Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’

Pa. Museum Breaks Ground on Visitor Center

May 11, 2021

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has broken ground on a 21,000-square-foot welcome and education center.

The center is being build as part of the museum’s On Track for the Future campaign to expand its east campus to increase programs and events.

Located in Washington, Pennsylvania, the welcome center is expected open in about a year.

It will have interactive exhibits, classrooms and event room, a ticket office, offices, and a store for the museum, which has 50 trolley cars on display.

The On Track campaign has raised more than $14 million, including a $5 million grant from the Allegheny Foundation and $2.5 million from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Efforts are underway by the museum to raise an additional $1 million to be used for the new center.

Pa. Trolley Museum Sets Spring Fling Event

March 11, 2021

The Easter Bunny will be a feature attraction when the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum opens for the season on April 2.

The museum, located in Washington, Pennsylvania, will host a Spring Fling event on April 2 and 3.

There will be trolley rides and socially distanced photos ops with the Easter Bunny. There also will be a large toy train display.

COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will be in place and therefore tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

Masks are required for visitors over 2 years of age, social distancing will be practiced, and enhanced cleaning procedures will be observed.

20 Trolleys to Parade at Pa. Trolley Museum

June 20, 2019

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum will have three parade featuring 20 trolleys during its Anything on Wheels festival this weekend at the museum located in Washington, Pennsylvania.

The three parades will have half a dozen work cars and the first time MU train.

There will also be an antique show, unlimited rides and plenty of photo opportunities.

The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday (June 22 and 23).

Nine Years Ago Today, a Most Memorable Outing

June 6, 2019

The late Frank Kellogg boards car 4398 at the beginning of the tour of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. The outing there was held June 6, 2010.

I ran across the other day a computer folder with scans labeled “Pennsylvania Trolley Museum” that contained images I made during an Akron Railroad Club outing there nine years ago today (June 6, 2010).

Seeing those images brought back a flood of memories about one of the ARRC’s most successful endeavors during my time as president.

The idea to make a trip to the museum came from Alex Bruchac in response to my call for ideas of activities the club could pursue that year.

That was during the winter and sometime that spring the members voted in favor of making the trip.

Alex, who is a long-time volunteer at the museum, made all of the arrangements, including chartering a Southeastern Trailways motor coach.

The outing got off to a less than promising start when thunderstorms rolled through Northeast Ohio that morning.

A few of us met for breakfast at the Bob Evans restaurant on Rockside Road in Independence, which was located adjacent to the hotel where the bus would stop and pick up those from the Cleveland area.

From there the bus proceeded to the club’s meeting site, the New Horizons Christian Church, to pick up the Akron area contingent.

All told there were 37 ARRC members and guests on the trip, which was a good turnout for an ARRC outing.

We stopped at a rest area on the Ohio Turnpike en route to enable those who wished to do to get breakfast at a McDonald’s.

From there we headed for Washington, Pennsylvania, the location of the museum, which was once known as the Arden Trolley Museum.

We were greeted by museum CEO Scott Becker, who would be our host and tour guide for the day.

Becker showed us a short video about the museum, talked about the collection and answered questions.

The classroom session out of the way, we walked out the door and boarded car 4398, an orange-colored former Pittsburgh Railways car that had been built in 1917 by St. Louis Car Company.

The 4398 had recently been restored and ferried us around the museum grounds. We were the first group to ride in the car since it had returned to revenue service.

It was one of three cars we rode that day. The others were the red and cream No. 1711, a PCC built in 1949 by St. Louis Car for Pittsburgh Railways; and the maroon-colored No. 78, built by Brill in 1931 for the Red Arrow Lines of Philadelphia.

Between trips aboard these three cars, which covered all of the museum’s trackage, we toured the car barns and heard about the history of the other cars in the museum’s collection.

Much of the time our motorman for the day was Dave Carpenter, the lead car operator instructor.

The storms that had struck earlier in the day stayed away and we remained dry.

As evening began approaching, we re-boarded our bus and stopped for dinner at a nearby Eat ‘n Park restaurant.

Then it was back to Akron and Independence. During the trip home four of the officers came up with the plan to name J. Gary Dillon as an ARRC life member at the July meeting.

My recollection is that we didn’t lose money on this outing and the high number of participants raised the prospect of doing another bus tour.

We discussed doing the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, but that idea never came close to coming about. There was some complication in doing it and I no longer recall those details.

There was also a concern that if a trip was poorly attended the club could lose a lot of money.

As enjoyable as the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum trip had been I wasn’t sure we could duplicate that success on another trip.

Some events just seem to have everything going for them and the same level of enthusiasm for an encore performance just isn’t there.

That trip to Pennsylvania would be the last time that the ARRC took a bus trip to a museum or event. In fact it was the only such outing the club has had since I joined the group in 2003.

When I look back on that trip today I can’t help but think about some of the ARRC members and friends who were there that day who have since passed away.

It was just one of those days when it seemed that everything just worked out very well and everyone who was there had a good, if not great, time.

I’m reminded of a couple of lines from the Bryan Adams song Summer of ’69: “And if I had the choice, yeah I always wanna be there.”

I haven’t been back to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum since that 2010 trip. It always seemed to be far away and I wasn’t familiar with how to get there.

Unless you are really passionate about streetcars and trolleys there is the element of seeing it once is enough.

Nonetheless, enough time has passed that it might be worthwhile to visit again.

