The permanent exhibition “From horse-drawn streetcars to modern times” offers a comprehensive overview of the development of Frankfurt’s public transport system and makes history come alive again with original exhibits lovingly restored in the workshops of the former Stadtwerke Frankfurt am Main (today: Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt am Main). The diverse collection of vehicles is supplemented by documents, historical network maps, numerous pictures of Frankfurt vehicle types, and a collection of tickets that were ever valid in Frankfurt am Main.
Cutaway models of traction motors and various telephone systems made especially for the museum, historical service dress, signal pictures and a model railway layout showing Frankfurt in the 1960s complete the exhibition. A panoramic signal board, which dates from the early days of the light rail era and was housed in the then control center under the Hauptwache until 1984, provides information about the track location of the so-called A line (today: lines U1, U2, U3 and U8) and the associated signaling. Indicator lights showed employees where the trains were at any given time. Museum visitors can practically understand this on the model.
Two historic carriage halls of the former Frankfurt Waldbahn-Gesellschaft (1889-1929), an outdoor area incorporated into the exhibition and the Schwanheim station building, which is a listed building, form the external framework and provide a second home for the more than two dozen historic rail vehicles and buses. Highlights include the first horse-drawn tramcar from 1872, one of the first electric railcars from 1884, a steam locomotive from 1900 and the light rail prototype from 1964. But a look into the future is also ventured.