By Railfan & Railroad Staff
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’s new Welcome and Education Center is opening to the public on Friday, November 10.
The modern facility includes new interactive exhibits developed in partnership with the Carnegie Science Center, educational space and a virtual trolley simulator. It also has an expanded gift shop and important amenities like restrooms, a children’s play area, and event and community meeting rooms. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the facility was held for invited guests on Thursday, a prelude to the public grand opening on Friday.
“The grand opening of the Welcome and Education Center is a testament to the museum’s unwavering commitment to preserving the past while embracing the future,” officials said in a press release. “This impressive facility is more than just a building; it’s a bridge that connects the museum’s rich history to a modern and immersive visitor experience.” This $15 million project to expand the East Campus is PTM’s most ambitious to date, and is a culmination of years of planning and capital fundraising.
Visitors will now board trolleys from the station along Volunteer Boulevard, a street paved with more than 33,000 bricks, and featuring two “safety islands.” The steel canopy supports along the boarding area were repurposed from the old Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad station in downtown Pittsburgh. The new boarding area allows visitors to enjoy two different types of rides including the shorter “city service” loop around the trolley display building (opened in 2005), and longer “interurban” ride that is a four-mile round trip to Arden Loop.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum first opened in 1963 and now has more than 50 streetcars in its collection. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday in the summer and Friday to Sunday in the spring and fall (through December). It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit pa-trolley.org for more information.
The interior of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’s new Welcome and Education Center. Photo by Otto Vondrak.