Pa.Trolley Museum To Host Anything on Wheels

June 4, 2019

Alex Bruchac has passed along the news that the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum will conduct its Anything on Wheels event on June 22-23 in Washington, Pennsylvania.

On Saturday the museum will conduct its annual trolley parade featuring more than dozen operating streetcars.

There will be three shows scheduled throughout the day offering plenty of photo opportunities.

Also on the bill are unlimited trolley rides on both days and tours of the non-operating cars in the Trolley Display Building.

An antique truck show will also be held on Saturday while Sunday will have a classic car show.

For more information visit

Museums Win Dailey Foundation Grants

September 5, 2018

Railway museums in Ohio and Pennsylvania were among the 12 recipients of grants totaling $29,000 that were awarded last month by the Tom E. Dailey Foundation.

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum  received $1,000 that will be used for bronze ears for its Overhead Trolley System on Trolley Street. The project requires approximately 50 ears at a cost of $100-$150 each. Full construction is expected to take two years.

The Ohio Railway Museum received $2,500 to be used for the restoration of car 703, the last remaining Columbus streetcar built in 1925 by the G.C. Kuhlman car company.

It weighs 36,620 pounds and is a little over 45 feet long and can seat 48 passengers and 2 crew members.

In addition to a direct grant of $1,000, the Dailey Foundation approved an additional challenge grant of up to $1,500 to match donations from other contributors to this project on a dollar-for-dollar basis through Dec. 31, 2018.

Trolley Museum Displays Latest Restoration

June 8, 2018

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum recently showed off a restored streetcar as part of capital campaign to raise money for a welcome center.

An artist rendering of the proposed new visitor’s center at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.

West Penn Railways streetcar No. 832 broke a banner during the festivities to highlight the On Track for the Future campaign at the museum in Washington, Pennsylvania.

“Restoration of West Penn Railways No. 832 is one of the early projects completed through the On Track for the Future campaign that will create an integrated, immersive heritage complex on our East Campus. These new amenities will enable us to share our history more thoroughly and expand our educational impact,” said Executive Director Scott Becker in a statement.

No. 832 was one of the original three cars to arrive at the museum when it opened in 1954 and has been restored to like-new condition.

The museum also opened a photo exhibit that spotlights the 200-mile West Penn Railways system, which was western Pennsylvania’s second largest network after Pittsburgh Railways.

It operated in Westmoreland, Fayette, Allegheny, Armstrong and Washington counties, and owned Wheeling Traction in West Virginia.

A new visitor’s center has been a long-time goal of the museum so that it can expand its educational programs.

Thus far the campaign has raised $10 million with the assistance of local businesses, foundations and individuals. The museum also received a challenge grant from the Allegheny Foundation.

The projected cost of the visitor’s center is $13.5 million.

Donations can be made by calling Jessica Garda, Development Assistant, at 724.228.9256 ext. 313 or through PayPal

Pa. Trolley Museum Sets Annual Meet

May 30, 2018

The Pennsylvania Trolly Museum will be conducting its annual Western Pennsylvania Trolley Meet on June 1-3.

Admission each day is $10 per person although a three-day pass can be purchased for $25.

Throughout the meet, cars from various transit companies and agencies will be in operation and on display.

A night photo shoot will be held on Saturday night and coordinated by Steve Barry, editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine.

There will also be model railway vendors, traction memorabilia dealers, presentations, demonstrations, a model contest, and hourly door prizes.

The museum is located at 1 Museum Road in Washington, Pennsylvania. Further information is available at

Pennsylvania Museum Gets 1908 Depot

June 23, 2015

PA trolley museum

The Pennsylvania trolley museum recently took delivery of a 1908 wood interurban station that once stood in Wexford, Pennsylvania.

Constructed as a passenger/freight station, the structure most recently served as the The Wexford Post Office Deli.

The museum plans to use the 650-square foot building for educational programs.

Museum officials said restoration work that needs to be done includes new flooring, wiring and repairs to interior and exterior woodwork.

Plans are to install an air conditioning and heating system in the basement.

The depot arrived at the museum in sections. The roof was removed in two pieces and the main structure was loaded in one piece onto a trailer.

The Wexford Station served the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler & New Castle Railway. Known as “The Harmony Route,” the railway began operating in 1908 and was abandoned in 1931. The Wexford station was larger than most stations on the interurban route.

Before serving as a deli, the station was moved to downtown Wexford and served as a post office until 1964.

The owner of the deli business went out of business in 2014 and the land on which the former station sat was sold.

Funding for moving the station was provided by grants from the Allegheny Foundation, Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency, First Niagara Bank Foundation and individual donations.

The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation has donated two large waiting room benches.

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum Awarded Grant

March 24, 2015

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has received a $9,847 grant from the Pennsylvania Cultural and Historical Grant Program.

The one-year program is distributing $2 million in grants in support of the preservation of Pennsylvania’s history.

“The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is a slice of state history that we are blessed to have located in the 46th Legislative District,” said state Rep. Jason Ortitay in a news release announcing the grant. “It is my hope that this funding will help to ensure the story of Pennsylvania’s trolley era is told to many generations to come.”

The museum acquired its first piece of equipment in 1949, a Pittsburgh Railways Company M-1, a small four wheel Pittsburgh trolley.

The Arden Trolley Museum opened in June 1963 and now has a collection of nearly 50 cars. The museum has 600 members, 150 active volunteers and more than 30,000 yearly visitors.

For more information, go to