All Aboard for a New Era: The Welcome and Education Center at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum opens this week!

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington County, PA has been a beloved local treasure for many years. Generations have marveled at the rich history of trolleys that the museum preserves, operates, and celebrates. This Friday, November 10, 2023, a new chapter in the museum’s history will be written as the Welcome and Education Center officially opens its doors to the public. This state-of-the-art facility is a testament to the dedication of volunteers and staff, promising to modernize the museum and make it a premier attraction in Washington County.

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has long been a haven for trolley enthusiasts and history buffs, featuring a vast collection of over 50 trolleys and electric railways cars, many of which are beautifully restored and operate regularly, in addition to historical exhibits, and interactive displays. At the heart of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’s success lies a community of passionate volunteers and dedicated staff. Since the museum opened in 1963, these individuals have poured their time and energy into preserving and sharing the story of the Trolley Era and allowing visitors to explore the evolution of public transportation and its profound impact on the local community.

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. 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. Some of the highlights of this extraordinary addition to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum include:

  1. A new front door: The Welcome and Education Center serves as the gateway to the museum, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere for visitors as they embark on their journey through the museum.
  2. Interactive exhibits: The new building boasts a range of interactive exhibits utilizing cutting-edge technology to engage visitors of all ages. From touch-screen displays to a virtual trolley simulator, the museum now offers a dynamic and informative way to learn about the history and technology of trolleys. These exhibits were fabricated by and developed in partnership with the Carnegie Science Center and showcase topics like solar power, reaction time, and the multitude of cultures one may encounter when riding a trolley.
  3. Educational programs: With a dedicated space for educational programs and school groups, the Center will become a hub for learning, offering workshops, lectures, and hands-on activities that bring history to life.
  4. Modern amenities: The building includes modern amenities such as a greatly expanded gift shop, two sets of restrooms, a nursing mothers room, a children’s play area, three event rooms capable of opening into one or two larger rooms. Across Volunteer Boulevard, the Trolley Display Building has been equipped with heaters to keep the museum more comfortable during new year-round operating hours. These additions ensure that visitors have a pleasant and enjoyable experience throughout their visit.
  5. Accessibility: The Welcome and Education Center is designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that everyone can partake in the museum’s rich history and educational offerings.

The grand opening of the Welcome and Education Center at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is an exciting milestone in the museum’s history. Thanks to the dedication of its volunteers and staff, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has embraced the future while preserving the past. This modern facility promises to be a premier attraction in Washington County, offering visitors a dynamic, immersive, and educational experience. It’s an exciting time to climb aboard and explore the history of trolleys in this beautiful corner of Pennsylvania.

Take a look at some of the progress we’ve made over the past two and a half years in the video below!