In 1887, Scranton became Pennsylvania’s first city with a successful pioneer trolley line, and came to be known as "The Electric City."The Electric City Trolley Museum is located on the grounds of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. Housed in a late 19th-century mill building, the museum collection is a highly representative picture of the electric railway history of eastern Pennsylvania, from the Philadelphia region to northeast Pennsylvania.The electric railway museum is a result of a collaborative effort involving many partners. The facility is on a long-term lease from the National Park Service.Through interactive exhibits and displays, including vintage trolleys, the museum tells the story of electric traction systems and its impact on the development of the Lackawanna Valley, Northeast Pennsylvania, and the industrial northeast. Visitors also can view photographs, murals, and films, and enjoy a ride on a 1926 Brill Trolley.In addition, the museum features a 50-seat theater, the Trolley Model Display, Trolley Company Stock Certificates, The Story of the Third Rail, and The Electric City, a hands-on interactive kids exhibit.The highlight of the displays is a section of third rail and original insulator from the Laurel Line. In addition to items from the Laurel Line, the Wilkes-Barre and Hazelton, Philadelphia and Western, New York Central Railroad, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston Rapid transit lines are represented.The Electric City Trolley Museum arranges rides, beginning at the Steamtown excursion depot. It includes a stopover and tour of Scranton's historic iron furnaces and the north portal of the Crown Avenue Tunnel, one of the longest interurban tunnels ever built. That route is the former main line of the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railway, an interurban line that ran principally between Scranton and Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.Visitors also get an opportunity to see and learn about ongoing restoration of the museum collection from the Trolley Restoration Shop.
Pre-industrial (1776–1845) Edit
Present-day Scranton and its surrounding area had been long inhabited by the native Lenape tribe, from whose language "Lackawanna" (or lac-a-wa-na, meaning "stream that forks") is derived. In 1778, Isaac Tripp, the area's first known white settler, built his home here it still stands in North Scranton, formerly a separate town known as Providence. More settlers from Connecticut came to the area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries after the American Revolutionary War, as their state claimed this area as part of their colonial charter.
They gradually established mills and other small businesses in a village that became known as Slocum Hollow. People in the village during this time carried the traits and accent of their New England settlers, which were somewhat different from most of Pennsylvania. Some area settlers from Connecticut participated in what was known as the Pennamite Wars, where settlers competed for control of the territory which had been included in royal colonial land grants to both states. (This claim between Connecticut and Pennsylvania was settled by negotiation with the federal government after independence.)
Arrival of industry (1846–1899) Edit
Though anthracite coal was being mined in Carbondale to the north and Wilkes-Barre to the south, the industries that precipitated the city's early rapid growth were iron and steel. In the 1840s, brothers Selden T. and George W. Scranton, who had worked at Oxford Furnace in Oxford, New Jersey, founded what became Lackawanna Iron & Coal, later developing as the Lackawanna Steel Company. It initially started producing iron nails, but that venture failed due to low-quality iron. The Erie Railroad's construction in New York State was delayed by its having to acquire iron rails as imports from England. The Scrantons' firm decided to switch its focus to producing T-rails for the Erie the company soon became a major producer of rails for the rapidly expanding railroads.
In 1851, the Scrantons built the Lackawanna and Western Railroad (L&W) northward, with recent Irish immigrants supplying most of the labor, to meet the Erie Railroad in Great Bend, Pennsylvania. Thus they could transport manufactured rails from the Lackawanna Valley to New York and the Midwest. They also invested in coal mining operations in the city to fuel their steel operations, and to market it to businesses. In 1856, they expanded the railroad eastward as the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), in order to tap into the New York City metropolitan market. This railroad, with its hub in Scranton, was Scranton's largest employer for almost one hundred years.
The Pennsylvania Coal Company built a gravity railroad in the 1850s through the city for the purpose of transporting coal. The gravity railroad was replaced by a steam railroad built in 1886 by the Erie and Wyoming Valley Railroad (later absorbed by the Erie Railroad). The Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Canal Company, which had its own gravity railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale, built a steam railroad that entered Scranton in 1863.
During this short period of time, the city rapidly transformed from a small, agrarian-based village of people with New England roots to a multicultural, industrial-based city. From 1860 to 1900, the city's population increased more than tenfold. Most new immigrants, such as the Irish, Italians, and south Germans and Polish, were Catholic, a contrast to the majority-Protestant early settlers of colonial descent. National, ethnic, religious and class differences were wrapped into political affiliations, with many new immigrants joining the Democratic Party (and, for a time in the late 1870s, the Greenbacker-Labor Party.)
In 1856, the Borough of Scranton was officially incorporated. It was incorporated as a city of 35,000 in 1866 in Luzerne County, when the surrounding boroughs of Hyde Park (now part of the city's West Side) and Providence (now part of North Scranton) were merged with Scranton. Twelve years later in 1878, the state passed a law enabling creation of new counties where a county's population surpassed 150,000, as did Luzerne's. The law appeared to enable the creation of Lackawanna County, and there was considerable political agitation around the authorizing process. Scranton was designated by the state legislature as the county seat of the newly formed county, which was also established as a separate judicial district, with state judges moving over from Luzerne County after courts were organized in October 1878. This was the last county in the state to be organized.
Creation of the new county, which enabled both more local control and political patronage, helped begin the Scranton General Strike of 1877. This was in part due to the larger Great Railroad Strike, in which railroad workers began to organize and participate in walkouts after wage cuts in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The national economy had lagged since the Panic of 1873, and workers in many industries struggled with low wages and intermittent work. In Scranton, mineworkers followed the railroad men off the job, as did others. A protest of 5,000 strikers ended in violence, with a total of four men killed, and 20 to 50 injured, including the mayor. He had established a militia, but called for help from the governor and state militia. Governor John Hartranft eventually brought in federal troops to quell the strike. The workers gained nothing in wages, but began to organize more purposefully into labor unions that could wield more power.
The nation's first successful, continuously-operating electrified streetcar (trolley) system was established in the city in 1886, inspiring the nickname "The Electric City". In 1896, the city's various streetcar companies were consolidated into the Scranton Railway Company, which ran trolleys until 1954. By 1890, three other railroads had built lines to tap into the rich supply of coal in and around the city, including the Erie Railroad, the Central Railroad of New Jersey and finally the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (NYO&W).
As the vast rail network spread above ground, an even larger network of railways served the rapidly expanding system of coal veins underground. Miners, who in the early years were typically Welsh and Irish, were hired as cheaply as possible by the coal barons. The workers endured low pay, long hours and unsafe working conditions. Children as young as eight or nine worked 14-hour days separating slate from coal in the breakers. Often, the workers were forced to use company-provided housing and purchase food and other goods from stores owned by the coal companies. With hundreds of thousands of immigrants arriving in the industrial cities, mine owners did not have to search for labor and workers struggled to keep their positions. Later miners came from Italy and eastern Europe, which people fled because of poverty and lack of jobs.
Business was booming at the end of the 19th century. The tonnage of coal mined increased virtually every year, as did the steel manufactured by the Lackawanna Steel Company. At one point the company had the largest steel plant in the United States, and it was still the second-largest producer at the turn of the 20th century. By 1900, the city had a population of more than 100,000.
In the late 1890s, Scranton was home to a series of early International League baseball teams.
Labor history Edit
Given its industrial basis, Scranton has had a notable labor history various coal worker unions struggled throughout the coal-mining era to improve working conditions, raise wages, and guarantee fair treatment for workers.  The Panic of 1873 and other economic difficulties caused a national recession and loss of business. As the economy contracted, the railroad companies reduced wages of workers in most classes (while sometimes reserving raises for their top management). A major strike of railroad workers in August 1877, part of the Great Railroad Strike, attracted workers from the steel industry and mining as well, and developed as the Scranton General Strike. Four rioters were killed during unrest during the strike, after the mayor mustered a militia. With violence suppressed by militia and federal troops, workers finally returned to their jobs, not able to gain any economic relief. William Walker Scranton, from the prominent family, was then general manager of Lackawanna Iron and Coal. He later founded Scranton Steel Company.
