Medina County trolley museum closes for 2020 amid coronavirus concerns

By Craig Webb - Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has given his blessing for museums in the state to reopen but one Medina County museum is passing on the offer.

The Northern Ohio Railway Museum near Seville has announced that it will remain closed for all of 2020.

The museum’s walking tours and trolley rides have been called off amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

“We examined our property, buildings, antique trolley cars and the trolley ride experience with the pandemic and ODH (Ohio Department of Health) directives in mind,” the museum said in a statement. “We saw there were many challenges to overcome, some nearly impossible. Factors included the physical layout of our facilities and the desire not to alter our historic trolley cars.”

The museum also cited the health and safety of visitors and volunteers.

Work will continue during the closure to add track to allow for longer trolley rides and work on restoring trolley cars.

The closure will have a financial impact with the loss of trolley tickets, along with sales from the gift shop and donations left in trolley fare boxes.

“These sources represent a significant portion of our annual budget,” the museum said. “While we are watching our expenditures very carefully, that will only save so much. On average, the museum has several hundred dollars of bills every month that cannot be eliminated. These including utilities, insurance, and general maintenance expenses.”

The museum covers some 62 acres of land and operates a mile of track and has five operating trolleys that it offers rides on as it continues to restore other trolleys many of which were once operated in Northeast Ohio.

By Craig Webb

Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

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