West Penn Power Helps to Keep Pennsylvania Trolley Museum on Track

David McDonald (l.) and Scott Becker, executive director, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, discuss the facility’s growth initiatives while standing in front of the recently restored West Penn Railways streetcar No. 832.

July 18, 2018

A Streetcar Named Miss Brackenridge

Streetcar No. 832 was manufactured in 1929, a group of 12 purchased by West Penn Railways to upgrade service for the Allegheny Valley (Pa.) Division. It was christened “Miss Brackenridge” in honor of one of the towns it served. The trolley also operated in Aspinwall, Blawnox, Springdale, New Kensington, Tarentum and Natrona. In 1937, Miss Brackenridge and 11 other streetcars were moved to Connellsville to serve on West Penn Railways’ Coke Region routes in Fayette and Westmoreland counties. No. 832 was one of the three original streetcars that arrived at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum under their own power in 1954.

There was a time when electric-powered streetcars traveled around parts of our service territory with a metallic “clickity-clack.” The history of the utility industry can be traced back to this early form of transportation, when in the late 1800s, small generating facilities were built to power electric streetcars around cities.

Today, streetcars have been replaced by buses and automobiles, but there is a place in Washington County, Pa., that is working to preserve these vehicles for future generations to enjoy – the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.

West Penn Power Regional President David McDonald recently stopped by the museum to present a $5,000 check from the FirstEnergy Foundation to support the facility’s On Track for the Future capital campaign. The presentation took place during a ceremony to announce the program and to unveil the fully-restored West Penn Railways Streetcar No. 832.

“The trolley system is not just part of our company’s history, it is a part of the heritage of southwestern Pennsylvania,” says David. “I’m proud to acknowledge this strong association by supporting the museum’s plans to expand its educational programs and create an enhanced experience for its growing number of visitors.”

Some of the developments planned through the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum’s On Track for the Future campaign include: a new Welcome and Education Center; an outdoor display and playground area called Trolley Street; a larger parking lot; and a new entrance to the museum complex.