Volunteer Spotlights

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum (PTM) is proud to boast more than 170 volunteers! Whenever you explore our Welcome & Education Center, Trolley Display Building, maintenance and restoration shop, or anywhere else at the museum, you will probably come face-to-face with a member of our team.

Enjoy their stories and then head over to our New Volunteer Page to learn more about how you can get involved.

20220420 Artie Ellis

Artie Ellis- Restoration

Many volunteers at PTM were introduced to the museum by their family. This  includes Artie Ellis, whose father, Art, was the fifth member ever of the museum, and, as Artie explains, “has been volunteering here since the Earth cooled.”  Artie says that his father was one that encouraged his "interest in trolleys and trains" when he was "just a wee lad.” 

Artie inherited the “tinkerer and gadgeteer genes” from his father, and went on to pursue a degree and career in machine tool technology.  Read his summary of his more recent contributions to the museum and why he enjoys the work: 

"Since retiring in 2016, I’ve had the pleasure of working with talented volunteers who encouraged me and gave direction so I could fill a void in reproducing lost artifacts. West Penn 832’s restoration team supplied me with original photographs of the end dash and hand brake, which we reproduced using modern investment casting and CNC machining technology.  This is one example of the problem solving that keeps me coming back, and it is what I like to do.  I must say however, the biggest reward is working, talking and sharing with the talented volunteers and staff at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.  We are family."

Josue (David) Lopez- Operations and Tours

An engineering student at West Virginia University, Josue started volunteering at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum after attending a Volunteer Open House.  At this event, Josue and others toured PTM’s maintenance and restoration shop, chatted with museum operators and guides, and learned about all the different opportunities to get involved.

“Just by coming to the open house,” he says, “I’ve opened the door to do so many things at the museum.”

 Currently, Josue is preparing to become a Museum Guide, a volunteer that shows visitors around our Trolley Display Building, and training as a student operator.  One of his favorite parts about operating is the variety of cars in PTM’s collection.

“Each streetcar has their own personality and operating techniques.  There is so much to learn at the museum, so much for me to explore in an engineering sense, and so much for me to tinker with.  It is a never ending opportunity for me to not only get involved in public transit, but also to learn more about the world.”

Josue also enjoys the opportunity to connect with the transit history preserved at PTM.  His favorite car, New Orleans 832, reminds him of the stories that his Aunt told him about riding the trolleys in that city as a young person.

 “For me to see the streetcar,” he says, “and see a part of her life at the museum, means so much to me.” 


LeAnn Zebley- Tours and Special Events

One of the best parts about volunteering at PTM is that you never have to be content with doing just one thing.  You’re always welcome to join a new department or learn a new skill. 

For most of LeAnn’s time with the museum, she’s helped with our special events.  Whether it’s the season for Bunny Trolley, Trick or Trolley, Santa Trolley, or a transit fan convention, PTM always needs help from volunteers to ensure an event's success.  LeAnn greets visitors, serves snacks, and sometimes even becomes an elf for our Santa Trolley rides. 

Recently, LeAnn also has become a Museum Guide.  This role, she says, gives her “a greater appreciation for what trolleys meant to our history.” 

“I really like teaching people history.  Even young children are just so fascinated by the way things were a hundred years ago.”

PTM holds Museum Guide Training a couple times a year, and new volunteers are welcome to attend!  Email mmeer@patrolley.org to learn more about upcoming classes. 

Chris Walker- Archives

During his more than 20 years at the museum, Chris Walker has volunteered as a tour guide, operator, and archives volunteer.  His experiences at PTM as a teenager, in his opinion, helped him find success in his career in transit.  He previously worked in service planning at Port Authority, putting together timetables for buses and trolleys. 

Walker’s more recent roles at the museum include serving as the project manager for PTM’s most recent publication, Pittsburgh: Streetcar City.  In 2023, Chris also became  PTM’s Archives Manager.  He has been arranging regular work sessions to help organize and preserve documents, photos, and artifacts related to transit history. 

While some volunteers join up with PTM because of their family, many also meet important people in their lives at the museum. 

“I met my wife here when she was an intern in the education department during graduate school,” Chris says. The couple welcomed their first child to the family in December 2023.

Read more about Chris on our blog. 

