The 2000’s

As visitation grew, the Museum paid staff grew as well with the establishment of a full time educator and visitor services manager position.  Further trolley line extension eastward starting in 2003 added a half-mile of track.  The extension also included a second loop which was completed the following year at the eastern extremity of the line.  This second loop allowed for single-end cars, such as the streamlined PCC (Presidents’ Conference Committee) trolleys from the 1930s and 1940s, to be operated on a regular basis.  It also allowed for frequent Park and Ride service to the Washington County Fair be run in August when the Fair is in full swing. Special thanks go to neighbor Cooper Crouse-Hinds for allowing us to use their large parking lot for this purpose.  Cooper also donates over 13,000 square foot to the Museum for our Archives and parts storage.

To properly develop what was becoming the Museum’s East Campus, over 170,000 cubic yards of fill material was donated by Chartiers Township from their Arnold Park project.  The fill was placed  at the “East Site” for construction of new buildings thanks to federal transportation enhancement grants administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  The 28,000 square-foot Trolley Display Building was completed in 2004 and opened to the public in May of 2005.  A number of foundation grants and individual donations paid for its construction and this substantial building displays more than 30 cars in a protective environment.  These cars were largely moved from covered outdoor storage by tractor-trailer through the efforts of Philadelphia member Jim Lilly and a large crew of volunteers.  This building wasn’t built a moment too soon when the Museum suffered heavy flooding caused by Hurricane Ivan on September 17, 2004.  A special wing of the building provides another maintenance shop to service and maintain the Museum’s operating fleet of streetcars. It is now called the Trib Total Media Trolley Display Building and features a concrete floor, wide aisles and high-level lighting, and tours are offered on a regular basis.

Behind the display building a new electrical substation was constructed in 2006 to provide a more reliable source of DC electricity to power our vintage streetcars.  In 2009 a photovoltaic solar energy system was installed using an Energy Harvest Grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  This allowed the Museum to be the first in North America to partially power transit vehicles using the sun’s energy and saves the Museum approximately $5,000 per year in electric costs.  Restoration of the historic cars saw the complete rebuilding of Red Arrow streamliner 14 and Pittsburgh Railways 4398 completed during this decade.  The project to rebuild car 14 began in 1997 with plans for body work and a paint job but during the course of the work every detail of the car saw work that returned it’s factory fresh 1949 appearance.  The 4398 project was a long time in the making with its beginnings as part of a 1978 plan to restore send cars and send them to Station Square for display. Ultimately only our horsecar was placed on display there, and 4398 remained under restoration for many years as volunteer crews came and went.

A long time “missing link” in the museum collection became available in 2006. An open sided summer car that had been restored and operated at the Magee Museum in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania became available in Orlando, Florida.  Again with help from the Allegheny Foundation the museum was able to purchase the car, move it to PTM and have it regauged and restored for operation.  Open car 1758 (its number in Rio de Janiero) was dedicated to operation in June 2011.