The labor issues and growth of industry in Scranton contributed to Lackawanna County being established by the state legislature in 1878, with territory taken from Luzerne County. Scranton was designated as the county seat. This strengthened its local government.
The unions failed to gain higher wages that year, but in 1878 they elected labor leader Terence V. Powderly of the Knights of Labor as mayor of Scranton. After that, he became national leader of the KoL, a predominately [ dubious – discuss ] Catholic organization that had a peak membership of 700,000 circa 1880.  While the Catholic Church had prohibited membership in secret organizations since the mid-18th century, by the late 1880s with the influence of Archbishop James Gibbons of Baltimore, Maryland, it supported the Knights of Labor as representing workingmen and union organizing.
The landmark Coal strike of 1902, was called by anthracite miners across the region and led by the United Mine Workers under John Mitchell. The strike was settled by a compromise brokered by President Theodore Roosevelt. A statue of John Mitchell was installed in his honor on the grounds of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton, "the site of the Coal Strike of 1902 negotiations in which President Roosevelt participated. Because of the significance of these negotiations, the statue and the Courthouse were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. John Mitchell is buried in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton." 
Established in 1999, the Electric City Trolley Museum is located in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, next to the Steamtown National Historic Site. It is owned by the Electric City Trolley Museum Association.
The museum displays and operates restored trolleys and interurbans on former lines of the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad, now owned by the government of Lackawanna County and operated by the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad.
In 2006, the museum opened a 2,000-foot extension connecting the county's trolley line from the Steamtown National Historic Site to a new station and trolley restoration facility next to PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. The trip, including a long tunnel, replicates a typical 1920s interurban ride. The new tracks and trolley barn are part of a $2 million project financed by capital funds from the county and the state. The barn has space for up to nine trolleys, allowing the county museum to spend more time working to bring defunct cars back to running order. It has a gallery where visitors can observe the repairs.
In September 2017, the museum became home to a model train scene depicting Scranton. The diorama had been gifted to WNEP-TV by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to replace the train in the news station's backyard, but it was too large. 
Relive the time of the trolleys at Electric City Trolley Museum and Station, located in a recently restored late 19th century mill building. Through interactive exhibits and displays – including vintage trolleys, the museum tells the story of the electric traction systems and the impact they had on the development of the Lackawanna Valley. Northeast Pennsylvania and the industrial northeast.
This electric car treasure will feature:
- Trolleys Exposed, an intriguing under-the-skin view of a restored trolley
- Interactive displays, where visitors will actually generate electricity and learn how this energy form is harnessed to serve our transportation needs.
- The Trolley Restoration Shop which offers visitors an opportunity to see and learn about ongoing restoration of the museum collection, from the rare turn of the century “open” car, to sleek, aerodynamically inspired interurbans.
- The “Electric City,” a hands-on interactive kids’ exhibit, that puts children in the drivers seat of a recreated open-style trolley car as they drive a mdel trolley on a suspended track. Young visitors and their parents will also have the opportunity to build their own anthracite region communities on a 24 foot-long platform that represents the Lackawanna Valley and beyond – complete with historic trolley lines.
- A 50-seat theater and other fascinating displays present the history of the extensive trolley network that, at one time, allowed residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania the opportunity to travel 75 miles on trolleys.HistoryOn a brisk November day in 1886, famed inventor Charles Van Depoele took the controls of a Pullman-built trolley car at the corner of Lackawanna and Penn Avenues of downtown Scranton.As the little maroon -colored trolley picked up speed, it signaled the coming of electric traction to Northeastern Pennsylvania and gave Scranton the honor of having built one of the first electric trolley line in America. From that day forward, Scranton would be known as “The Electric City.”Tour
The trolley excursion departs regularly from the main passenger platform of the Steamtown National Historic Site. The scenic route follows a portion of the former Lackawanna & Wyoming (Laurel Line) Railroad right-of-way as it parallels Roaring Brook and makes stops at the Historic Iron Furnaces and the north portal of the Crown Avenue Tunnel – one of the longest interuban tunnels ever built.The Electric City Trolley Station & Museum is located on the Steamtown National Historic Site in downtown Scranton. Follow the signs to Steamtown and you can’t miss us!
You can learn more by visiting The Electric City Trolley Museum at their official website. Trolley Museum Brochure
Beginning Thursday, June 24 th we will be going back to our pre-pandemic trolley excursion times. The times are 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm & 3:15pm.
Also, starting Saturday, June 26 th the museum will be open 9-4. We are back to full capacity on the rides and will discontinue taking reservations. If you are travelling a distance and would like to reserve a specific day and time you may do so by phoning the front desk at 570 963-6590. Keep in mind the reservation will be non-refundable. However, switching the date and/or time is possible depending on availability.
The Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department will be patrolling the Laurel Line main railroad track from Cedar Avenue, South Scranton, to Montage Mountain Road at multiple undisclosed times.
County and rail line officials will be enforcing a “Zero Tolerance Policy.” Citations will be issued to stop ATV riders and the public from trespassing, property damage, and theft along the rail line that has been happening too frequently.
The Electric City Trolley Museum is reopening on Wednesday, July 8, from 10 AM to 4 PM daily.
The Museum will also operate the Trolley Excursions in a reduced capacity with social distancing in a safe, sanitized environment every Thursday through Sunday. Masks are required to enter the museum and for the trolley excursion.
The Trolley departure times are 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:45 PM, 2 PM, and 3:15 PM. Reservations are welcome, but not necessary.
Scranton’s Trolley History and the Electric City Trolley Museum
Although development of the steam locomotive and the progressive laying of track enabled the distances between emerging cities to be covered in ever-decreasing time and augmented their growth by funneling families, workers, and materials during the mid-19th to early 20th century period, there was little intra-city transportation, except, of course, for the horse and various wagons and buggies it pulled. What was needed was some type of short-range, low-capacity vehicle, accommodating several dozen, with sprightly speed to cover distances of between a few blocks and a few miles. But, unlike the trains, coal proved sooty and unsuitable for such street negotiation.
Toward this end, albeit still employing horsepower, the Honorable A. B. Duning, David R. Randall, George Tracey, A. Bennett, and Samuel Raub were granted a charter on March 23, 1865 to establish the People’s Street Railway, which connected downtown Scranton with the surrounding Hyde Park area with hourly service in each direction.
The Scranton and Providence Passenger Railway Company, plying its own route as of March 27 of the following year, mimicked its operation, but was subsequently acquired by its former competitor and merged into a single company. Daily service, from Scranton to Providence, was provided every hour at a 10-cent fare, although Sunday operations were contingent upon demand created by those wishing to travel to church.
Despite the shortened travel times, schedules were hardly carved in stone. Indeed, the trolley cars were small, with two opposing benches, heat was nonexistent in winter, weather impacted operations, and designated stops were never established, leaving the “flag and board” method to determine the ride’s interruptions.
Reverse-direction travel required the unhitching of the mule, the human-powered push of the car after it had been secured on a turntable, and then the re-hitch, before a route-retracing to its origin.
Growth necessitated order. Drivers soon wore uniforms, heavily traveled lines required conductors for fare collecting and driver signaling, designated stops were established, and trolley fleets were expanded.
The method, however, was less than efficient, since horses tired and needed to be fed and polluted the streets after they were, and the ratio of mules to cars was something like seven or eight to one.
Adding to this conundrum was sickness. What could be considered the black plague for animals occurred in 1872 when the “Great Epizootic” spread from Canada to Louisiana, claiming the lives of some 2,300 horses in a three-week period in New York alone, severely impacting the Scranton streetcar system, which depended upon them.
Traveling to major US and European cities where electric-powered trolley operations had been experimentally, but unsuccessfully attempted, Edward B. Sturges, who believed that this source would replace the four-legged type, formed the Scranton Suburban Railway Company, contracting with the Van Depoele Electric Manufacturing Company of Chicago to construct the Green Ridge Suburban Line and concluding an agreement with the Pullman Car Company for its trolleys.
Because electric cars had never been designed, they closely mirrored those suited to horses, with four wheels and opposing and open platforms, although their plush bench seats, polished mahogany interior walls, blind-covered glass windows, and reflector oil lamps provided a decided degree of comfort.
Construction was the first step. Conversion was the second-in the Van Depoele factory for electric installation, requiring the enclosure of the front platform with doors to house the motor and control equipment. Gears and chains connected the motor shaft to the front axle and six incandescent light bulbs ran throughout the interior.
Electric power was drawn from an overhead contact wire.
System implementation required center street grading, power line connection, and power station construction, all of which began on July 6, 1886.
Like the nucleus of an atom, the innovative trolley company chose the intersection of Franklin and Lackawanna avenues as the origin of its route, since it served as Scranton’s transportation hub, with all horse-drawn lines converging there, and its proximity to long-range railroads, including the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, the Central Railroads of New York and New Jersey, and the Ontario and Western. Additionally, it was the heart of the city’s business and theater districts.
The two-and-a-half mile line terminated on Delaware Avenue, where a turntable facilitated the reverse-direction run.
After construction, which was completed on November 29, 1886, the trolley cars were delivered by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, which transported them on flat cars, and then, in an homage to the power they were replacing, were pulled the final distance by horses on the rails that had been laid for their purpose, before being transferred to Franklin Avenue track.
Initiated by a hand control lever movement by Charles van Depoele, trolley car number four, the country’s first electrically-powered one, inched away at 14:30, local time, traveling in the direction of Franklin and Spruce streets and earning Scranton the title of “first electric city.”
In comparison to its horse-drawn counterparts, it smoothly accelerated, without animal-induced lurch, and its interior, for the first time, was lit by the same power source which propelled it.
Car number two soon partook of the inaugural operation after a nail, attracted by magnetic current, attached itself to the armature, rendering it unusable until repairs were made.
The full, 2.5-mile route was successfully covered the following day by car number four.
“After running through snow, ice, and slush, up steep grades and around 45-degree turns both left and right,” according to David W. Biles in his book, “From Horse Cars to Buses: A Look Back at Scranton’s City Transit History” (Electric City Trolley Museum Association, p. 21), “car number four reached the turntable in Green Ridge. After turning the car, a return trip was made to Franklin Avenue at Lackawanna Avenue. The operation over the entire line was considered a complete success.”
That success, needless to say, served as the catalyst to numerous other lines, including the Valley Passenger Railway Company, the Scranton Passenger Railway Company, the Nay-Aug Cross Town Railway Company, the Scranton and Carbondale Traction Company, the Scranton and Pittston Traction Company, and the Lackawanna Valley Traction Company.
Amalgamated and operated under the single Scranton Railway Company banner by 1900, they left no inch of track unelectrified, converting any used by its horse-drawn predecessors to this technology.
Because the proliferation of such track connected every area of the city, including many small coal patch towns, demand necessitated larger cars, resulting in the 1897-to-1904 order for 35 40-foot-long, dual-end control trolleys that could operate in either direction without requiring turntable re-orientation. They were crewed by both motormen and conductors.
The expansion of this transportation phenomenon can be gleaned by its statistics: operating over more than 100 miles of track with a 183-strong fleet, the Scranton Trolley Company carried 33 million passengers in 1917. A 1923-established subsidiary, the Scranton Bus Company, provided service on an extension to the Washburn Street trolley line.
Representing the pinnacle of trolley design, the ten cars ordered from the Osgood-Bradley Car Company of Wooster, Massachusetts, in 1929 featured leather seats and were dubbed “Electromobiles.”
Reorganized as the Scranton Transit Company in 1934 after the Insull empire of electric railways and power companies, which had taken it over nine years earlier, declared bankruptcy, the originally named Scranton Railway Company continued to operate, but the sun was already inching toward the western horizon for it.
Ridership had begun to decline and trackless buses, not requiring external power sources, increased in popularity. The progressive conversion of lines to bus routes left little more than 50 miles of track and a fleet of 100 cars by 1936. Twelve years later these figures had respectively diminished to 20 and 48.
History, as often occurs, comes full cycle. The way the electric trolley had replaced the horse-drawn one, so, too, had it been replaced by the gasoline engine. The Greenbridge Suburban Line, the first to see the then new-fangled service, became the last to relinquish it on December 18, 1954.
3. The Electric City Trolley Museum:
Located in downtown Scranton and sharing both the massive parking lot and, in some cases, track as Steamtown National Historic Site, the Electric City Trolley Museum offers the visitor an opportunity to interpret the city’s rich streetcar history and personally inspect many of its cars.
“A 50-seat theater,” according to the museum, “and other fascinating displays bring to life the history of the extensive network that allowed residents of Northeast Pennsylvania to travel 75 miles on trolleys.”
A good introduction to it is the ten-minute film, “Trolley: The Cars that Changed our Cities,” continually shown in the Transit Theater, which serves as a threshold to the museum’s exhibits. These include a sub-station model that demonstrates how electric power is supplied to trolley motors in order to run them and a boardable car, whose floor cut-away permits inspection of its 600-volt direct current traction motor.
Several cars have either been restored or are in the process of it.
Car number 46, for example, is a closed, double-end, double-truck type and was one of 22 built in 1907 by the St. Louis Car Company for the Philadelphia and Western Railway, which operated them between the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby and Strattford.
Run by four General Electric 73C motors and traveling on 34-inch-diameter rolled steel wheels, it had a 51.4-foot length, a 9.3-foot width, and weighed 82,000 pounds. Constructed primarily of wood, but employing a steel underbody frame, it is an example of the classic, 54-passenger interurban trolleys that were popular in the early-20th century.
Car 8534, another museum exhibit, was the last of the 535 steel, single-ended, single-direction types built by the J. G. Brill Company for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company. It can be considered an updated version of the 1,500 “Near-Side” cars constructed between 1911 and 1913. Both provided the majority of trolley service in Philadelphia after World War II.
The last such car, of which only three remain today, was withdrawn from service in 1957.
Another museum example is car number 801. One of five ordered by the LVT Company in February of 1912 for the opening of its new branch line from Whales Junction to Norristown in Pennsylvania, it was built by the Jewett Car Company of Newark, Ohio.
Its three-section interior, emulating the elegance of steam Pullman passenger cars of the era, consisted of a compartment for the motorman, baggage, and a brass spittoon-supplied, men-only smoking area the main passenger seating section and a toilet with an outside drinking fountain, complete with a cup dispenser, on the far right side.
The visitor’s trolley experience can be improved with a ten-mile round-trip ride on one, departing from the wood platform Steamtown Station, where his return-to-era is enhanced with views of the railroad yard’s numerous steam locomotives, passenger coaches, and freight cars of yore. The puff of smoke, the smell of soot, the ring of bells, the shrill of whistles, and the clack of tracks are all likely to occur.
Of the two operating trolley cars, both of which are painted maroon to reflect the color that Scranton’s first car wore when it inaugurated service back in 1886, number 76, which had operated in Philadelphia, was constructed in 1926 and remained in service for half a century.
Pole-connected to the power line above it, it ran on a 650-volt direct current motor. It was crewed by both a motorman and a conductor. A nickel fare permitted all-day travel. Entry was and is through a mid-car door.
Its pristinely restored interior features wicker seats, strap hangers, a brass, fare-registering box, and vintage advertisements, such as for Nabisco’s Uneeda biscuits. Air conditioning consisted of opening the windows in summer.
Departing Steamtown and reaching 30-mph speeds on some sections, the Electric City trolley follows the once 19-mile-long Laurel Line track, passing the Radisson Hotel, which had been the magnificent Lackawanna Railroad Station until 1970, the Dumore shaft coal mine entrance, and the Roaring Brook gorge area, sporting a small waterfall.
