The Electric Trolley Station and Museum located in Scranton, Pennsylvania is adjacent to the Steamtown National Historic Site and may be accessed from the same parking lot where Steamtown is located. Alternatively, parking is available at the Steamtown Mall from where the Electric Trolley Station and Museum is about a quarter mile walk.
Electric Trolleys used to be one of the primary modes of transportation in the area of Scranton, in cities like Pittsburgh, PA and numerous other cities until the tracks were ripped up mostly in favor of automobiles as people wanted more independent transportation and the car companies wanted to sell more cars. The Electric Trolley Station and Museum is a relatively small museum that costs $6.00 to walk through. A trolley ride is available during some times of the year for $8.00. A ticket for the museum and the trolley ride is available for $10.00 (in 2010).
The museum features a number of trolley cars, a short film that shows in a 50 seat theater, displays that include signals, rails, model trolley displays, stock certificates and an area where kids can play with building blocks to rearrange local towns along which the trolleys used to run. The trolleys on display used to run mostly in the local area including the Philadelphia region. The trolley cars inside the museum have been nicely restored while a few others sit outside in various states of restoration.
When you first walk in to the museum you will receive a piece of paper that provides a self guided tour of sorts through the museum. There are about 10 stops the first of which is the theater where the short film is presented. Subsequent stops include the trolley cars that you may go inside and numerous other displays. If you grew up in the era of trolley cars this will bring back memories of rides through the city, the suburbs or even some moderately long distance trolley routes.
Near the end of the route through the trolley Museum is a kids area where a model trolley drives around on tracks up near the ceiling (very similar to model trains often put on display around the holidays). In the kids area kids (both young and old) can create their own anthracite region communities on a large platform that represents the Lackawana Valley, Endless Mountain and the Wyoming Valley.
Though the price of admission is the same as Steamtown National Historic Site ($6.00), the trolley museum is nowhere near as impressive as Steamtown. If funds or time are limited when you visit the Steamtown area, skip the trolley museum and go to the Steamtown Museum. If you have time to visit both, by all means do so and learn about the history of both steam and electrical rail transportation in the area!