Restored trolley debut highlights Pennsylvania museum's capital campaign

RELATED TOPICS: PRESERVATION
Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
RolloutphotobyBillMonaghan
West Penn Railways car No. 832 debuts at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
Bill Monaghan
ArtistsRenderingFINAL
Artist's rendering shows improvements planned for Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
PTM
WASHINGTON, Pa. — The debut of a restored trolley at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, West Penn Railways streetcar No. 832, highlighted the museum's announcement for a new capital campaign, On Track for the Future, which is raising funds to construct a new Welcome & Education Center, Barry Stout Park, Trolley Street and other visitor amenities.

West Penn Railways streetcar No. 832 was one of the original three cars to arrive at the museum when it opened in 1954 and tremendous effort has been put into bringing it back to like-new condition. 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.

“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,” stated Scott Becker, Executive Director. “Trolleys and transportation have played a vital role in American history; which we hope to communicate to a larger, more diverse audience as we expand our capacity. The On Track for the Future campaign is essential to this effort.”

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 committee includes many business leaders who are committed to the mission of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Ray Betler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wabtec Corporation, is chairing the committee. Along with select board members, committee members include: Leroy Ball, President and Chief Executive Officer, Koppers, Inc.; Al Biehler, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Jim McQuade, President and CEO of Dollar Bank; Jim Roddey, former Allegheny County Executive; and Bill Stout, retired President of Atlas Railroad Construction Company.

The On Track for the Future Campaign has achieved $10 million, thanks to the support of local businesses, foundations, and individuals. This includes a lead and challenge grant from the Allegheny Foundation. This $10 million is toward an immediate goal of $13.5 million to open the Welcome & Education Center for a complete visitor experience 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.

“The Allegheny Foundation is pleased with the ever-increasing work that PTM does to teach generations about the importance of trolleys in the past, present, and future. We are proud to support this campaign to solidify the Museum’s spot as an important heritage destination,” said Matt Groll, Chairman of the Allegheny Foundation.

Ray Betler said, “Trolleys and transportation have been a life-long love for me, both personally and professionally. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in this fundraising campaign. It’s an honor to be able to play some small part in ensuring that a new generation of friends, family and neighbors can experience the rich history brought to life by this one-of-a-kind Museum.”

Donations are accepted at https://pa-trolley.org/capital-campaign/. A permanent donor board in the lobby of the Welcome & Education Center will recognize those who contribute $1,000 or more. Naming opportunities are available beginning at $25,000. Please contact Scott Becker at 724-228-9256 or ptm@pa-trolley.org.

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays between June 1-August 31 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), plus Monday, Aug. 13 and Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day). The last tour begins one hour before closing. Fall hours are Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. – 4 p,m.

Regular admission to the Museum is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62+), $7 for children (ages 3-15), 2 and under are free. Admission includes an introductory film on the Trolley Era, photo exhibits and guided tours of the Trolley Display Building. For more information call 724-228-9256 or visit the website at www.patrolley.org.

Source: PTM news release

Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of TrainsMag.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.
0 COMMENTS
Winter on the Rails

Winter on the Rails

Railroading to the arctic.

SEE INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today
+