like Matted said above. The odds of you getting to do it are increased if you are there with adult supervision.

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Well, I called them a few days ago, and they said that you could be any age as long as you can see out the front window... so I don't know if that lady knew what she was talking about.

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