It next enters the Laurel Line Tunnel, constructed between 1904 and 1905, for the Lackawanna and Wyoming Railroad, a high-speed, third-rail electric line that had operated between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Stretching 4,747 feet in length, it offers a progressive incline, from 180 feet below ground at its entrance to 90 feet at its exit.
Boring through a two-mile wooded area and passing siding track, the trolley terminates its journey at the trolley restoration shop, where riders can view some of the 23 cars in its collection being serviced and repaired.
Periodic trips are also scheduled to PNC Field on Montage Mountain throughout the season.
Re-boarding the trolley, passengers retrace the route, returning to Steamtown Station, during which they may have experienced a return in time to a century-earlier transportation mode that was integral to Scranton’s development as a city.
Biles, David. W. “From Horse Cars to Buses: A Look Back at Scranton’s City Transit History”. Scranton: Electric City Trolley Museum Association.
Trolley museums are a throwback to the halcyon days of comfortable public transportation in the open air. Cities and villages alike had trolleys for transportation with the city limits and to other towns.
- - The National Capital Trolley Museum is, as its name suggests, located in the US capital of Washington DC. The museum's collection has many Washington D.C. streetcars as well as street cars from national and international cities. - The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has documented the history and facts about the state's trolley system. Visitors can enjoy examining trolley models and the associated photo archives. - The Shoreline Trolley Museum boasts the longest-running suburban trolley system in the United States. - The Trolley Museum of New York has been open for almost 80 years. Visitors can ride the trolley to a scenic picnic spot on the Hudson River while learning about the history of trolleys in New York. - The Rock Hill Trolley Museum was the first trolley museum to open in Pennsylvania. The museum documents the source and car number of every trolley it collects. - The Electric City Trolley Museum is famous for its trolley trips that start at the Steamtown National Historic Site and take passengers through the calm valleys of Lackawanna County. - The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum displays the history of the trolley line that used to connect Shelburne Falls with the neighboring town of Colrain. - The Fort Smith Trolley Museum is a charming local museum that was started when the village rescued one of its old trolley cars to preserve it. - The Connecticut Trolley Museum is packed with interesting exhibits, and all visitors get unlimited trolley rides. - The Fox River Trolley Line existed for more than a century. Now, the museum is giving new generations the experience.
Be A Part Of It All
The Rapid Transit History Center is an exciting new project that will save a historic BART train. The RTHC will give guests the opportunity to learn about the history of the BART. Museum guests will learn about early concepts and challenges BART had when constructing a new transit system during the Space Age.
Book Your 2021 Tickets Online
For 2021 all tickets must be purchased in advance online or by calling our front desk at (707) 374-2978.
Every aspect of the Museum, from Conductor to Motorman to restoration specialist to archivist to museum store operations, is run by volunteers. It doesn’t matter if you have special skills or not we provide all the necessary training. All you need is a willingness to learn, some spare time, and an interest in supporting the Museum’s mission to preserve the regional heritage of electric railway transportation.
Joining the Western Railway Museum is a contribution to preserving the heritage of electric railways. Not only will you be helping support our operation and our various projects, you will also enjoy a number of benefits and special opportunities available only to members.
We constantly need new dedicated volunteers, and we welcome all from age 18 and up, and all skill levels. We&rsquoll help you find an activity that you enjoy, and provide any training necessary for you to join our veteran volunteers. Volunteers perform a huge variety of tasks at our museum &ndash you&rsquore sure to find something you like.
Please make a contribution today to support historic preservation at the Western Railway Museum.
Donations are vital to our success, and support museum operations.
This place is excellent for a short day trip and completely affordable. All of the volunteers were very nice, family oriented and extremely knowledgeable about the history and the cars themselves, making the experience much more than just checking out old trains.
Great historic trains. friendly conductors. fun way to spend a Saturday! There's a museum, cafe, gift shop, etc. Loved the pumpkin patch. highly recommend this half day adventure for the young and old!
Great place to go especially if you or your kid loves trains. Lots of senior citizens enjoying themselves too. They have electric trains and electric street cars. Go check it out! Cheap fun day especially if you bring your own picnic lunch.
I had a WONDERFUL time visiting this museum. The museum is a Heritage Railroad and the second largest electric museum on the West Coast. I've now visited a number of streetcar/trolley/interurban museums in the Mid-West, New England, East Coast and Ontario, and this collection rates highly in my book.
I've been posting and recommending this place to everyone. Thank you for a top notch experience and wonderful volunteers who love what they do there! We became members so we can come back many times.
Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am – 5:00 pm
(June 13th - August 18th)
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Electric City Trolley Museum
Located on the Steamtown National Historic Site grounds in a restored late 19th-century mill building, the Electric City Trolley Museum commemorates the first successfully operational electric-powered streetcar system in the U.S. You will enjoy the interactive exhibits and displays including vintage trolleys. Then climb aboard an authentic 1926 or 1932 antique trolley for a 5 ½ mile trip over Roaring Brook through the mile-long tunnel and along the original &ldquoLaurel Line&rdquo.
The Electric City Trolley Museum provides an in-depth look at the engineering, technology, and restoration of the legendary trolleys of the region.
May - October
During the operating season, the trolley excursion will depart from the main passenger platform of the Steamtown National Historic Site. Trips are scheduled at 10:30 AM, 12 PM, 1:30 PM, and 3 PM, Thursday - Sunday.
Please call the museum in advanced to verify schedule hours or to inquire about chartering the trolley for a special excursion.
INFO & HOURS
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year&aposs Day
Please call in advanced during snowstorms
LOCATION: 300 Cliff Street, Scranton, PA 18503
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Omnibuses and horsecars Edit
From the 1820s to the 1880s urban transit in North America began when horse-drawn omnibus lines started to operate along city streets. Examples included Gilbert Vanderwerken's 1826 omnibus service in Newark, New Jersey. Before long Omnibus companies sought to boost profitability of their wagons by increasing ridership along their lines. Horsecar lines simply ran wagons along rails set in a city street instead of on the unpaved street surface as the omnibus lines used. When a wagon was drawn upon rails the rolling resistance of the vehicle was lowered and the average speed was increased.
A horse or team that rode along rails could carry more fare paying passengers per day of operation than those that did not have rails. North America's first streetcar lines opened in 1832 from downtown New York City to Harlem by the New York and Harlem Railroad, in 1834 in New Orleans, and in 1849 in Toronto along the Williams Omnibus Bus Line.
These streetcars used horses and sometimes mules. Mules were thought to give more hours per day of useful transit service than horses and were especially popular in the south in cities such as New Orleans, Louisiana.  In many cities, streetcars drawn by a single animal were known as "bobtail streetcars" whether mule-drawn or horse-drawn.   By the mid-1880s, there were 415 street railway companies in the U.S. operating over 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of track and carrying 188 million passengers per year using animal-drawn cars. [ citation needed ] In the nineteenth century Mexico had streetcars in around 1,000 towns and many were animal-powered. The 1907 Anuario Estadístico lists 35 animal-powered streetcar lines in Veracruz state, 80 in Guanajuato, and 300 lines in Yucatán. 
Although most animal-drawn lines were shut down in the 19th century, a few lines lasted into the 20th century and later. Toronto's horse-drawn streetcar operations ended in 1891. New York City saw regular horsecar service last until 1917. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Sarah Street line lasted until 1923. The last regular mule-drawn cars in the United States ran in Sulphur Rock, Arkansas, until 1926 and were commemorated by a U.S. Postage Stamp issued in 1983.  The last mule tram service in Mexico City ended in 1932, and a mule-powered line in Celaya, survived until May 1954. 
