Electric City Trolley Museum to reopen Friday

Nov. 23—The Electric City Trolley Museum will reopen Friday after a lack of heat prompted Lackawanna County officials to close the attraction last week.

The trolley museum sits on the same grounds as the Steamtown National Historic Site in downtown Scranton. The National Park Service operates Steamtown, but its system also heats the trolley museum, which the county closed indefinitely Nov. 17 amid a lack of heat.

Museum and facilities manager Wayne Hiller confirmed Wednesday that the park service had a temporary heating unit installed. That will allow the museum to reopen Friday, the date of its Elf on the Shelf trolley excursion. The museum will also offer arts and crafts, letters to Santa, face painting and other activities Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The park service recently announced the temporary closure of several indoor attractions at Steamtown beginning Nov. 20, citing "ongoing mechanical issues with its heating system." Providing heat for the trolley museum was a priority, parks service spokesman John Warren said.

"We wanted to make sure they got heat, and they got heat," he said. "They use a building on the park campus and this is the kind of thing that we should do as good neighbors."

Hiller said he's optimistic the temporary heating unit will get the museum through the winter, noting the facility will proceed with indoor events as scheduled.

Santa on the Trolley excursions return Saturday and Sunday and continue Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18, with departures at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:45, 2 and 3 p.m. A Children's Holiday Celebration at the museum will take place Dec. 17.

For more information or to make reservations, call 570-963-6590. Information on the museum and its events is also available online at ectma.org.

A larger project to replace the heating system at Steamtown's campus will likely take years, Warren said. The historic site is open, but several buildings on the campus remain closed for lack of heat.

"The trains are not affected by this," he said. "We have several events running in the month of December, and so those are going on as scheduled."

For more information on Steamtown, visit nps.gov/stea.

Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter.