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 museum was created by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority and is managed by Lackawanna County. 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.