In the 21st century, horsecars are still used to take visitors along the 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) tour of the 3 cenotes from Chunkanán near Cuzamá Municipality in the state of Yucatán.   Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Cal., has operated a short horsecar line since it opened in July 1955. Similarly, Disney World theme park in Orlando has operated a short horsecar line since it opened in Oct 1971. At both parks, they run from 8-9am to 1:30-2pm, and, depending on the season, sometimes 5-7pm.
Early power Edit
During the nineteenth century, particularly from the 1860s to the 1890s, many streetcar operators switched from animals to other types of motive power. Before the use of electricity the use of steam dummies, tram engines, or cable cars was tried in several North American cities. A notable transition took place in Washington, D.C., in the U.S. where horsecars were used on street railways from 1862 to the early 1890s. From about 1890 to 1893 cable drives provided motive power to Washington streetcars, and after 1893 electricity powered the cars.  The advantages of eliminating animal drive power included dispensing with the need to feed the animals and clean up their waste. A North American city that did not eliminate its cable car lines was San Francisco and much of its San Francisco cable car system continues to operate to this day.
In this transition period some early streetcar lines in large cities opted to rebuild their railways above or below grade to help further speed transit. Such system would become known as rapid transit or later as heavy rail lines.
The World Cotton Centennial was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from December 16, 1884, to June 2, 1885. It featured displays with a great deal of electric light illumination, an observation tower with electric elevators, and several prototype designs of electric streetcars.  Montgomery, Alabama, established its electric streetcar system nicknamed the Lightning Route on April 15, 1886.  Another early electrified streetcar system in the United States was established in Scranton, Pennsylvania, by November 30, 1886 it was the first system to be run exclusively on electric power, giving Scranton the nickname "The Electric City".   In 1887 an electric streetcar line opened between Omaha and South Omaha, Nebraska.  The Omaha Motor Railway Company began operation in 1888. 
Along the east coast a large-scale electric street railway system known as the Richmond Union Passenger Railway was built by Frank J. Sprague in Richmond, Virginia, and was operating by February 2, 1888. The Richmond system had a large impact upon the burgeoning electric trolley industry. Sprague's use of a trolley pole for D.C. current pick up from a single line (with ground return via the street rails) set the pattern that was to be adopted in many other cities. The North American English use of the term "trolley" instead of "tram" for a street railway vehicle derives from the work that Sprague did in Richmond and quickly spread elsewhere.
In Los Angeles was built the largest electric tramway system in the world, which grew to over 1600 km of track. A horse-drawn tramway was commenced in L.A. in 1872. In the first decade of the 1900s, Henry Huntington was behind this development. Trams ran in the city as well as to outlying settlements. Lines radiated from the city as far south as Long Beach. Cars could be coupled, running in multiple-unit operation. All was abandoned by 1961. 
By 1889 110 electric railways incorporating Sprague's equipment had been started or were planned on several continents. By 1895 almost 900 electric street railways and nearly 11,000 miles (18,000 km) of track had been built in the United States.
The rapid growth of streetcar systems led to the widespread ability of people to live outside of a city and commute into it for work on a daily basis. Several of the communities that grew as a result of this new mobility were known as streetcar suburbs.   Another outgrowth of the popularity of urban streetcar systems was the rise of interurban lines, which were basically streetcars that operated between cities and served remote, even rural, areas. In some areas interurban lines competed with regular passenger service on mainline railroads and in others they simply complemented the mainline roads by serving towns not on the mainlines. The largest of these was the Pacific Electric system in Los Angeles, which had over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of track and 2,700 scheduled services each day. 
The Hagerstown and Frederick Railway that started in 1896 in northern Maryland was built to provide transit service to resorts and the streetcar company built and operated two amusement parks to entice more people to ride their streetcars. The Lake Shore Electric Railway interurban in northern Ohio carried passengers to Cedar Point and several other Ohio amusement parks. The Lake Compounce amusement park, which started in 1846, had by 1895 established trolley service to its rural Connecticut location. Although outside trolley service to Lake Compounce stopped in the 1930s, the park resurrected its trolley past with the opening of the "Lakeside Trolley" ride in 1997 which is still operating today as a short heritage line. In the days before widespread radio listening was popular and in towns or neighborhoods too small to support a viable amusement park streetcar lines might help to fund an appearance of a touring musical act at the local bandstand to boost weekend afternoon ridership.
Many of Mexico's streetcars were fitted with gasoline motors in the 1920s and some were pulled by steam locomotives. Only 15 Mexican streetcar systems were electrified in the 1920s. 
Between 1895 and 1929, almost every major city in the United States suffered at least one streetcar strike. Sometimes lasting only a few days, more often these strikes were "marked by almost continuous and often spectacular violent conflict,"  at times amounting to prolonged riots and civil insurrection.
Streetcar strikes rank among the deadliest armed conflicts in American labor union history. Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor called the St. Louis Streetcar Strike of 1900 "the fiercest struggle ever waged by the organized toilers"  up to that point, with a total casualty count of 14 dead and about 200 wounded. The San Francisco Streetcar Strike of 1907 saw 30 killed and about 1000 injured.  Many of the casualties were passengers and innocent bystanders.
The 1929 New Orleans streetcar strike was one of the last of its kind. The rise of private automobile ownership took the edge off its impact, as an article in the Chicago Tribune observed as early as 1915. 
The Great Depression of the 1930s led to the closure of many streetcar lines in North America. The onset of World War II held off the closure of some streetcar lines as civilians used them to commute to war related factory jobs during a time when rubber tires and gasoline were rationed. After the war automobile use continued to rise and was assisted in the 1940s and 1950s by the passage of the Trans-Canada Highway Act of 1948 and growth of provincial highways in Canada as well as the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 in the United States.
By the 1960s most North American streetcar lines were closed, with only the exceptions noted above and discussed below remaining in service. During the same time all streetcar systems in Central America were scrapped as well. The survival of the lines that made it past the 1960s was aided by the introduction of the successful PCC streetcar (Presidents' Conference Committee car) in the 1940s and 1950s in all these cities except New Orleans.
City buses were seen as more economical and flexible: a bus could carry a number of people similar to that in a streetcar without tracks and associated infrastructure. Many transit operators removed some streetcar tracks but kept the electric infrastructure so as to run electrified trackless trolley buses. Many such systems lasted only as long as the first generation of equipment, but several survive to the present.
Purported conspiracies Edit
The abandonment of city streetcar systems in the mid-twentieth century led to accusations of conspiracy which held that a union of automobile, oil, and tire manufacturers shut down the streetcar systems in order to further the use of buses and automobiles.  The struggling depression-era streetcar companies were bought up by this union of companies who, over the following decades, dismantled many of the North American streetcar systems.
While it is true that General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, and some other companies funded holding companies that purchased about 30 more of the hundreds of transit systems across North America, their real goal was to sell their products — buses, tires, and fuel — to those transit systems as they converted from streetcars to buses. During the time the holding companies owned an interest in American transit systems, more than 300 cities converted to buses. The holding companies only owned an interest in the transit systems of less than fifty of those cities.     GM and other companies were subsequently convicted in 1949 of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products via a complex network of linked holding companies including National City Lines and Pacific City Lines. They were also indicted, but acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies. The former verdict was upheld on appeal in 1951. 
Light rail Edit
The systems described in the paragraphs above and below are genuine streetcars or tramways, with smaller vehicles and mixed-traffic street running (i.e. no separation from other vehicles), such as those in New Orleans and San Francisco. However, a greater number of North American cities have built light rail systems in recent decades, some of which operate partially in the right-of-way of city streets, but which mostly operate in exclusive rights-of-way. A few North American 'light rail' systems date to the "first" streetcar era, such as Boston's Green Line, Cleveland's Blue and Green Lines, Mexico City's Xochimilco Light Rail, and the light rail system in Newark, New Jersey, and so can be considered "holdovers" or "legacies" from that era.
The term light rail was devised in 1972 by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA the precursor to the U.S. Federal Transit Administration) to describe new streetcar transformations which were taking place in Europe and being planned in North America.  Some notable distinctions between light rail systems and their streetcar predecessors were that:
- Light rail lines may run at least partially along exclusive rights of way instead of only along or in streets (i.e. without street running).
