Rails Across Martha's Vineyard

Steam Narrow Gauge and Trolley Lines

By Herman Page

72 pages, softcover


ISBN: 978-0-942035-83-4

Martha's Vineyard is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Massachusetts. The Vineyard became a place for summer vacationing in the late 1800s, and residents turned to rail travel as an easy means of traveling about the Island. Beginning in 1873, the first horse-drawn streetcar line began operation on the Vineyard. This was followed the next year by the three-foot-gauge Martha's Vineyard Railroad, operating for nine miles between the communities of Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Katama. The little-known histories of both the Island's steam narrow-gauge railroad and what grew to be a seven-mile electric streetcar system are explored in this title. Attention is given to the operating history and equipment used by the two unique rail systems. The narrow gauge ended service in 1895, followed by the trolley lines in 1918. While any kind of rail service on Martha's Vineyard has been gone for about a century or more, this book relives the era when travel by train or trolley was part of daily life on the Island.

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