On June 1 Pennsylvania Trolley Museum rolled out its latest streetcar restoration, an accompanying history book and kicked off the capital campaign to build a new Welcome & Education Center and adjacent Trolley Street and park.
West Penn 832
West Penn Railways curved side interurban No. 832 (Cincinnati 1930) was one of the original three cars to arrive at the museum when it opened in 1954. It’s in like-new condition following a complete, multi-year restoration. Also opening is a new photo exhibit featuring the 200+ mile West Penn Railways system, western Pennsylvania’s second largest (after Pittsburgh Railways) and the state’s fifth largest. It operated in Westmoreland and Fayette counties, as well as in Allegheny, Armstrong and Washington counties, and owned Wheeling Traction in West Virginia. The railway grew up alongside the electric lighting business that became West Penn Power.
On Track for the Future Capital Campaign
Attendance for daily operations and the popular seasonal and special events has been steadily rising. It has long been a goal to expand museum facilities to properly house and operate the extensive collection of historic trolleys and to better accommodate visitors. Funds raised to date have enabled the Museum to relocate and restore the 1908 Wexford Station to the Museum’s East Campus and is in the process of expanding the Washington County Fair Trolley Platform.
Improvements to the Museum complex will significantly expand educational programs and enhance the experience of guests who visit the Museum. Funds raised through the campaign will enable the establishment of:
- A New Welcome & Education Center. Located near the Wexford Station and Trolley Display Building, this 18,000 square-foot facility will house a visitors’ center, education exhibits, classrooms and event rooms, a ticket kiosk, offices, and a Museum store. The new Center will enable PTM to properly display and interpret exhibits that tell the history of the Trolley Era as well as STEM-related exhibits to educate and engage visitors.
- Trolley Street. This outdoor display will provide a unique, immersive, educational experience where guests can tour and ride trolleys as part of the route between the two pieces of campus, visit Wexford Station, and enjoy a playground and park area, which will be dedicated to the late J. Barry Stout, former Senator and friend of PTM.
- A larger parking area.
- A new entrance from North Main Street.
The campaign has already raised $10 toward the goal of $13.5 million to open the Welcome & Education Center and to construct Trolley Street and the new access road. A second phase goal of $2.5 million will continue to enhance the site’s amenities to fully realize the vision for the East Campus expansion.
New Allegheny Valley Trolleys book
Written by Edward H. Lybarger and Dennis F. Cramer and featuring maps and layout by Bruce P. Wells, the book recounts the development of public transit in the industrialized Allegheny Valley just north of Pittsburgh, and follows one of the Valley Route car 832 from its introduction on in 1930 to its complete restoration at PTM and entry into service in June 2018.
Allegheny Valley Trolleys is soft cover, 98 pages and includes a reprint of a special 1930 West Penn Railways brochure that welcomed the new cars into service. The book is available in the Museum Store or available by mail for $21.95 per copy, plus tax and shipping.