Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Inc. provides extensive hands-on and "classroom" training for all of our trolley and pump car crew-members.
This year we have decided to split training into two sections; one classroom and one hands-on.
We will have a new edition of our Rulebook published this year so part of the classroom session will be to get everyone up to speed on the changes we made, as well as go over some other topics.
The training dates are as follows:
Classroom Sessions: Sun. April 24 OR Sat. April 30 at 10am at the museum, AND
Hands-on Sessions: Sat. May 14 OR Sun. May 22 at 10am at the museum.
We are requiring our crews to attend one of each session. If you can not make either date for each session please let Josh know and we will work something out. Please note that tardiness to the sessions you signed up for may result in you not being eligible for re-qualification on that day and that make-up work may be required to achieve qualification.
Lunch will be provided for all registered participants.
These days are geared for re-qualifying returning crew-members, but new volunteers should attend as well. We will cover safety issues, go over proper operation and care of No. 10 and the pumpcar and the speeder, and talk about passenger care and methods for telling our guests about the history of No. 10, the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway and the Bridge of Flowers. Some time will be available in the afternoon of the Hands-on Sessions for individual hands-on re-qualification and training.
We are looking forward to our upcoming interesting and safe season of hauling passengers back to a quieter time, before gas stations, even before the invention of the hamburger. It is important that all our volunteers keep safety foremost in mind, and training and rules make doing that much easier.
During the time (1896-1927) that the SF&C St Ry operated, women were not considered to be suitable trolley car crew-members. We know better, we have several women on our crew and we welcome anyone. Since 'motorperson' seems too awkward, we hope you will forgive us if we use the historically correct 'Motorman' to refer to anyone who operates our trolley car. 'Operator' might seem like a good substitute but it has a different meaning, see the Rulebook. Fortunately, 'Conductor' is gender-neutral.
If you are not on the SFTM Crew email list already, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added so we can keep you up-to-date.
We have a new Rulebook! We will provide printed copies, but meanwhile you can download it and start getting familiar.
There are no significant changes for Normal Operations. We have removed the concept of Dispatcher and are implementing a new system for Special Operations (Speeder rides, caboose rides, pump car not on the Middle Track, etc.)
To re-qualify, please carefully study your Rulebook (April 24, 2022), Special Orders and Policy Manual (see below), then take the appropriate written Exams available below for download. You will also need to take a 'Road Exam' to demonstrate proper methods of operating the trolley (and/or pump car) and working with passengers. You may take your Road Exam with Sam Bartlett, Josh Redenz, Nash Bly or another crew member who has already been re-qualified. Be sure that whoever gives you your Road Exam also lets Josh know that you are requalfied. Please discuss anything you are unclear about with your re-qualification partner, or Sam Bartlett, Nash Bly or Josh Redenz.
If you wish to qualify as an Operator (see rule 8), please talk with Josh Redenz or Sam Bartlett. If you have at least one year of experience at SFTM, are over 21, can demonstrate competence in preparing the car for service, operating the car solo and putting the car away, you can be qualified as an Operator.
You must be at least twelve-years-old to be a Pump Car Operator. You must be at least fifteen-years-old to be a Motorman or Conductor.
New Candidates: Please read the Rulebook, Special Orders and Policy Manual (see below). Some of the Rules may not make sense until you have had some hands-on instruction as well, so read, run, read, run, until you are comfortable with all aspects of the trolley operation. New candidates are encouraged to come during regular hours to observe other crew as well. Introduce yourself and explain that you are hoping to qualify as a crew-member. If the Motorman is willing, you can get some hands-on training under his/her direct supervision. Also watch the Conductor to learn that job, and learn the history that the Conductors relate to the passengers. Come early to learn the procedures for preparing the car for service and putting it away at the end of the day (there are checklists for this, once you've been through it it is pretty easy). When you feel ready, take the written Exam, and tell Josh Redenz or Sam Bartlett when you feel ready for some final hands-on training. Your instructor will let you know when he feels you are qualified. We'll get you keys and a name tag, and you'll be on your way. Note that the museum officers retain the right to deny qualification to any individual that they feel cannot safely and responsibly carry out the responsibilities of any position.
Please contact us if you are planning to attend Training Day.
The Rules are for your safety, the safety of others and the safety of our equipment. The Rules must be understood and followed.
The Policies are to help make the museum operation appealing, educational and attractive. Adherence to Policies is encouraged but is at your discretion. For example, if you are a person who just doesn't wear hats, you don't have to wear a Conductor's hat.
You are not expected to memorize Rules or Policies, but should have a good understanding of both. Keep your Rulebook nearby you when operating so you can refer to it if needed.
Know the line's, car's and museum's history found elsewhere on this site. Another essential resource is the Transportation Bulletin, available to borrow from the Office and downloadable here.
Please refer to our draft SFTM Interpretation Manual. This is a work in progress. Please make updates, add sections or add an anecdote about No. 10 or the SF&C St Ry and submit them to Sam at email@example.com, or use the Comment feature to make your suggestions.
Below is a list of documents (in pdf format unless otherwise indicated) you will need for becoming a qualified crew-member.
The written Exams (below) are open book. But the point is for you to read and understand ALL the Rules, not to just skim for answers.
When you have completed and double-checked your exams, turn them in to Josh for grading.
Please put completed exams in Josh Redenz's "mailbox" in the Car Barn on the shelves near the east pass door.
If you won't be at the museum before Training Day, please either mail your exams to:
80 Justice Drive
Amherst, Ma. 01002
you may take a scan or picture of your completed exams and email it to Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do this please still put the originals in Josh's mailbox (see above).
Here are the links for downloading the written exams:
Here is a spreadsheet of links to documents in our Virtual Library.
14 Depot Street Shelburne Falls MA 01370        413-625-9443       email@example.com