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Gallery 714: Trams Around the World - The Electric City Trolley Museum, Scranton

The second in our occasional series of "Trams Around the World" is again from the United States as we take a look at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The history of the Electric City Trolley Museum actually begins in Jobstown, New Jersey where a group of trolley car enthusiasts gathered a fleet of almost forty, mostly ex Philadelphia trolley cars in a field. During the late 1970’s this loosely organized group split into several segments; one segment actually moved to the Delaware Avenue area in Philadelphia where they were able to operate for a few short years. Another of the groups moved to a location adjacent to the Buckingham Valley station of the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, a tourist operation in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This group and their cars became known as the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association; much of their work at this time involved the conservation of the rolling stock that they held. In 1999 the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association completed negotiations with the Lackawanna County Commissioners with regard to their future.

The cars were all sold to the County of Lackawanna who agreed to finance a museum site adjacent to the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The County also provides a limited professional staff for the museum and the later constructed restoration shop. The Bucks County based organization was then re-organized as the Electric City Trolley Museum Association to provide volunteers to support the museum and its collection of cars.

Starting in 2001 the Electric City Trolley Museum began the operation of a demonstration car line; it began at the Steamtown Excursion platform and then proceeded down the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western – Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley interchange track to Cedar Avenue where it then entered upon former Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley (“L&WV”) trackage, at this time the line only ran as far as the former L&WV Shops; a switchback siding served a platform located above the site of the historic Scranton iron furnaces. This trackage was in the ownership of the Lackawanna County Rail Authority and was operated for freight service by the Delaware Lackawanna Railroad. The trolley line was expanded over the next few years using first the L&WV’s Crown Avenue Tunnel (renamed the Edward S. Miller Memorial Tunnel for a Scranton area trolley enthusiast) and then the L&WV trackage to its connection to the former Erie Railroad’s Wyoming Branch. The trolley cars followed the old Erie line to an end of track at Montage Mountain Parkway in Moosic. In 2006 the line was extended on newly built track which extended 2000 yards to a restoration shop built adjacent to the PNC Stadium in Moosic.

Since 1999 the mainstay of the demonstration trolley line has been the former Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Corporation (“PSTC”) number 76, a heavyweight center door style of trolley. Its rarely seen back up is also from the PSTC, their former number 80, a J.G. Brill Company ‘Master Unit’ type trolley car.

One of the curiosities of the Electric City Trolley Museum is that the demonstration line terminal is about 300 yards from the museum and there is no trolley wire between the operating cars and the museum. Passengers are required to walk between the two locations. A carbarn and substation at Cedar Avenue cater for the operating equipment.

Photographer: Edward M Koehler Jr.
Photographs taken between 2010 and 2017

Electric City Trolley Station & Museum logo


Member's Day Ticket

Overall view of museum

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 76



Scranton Freight House

Scranton Furnace Stop

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 76


Bridge over Roaring Brook

Edward Miller Memorial Tunnel

Edward Miller Memorial Tunnel

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 76 interior

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 76

Passing siding

Erie Switch

Junction switch

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 80

Restoration Shop crossing

Restoration Shop

East Troy Railroad 64

Hyster forklift

Restoration Shop

MacAndrews & Forbes Company 10

East Troy Railroad 64

Philadelphia & Western Railroad 206

Philadelphia & Western Railroad 401

Philadelphia Transportation Company 2054

Philadelphia Transportation Company 5205

Philadelphia Transportation Company 8534

Philadelphia Transportation Company coal trolley D7

Philadelphia Transportation Company line car D37

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 76

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company 80

Reading Transit and Light Company 506

Third Avenue 651

Third Avenue 651

Scranton Railways 524

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This page was last updated on Sunday 4th February 2018

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