It takes 600 volts of electricity to power the locomotive known as “ASL No. 100” down Seashore Trolley Museum’s tracks. Starting today, the public can view this fully-restored, century-old locomotive in operation for the first time in more than five decades.
Yesterday, descendants of the men who operated this locomotive after it was built in 1906 attended a private dedication ceremony, along with state senators and representatives, museum members, and educators, to celebrate the completion of a $180,000 project funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation, as well as several railway societies, local businesses, and individuals. The ceremony also commemorated the opening of a new gallery exhibit that I curated: History in Motion: Public Transportation Connecting Maine Communities and the launch of an elementary school science and technology educational initiative, which I will continue to develop this year.
The ASL-100 project has fully restored the last surviving, original piece of rolling stock from the historic Atlantic Shore Line Railway system, one of only two locomotives of its style to survive in North America. The Atlantic Shore Line (ASL) moved freight back and forth between the mills and the Boston & Maine Railroad, transported coal from Cape Porpoise, Maine’s harbor to power the looms of the Sanford mills, and carried passengers to a number of southern Maine resort destinations. As an artifact, the locomotive helps us interpret the history of both the textile industry in the Sanford-Springvale area and the resort industry in the Kennebunks.
ASL #100 is one of the Museum’s ten Maine vehicles listed in the National Historic Register. It's a significant landmark in the history of public transportation and its restoration is one of a dozen projects underway in the Museum’s Town House Restoration Shop, according to Jim Schantz, Board of Trustees Chairman.