In 1985, I was fortunate to ride the last PCC streetcar on the downtown streets of Pittsburgh. While I have passed through the Steel City a couple times since then, I hadn’t the opportunity to spend much time until last weekend.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum (formerly Arden) in Washington, PA is one of the best in the country. Much has been done there in the nearly 30 years since my last visit. There are more historic cars, a storage barn with a sprinkler system, a visitor center, and more track to run them on.
Everyone at the museum was friendly,enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful. Plan a visit if you have the chance- it’s well worth the trip. Washington is about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.
PTM is also notable because a portion of their track is a remnant of the old Pittsburgh Railways interurban that ran to Washington until August 1953. In February 1954, just before the interurban was dismantled, the museum’s first three cars were brought in via that trackage.
In 2012, CERA covered the Pittsburgh Railways saga pretty thoroughly in Transit in the Triangle Vol. 1, by Blaine S. Hays and James A. Toman. You can purchase a copy here.
Here are some PTM snapshots for your enjoyment. We will run another photo contest. You will have one week (contest ends midnight on Thursday, October 16, 2014) to identify the various cars shown here from the museum’s collection. The submission with the best overall answers will win a copy of our new DVD data disc CERA’s “Spirit of 76” (containing our first 76 Bulletins and more). Send your entries to email@example.com, and refer to each photo using the numbers provided. Good luck on your sleuthing.
PS- We’ll show our photos of Pittsburgh’s light rail system in part 2. Watch this space.