PTM Archives Manager Chris Walker Shows Car Cards During Collections Assessment 11-1-23. Scott Becker Photo

Addison Kendlick- Next Generation Volunteer

At 15 years of age, Addison already has lots of volunteer experience.  “I started volunteering here when I was a little kid,” she explains.  Her dad is a long-time volunteer, so, as Addison says, “he brought me and my brother down, and ever since then I’ve been coming here.”

Addison is a member of the Next Generation Committee, which was founded earlier this year to encourage our younger volunteers to take an active role in museum affairs.  Individuals ages 14-29 work together to complete restoration projects, plan events for young adults, and recruit other young volunteers to our program. 

“I’ve learned a ton,” Addison says, when asked about her time at PTM.  According to her, young volunteers here learn important things such as “how to work with your hands” as well as communication and public-speaking skills. 

Her accomplishments as a volunteer include painting seats as part of a trolley restoration project, working on the overhead line, and helping clean out plenty of cars. 

“There’s a lot of great people here, and they’re really supportive,” she says. “They all want to help you learn something at the end of the day.”

Wayne Wicks- Maintenance

In this photo, Wayne (right) poses with Bernie Orient, PTM’s Head of Maintenance.

“It’s ironic,” Wayne says, that he ended up as a PTM volunteer, because he “started his electronics career at the RCA (Radio Corporation of America) plant just down the road.”  He would then move on to Bombardier Transportation, where he built People Movers for 25 years.

Wayne joined the PTM maintenance team after his friend Dave Hamley brought him to the museum in January 2018.  Below, he explains some of what he does and why he likes it:

“Here are some of the Maintenance activities that I perform: grease the undercar, drain and replace various oils, repair interiors, remove and reinstall motors, check the water level in the batteries, light machining, painting, some electrical work and other tasks to keep/put the cars back in their original condition.  This opportunity keeps me connected with the transportation industry and allows me to use my previous experiences to preserve some history.  Growing up in this area, I rode on the streetcars as a child, and now I work on them."

2022-01-19 Bernie And Wayne Work On 1138

Katie Imler- Grounds

A volunteer of more than ten years, Katie Imler comes from a background as a truck and snow plow driver.  She currently serves as an operator, maintenance volunteer, and a volunteer in the grounds department, her work in which she describes here:

"I became friends with Dan (Bower), who is the manager of grounds and started helping him with mowing.  I feel that the first impression our customers get is important and having the grass mowed early in the morning is a vital part of that.  Besides, the rest of the day may be needed to work on the mowers,  planting and weeding flowers,  fixing the parking lot,  or trimming trees.  That is why I like this job- because there is so much variety in a day."

Ed Morascyzk- Adminstration

Along with serving as our awesome emcee during special events, Ed Morascyck uses his experience in law and business to help with the administrative side of things. He describes his volunteer talents with the following words:

“My volunteerism is focused on helping the museum with various legal contracts, general legal contracts, general legal issues, reviewing its bylaws, and helping develop plans to sustain and grow the museum.”

“One of the main reasons,” he says, “that I decided to get involved with the museum, was because of the tremendous support from its volunteers.” 

“I am committed to our community and the museum,” he notes, and the museum is “a gem” in that community.

Ed Morascyzk Announces During Santa Trolley 12-17-23. Scott Becker Photo
IMG_9544_small Work Car Demo 1

Jeff King- Power & Signal

“I began volunteering with the Power & Signal Department in 1998, and in that capacity, I feel very fortunate to have been a small part of some of the largest projects in PTM’s history; including construction of the overhead wire, power distribution, and signal systems for the track extension to the East Site, Trolley Display Building as well as the Fairgrounds Siding and Platform Project, to name a few.

A great deal of the knowledge that I gained from volunteering helped me to earn an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Penn State in 2005.  Since 2008, I have been employed by Port Authority of Allegheny County, holding several positions before being promoted to LRT Systems Supervisor, which means that I am responsible for supervising overhead, substation and signal maintenance crews.

What I enjoy the most about volunteering with the Power & Signal Department is the sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well-done, and the camaraderie of working alongside very talented, dedicated and hard-working people.”

A Collection of Nearly 50 Cars and Counting

support our mission to keep the trolley era alive