- A light rail line is more likely to run multiple unit trains instead of single cars.
- A light rail line may use high level platforms instead of in street level stops. These design differences mean that light rail systems tend to have higher passenger capacities and higher speeds than their streetcar predecessors.
The pioneering "modern" North American light rail system, Edmonton Light Rail Transit, was started in Edmonton in 1974 and became operational on April 22, 1978  – it used mostly European technology, did not use street running, and operated in tunnels in the downtown area (which accounted for much of the high expense of building that system). It was soon followed by light rail systems in San Diego and Calgary in 1981 that used similar vehicles but which avoided the expense of tunnels by using surface alignments and, on a few sections, even partial street running, in reserved lanes (restricted to transit vehicles only). The development of light rail systems in North America then proliferated widely after 1985, mostly in the United States, but also in Canada and Mexico. Including streetcars, light rail systems are operating successfully in over 30 U.S. cities, and are in planning or construction stages in several more.
Heritage and modern streetcars Edit
New public transit streetcar services also returned, at least in the United States, around the same time as the emergence of the new light rail transit.
Prior to 2001, the new streetcar systems that opened in North America for public transit were so-called heritage streetcar systems, alternatively known as "vintage trolley" or "historic trolley" lines. While Detroit and Seattle were the first cities to open heritage lines in 1976 and 1982, their heritage lines ultimately closed in 2003 and 2005, respectively. The first heritage system to be successful was Dallas' M-line which opened in 1989. Memphis opened what ultimately became a larger heritage streetcar system in 1993, while San Francisco restored one of its defunct streetcar lines (F Market & Wharves) using heritage streetcar operations in 1995. These heritage systems were followed in the 2000s by new heritage streetcar lines in Kenosha, Tampa, and Little Rock, and the restoration of a defunct streetcar line using heritage streetcars in Philadelphia (SEPTA Route 15) in 2005. Other cities in both the United States and Canada opened new heritage streetcar lines that operated only on weekends or seasonally, primarily as tourist services, and so didn't provide true "public transit" service.
Truly modern streetcar systems arose in the United States, starting in 2001, in Portland, Oregon. This was followed by new streetcar lines in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Tucson, and Atlanta. These systems were completely new in every way, operating on new track built specifically for them, and operating with "modern" streetcar vehicles rather than the "heritage" vehicles used in places like Dallas, Memphis and San Francisco.
Transportation vs. development Edit
In 2015, the Mineta Transportation Institute released a peer-reviewed research report  which used key informant interviews to examine the experiences on modern-era streetcars operating in Little Rock, Memphis, Portland, Seattle, and Tampa. The research revealed that in these cities, the primary purpose of the streetcar was to serve as a development tool (in all cities examined), a second objective was to serve as a tourism-promoting amenity (in Little Rock and Tampa), and transportation objectives were largely afterthoughts with the notable exception of Portland, and to a lesser degree, Seattle. 
Not all streetcar systems were removed after World War II. The San Francisco cable car system and New Orleans' streetcars are the most famous examples of the survival of a "legacy" streetcar system in the United States to the present day. In addition to New Orleans' streetcars, Toronto's conventional electric streetcar system also avoided abandonment, as did portions of the streetcar systems in San Francisco, Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland,  as well as Mexico City. The Newark, Philadelphia, and Boston systems run into subways downtown, while the Pittsburgh and San Francisco systems have tunnels under large hills that had no acceptable road alternatives for bus replacements. The St. Charles Avenue line in New Orleans runs down the park-like "neutral ground" in the center of St. Charles Avenue, while the surviving Xochimilco line in Mexico City, the interurban lines in Cleveland, and almost all of the above-ground portions of the Boston system have similar rights-of-way, and, thus, are generally treated as "light rail" lines in modern contexts rather than as "streetcar" lines. The only electric system to survive without using these alternatives to street running was Toronto's.
The surviving legacy systems using PCC streetcars have since replaced their PCC cars with modern light rail vehicles, although restored vintage PCC cars are still in regular operation on Boston's Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line, and as well as on San Francisco's restored F Market heritage line. New Orleans' streetcar system also continues to operate a few surviving Perley Thomas cars (along with replica cars). All of the other legacy systems have received new equipment and most have upgraded to modern light rail vehicles.
Some of these cities have also rehabilitated lines, and Newark, New Orleans, and San Francisco have added trackage and new lines in recent years San Francisco also restored a streetcar line with heritage service in 1995 (see Heritage streetcar systems section, below). In Philadelphia, a former trolley line (SEPTA Route 15, aka. the Girard Avenue Line), that was "bustituted" in 1992, resumed trolley service in 2005 using rebuilt historic cars (see below) two other former Philadelphia trolley lines have been proposed for a resumption in trolley service in the 2010s though such plans have stalled.
In Canada, most cities once had a streetcar system, but today the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the only traditional operator of streetcars, and maintains the Western Hemisphere's most extensive system in terms of track length, number of cars, and ridership. The city has added two new streetcar lines in recent years (510 Spadina in 1990, and 509 Harbourfront in 2000), and is upgrading its other lines. Its traditional fleet of CLRVs and ALRVs were replaced by the newer Bombardier Flexity low-floor models, and expansion is planned in combination with the city's plans for the rejuvenation of its waterfront.
The table below lists the surviving first-generation "legacy" streetcars in those nine North American cities:
City/Area served Country State
Stops Lines Type of
Boston USA MA Green Line [note 1] [note 2] 1897  1959 22.6 mi (36.4 km)  66  4  Kinki Sharyo Type 7, AnsaldoBreda Type 8 Light rail / Streetcar
High Speed Line [note 1]
1929  n/a 2.6 mi (4.2 km)  8  1  PCC streetcars (1943–46) Heritage light rail [note 3] Cleveland USA OH Blue and Green Lines [note 4] 1913 
1996 15.3 mi (24.6 km)  34  2  Breda LRVs Converted to Light rail Mexico City MEX DF Xochimilco Light Rail [note 1] 1910
1988 8.0 mi (12.9 km) 18  1  Concarril & Bombardier LRVs Converted to Light rail Newark USA NJ Newark Light Rail
(NJ Transit)   [note 1]
1935 2006 7.0 mi (11.3 km)  17  2  Kinki Sharyo Converted to light rail (with subway) New Orleans USA LA New Orleans Streetcars   1835 2016  22.3 mi (35.9 km)   many stops 4  Perley Thomas cars
Streetcar [note 3] Philadelphia USA PA Routes 101 and 102 [note 1] 1906 11.9 mi (19.2 km)  52  2  Kawasaki K cars Light rail Subway–Surface
Trolley Lines [note 1]
1906 1972 19.8 mi (31.9 km)  16  [note 5] 5  Kawasaki K cars Streetcar
Pittsburgh USA PA The T:
Pittsburgh Light Rail
2012  26.2 mi (42.2 km)  53  2  Siemens SD-400,
CAF Class 4300
Converted to light rail (with subway) San Francisco USA CA Muni Metro [note 1] 1917
/ 1980 
2007 35.7 mi (57.5 km)  120  [note 6] 6 (+1)  Breda LRVs
system   [note 7]
1878  1952 5.2 mi (8.4 km) 62 3   Historic cable cars Cable car [note 3] Toronto CAN ON Toronto streetcar system [note 1] 1861  2016  51 mi (82 km)  708  11  Bombardier Flexity Outlook  Streetcar
- ^ abcdefgh This system also has a heavy railrapid transit/metro portion (see List of metro systems), and connections to a commuter rail system the figures and statistics presented here represent the streetcar/light rail portion of the system only.
- ^ While the MBTA Green Line is light rail, the MBTA Blue, Orange, and Red lines of the MTBA system are rapid transit/subways and are not included here.
