The 1990’s

Following discussions that began in 1990 the museum’s trade name was changed to Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in 1992 and in 1998 this became its corporate name as well. As work focused on extending the trolley line north to the village of Arden Mines, a big step was taken with the hiring the Museum’s first full time employee. Scott Becker was hired as Executive Director in August of 1993. Scott’s first big effort was to coordinate construction of the Visitor Education Center which opened in 1994. This giant step forward provided the Museum’s first fully heated and air conditioned facility. The space featured display areas, office space, meeting room, a larger Museum store and new restrooms! Work to extend the trolley ride to Arden Mines loop spanned the early 1990s. Extension to Yanavich stop was celebrated in the summer of 1994 and the last segment was completed in 1995 with Bell of Pennsylvania (now Verizon) donating the setting of all the poles. This was punctuated by volunteers building the track with a turning loop and siding at the north end of the line.

As the Museum looked to extend its track east and acquire more land for an eventual Visitors Center, display buildings and turning loop, a great opportunity arose when the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) closed its Overbrook Line for complete rebuilding. Fortunately for PTM, the PAT Board generously allowed donation of any historic track, overhead and signal materials could be used, as long as PTM provided all the dismantling and transportation. Again, with many hours of donated time and effort by PTM volunteers, and a grant from the Allegheny Foundation, this material was relocated to the Museum. At about the same time PTM was successful in applying for a federal Transportation Enhancement grant to pay for the track extension to what would terminate near the old McClane School at the east end of the property. The Allegheny Foundation provided a grant to match the local share grant and the stage was set for eastward expansion. In the late 1990s the Galbraith Restoration Shop received a 24 ft x 60 ft heated addition and a sixty-foot trolley maintenance pit was added. In 1998 the Museum Founders’ Car House was re-sided and upgraded lighting introduced. The VEC allowed greatly expanded interpretive efforts so in 1999 an Educator was hired to take advantage of this space. Regular guided tours and changing exhibits in the Visitor Education Center became a standard part of the visitor experience. More school groups were coming to the Museum and outreach efforts into the community increased.