Mission: The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’s mission is to communicate the story of Pennsylvania’s Trolley Era to a diverse audience through the preservation, interpretation, and use of its collection of electric railway and railroad equipment, associated artifacts and photo/document archives, and to ensure that its visitors have an enjoyable and rewarding educational experience.
Results: The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has enjoyed tremendous visitor growth in the last ten years and now welcomes nearly 32,000 visitors annually. This has resulted in current events and programs exceeding the Museum facility’s capacity. PTM’s On Track for the Future Campaign is raising support to expand the museum’s footprint by constructing an immersive heritage complex on East Campus. Along with enhancing programs and marketing capacities, support is being raised for:
A New Welcome & Education Center: Adjacent to the Trolley Display Building, this 18,000 squarefoot facility will house a visitors’ center, education exhibits, classrooms and event rooms, a ticket kiosk, offices, and a Museum Store.
Trolley Street: This outdoor display will provide a unique educational experience and will include a park area to be dedicated to the late J. Barry Stout, former Senator and friend of PTM.
Other improvements such as a larger parking area and a new entrance from North Main Street.
This development will expand the Museum’s role as a resource for educators and learners of all ages by increasing the capability to provide quality educational experiences in history and STEM areas. PTM is designing and implementing exhibits and programs with the consultation of experts in the field and will be training staff and volunteers on best educational practices.
Studies conducted by AECOM, a global firm providing professional engineering, consulting, and project management, and the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh predicted that the expansion will increase attendance to as many as 53,000 visitors annually, and add $10 million in value to the region’s economy.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 31,000 visitors
Programs: Organization collects and preserves significant artifacts and maintains an electric railway at its museum in washington pennsylvania. They also publish a newsletter "trolley fare" for its membership.
Years ago, I was researching the life of my grandfather, who worked in the Pittsburgh streetcar system, but died long before I was born. As now, I was living outside Pennsylvania, far from the museum. The PTM director and archivist were each responsive to my outreach for information. The archivist coordinated several research visits with me, and was helpful in directing me to information at the PTM archives. My research has been completed for years, but that experience is why I remain an out-of-state supporter of PTM. This museum is valuable not only for preserving the past, but also for providing contemporary context as streetcar systems make a comeback in many city centers. I urge visitors to PTM not only to marvel at the magnificently restored streetcars, but also remember the thousands of people who built and operated this and similar systems in the early 20th century.