The operator of public transportation in Frankfurt am Main, the Stadtwerke, keeps one example of every type of vehicle used for the city’s public transportation system since the beginning of their operations. Displaying that collection, the Verkehrsmuseum (Transit Museum), opened its doors in 1984. It features the oldest preserved electric trolley car in the world. The worldwide unique museum displays the development of public transportation of its city, especially the trolley car, completely without interruption.
In 1950, the trolley worker Ernst Lebeck found two old trolley cars, one from 1872, which was pulled by a horse and an electric engine with its car from 1884, hidden under some canvases in an abandoned trolley hall. At that moment the idea to keep one example of every vehicle used for public transportation was born. The Stadtwerke kept those vehicles in a hall in the suburb Swanheim. For the next 30 years, it would not be open to the public.
But when the Verkehrsmuseum opened on May 8, 1984, the operator did not anticipate the level of public interest they would receive. The museum had to be enlarged in order to be able to keep up with the fast development. An association, the Verein Historische Straßenbahn der Stadt Frankfurt am Main (HSF), was founded and took over the operation of the museum in 2006. A second hall and an open-air area were added.
The museum tells the history of public transportation in Frankfurt am Main. Trolley cars from many different time periods are on display, and many of them can be entered. The pride of the museum is the electric trolley engine with its car from 1884—the oldest preserved electric trolley car in the world. Other exhibits highlight the machines used to build and maintain the tracks of the trolley system, train engines, and omnibuses. The use of overhead contact lines is explained and displayed, as well as a control center for switch stands. Other items on display include uniforms, tickets, signs, engines, and much more.
From time to time the museum offers tours with some of their ancient exhibits and other special exhibits and events. Dates for those special events can be found on the museum website.
Know Before You Go
The museum can be found directly at the terminal stop of the trolley car No. 12. If you come by car, paid parking can be found around the museum.
The museum is open every Sunday and on public holidays (not on Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entrance Fees: Adults: 3.00 € Children: 1.00 € Students and Senior Citizens: 2.00 €