- ^ abc This system is run with historic (i.e. "heritage") rolling stock, but is considered to be a regular light rail or streetcar system rather than a "heritage streetcar" system.
- ^ While the Blue and Green Lines are light rail, Cleveland's other transit line, the Red Line, is rapid transit.
- ^ SEPTA Subway–Surface Trolley Lines: 16 stations (8 underground 8 surface), with several additional streetcar-like surface stops.
- ^ Muni Metro: 33 stations (9 underground 24 surface), with an additional 87 streetcar-like surface stops.
- ^ It is debatable whether this system truly qualifies as "light rail" (or as a true "transit" system either), but it is included in the table anyway for completeness.
Newly built systems using modern streetcars have so far only opened in cities in the United States, and are summarized in the table below (listed in order of opening):
City/Area served Country State
Streetcar system Year
Stops Lines Type of vehicle Portland USA OR Portland Streetcar 2001  2015   7.35 mi (11.83 km)  76  2  Škoda 10 T,
Inekon Trams 12-Trio,
United Streetcar 100
Seattle USA WA Seattle Streetcar 2007  2016  3.8 mi (6.1 km)   17  2  Inekon Trams 12-Trio, Trio Type 121 Salt Lake City USA UT S Line 2013  n/a 2.0 mi (3.2 km)  7  1  Siemens S70 Tucson USA AZ Sun Link 2014  n/a 3.9 mi (6.3 km)  22 1 United Streetcar 200 Atlanta USA GA Atlanta Streetcar 2014  n/a 2.7 mi (4.3 km)  12  1  Siemens S70 Dallas USA TX Dallas Streetcar 2015  2016  2.45 mi (3.94 km)  6  1  Brookville Liberty   Washington, D.C. USA DC DC Streetcar  2016  n/a 2.4 mi (3.9 km)  8  1  Inekon 12-Trio
United Streetcar model 100
Kansas City USA MO KC Streetcar  2016  n/a 2.2 mi (3.5 km)   16  1  CAF Urbos 3  Cincinnati USA OH Cincinnati Bell Connector  2016  n/a 3.6 mi (5.8 km)  18  1  CAF Urbos 3  Detroit USA MI QLine  2017  n/a 3.3 mi (5.3 km)  20 1 Brookville Liberty  Milwaukee USA WI The Hop  2018  Ongoing  2.1 mi (3.4 km)   18  1  Brookville Liberty  Oklahoma City USA OK Oklahoma City Streetcar  2018  n/a 4.8 mi (7.7 km)  22  2  Brookville Liberty 
In addition, the CityLynx Gold Line, which opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2015 using replica-vintage streetcars (see table of heritage streetcar systems, below), is planned to be converted to modern streetcars in 2020. 
United States Edit
In 2001, Portland, Oregon, which already had a successful light rail system (MAX), became the first city in the North America in more than 50 years to open a new streetcar system served by modern vehicles,   with the opening of the Portland Streetcar. It uses low-floor cars built in the Czech Republic, but the system's first U.S.-assembled streetcar was delivered in 2009.  The line serves as a downtown circulator between the central city core, the Pearl District and Northwest Portland, Portland State University, and in 2005 was extended to the South Waterfront district, a new mixed-use development along the Willamette River shoreline. Running almost entirely on streets and without any separation from other traffic on most sections, it complements the MAX light rail system, which covers much longer distances and serves as a regional, higher-capacity rail system for the metropolitan area. The MAX system also runs along streets in central Portland, but is separated from traffic (other than buses) even in those areas, via reserved light-rail-only lanes. Construction of a second streetcar line, to the city's east side, began in 2009,  and the new line opened in September 2012. 
The new Portland system and several of the new heritage streetcar systems have been intended, in part, as a way of influencing property development in the corridors served, in such a way as to increase density while attracting residents interested in relatively car-free living.  The Portland Streetcar is considered to have been very successful in this regard. 
The second "second-generation" streetcar system opened in North America was in 2007, in Seattle,  where the city's transportation department led the project to construct the South Lake Union Streetcar, but contracted with local transit authority King County Metro to operate the service. Connecting the neighborhood south of Lake Union with the transit core of downtown Seattle, it operates every 15 minutes and is served by three low-floor streetcars of the same type as some of those in Portland. Residents of the area began referring to the system as the "South Lake Union Trolley" giving it the amusing but unfortunate acronym of "SLUT".  A line serving First Hill opened in January 2016  and feeds Central Link, the light rail system that opened in 2009. Construction of an extension that will connect the two lines  is set to begin in early 2018. 
A new rail line which opened in Tacoma, Washington in 2003, Tacoma Link, is sometimes referred to as a streetcar line because of its short length and use of single vehicles (rather than trains) of the same type as the low-floor streetcars used in Portland. However, the line is separated from other traffic over most of its length, making it a light rail line, which is what its operator (Sound Transit) considers it to be. 
In development Edit
Some 70 U.S. cities have studied the idea of bringing back streetcars as transit,  although to date the number that have come to fruition has been small. In the 2000s, one factor in this was lack of funding support for streetcar development from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the Bush Administration.   However, under the Obama Administration, the FTA indicated it would provide funding for streetcar projects in cities interested in building new systems.    
Under construction Edit
The following table lists the new modern streetcar systems that are currently under construction:
City/Area served State System Planned
System length Type of vehicle Tempe AZ Tempe Streetcar 2021   3.44 mi (6 km) Brookville Liberty  Orange County CA OC Streetcar  2021  4.1 mi (7 km) Siemens S700   [a]
The systems listed above will use modern streetcars. For new heritage streetcar systems that are under construction, see relevant section below.
Planned or proposed Edit
In addition to the streetcar systems currently under construction, a number of additional streetcar systems are in the planning stages in the United States. 
Examples of cities with streetcar systems in the active planning stages include Los Angeles,  Minneapolis,  New York City,  Sacramento,  and Saint Paul. 
Heritage streetcar systems are sometimes used in public transit service, combining light rail efficiency with tourist's nostalgia interests. Proponents claim that using a simple, reliable form of transit from 50 or 100 years ago can bring history to life for 21st century visitors.
Prior to 2001, the new streetcar systems that opened in North America had been heritage lines, alternatively known as vintage trolley or 'historic' trolley lines. Several cities built new heritage streetcar lines, starting from the 1980s onward. Some heritage systems operate only with limited hours, and/or only on weekends, or seasonally, and thus are simply tourist- or history-oriented excursion services. Other heritage systems operate daily, running throughout the entire day, year-round, thus providing true public transit service.
New heritage streetcar systems providing daily, year-round service included ones opened in Seattle (the Waterfront Streetcar – opened in 1982, but closed in 2005), Galveston (1988, but service suspended in 2008 after Hurricane Ike), Dallas (McKinney Avenue Transit Authority) (1989), Memphis (1993) and Kenosha, Wisconsin (2000). Other new heritage streetcar lines have opened in Tampa in 2002 and Little Rock in 2004. All of these were newly constructed systems, but all have been served by historic streetcars or replicas of historic streetcars. The El Paso Streetcar is a new heritage system that opened in November 2018, using six restored PCC streetcars that have survived from the city's previous streetcar system,  which closed in 1974,  but serving a new route.
