Map trolley routes in Willimantic. Courtesy of:


Willimantic-South Coventry trolley line opening day in August of 1909. Courtesy of:

  Trolleys were a popular mode of transportation in town because they could move around more people than horse pulled vehicles would, a horse might draw 10-12 people but a streetcar in a railway could carry as many as 75.


   Willimantic had two trolley lines, the Willimantic to Norwich route and the Willimantic to Coventry one. The "Thread City" was serviced by cars from Norwich from 1903-1936, and also by cars from Coventry from 1909-1926. Both lines ended at the New York New Hampshire & Hartford railroads, but since the trolleys did not cross the railroad tracks, travelers had cross the tracks on foot to change cars.


   As can be seen in the map, Willimantic was a transportation hub for trolleys. In 1910, all trolley cars left Willimantic for Baltic, Norwich, and New London at 25 minutes after the hour. They arrived from those locations at 5 minutes after the hour. The Willimantic-Coventry line would leave the Railroad Crossing on Main Street at 15 minutes after the hour and return at 15 minutes after the hour. The last car for the South Coventry line would leave at 11:15 p.m. and the last car from there would leave at 11:45 p.m. On weekend afternoons the Willimantic-South Coventry line would run in half-hour schedules.