Systems offering regular public transit Edit
The following two tables list all of the currently operating heritage streetcar systems offering regular public transit service:
New heritage streetcar systems:
City/Area served Country State
Heritage streetcar system Year
Stops Lines Type of vehicle Dallas USA TX McKinney Avenue Transit Authority 1989 2015  4.6 mi (7.4 km) 40 1 [various] El Paso USA TX El Paso Streetcar  2018  n/a 4.8 mi (7.7 km)  27  2  restored PCC streetcars  Little Rock USA AR Metro Streetcar (formerly River Rail Streetcar)  2004  2007  3.4 mi (5.5 km)  15  2  Birney-type streetcars Memphis USA TN MATA Trolley  1993  2004  6.3 mi (10.1 km) 13  1  [various], plus replicas from Gomaco Trolley Company Tampa USA FL TECO Line Streetcar  2002 2010 2.7 mi (4.3 km)  11  1  Birney-type streetcars
Heritage service restored to formerly defunct streetcar lines:
City/Area served Country State
Heritage streetcar system Year
Stops Lines Type of vehicle Philadelphia USA PA SEPTA Route 15
(Girard Avenue Trolley)
2005 2012 8.4 mi (13.5 km)  48 1 SEPTA PCC II San Francisco USA CA F Market & Wharves   1995   2000 6.2 mi (10.0 km)  32  1  PCC streetcars and ex-Milan Peter Witt streetcars E Embarcadero  2015  n/a 18  1  Double-ended PCC streetcars 
Closed systems Edit
- The heritage Detroit Downtown Trolley in Detroit, Michigan operated from 1976 until 2003. The Detroit trolley faced a steep decline in ridership after the Detroit People Mover system was installed in 1987. The carbarn for the former narrow gauge trolley was demolished in 2004, and the tracks have subsequently been removed.
- The Waterfront Streetcar in Seattle, Washington, was a heritage line that operated from 1982 until 2005, when the line's carbarn was demolished to make room for the Olympic Sculpture Park.
- Operations on the Galveston Island Trolley heritage system have been suspended since September 2008, due to extensive damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Its operations have still not been restored as of September 2018 [update] , but track rehabilitation works and trolley cars restoration are underway.  Service is expected to resume within a year.  [needs update]
- Vancouver, British Columbia had the Vancouver Downtown Historic Railway which was a tourist-based heritage system that opened in 1998 and which used to operate on weekends and holidays from May to mid-October however, the system closed in 2012, most likely permanently.
- The Waterfront Red Car in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles, California, was a heritage line that operated from 2003 until closure in 2015 due to the realignment of Sampson Way leading into Ports O' Call Village.  Restoring trackage was deemed cost prohibitive.
- Operations on the tourist-oriented heritage River Street Streetcar in Savannah, Georgia have been suspended since 2016, officially on a temporary basis and due to interfering construction works. It is unclear when, if ever, the service will resume. 
- From 2015 to July 2019, the CityLynx Gold Line in Charlotte operated with replica heritage streetcars sourced from the former Charlotte Trolley. The streetcars were withdrawn from service in July 2019, and will be retired and sold after their replacement with modern vehicles in early 2021. 
- Other tourist-oriented heritage trolley systems that have closed are the Charlotte Trolley (1996–2010), the Portland Vintage Trolley (1991–2014), the Whitehorse Waterfront Trolley (2000–2019), the Old Pueblo Trolley (1993–2011) in Tucson, Arizona and the short-lived Loop Trolley (2018–2019)  in St. Louis, Missouri.
List of primarily tourist heritage systems in North America Edit
The following table lists primarily tourist-oriented heritage streetcar systems (i.e. systems not designed primarily for public transit – and thus heritage systems that often operate only seasonally):
City/Area served Country State
Heritage streetcar system Year
Remarks Astoria USA OR Astoria Riverfront Trolley  1999 3 mi (4.8 km) Seasonal: Operates noon to 7 p.m. daily, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Denver USA CO Platte Valley Trolley  1989 1.2 mi (1.9 km) Seasonal: Operates noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday only, from May to October. Edmonton CAN AB High Level Bridge Streetcar  1979 1.9 mi (3.1 km) Seasonal: Operates usually 11:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. daily, from Victoria Day in May to Labour Day in September, and on Friday–Sunday from Labour Day to Canadian Thanksgiving in October. El Reno USA OK Heritage Express Trolley   2001 0.9 mi (1.4 km) Operates 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, Sunday. Propane gas-powered, not electric. Fort Collins USA CO Fort Collins Municipal Railway  1984 1.5 mi (2.4 km) Seasonal: Operates noon to 5 p.m. weekends only, from May to September. Fort Smith USA AR Fort Smith Trolley  1991 0.75 mi (1 km)  Operates daily May through October (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday–Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, Sunday) and on weekends November through April. Kenosha USA WI Kenosha Streetcar service  2000  2.0 mi (3.2 km)  Seasonal: Operates 10:05 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. Saturday-Sunday all year, 10:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. Monday-Friday in March, 11:05 a.m. to 6:35 p.m. Monday-Friday from April to December, and closed Monday-Friday from January to February. Lowell USA MA Lowell National Historical Park streetcar   1984 1.2 mi (1.9 km) Seasonal: Operates daily, between March and November. Minneapolis USA MN Como-Harriet Streetcar Line  1971 1 mi (1.6 km) Seasonal: Operates daily, from May to September, and on weekends through November.  Nelson CAN BC Nelson Electric Tramway  1992 0.75 mi (1.21 km) Seasonal: Operates 11:10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. daily, between Easter weekend and Canadian Thanksgiving in October. Portland USA OR Willamette Shore Trolley  1990 6 mi (9.7 km) Seasonal: Operates 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekends only, from May to October, plus certain dates in December. San Diego USA CA San Diego Trolley Silver Line 2011 2.7 mi (4.3 km) Operates 9:52 a.m. to 1:52 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:52 a.m. to 3:22 p.m. weekends, only. Surrey CAN BC Fraser Valley Heritage Railway  2013 4.6 mi (7.4 km) Operates 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., weekends only.
Unlike a heritage system, a streetcar museum may offer little or no transport service. If there are working streetcars in a museum's collection, any service provided may be seasonal, not follow a schedule, offer limited stops, service only remote areas, or otherwise differ from a regularly scheduled heritage line. Some North American streetcar museums include:
- in Phoenix, Arizona in Baltimore, Maryland between Delson and Saint-Constant, Quebec complex in Chattanooga, Tennessee in East Windsor, Connecticut in East Troy, Wisconsin in Scranton, Pennsylvania in Edmonton, Alberta in South Elgin, Illinois in Rockwood, Ontario in Heston, Indiana in Pensacola, Florida in San Jose, California in Union, Illinois - collection now includes general railroad equipment as well as streetcars in Issaquah, Washington in Lowell, Massachusetts  in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in Minneapolis, Minnesota operates heritage lines such as the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line
- Museo de Transportes Eléctricos del D.F., of STE, in Mexico City  in St. Louis, Missouri  in Colesville, Maryland in Rush, New York in Chippewa Lake, Ohio in Fort Worth, Texas in Tucson, Arizona in Perris, California - collection now includes general railroad equipment as well as streetcars in Brooks, Oregon in Washington, Pennsylvania in Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania in Savannah, Georgia  in San Francisco, California in San Francisco, California in Kennebunkport, Maine in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts in East Haven, Connecticut in Kingston, New York in Suisun City, California in Yakima, Washington
General articles Edit
System lists Edit
Specific systems Edit
Not operating Edit
Car builders and types Edit
- (Portland, Oregon) bus depot is a former trolley depot stone carbarn at 371 Waterloo Avenue Jacksonville, FL. took the JTCO cars under the terminal Company tracks.
Not standing Edit
- ^ These were model S70 when the order was placed, but in 2020 were retroactively rebranded as model S700 by Siemens. 
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Media related to Trams in North America at Wikimedia Commons
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Welcome to the website of the Yakima Valley Trolleys&mdashAmerica's last intact, early 20th Century, interurban electric railroad!
Please explore each of the categories on the left to learn more about us.
"Our Museum" contains information about our present-day trolley operations and museum, news updates, our online store, special events calendar, private charter and facility rental information, and tourist information.
"Our History" has resources to learn about the history of the YVT, including a timeline, photos, and videos.
"How You Can Help" will tell you how you can be a part of preserving America's last intact, early 20th Century, interurban electric railroad. It also contains information about membership and sponsorship.
"Contact Us" will quickly put you in touch with members of our organization.
"Links" contains links to other websites related to the Yakima Valley Trolleys.
Watch the video: Electric City Trolley Museum